HIPAA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Effective date: 04-14-03
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.
WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE
This notice describes our facility’s practices and that of:
- Any health care professional authorized to enter information into your medical chart;
- All departments of the facility;
- Any member of a volunteer group we allow to help you while you are residing at our facility; and
- All employees, staff and other facility personnel.
OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION:
We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting medical information about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive at our facility. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by this facility. This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use disclose medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
We are required by law to:
- Make sure that medical information that identifies you is kept private;
- Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you; and
- Follow the terms of this notice that is currently in effect.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.
The following categories describe different ways that we may use and disclose your medical information. For each category of uses and disclosures we will explain what we mean and try to give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall into one of the categories.
FOR TREATMENT. We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students or other facility personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the facility. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the
healing process. In addition, the doctor may need to tell the dietician that you have diabetes so that we can arrange for appropriate meals. Different departments in the facility may share medical information about you in order to coordinate different services that you need, such as prescriptions, lab work and X-rays. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the facility who may be involved in your medical care after you leave the facility, such as personnel in the base service units and physicians who may provide aftercare services to you.
FOR PAYMENT. We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive in our facility may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party.
FOR HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS. We may use and disclose medical information about you for facility operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the facility and evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many facility residents to decide what additional services the facility should offer, what services are not needed and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, and other facility personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the medical information we have with medical information from other facilities to compare how we’re doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services that we offer. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of medical information so that others may use it to study health care and health care delivery without learning who the specific residents are.
INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN YOUR CARE OR PAYMENT FOR YOUR CARE. We may release medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care with your permission. If it is medically indicated, we may also give information about you to your family or friend who is involved in your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. In addition, we may disclose medical information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location.
RESEARCH. Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all residents who received one medication to those who received another, for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with residents’ need for privacy of their medical information. Before we use or disclose medical information for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process. However, we may disclose medical information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project (for example to help them look for residents with specific medical needs) so long as the medical information they review does not leave the facility. We will always ask for your specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved with your care at the facility.
AS REQUIRED BY LAW. We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
TO AVERT A SERIOUS THREAT TO HEALTH OR SAFETY. We may use and disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to prevent the threat.
ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION. If you are an organ donor, we may release medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
MILITARY AND VETERANS. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION. We may release medical information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
PUBLIC HEALTH RISKS. We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following;
- To prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
- To report deaths;
- To report child abuse or neglect;
- To report reactions to medications or problems with products;
- To notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
- To notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition;
- To notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a resident has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
HEALTH OVERSIGHT ACTIVITIES. We may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs and compliance with civil rights laws.
LAWSUITS AND DISPUTES. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court order. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
LAW ENFORCEMENT. We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
- In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process;
- To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person;
- About the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement;
- About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
- About criminal conduct at the facility; and
- In emergency circumstances to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
CORONERS, MEDICAL EXAMINERS AND FUNERAL DIRECTORS. We may release medical information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release medical information about residents of the facility to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES. We may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
PROTECTIVE SERVICES FOR THE PRESIDENT AND OTHERS. We may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.
INMATES. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release medical information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary (1) for the institution to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.
You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:
RIGHT TO INSPECT AND COPY. You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care if your psychiatrist determines it will not be detrimental to your mental health. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes.
To inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to the Medical Records Coordinator. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request.
We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to medical information, you may request that the denial be reviewed by contacting our Medical Records Coordinator. A Reviewing Official will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your original request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.
RIGHT TO AMEND. If you feel that medical information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by the facility.
To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to the Medical Records Coordinator. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request.
We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
- Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
- Is not part of the medical information kept by or for the facility;
- Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
- Is accurate and complete.
RIGHT TO AN ACCOUNTING OF DISCLOSURES. You have the right to request an “accounting of disclosures.” This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you.
To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to the Medical Records Coordinator. Your request must state a time period that may no be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time, before any costs are incurred.
RIGHT TO REQUEST RESTRICTIONS. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment of your care, like a family member or friend.
WE ARE NOT REQUIRED TO AGREE TO YOUR REQUEST. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment.
To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to our social worker. In your request, you must tell us (1) what information you want limited; (2) whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply, for example, disclosures to your spouse.
RIGHT TO REQUEST CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical manners in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only discuss medical matters with you in your room.
To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to your social worker. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
RIGHT TO A PAPER COPY OF THIS NOTICE. You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice. To obtain a paper copy, contact the Medical Records Coordinator.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE. We reserve the right to change this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice in the facility. The notice will contain on the first page, the effective date. In addition, each time you are admitted to our facility, we will offer you a copy of the current notice in effect.
COMPLAINTS. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the facility or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with the facility, please contact our social worker. All complaints must be submitted in writing.
You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
OTHER USES OF MEDICAL INFORMATION. Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you. To revoke permission, please contact our Medical Records Coordinator.
OTHER USES OF PERSONAL INFORMATION: To assist staff and visitors, your name will be posted throughout the facility. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, the resident directory, door nameplates, activities calendar, dining room seating chart and dining room place cards. You do have the right to restrict these postings. Visitors are asked to sign our registration book kept in the front lobby upon arrival.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact:
MEDICAL RECORDS COORDINATOR