HIPAA and FERPA GUIDELINES:
The caring staff of Hawaii Behavioral Health (HBH) is dedicated to bringing excellence in social, educational and behavioral health services to you and your family. The following are guidelines for participation, your rights as a mental health consumer, our grievance procedure and the ethics by which our staff abides.
Hawaii Behavioral Health is a leading regional resource for high quality, community-based behavioral and educational services for children, adolescents and their families. HBH was created in 1994 to provide a system of integrated treatment services to meet the needs of Hawaii’s youth through innovative, flexible, intensive, and integrated community-based services. HBH’s philosophy of care seeks to empower clients through services that are strengths-based, culturally competent and based on an ecological perspective. HBH provides services on all Hawaiian islands.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act-Buckley Amendment (FERPA)
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires standards to be adopted in two areas.
- Electronic health-care transactions (include standardizing the manner in which health services are claimed by any entity for any person in receipt of such a service), and
- Privacy (confidentiality) of all health-related services provided. This involves protection of health information for anyone in receipt of such services.
Privacy: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act-Buckley Amendment (FERPA a.k.a. Buckley Amendment) is more restrictive than HIPAA with respect to the protection of privacy and security of all educational and health related services. Since all educational entities that have access to student data) are obligated to be in compliance with FERPA, they are also HIPAA compliant.
In order to assure compliance with FERPA (and thus with HIPAA), the following minimum procedures must be in place:
- All student data files and information must be protected (i.e. student files are locked or only accessible by appropriate personnel).
- Any student information/files transmitted to other appropriate recipients must also be protected. Information files must be encrypted and password protected.
- Student information/files may be faxed to appropriate personnel, but only to secure sites.
- Parental consent is required for the release of any personally identifiable information other than those specifically excluded in the FERPA Fact Sheet (will be provided to consumer upon intake).
- See Procedures for Transmission of Student Specific Information (will be provided to consumer upon intake) for all communications pertaining to student specific information.
Family Policy Compliance Office Fact Sheet
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”
Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record.
However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
- School officials with legitimate educational interest;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
For additional information or technical assistance, you may call (808) 585-1424 (voice). Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339. Or you may contact the Compliance Office at the following address: Family Policy Compliance Office.
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue
SW Washington, D.C. 20202-4605