The Release of Information section contains the following information:
This section shall not prohibit the release of information to other public agencies to the extent required for the administration of public social services programs.
Without the consent of the client, confidential information may only be released for purposes directly connected with the administration of public services programs.† In addition to Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) contracted employment services providers, eligibility and employment services staff of this county and other counties or states, the following agencies and/or persons are authorized to receive or exchange confidential information:
∑ Auditor and Controller (County, State, and Federal)
∑ HHSA Eligibility staff (County, State, and Federal)
∑ State Department of Health Services Investigators
∑ District Attorney Ė Public Assistance Fraud (PAF), HHSA Employee Fraud Prosecutions, (Child Support and Child Care Prosecutions only)
∑ Welfare-To-Work (WTW) Contractors
∑ CalWORKs Offices at Community Colleges
∑ Employment Development Department
∑ Social Security Administration
∑ Mental Health Services and Practitioners
∑ Voluntary refugee Agencies (VOLAGS and Central Intake Unit)
∑ Juvenile Probation Department for billings on CalWORKs Foster Care cases
∑ Grand Jury
∑ Revenue and Recovery
∑ Local† Child Support Agency (LCSA)
∑ Department of Child Support Services (DCSS)†††††††††
∑ Child Care Providers and Alternative Payment Programs
∑ Housing Authorities
∑ Contracted SSI Advocates
∑ Alcohol and other Drug Providers (AOD)
∑ Domestic Violence Providers
∑ Southern California Tribal Chairmenís Assoc., Inc.†
Note: If in doubt as to the propriety of releasing any program specific information, please contact Strategic Planning and Operational Support (SPOS).
Information from CalWORKs, Medi-Cal, and General Relief records may be released to the Public Administrator when the information is needed for the operation of the Indigent Burial Program.† Food Stamp Program records are not to be released to the Public Administrator without the consent of the applicant/recipient.
Medi-Cal confidentiality regulations limit the amount of information that HSSís may give to Medi-Cal providers. When a Medi-Cal provider (dentist, doctor, hospital, pharmacies, etc) requests beneficiary information, HHSA will obtain the providerís name, phone number, and enough information to identify the beneficiary.† HHSA staff is authorized to release only the following beneficiary information:
∑ Date of birth.
∑ Other health care coverage.
∑ Any restricted status.
∑ Medi-Cal coverage.
status for month(s) requested including eligible, ineligible, share of cost
For more detailed information regarding Medi-Cal release of information, please refer to the Medi-Cal Program Guide, Article 2 Appendix A and B.
Limited eligibility information may be shared by the Family Resource Center (FRC) PHN liaison with the PHN. The PHN Liaison will ensure that the PHN is on a designated list, contact the assigned Human Services Specialist (HSS) and determine the status of the public assistance case.† Information that may be shared includes the following:
∑ Case status: pending, active, discontinued or denied.
∑ Reason(s) case still in pending status.
∑ The beginning date of eligibility.
∑ The denial date and reason for denial.
∑ The discontinuance date and reason for discontinuance
The PHN liaison will provide the PHN with information needed to assist the client in accessing public assistance programs.† The liaison/HSS will record in CalWIN Case Comments all requests for information and the disposition of the request.
Before access to case records can be evaluated, organizations or graduate students conducting research must submit information regarding the project to SPOS, to resolve confidentiality issues and receive policy and procedures regarding the release of information.
All client information is kept confidential and is not open to examination except for purposes directly connected with the administration of public social services or as otherwise authorized. Alternative Payment Programs (APP), Resource and Referral Programs and childcare providers are an integral part of Stage One childcare service delivery.† Client confidentiality would not be violated as long as the communication with any of these entities is directly related to providing Stage One childcare services, or transition to Stage Two or Stage Three.† In exchanging client information for purposes of administering the seamless childcare program, each of these agencies is bound by the same confidentiality requirements.
The use and disclosure of all information pertaining to the child and his/her family shall be restricted to purposes directly connected with the administration of the program. The APPs shall permit the review of the basic data file by the child(s) parent(s) or parentís authorized representative, upon request and at a reasonable time and place.
The APP shall share information necessary for the administration of the childcare and CalWORKs programs for the time period for which the person receives childcare.
Information contained on applications or other documents made or kept by HHSA may be released to the client or the clientís authorized representative subject to the following conditions:
∑ The client has authorized the release of information, and
∑ The information was provided solely by the client, or
∑ The client authorized HHSA to obtain the information (bank verification, Cash Surrender Value of life Insurance, income verifications, medical, etc).
Except as provided below, all client authorizations are to be written.
1. Written Authorization to release confidential information must be signed and dated by the client, and must be received by the HSS prior to release of the information.†
∑ It may be faxed to the HSS.†
∑ No follow-up hard copy is required.†
∑ It will expire one (1) year from the date signed unless expressly limited to a shorter period.†
∑ It may be revoked at any time.†
∑ To use the authorization the representative must first be positively identified and such identification documented in the case narrative.
2. Telephone Authorization may be accepted in lieu of written authorization where the circumstances ensure that the client has positively identified himself/herself to the county.†
Acceptable items of over the phone identification may include:
∑ Case number.
∑ Driverís license number.
∑ Social security number.
∑ Motherís maiden name.
A telephone authorization is temporary and acceptable for one-time contacts. If the client wishes to authorize release for a longer period of time a written authorization is required. The clientís verbal agreement to provide a written authorization must be documented in CalWIN Case Comments and no additional information may be released until a written authorization is received or the client provides additional verbal authorization for each release.
3. Institute for Collaborative Partnerships (formerly New Beginnings) Family Service Advocates (FSA) routinely obtain an authorization to request information when they begin working with a family. The release is kept in the FSA file. When this agency requests HHSA case information, the HSS and/or Social Worker will positively identify the agency representative; ask if the authorization is in the agency file; and document in CalWIN Case Comments the contactís name and that a release is on file with the agency.†††