This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we use and disclose your protected health information (PHI) to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations (TPO) and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control your protected health information. “Protect health information” is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
Your protected health information may be used and disclosed by your physician, our office staff and others outside of our office that are involved in your care and treatment for the purpose of providing health care services to you, to pay your health care bills, to support the operation of the physician’s practices, any other use required by law.
The “minimum necessary” rule will be followed when using or disclosing any protected health information. This means that only the minimum amount of information about a resident’s health is used or disclosed when essential to completing a given task.
Treatment: We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. This includes the coordination or management of your health care with a third party. For example, we would disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to a home health agency that provides care to you. For example, your protected health information may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred to ensure that the physician has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you.
Payment: Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. For example, obtaining approval for a hospital stay may require that your relevant protected health information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the admission.
Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose, as needed, your protected health information in order to support the business activities of your physician’s practice. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training of medical students, licensing, and conducting or arranging for the other business activities. For example, we may disclose your protected health information to medical school students that see residents at our facility. We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to contact you to remind you of your appointment.
We may use or disclose your health information in the following situations without your authorization. These situations include: as Required by Law, Public Health issues as required by law, Communicable Diseases: Health Oversight: Abuse or Neglect: Food and Drug Administration requirements: Legal Proceedings; Law Enforcement: Coroners: Funeral Directors, and Organ Donation: Research: Criminal Activity; Military Activity and National Security: Workers’ Compensation: Inmates: Required Uses and Disclosures; Under the law, we must make disclosures to you and when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of Section 164-500.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures Will Be Made Only With Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object unless required by law.
You may revoke this authorization, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that your physician or the physician’s practice has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.
Following is a statement of your right with respect to your protected health information,
You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information. Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records: psychotherapy notes: information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use, in a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, and protected health information that is subject to law that prohibits access to protect health information.
You have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purpose of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply.
Your physician is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. If your physician believes it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your protected health information, your protected health information will not be restricted. You then have the right to use another Healthcare Professional.
You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us, upon request, even if you agree to accept this notice alternatively i.e. electronically.
You may have the right to have your physician amend your protected health information. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal.
You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your protected health information.
We reserve the rights to change the terms of this notice and will inform you by mail of any changes. You then have the right to object or withdraw as provided in this notice.
Complaints: You may complain to us or the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated us. You may file a complaint with us by notifying our privacy contact of your complaint. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
This notice was published and becomes effective on/or before April 14, 2003.
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of, and provide individuals with, this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information. If you have any objections to this form, please ask to speak with our HIPAA Compliance Officer in person or by phone at (717)755-1964.
Additional update added September 19,2013
Your Information. Your Rights. Our Responsibilities.
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
You have the right to:
• Get a copy of your paper or electronic medical record
• Correct your paper or electronic medical record
• Request confidential communication
• Ask us to limit the information we share
• Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared your information
• Get a copy of this privacy notice
• Choose someone to act for you
• File a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated
You have some choices in the way that we use and share information as we:
• Tell family and friends about your condition
• Provide disaster relief
• Include you in a hospital directory
• Provide mental health care
• Market our services and sell your information
• Raise funds
Our Uses and Disclosures
We may use and share your information as we:
• Treat you
• Run our organization
• Bill for your services
• Help with public health and safety issues
• Do research
• Comply with the law
• Respond to organ and tissue donation requests
• Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
• Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
• Respond to lawsuits and legal actions
When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.
Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record
• You can ask to see or get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. Ask us how to do this.
• We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee.
Ask us to correct your medical record
• You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this.
• We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing within 60 days.
Request confidential communications
• You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address.
• We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.
Ask us to limit what we use or share
• You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our operations. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care.
• If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.
Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information
• You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why.
• We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We’ll provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
Get a copy of this privacy notice
You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.
Choose someone to act for you
• If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
• We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.
File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated
• You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us using the information as noted in bold print above the September 19, 2013 update.
• You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/.
• We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.
In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
• Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
• Share information in a disaster relief situation
• Include your information in a hospital directory
If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.
In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:
• Marketing purposes
• Sale of your information
• Most sharing of psychotherapy notes
In the case of fundraising:
• We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.
Our Uses and Disclosures
How do we typically use or share your health information?
We typically use or share your health information in the following ways.
We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.
Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.
Run our organization
We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.
Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services.
Bill for your services
We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities.
Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.
How else can we use or share your health information?
We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.
Help with public health and safety issues
We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:
• Preventing disease
• Helping with product recalls
• Reporting adverse reactions to medications
• Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
• Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety
We can use or share your information for health research.
Comply with the law
We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy law.
Respond to organ and tissue donation requests
We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations.
Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
We can use or share health information about you:
• For workers’ compensation claims
• For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official
• With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law
• For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services
Respond to lawsuits and legal actions.
We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
Notes recorded by a mental health care professional documenting or analyzing the contents of conversation during a private counseling session or a group, joint or family counseling session that are maintained separately from your medical record are afforded additional protections. Psychotherapy notes may only be released in more limited situations than thouse described above with respect to mental health records or otherwise, with your authorization.
Drug and alcohol treatment information may only be released with your authorization or pursuant to a Court Order in limited circumstances.
HIV-related information such as information pertaining to HIV testing or your HIV status, may only be released in limited situations.
• We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
• We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
• We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.
• We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.
For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html.
Changes to the Terms of this Notice
We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our web site.
This notice was published on September 19,2013, and will become effective on September 23, 2013