Privacy Policy for University Consultation and Treatment Center for Mental Hygiene, Inc.

 

What this Policy Covers.

1)       This document describes the privacy policy and practices of University Consultation and Treatment Center for Mental Hygiene, Inc. Our main office is at 1020 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451.

2)       This policy covers the collection, use, and maintenance of protected personal information for clients of University Consultation and Treatment Center for Mental Hygiene, Inc., as an organization affiliated with the NYC Coalition on the Continuum of Care (CCoC).

3)       Personally identifiable information/Protected identifying information (PII) is any personal information we maintain about a client that:

a)       Allows identification of an individual directly or indirectly;

b)       Can be manipulated by a reasonably foreseeable method to identify a specific individual; or

c)        Can be linked with other available information to identify a specific client.

4)       We adopted this policy because the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued standards for Homeless Management Information Systems. We intend our policy and practices to be consistent with those standards. See 69 Federal Register 45888 (July 30, 2004).

5)       This policy informs our clients, our staff, and others how we process personal information. We follow the policy and practices described in this privacy policy.

6)       We may amend out policy or practices at any time. Amendments may affect PII that we obtained before the effective date of the amendment.

7)       We give a written copy of this privacy policy to any individual who asks for it.

8)       We maintain a copy of this policy on our website at http://www.universityconsultationcenter.org.

How and Why We Collect PII.

1)       We collect PII only when appropriate to provide services or for another specific purpose of our organization or when required by law, We may collect information for these purposes:

a)       To provide individual case management;

b)       To produce aggregate-level reports regarding use of our services;

c)       To track individual project-level outcomes;

d)       To identify unfilled service needs and plan for the provision of new services;

e)       To conduct research for consulting and/or educational purposes; and

f)        To accomplish any or all other purposes deemed appropriate by the CCoC.

2)       We only use lawful and fair means to collect PII.

3)       We normally collect with the knowledge or consent of our clients. If you seek our assistance and provide us with PII, we assume that you consent to the collection of information described in this policy.

4)       We share this data with the NYC Department of Homeless Services, Planning, Development & Grants unit; the agency appointed by the CCoC to all PII data that we record about our clients. This agency is required to maintain the confidentiality of the data and has a privacy policy that is available to the public at this website: http://www.footholdtechnology.com

5)       We post a sign at our intake desk or othe5rt location explaining the reasons we ask for PII. The sign says: We collect personal information about homeless individuals in a computer system called a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for reasons that are discussed in our privacy policy. We may be required to collect some personal information by law or by organizations that give us money to operate this program. Other personal information that we collect is important to run our programs, to provide services for homeless individuals, and to better understand the needs of homeless individuals. We only collect information that we consider appropriate. If you have any questions or would like to see our privacy policy, our staff will provide you with a copy.”

 

How We Use and Disclose PII.

1)       We use or disclose PII for activities described in this part of our policy. We may or may not make any of these uses or disclosures of your PII. We assume that you consent to the use or disclosure of your PII for the purposes described below and for other uses and disclosures that we determine to be compatible with these uses or disclosures:

a)       To provide or coordinate services to individuals;

b)       For functions related to payment or reimbursement for services;

c)        To carry out administrative functions such as legal, audits, personnel, oversight and management functions;

d)       To create de-identified (anonymous) information;

e)       When required by law to the extent that use or disclosure complies with and is limited to the requirements of the law;

f)        To avert a serious threat to health or safety if:

i)         We believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of an individual or the public; and

ii)       The use or disclosure is made to a person reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat, including the target of the threat.

g)       To report about an individual we reasonably believe to be the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to a governmental authority (including a social service or protective services agency) authorized by law to receive reports of abuse, neglect or domestic violence in any of the following three circumstances:

i)         Where the disclosure is required by law and the disclosure complies with and is limited to the requirements of the law;

ii)       If the individual agrees to the disclosure; or

iii)      To the extent that the disclosure is expressly authorized by statute or regulation and either of the following are applicable:

(1)     We believe the disclosure is necessary to prevent serious harm to the individual or other potential victims; or

If the individual is unable to agree because of incapacity, a law enforcement or other public official authorized to receive the report that the PII for which disclosure is sought is not intended to be used against the individual and than an immediate enforcement activity that depends upon the disclosure would be materially and adversely affected by waiting until the individual is able to agree to the disclosure;

 

When we make a permitted disclosure about a victim of abuse, neglect  or domestic violence, we will promptly inform the individual who is the victim that a disclosure has been or will be made, except  if:

i)         We, in the exercise of professional judgment, believe informing the individual would place the victim at risk of serious harm; or

ii)       We would be informing a personal representative (such as a family member or friend), and we reasonably believe the personal representative is responsible for the abuse, neglect or other injury, and that informing the personal representative would not be in the best interests of the individual as we determine in the exercise of our professional judgment.

 

h)       To a law enforcement official for a law enforcement purpose (if consistent with applicable law and standards of ethical conduct) under any of these circumstances:

i)         in response to a lawful court order, court-referred warrant, subpoena or summons issued by a judicial officer, or a grand jury subpoena;

ii)       if the law enforcement official makes a written request for PII that:

(1)     is signed by a supervisory official of the law enforcement agency seeking the PII;

(2)     states that the information is relevant and material to a legitimate law enforcement investigation;

(3)     identifies the PII sought;

(4)     is specific and limited in scope to the extent reasonably practicable in light of the purpose for which the information is sought; and

(5)     states that de-identified information could not be used to accomplish the purpose of the disclosure.

iii)      If we believe in good faith that the PII constitutes evidence of criminal conduct that occurred on our premises;

iv)      In response to an oral request for the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person and the PII disclosed consists only of name, address, date of birth, place of birth, social security number and distinguishing physical characteristics; or

v)       If:

(1)     The official is an authorized federal official seeking PII for the provision of protective services to the President or other persons authorized by 18 U.S.C. 3056, or to foreign heads of state or other persons authorized by 22 U.S.XC. 2709(a)(3), or for the conduct of investigations authorized by 18 U.S.C 871 and 879 (threats against the President and others); and

(2)     The information requested is specific and limited in scope to the extent reasonably practical in light of the purpose for which the information is sought.

i)         To comply with government reporting obligations for HMIS and for oversight of compliance with HMIS requirements.

j)         To third parties for the following purposes:

i)         To permit other systems of care to conduct data match searches (i.e., to determine if you are also utilizing services from such other systems of care); and

ii)       To permit third-party research firms and/or evaluators to perform research and evaluation services in connection with the programs administered by the CCoC and other agencies;

 

Provided that before PII is disclosed under this subsection, the third party that will receive such PII and use it as permitted above must first execute a Data Use & Disclosure Agreement requiring such third party to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including the privacy standards and disclosure provisions contained in the Department of Housing and Urban Development Homeless Management Information Systems; Data and Technical Standards Final Notice (see 69 Federal Register 45888 (July 30,2004)), which such standards and provisions are reflected herein.