Client Rights and Responsibilities
- Clients have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Clients have the right to fair treatment, regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender, age, health status, or source of payment for care.
- Clients have the right to have their treatment and other patient information kept private. Only by law may records be released without patient permission.
- Clients have the right to access care easily and in a timely fashion. Clients have the right to a candid discussion about all their treatment choices, regardless of cost or coverage by their benefit plan.
- Clients have the right to share in developing their plan of care.
- Clients have the right to the delivery of services in a culturally competent manner.
- Clients have the right to information about the organization, its providers, services and role in the treatment process.
- Clients have the right to information about provider work history and training.
- Clients have the right to information about clinical guidelines used in providing and managing their care.
- Clients have the right to know about advocacy and community groups and prevention services.
- Clients have the right to freely file a complaint, grievance, or appeal, and to learn how to do so.
- Clients have the right to know about laws that relate to their rights and responsibilities.
- Clients have the right to know of their rights and responsibilities in the treatment process, and to make recommendations regarding the organizations rights and responsibilities policy.
- Clients have the responsibility to treat those giving them care with dignity and respect.
- Clients have the responsibility to give providers the information they need, in order to provide the best care possible.
- Clients have the responsibility to ask their providers questions about their care.
- Clients have the responsibility to help develop and follow the agreed-upon treatment plan.
- Clients have the responsibility to let their provider know that the treatment plan no longer works for them.
- Clients have the responsibility to tell their provider about medication changes.
- Clients have the responsibility to keep their appointments. Patients should call their providers as soon as possible if they need to cancel visits.
- Clients have the responsibility to let their provider know about their insurance coverage, and any changes to it.
- Clients have the responsibility not to take action that could harm others.
- Clients have the responsibility to report fraud and abuse.
- Clients have the responsibility to openly report concerns or quality of care.
- Clients have the responsibility to let their provider know about any changes to their contact information (name, address, phone, etc.)
- Clients have the right and the responsibility to understand and help develop plans and goals to improve their health.
South Shore Autism Center values your privacy and adheres to all federal and state regulations regarding the protection of your personal information. SSAC assigns a code to each child at the start of services, so that this code can be listed on data sheets and other documents that are not kept secure during service delivery. All paper files that contain personal identifying information, such as your child’s full name, date of birth, address, etc. are kept in locked cabinets at the center. All digital files that contain personal identifying information are password protected and only staff who need this information to deliver treatment, payment, and health care options (TPO) have access to those files. Any use of client information outside those purposes must be preceded by informed, written consent from the client or a parent/guardian.
In certain specific circumstances, and only in these circumstances, confidentiality may be breached without consent. These situations are as follows:
- If a staff member suspects abuse or neglect of the client, s/he is mandated to report this to the Department of Children and Families. Supervisors should guide and advise supervisees in this process.
- If a staff member witnesses or suspects imminent likelihood of the client harming self or others, this behavior is outside of known parameters of the client’s typical behavior, and the staff member cannot safely or quickly de-escalate the behavior, s/he should alert authorities to the situation.
- For purposes of billing, collection of payment, and communication with insurance providers, confidential information may be conveyed, given that proper protections are in place and appropriate means of communication are utilized.
- If required to do so by law, such as responding to a court order or subpoena, or for legally authorized health oversight activities, such as audits and investigations.
At all times, SSAC staff use and communicate only the amount of information necessary about a client. SSAC staff members avoid using identifying information to the maximum extent possible (e.g., always use client codes instead of names; avoid talking about clients in the presence of other clients and families; avoid talking about clients with persons outside the agency without written consent to share information).
During the initial intake evaluation as well as on an annual basis once services are ongoing, parents/guardians will be given consent forms to sign including a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) consent form. You can request a copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices at any time for additional information. If there was ever an accidental breach of confidentiality, you would be notified immediately by a member of our Administration. At that time, we would discuss with you steps we would take to remedy any breach of confidentiality and/or to prevent further issues.