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Client Rights & Responsibilities

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Meridian’s Responsibilities

(Los derechos y responsabilidades del cliente en Español)

As a person served by Meridian you have a right to be treated with dignity, gentleness, courtesy and respect. The staff at Meridian is dedicated to providing the best possible service while you participate in our programs. It is every employee’s responsibility to ensure that Meridian conducts business in a legal and ethical manner; consistent with federal and state statutes and regulations; as well as the ethical standards of the professions represented by Meridian’s staff.

Federal law requires that your Meridian treatment record be kept confidential. Meridian staff are not allowed to tell anyone outside of the agency that you receive services here, or that you suffer a mental illness or substance use problem, unless one or more of the following is true:

  • You consent in writing
  • The disclosure complies with a court order
  • The disclosure is made to medical personnel in a medical emergency
  • The disclosure is made to qualified personnel for research purposes
  • The disclosure is part of an audit or program evaluation, including approved peer and utilization reviews of service records
  • Your safety or that of others is at significant risk and disclosure of some information is required for your protection or the protection of others
  • The disclosure involves information reported under state law to appropriate state or local authorities about suspected abuse or neglect of a child or elderly or disabled person
  • The information is about a crime committed by you either at Meridian or against any person who works for Meridian, or about any threat to commit such a crime.
  • Violation of federal law by Meridian is a crime. Suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities.

Meridian Receivables

If you receive services from Meridian, you are entitled to:

  • Competent, timely treatment delivered in a respectful, dignified manner
  • A complete explanation of the purpose of all aspects of your treatment, the possible side effects, alternative treatments and the approximate length of time treatment is needed
  • Know the credentials of staff involved in your treatment
  • Placement in the least disruptive treatment program available, based on individual needs
  • Participation in services and activities adapted to your individual needs
  • Participation in the development of your treatment plan and/or service plan which determines the services you receive at Meridian
  • Complete orientation to programs providing services and activities, including explanation of all rules and guidelines
  • Reasonable access to your mental health record
  • Revoke your consent for treatment at any time, either orally or in writing
  • A reasonable measure of privacy and protection of your constitutional rights, including right to legal counsel
  • Confidentiality in your communications with Meridian and its employees (Note: Confidentiality may be broken in life-threatening circumstances and other situations as required by law.)

Meridian’s residential programs strive to provide a mentally and physically safe and healthy environment. You are entitled to:

  • Private space in which to keep your clothing and other personal property
  • Three balanced meals, plus a snack each day
  • Use of a private toilet and bathing facilities
  • Access to recreational and social activities
  • Mail and telephone services in accordance with program guidelines
  • Opportunities for religious worship
  • Assistance with voter registration and voting
  • Your Responsibilities

In order for Meridian to provide the best possible service during your treatment, it is important that you actively and earnestly participate in developing the plan for your treatment and follow that plan.

Follow these rules in order to protect your safety and the safety of others:

  • Respect others privacy and confidentiality.
  • Be courteous and respectful.
  • Do not use inappropriate verbal or sexual behaviors.
  • Do not use verbal or physical aggression.
  • Do not bring weapons or sharp objects on the premises.
  • Keep medication (including over-the-counter) in a safe, secure place while on the premises.
  • Do not use or bring alcohol or illegal substances on the premises.
  • Do not loiter or sleep in the buildings or on the premises.
  • Do not sell, loan, borrow or steal items.
  • Place clutter and trash in proper containers.
  • Keep scheduled appointments, or cancel at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Pay for treatment in accordance with your agreement with Meridian.
  • Provide full information regarding any treatment you are receiving or have received in the past, including all types of counseling/therapy, medications and/or hospitalizations.
  • Allow staff in residential programs to conduct searches necessary to ensure the safety of everyone in the program.

Advanced Directives

You have the right to give written instructions called Advance Directives when you receive services from Meridian. Advanced Directives allow you to state your preferences for future care, should you be unable to communicate your decisions or preferences for mental health treatment. Directives may include a living will, power of attorney or other care instructions. Before deciding to have advance directives, you should discuss the matter thoroughly with family members, your doctor and your counselor and/or case manager.

We will work hard to make you comfortable at Meridian and we want you to be satisfied with the services you receive. If there is ever something that does not meet your expectation or you have a special need, discuss it with the staff assigned to your care.

If You’re Dissatisfied

You have the right to file a formal notice of dissatisfaction with services or staff or to request any special help you need to fully participate in the services offered by Meridian. Contact our Quality Improvement department at (352) 374-5600. A program supervisor will assist you if you feel that further assistance is needed; you may have your concerns reviewed by the administrative staff.

Any staff member can help you fill out this form if assistance is needed. After you put your concern or request in writing, please give the form to any Meridian employee. It will immediately be forwarded to the Office of Risk Management. Your concern or request will be reviewed and a supervisor will meet with you to discuss solutions to the problem within 10 days. If you are still dissatisfied, other administrators will be asked to meet with you until an agreeable solution is found.

Meridian is continuously trying to improve the effectiveness of its services and how we deliver services. The most important information we receive is from the people we serve; therefore, we receive information from you in the following ways:

  • Your participation in bi-annual consumer satisfaction surveys, and follow-up surveys after discharge
  • Review of your concerns regarding services or service delivery
  • Customer participation in Meridian’s Stakeholders Relations Committee
  • Staff reporting of unusual incidents at Meridian
  • Your meetings with staff regarding progress in meeting treatment or service objectives
  • Notice of Privacy Practices

This notice describes your privacy rights as a client of Meridian Behavioral Healthcare Center, Inc. and how your medical information may be used and disclosed. Please review this notice carefully and let your service provider know if you have any questions.

The terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices applies to all services performed by Meridian Behavioral Healthcare Center, Inc. and are effective April 1, 2003. This organization and its employees will share individual patient health information as is necessary to provide quality health care and receive reimbursement for those services as permitted by law. This agency is required by law to maintain the privacy practices with respect to your individual health information. We reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices as necessary. A copy of any revised notices will be available in this office, or, upon written request to 4300 SW 13th Street, Gainesville, Florida 32608. A copy may be picked up at this address, within 15 days of the request.

Read/print our full Notice of Privacy Practices

Get Involved

24/7 Crisis Line

Local (North Central Florida):
(352) 374-5600
option 1
Toll Free:
1 (800) 330-5615

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