3304-2-63 Confidentiality of information.

OOD shall collect individual information, maintain it until appropriate destruction, and keep it confidential. OOD shall also eliminate individual information when it is no longer necessary and relevant to the lawful functions of OOD, and when its elimination is permitted in accordance with other state and federal regulations that govern OOD.

Throughout this rule, the individual's legal guardian (court-appointed with authority to act in this area, or a parent for a minor) shall have the same rights as the individual, and the legal guardian shall also sign any consent to release information.

(A) "Confidential information" means any information received about any person who has been referred to OOD, has applied for services, is currently receiving services, or has received services. Anyone who has access to information held by OOD shall keep such information confidential.

(B) Within fifteen days of the individual's written request, OOD shall release any information contained in the individual's case record except for that information listed in paragraphs (D) to (D)(2) of this rule, and shall inform the individual of his or her right to disagree with information that has been collected and how the individual may register the disagreement. The individual shall receive one copy of information on a one-time, no-cost basis.

(C) Upon the individual's written request to review his or her case record,

OOD shall schedule a mutually convenient time for the individual to review his or her case record.

(1) A counselor or supervisor shall be present during the individual's review.

(2) On request, the individual shall receive one copy of information on a one-time, no-cost basis.

(D) The individual shall not have access to the following information:

(1) Medical, psychological, or other information that an OOD medical or psychological consultant determines may be harmful to the individual. Such information shall be released only to a third party designated by the individual, in writing, which may include, among others, an advocate, a family member, or a qualified medical or mental health professional, unless a representative has been appointed by a court to represent the individual, in which case the information shall be released to the court-appointed representative. OOD shall not assume the cost for the interpretation of any information to the individual. If any information is removed from the case record under this section for the individual's review, the individual shall be informed of the procedure for obtaining the release of information to a third party.

(2) The individual shall not have access to unpurchased information that is marked confidential or which otherwise indicates that it shall not be shown to the individual. If the individual requests such information, the individual shall be referred to the source.

(E) If the individual objects to any information in the case record, OOD shall review the disputed information for accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness, and shall inform the individual of the results of the review and the action taken, if any, within ninety calendar days of the individual's objection.

(1) Information about eligibility or justification for services provided or not provided shall not be destroyed even if it cannot be verified or is inaccurate; it shall be placed in an envelope labeled "For Audit/Internal Program Use Only" and returned to the case record. The information in the envelope shall not be released to anyone.

(2) If information cannot be verified or is inaccurate but is not about eligibility or services, it shall be destroyed (or, when possible, parts of it lined out). A list of deleted documents shall be marked "For Audit/Internal Program Use Only," filed in the case record, and shall not be released to anyone.

(3) If the individual is not satisfied with the review and the action taken, OOD shall then take either of the following actions, as appropriate:

(a) If the individual wants to prepare a written rebuttal about information not destroyed, the rebuttal shall be entered into the record, and shall be included when OOD releases a copy of the information the rebuttal is about. If OOD believes the individual's rebuttal is frivolous or irrelevant, OOD may also include a statement saying that and explain why. OOD shall inform the individual that at his or her written request, a copy of the rebuttal shall be provided to any person the individual designates.

(b) OOD shall inform the individual that at his or her written request, any person the individual designates shall be informed that the disputed information has been removed.

(F) By signing the general consent on the OOD application for services, the individual (or the individual's legal guardian) shall permit OOD to provide only that information needed to obtain services from service providers, vendors, other agencies, and facilities; to obtain placement from employers; to report to the referral source; and to provide information requested by parole officers. If more information than that which identifies the individual is released to a service provider or a cooperating agency, OOD shall inform the provider of the following:

(1) Whether any of the information released has been determined by an OOD medical or psychological consultant to be potentially harmful to the individual, and therefore shall be released only to a third party designated by the individual pursuant to the provision in paragraph (D) of this rule;

(2) That the information shall not be released to others without the

individual's consent; and

(3) That the information shall be used only for the purpose provided.

(G) The individual's specific written consent shall be needed for the following purposes. If the individual has a legal guardian (court-appointed with authority to act in this area, or a parent for a minor), the guardian must also sign the consent.

(1) The individual may sign a written consent to permit any other person to have access to the information in the individual's record that the individual may have access to. Any person so designated by the individual shall receive one copy at no cost.

(2) If the individual provides a written consent, OOD may release information to the media, but shall release only information that may be released to the individual. (If media personnel contact OOD about an individual, OOD shall not discuss any individual and/or case records, or acknowledge that any person is or is not an individual receiving services, or give identifying data that may reveal an individual's identity.)

(3) If OOD receives a request for individual information that is for a purpose not covered elsewhere in this rule, the following shall apply:

(a) The requester shall provide the individual's written consent;

(b) Only the information that meets the criteria for release to the

individual shall be released;

(c) Information shall be released only to the extent that is needed to meet the requester's needs; and

(d) Released information shall include a statement that the information is provided only for the purpose stated and shall not be released to anyone else unless the individual's consent is obtained.

(4) If OOD receives a subpoena for individual records, the records shall be provided only with the individual's written consent. The attorney who subpoenaed the records shall be responsible for obtaining the individual's written consent.

(H) Consent from the individual shall not be needed for OOD to release individual information for investigations in connection with law enforcement, fraud, or abuse (except where expressly prohibited by federal or state laws or regulations); to protect the individual or others when the individual poses a threat to his or her safety or to the safety of others; in response to a court order; to report a felony as required by law; or when required by federal law.

In addition, the individual's consent shall not be needed for the release of individual information to an organization, agency, or individual engaged in audit, evaluation, or research for purposes directly connected with the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program, or for purposes which would significantly improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities, and both of the following conditions are met:

(1) If the organization, agency, or individual assures that:

(a) The information shall be used only for the purposes for which it is being provided;

(b) The information shall be released only to persons officially connected with the audit, evaluation, or research;

(c) The information shall not be released to the individual;

(d) The information shall be managed in a manner to protect confidentiality;

(e) The final product shall not reveal any personal identifying information without the written consent of the individual or his or her guardian or legal representative; and

(2) The OOD executive director or designee has approved the release.

(I) This rule is designed to implement "Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act," which contains the 1998 amendments to "The Rehabilitation Act of 1973," and resulting regulations.

Effective: 5/21/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 03/04/2015 and 05/11/2020
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3304.15(C)(1)
Rule Amplifies: 3304.17, 3304.15(A)
Prior Effective Dates: 9/30/1985, 5/11/1987, 4/4/1988, 1/3/2000, 1/30/2001, 5/19/2005, 7/30/2007