Confidentiality

Whose business is it? – Legal Provisions

ORC 5122.31 – forbids disclosure of personal information except (partial listing):

With your consent (or that of your court-appointed guardian). For the most part, you can decide who knows your business and who doesn’t. You will be asked to sign a Release of Information when you authorize transfer of information.
Ohio Legal Rights Service (OLRS) is Ohio’s protection and advocacy organization. If they are involved in an investigation, they may ask to see records without having a consent form.
Pursuant to a court order. This can include a subpoena, a warrant for arrest and other documents signed by a judge.
In most instances you may see your own records. See records section.
Your family members may be given certain information if they are involved in your care and if you don’t object. You must be consulted first and you have the option to decline.
42 CFR also provides rights concerning confidentiality for people receiveing treatment for alcohol or drug abuse.

OAC 5122-14-23 and 5122-27-09 apply limits of ORC 5122.31 to licensed private psychiatric hospitals and community agencies that a release of information form should have the following:
   
A description of the information to be released;
    The entity (e.g., agency, hospital) disclosing and entity receiving the information;
    A statement of your ability to revoke consent at any time after the consent has been
       signed. The revocation does not affect information already released;
    An expiration date (usually 90 days, at most 180 days);
    A statement that re-release of information requires appropriate authorization.

There is a place on the release of information for your signature. Make sure all of the information is filled out to your satisfaction.

You are not required to sign a consent form if it makes you uncomfortable. If enough information is available to establish your need for services, you cannot be denied services for refusing to sign one or more releases. In particular, you are never required to (nor should you be asked to) sign a release which has been filled out incompletely or not at all.

Your rights (OAC 5122:2-1-02)
11. The right to be advised of or refuse observation by techniques such as one-way
      vision mirrors, tape recorders, televisions, movies or photographs;
13. The right to confidentiality of communications and of all personally identifying
      information within limitations for disclosure of various funding and/or certifying
      sources, state or federal statutes, unless release of information is specifically 
      authorized by the client or parent or legal guardian or a minor client or 
      court-appointed guardian of the person of an adult client in accordance with Rule
      5122:2-3-11 of the Administrative Code.

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