Privacy & Policies
At Milestone, protecting your privacy is a primary concern. As licensed/registered providers within the State of Florida we are required to guard your information and adhere to the guidelines set forth in the Laws, Rules, and Statutes set forth in Florida legal codes. Milestone must also adhere to Federal HIPPA legislation enacted to offer an additional layer of protection for clients’ information. Additionally, all Milestone Providers must adhere to the ethical code of conduct within their professional association.
Therefore, sometimes we must deny affirmation and/or denial of services when inquiries and/or requests are made by family members, attorneys, advocates, or benefactors. While these efforts may sometime present an inconvenience Milestone’s philosophy is to operate with an abundance of caution where our clients’ services and/or information is concerned.
However, there are exceptions to State and Federal privacy practices. Following is a list of those exceptions.
1. If we believe that an individual is a danger to themselves we are required to break confidentiality in order to protect that individual.
2. If we believe that a client presents a danger to another individual we are allowed by law to break confidentiality in order to protect, without fear of consequences for that breach.
3. If we believe that a person under the age of 18 or anyone that qualifies as a “vulnerable adult” under Florida law we are required to break confidentiality in order to protect that individual.
4. If we are ordered to testify, communicate and/or present documentation by a judicial authority or a qualified representative of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
5. If we are given permission, in writing, by the client or the client’s legal representative to release, report, or communicate with an appropriate professions. *Please note, there are exceptions in the case of parents involved in litigation. Also note, that Milestone will NOT release physical records without a court order specifically demanding those records. Milestone will, however, provide a report in lieu of records when appropriate.
Additionally, Milestone adheres and complies with the information spelled out in Section 381.026 of the Florida Statutes concerning Patient Rights and Responsibilities. That information is presented below for your convenience.
STATEMENT OF CLIENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
CLIENTS HAVE THE RIGHT:
• To be treated with courtesy, dignity, and respect and without regard to race, sex, religion, or handicap.
• To understand the availability of services they need, what services they will be using, and agency expectations and rules for their using of those services as well as clients basic responsibilities.
• To receive high quality service, delivered in a competent ethical manner.
• To expect that the agency will comply with all laws which protect clients from abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
• To have their rights to confidentiality respected (in the office and community) and upheld within the limits of the law, and to provide informed consent when information is released to another organization or individual outside of the agency.
• To participate in the formulation of and to understand the service plan, treatment plan.
• To understand rules related to the discontinuation of service
• To refuse service, unless those rights have been limited by law or court order, and to be informed of the consequences of such refusal.
• To file a grievance.
CLIENTS HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY:
• To supply complete and accurate information that is reasonably requested in order to be accepted for service, and needed to develop a treatment plan.
• To comply with all reasonable rules, policies, and requests.
• To carry out agreed-upon provisions of their treatment plan.
• To respect the confidentiality of others receiving services.
• To refrain from activity which threatens or endangers any other client, or individual associated with the agency, such activity could be cause for discontinuation of services.
• To contact Milestone Counseling if there is a need to cancel, reschedule an appointment, preferably within 24 hours. After three consecutive missed appointments, counseling services may be discontinued.
• To pay for their service when due, unless other arrangements have been made in advance. Fees and co-payments are collected before each session.
If you need additional information or would like to review current State of Florida laws and statutes concerning medical information protection we encourage you to visit and explore Florida laws at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes