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ABC's

Your Benefits 2018

 The ABC's of Broward County

  

We are a diverse and progressive organization comprised of 6,055 employees and more than 50 different agencies. The Broward County Board of County Commissioners provides a wide variety of services to the residents of Broward County ranging from athletic programs to xeriscaping advice, from newborn health care to senior services, from a vibrant and inter- national seaport to a fast-growing airport. We cover the landscape on land, in the air and at sea. Founded in 1915, Broward County celebrated 100 years of progress and service to our community in 2015.

BROWARD COUNTY MISSION STATEMENT:
Broward County’s mission is to deliver cost-effective and collaborative services to enhance and promote the quality of life for our residents, businesses and visitors.

DISCLAIMER
While Broward County reserves the right to change its employment policies and procedures as well as its benefit programs, this book provides employees with general information about current employment with the County. The information in this booklet is descriptive and summarized and is not intended to be a substitute for County rules and policies nor to replace or modify collective bargaining agreements, benefit plan summary documents, or insurance company Certificates of Coverage; nor is it to be construed as an employment contract. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is correct. However, the County and its rules and policies are dynamic and may change. If there is any difference between the information in this document and the Civil Service Rules, collective bargaining agreements, the Broward County Administrative Code, the Broward County Code of Ordinances, or any current rules and regulations, the actual policies, rules, code sections and contracts will prevail. The information contained in this book is general in nature and is not intended to give specific advice on benefit elections or income taxes.

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT
Effective October 1, 2000, all new appointments have been classified as exempt from Civil Service. Appointees are “at will” and serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority, except as provided by any collective bargaining agreements.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
The County is committed to its policy of providing equal employment opportunities and equal access to all applicants and employees. Employment decisions are made without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, sex, marital status, gender identity or expression, national origin, pregnancy, political affiliation, race, religion or sexual orientation. This means that employment and promotion decisions will be based only on consideration of the job-related qualifications of applicants and employees and the needs of the County. The County will ensure that all other personnel activities, such as benefits, County-sponsored training, and social or recreational programs are established and administered in the same manner.

HIPAA (Also See We’ve Got You Covered ebook)
HIPAA stands for the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” of 1996. The HIPAA administrative simplification provision encouraged the development of a health information system through the establishment of standards and requirements for the electronic transmission of certain health information.

Over the years, the scope of HIPAA was broadened to require the health care industry to adhere to uniform codes and forms when performing specific “electronic transactions”, established security and privacy standards to better safeguard people’s health care information, and allowed people greater access to their own health care information.

HIPAA also imposed four major administrative requirements on private and government sponsored health plans: Portability, Nondiscrimination, Fraud and Abuse, and Administrative Simplification. The portability provisions generally required health plans to issue certificates of credible coverage that help individuals transfer to a new health plan without the imposition of pre-existing condition exclusions. However, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, health plans are no longer required to issue certificates of creditable coverage because health plans are prohibited from imposing preexisting condition exclusions for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. The nondiscrimination provision prohibits discrimination in benefits eligibility and premiums based on health status-related factors. The fraud and abuse provision created a national data bank for fraud and abuse information and established new civil and criminal penalties.

HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY & ACCOUNTABILITY ACT (HIPAA) GENERAL AWARENESS
Both non-governmental and governmental entities, such as Broward County, that are subject to the provisions of this federal law must secure and protect the privacy of certain Protected Health Information (PHI). Within Broward County we refer to the County agencies that create, use and disclose PHI when providing treatment, arranging for payment, coordinating benefits, or conducting health care operations as “Covered Programs.” These Covered Programs also perform some or all of the HIPAA covered “electronic transactions.” The following County agencies have been identified as Covered Programs and must comply with the HIPAA regulations: 1) Broward Addiction Recovery Center Division (BARC) which provides substance abuse treatment (healthcare); 2) the Behavioral Health Section of Elderly and Veterans Services Division (EVSD) which provides healthcare; and 3) the Employee Benefits Section of the Human Resources Division (HR Benefits) which provides the self-insured employee health plan. Employees within these three County agencies must abide by HIPAA and County HIPAA Policies and Procedures. Employees within these three Covered Programs receive specialized HIPAA training.

There are ten agencies or sections within the County that create, access, use or disclose PHI in support of one or more of the three County Covered Programs. We refer to these ten agencies or sections as “Support Units.” Support Units must comply with the HIPAA regulations and County HIPAA Policies and Procedures when creating, accessing, using or disclosing PHI on behalf of one or more of the three Covered Programs. There are ten Support Units are: 1) Enterprise Technology Services (ETS); 2) Professionals Standards/Human Rights Section. (PS/HRS); 3) County Attorney (CAO); 4) County Auditors Office; 5) Facilities Management Division (FMD); 6) Office of Evaluation and Planning (OEP); 7) Records Taxes and Treasury (RTT); 8) EVSD-Administrative Section, 9) EVSD-Customer Relations Unit and 10) Office of Administrative Services-Human Services Department. Employees within the Covered Programs and Support Units receive annual HIPAA Privacy and Security training.

Broward County respects the security and privacy of legally-protected health information, and understands the importance of keeping this information confidential and secure. Broward County and HIPAA require County employees and others who work for a Covered Program or Support Unit to keep all PHI confidential. This includes information about any medical condition, medical testing, medical treatment or surgery, prescription medications, dental treatment or vision treatment or any other procedure related to the health of a client. In addition, employees are prohibited from using or disclosing this information to anyone except those employees who need this information to perform their duties and responsibilities.

It is important to use and disclose the client PHI the County maintains legally and appropriately. Under the law and Broward County Policies and Procedures, there are also sanctions, fines and legal penalties for violations of HIPAA or County HIPAA Policies and Procedures. County employees who violate HIPAA regulations and/or County HIPAA Policies and Procedures may be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment, and may be subjected to State and Federal civil and criminal penalties. All employees are required to report suspected violations.

Employees who work for a Covered Program or Support Unit must understand that they are responsible for treating any PHI with which they come into contact according to policies and procedures established by Broward County. If you are unsure as to whether any information you handle is subject to HIPAA, you should ask your supervisor or manager before taking further action.

Employees who do NOT work for a Covered Program or Support Unit must understand that there are other confidentiality rules and regulations that prohibit an employee from disclosing medical information about a client or another employee to another person if the other person is not involved in the processing or handling of the employee’s medical information or is not responsible for supervising the employee.

For more information about HIPAA, or to report suspected violations, employees may contact: The Professional Standards/Human Rights Section (PS/HRS), HIPAA Privacy Officer at 954-357-6500.​​​​​​​​