Struggling with mental illness or substance abuse?
We know what it’s like.
We’ve been there.
We can help.
If you’re eligible for Medical Assistance (Medicaid) in Pennsylvania, and...
You live in Cambria, Blair, Somerset, Bedford, Franklin, Fulton, Indiana, Armstrong, Clearfield, Centre, Jefferson or Delaware counties, and...
You’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness and/or a substance addiction, then...
You may be eligible to receive peer support services at no cost.
(If you don't know whether you're eligible for Medical Assistance, or you haven’t seen a doctor or mental health professional yet, call or email us and we can help you with that too.)...
CALL US FOR HELP NOW!
Toll free: 1-888-PEERST1 (1-888-733-7781)
Please scroll down for HIPAA and Complaint Information.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone experiencing a suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you. Call for yourself or someone you care about.
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Free, 24-hour hotline for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals.
Boys Town Suicide and Crisis Line 1-800-448-3000
Free 24-hour hotline for parents, teens and families for help with suicide prevention, sexual abuse, physical abuse, substance abuse and more.
Click to access list of local crisis hotline numbers by Pennsylvania county. This list may contain inaccuracies. If no answer, call one of the numbers above or 9-1-1.
Click here for national guidelines for responding to a mental health crisis.
Notice of Peerstar LLC’s℠ Policies and Practices to
Protect the Privacy of Your Health Information
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW PEER SUPPORT / PSYCHOLOGICAL / PSYCHIATRIC / THERAPEUTIC / DRUG AND ALCOHOL AND MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
I. Uses and Disclosures for Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations
We may use or disclose your protected health information (PHI) for treatment, payment, and health care operations purposes with yourconsent. To help clarify these terms, here are some definitions:
“PHI” refers to information in your health record that could identify you.
“Treatment, Payment and Health Care Operations”
Treatment is when we provide, coordinate or manage your health care and other services related to your health care. An example of treatment would be when we consult with another health care provider, such as your family physician or another psychologist/psychiatrist/therapist.
Payment is when we obtain reimbursement for your healthcare. Examples of payment are when we disclose your PHI to your health insurer, managed care organization, Medical Assistance or Medicaid/Medicare to obtain reimbursement for your health care or to determine eligibility or coverage.
Health Care Operations are activities that relate to the performance and operation of the practice. Examples of health care operations are quality assessment and improvement activities, business-related matters such as audits and administrative services, and case management and care coordination.
“Uses” applies only to activities within the office, clinic, practice group, etc. such as sharing, employing, applying, utilizing, examining, and analyzing information that identifies you.
“Disclosure” applies to activities outside of the [office, clinic, practice group, etc.], such as releasing, transferring, or providing access to information about you to other parties.
II. Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization
We may use or disclose PHI for purposes outside of treatment, payment, and health care operations when your appropriate authorization is obtained. An “authorization” is written permission above and beyond the general consent that permits only specific disclosures. In those instances when we are asked for information for purposes outside of treatment, payment, and health care operations, we will obtain an authorization from you before releasing this information. We will also need to obtain an authorization before releasing your peer support encounter notes or progress notes and Individual Service Plans (collectively, “Progress Notes”). “Progress Notes” are notes we have made about our conversation during a private, group, joint, or family peer support session.
You may revoke all such authorizations at any time, provided each revocation is in writing. You may not revoke an authorization to the extent that (1) we have relied on that authorization; or (2) if the authorization was obtained as a condition of obtaining insurance coverage or payment, and the law provides the insurer or payee the right to contest the claim under the policy.
III. Uses and Disclosures with Neither Consent nor Authorization
We may use or disclose PHI without your consent or authorization in the following circumstances:
Child Abuse: If we have reasonable cause to suspect abuse of children, we may be required by law to report this to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare or similar agencies.
Adult and Domestic Abuse: If we have reasonable cause to believe that an older adult is in need of protective services (regarding abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment), we may report such to the local agency which provides protective services.
Judicial or Administrative Proceedings: If you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made about the services we provided you or the records thereof, such information is privileged under state law, and we will not release the information without your written consent, or a court order. The privilege does not apply when you are being evaluated for a third party or where the evaluation is court ordered. You will be informed in advance if this is the case.
Serious Threat to Health or Safety: If you express a serious threat, or intent to kill or seriously injure an identified or readily identifiable person or group of people, and we determine that you are likely to carry out the threat, we must take reasonable measures to prevent harm. Reasonable measures may include directly advising the potential victim of the threat or intent.
Worker’s Compensation: If you file a worker’s compensation claim, we may be required to file periodic reports with your employer which shall include, where pertinent, history, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
IV. Patient’s Rights and Psychologist/Psychiatrist/Therapist’s Duties
Right to Request Restrictions – You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information about you. However, we are not required to agree to a restriction you request.
Right to Receive Confidential Communications by Alternative Means and at Alternative Locations - You have the right to request and receive confidential communications of PHI by alternative means and at alternative locations. (For example, you may not want a family member to know that you are seeing us. Upon your request, we will send your bills to another address.)
Right to Inspect and Copy – You have the right to inspect or obtain a copy (or both) of PHI in your mental health and billing records used to make decisions about you for as long as the PHI is maintained in the record. We may deny your access to PHI under certain circumstances, but in some cases, you may have this decision reviewed. On your request, we will discuss with you the details of the request and denial process.
Right to Amend – You have the right to request an amendment of PHI for as long as the PHI is maintained in the record. We may deny your request. On your request, we will discuss with you the details of the amendment process.
Right to an Accounting – You generally have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of PHI for which you have neither provided consent nor authorization (as described in Section III of this Notice). On your request, we will discuss with you the details of the accounting process.
Right to a Paper Copy – You have the right to obtain a paper copy of the notice from us upon request even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically.
Peer Specialist’s and Supervisor’s Duties:
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI.
We reserve the right to change the privacy policies and practices described in this notice. Unless we notify you of such changes, however, we are required to abide by the terms currently in effect.
If we revise our policies and procedures, we will send a revised notice to each patient by mail.
If you are concerned that we have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your records, you may contact our Chief Compliance Officer or our Director of Program Integrity and Compliance at our main office at (814) 515-2699 for assistance. You can also complain to the federal government, Secretary of Health and Human Services, by writing to: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, 150 S. Independence Mall West - Suite 372, Philadelphia, PA. 19106-3499.
If you are concerned about potential Medicaid waste, fraud or abuse, you may contact our Chief Compliance Officer or our Director of Program Integrity and Compliance at our main office at (814) 515-2699 for assistance. You can also report suspected fraud or abuse of services to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Program Integrity, a 1-866-379-8477, or write the Bureau of Program Integrity at P.O. Box 2675, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675.
Your services will not be affected by any complaint made to Peerstar LLC, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights or Bureau of Program Integrity.
This notice will go into effect on April 1, 2003, revised effective February 20, 2012.
We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice and to make the new notice provisions effective for all PHI that we maintain. We will provide you with a revised notice by mail.