Confidentiality and Consumer Records
The Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs (MDDSN) shall follow all HIPAA, Federal and State directives requiring confidentiality of consumer's records and information. Consumer records are considered medically protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
SC Code ANN 44-20-340 SC Law declares that all records pertaining to the identity of any person whose condition or treatment has been studied by the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs and/or the Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs (MDDSN) be confidential. Any person, hospital or other organization may provide information, interviews, reports, statements, written memoranda, documents or other data related to the condition and treatment of any person to the Department and MDDSN and no liability of any kind or character for damages or other relief arises against such person, hospital or organization for providing such information or material.
All records pertaining to the identity of any person whose condition or treatment has been studied by the Department and MDDSN shall be confidential and are hereby declared privileged information. However, upon the written request of the "special needs" person's parent with legal custody, or legal guardian, spouse or attorney, or under subpoena by court of law, the Department and MDDSN may furnish records in its possession to appropriate parties.
Other agencies (local or otherwise) requesting copies of information from a consumer's record must have a release signed by the consumer if age 18 or over and not declared incompetent, and/or the parent guardian. Only requested information will be forwarded to the requesting agency. Cost of copies shall be set by Finance and billed to the agency unless waived by the Executive Director.
Marion-Dillon staff, SCDDSN staff to include Contract Compliance Reviewers may view a consumer record if it is necessary in the performance of their job duties in carrying out and or continuing services for the consumer; otherwise special permission will need to be given by the Executive Director. When authorized staff other than the Service Coordinator are reviewing consumer files, a sign-in sheet in the record will be utilized. At no time should a record leave the custody of the Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs without a subpoena or court order. Records shall not be kept overnight in staff vehicles and consequences will result in severe disciplinary action. Records not in use should be locked up in agency files. Records will be archived and destroyed as indicated in MDDSN policy #180 Retention of Records.
Consumers or Parents/Guardians of those adjudicated incompetent have a right to view any part or all of their consumer records including assessments, psychological and medical records. A signed request must be made to their Service Coordinator indicating what part of the record they wish to see. Cost of Copies will be set by Finance and billed to the Parent/Guardian.
All MDDSN Board Members, Staff of the Agency, Volunteers and Contracted Consultants are required to sign a confidentiality agreement.