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.
Duties of Hospice Home Care
Hospice Home Care is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information. We are required to provide to you and your representative this Notice of Privacy Practices to describe our legal duties and your rights with respect to your protected health information. We are also required to abide by the terms of this Notice which is currently in effect, and to notify you in the event of a breach of your unsecured health information.
USE AND DISCLOSURE OF HEALTH INFORMATION
Hospice Home Caremay use your health information for purposes of providing you treatment, obtaining payment for your care and conducting health care operations, and for certain other limited purposes described herein. Otherwise, your health information may be used or disclosed only after the Hospice has obtained your written authorization to do so. Hospice Home Care will only make the following uses and disclosures with your authorization: uses and disclosures for marketing purposes; and uses and disclosures that involve the sale of protected health information; and uses and disclosures not described in this Notice. The Hospice has established a policy to guard against unnecessary disclosure of your health information.
THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AND PURPOSES FOR WHICH YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED WITHOUT YOUR AUTHORIZATION:
To Provide Treatment. Hospice Home Care (HHC) may use your health information to coordinate care within HHC and with others involved in your care, such as your attending physician, members of the HHC interdisciplinary team and other health care professionals who have agreed to assist in coordinating care. For example, physicians involved in your care will need information about your symptoms in order to prescribe appropriate medications. HHC also may disclose your health care information to individuals outside of HHC involved in your care including family members, clergy whom you have designated, pharmacists, suppliers of medical equipment or other health care professionals that HHC uses in order to coordinate your care.
To Obtain Payment. Hospice Home Care (HHC) may include your health information in invoices to collect payment from third parties for the care you may receive. For example, we may be required by your health insurer to provide information regarding your health care status so that the insurer will reimburse HHC. Hospice Home Care also may need to obtain prior approval from your insurer and may need to explain to the insurer your need for hospice care and the services that will be provided to you.
To Conduct Health Care Operations. Hospice Home Care may use and disclose health care information for its own operations in order to provide quality care to all of our patients. Health care operations includes such activities as:
- Quality assessment and improvement activities.
- Activities designed to improve health or reduce health care costs.
- Protocol development, case management and care coordination.
- Contacting health care providers and patients with information about treatment alternatives and other related functions that do not include treatment.
- Professional review and performance evaluation.
- Training programs including those in which students, trainees or practitioners in health care learn under supervision.
- Training of non-health care professionals.
- Accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.
- Review and auditing, including compliance reviews, medical reviews, legal services and compliance programs.
- Business planning and development including cost management and planning related analyses and formulary development.
- Business management and general administrative activities.
For example Hospice Home Care may use your health information to evaluate its staff performance, combine your health information with other HHC patients in evaluating how to more effectively serve all home care patients, disclose your health information to HHC staff and contracted personnel for training purposes, use your health information to contact you as a reminder regarding a visit to you, or contact you or your family as part of community information mailings (unless you tell us you do not want to be contacted).
Federal privacy rules allow Hospice Home Care to use or disclose your health information without your consent or authorization for a number of reasons.
When Legally Required. Hospice Home Care will disclose your health information when it is required to do so by any Federal, State or local law.
When There Are Risks to Public Health. Hospice Home Care may disclose your health information for public activities and purposes in order to:
- Prevent or control disease, injury or disability, report disease, injury, vital events such as birth or death and the conduct of public health surveillance, investigations and interventions.
- To report adverse events, product defects, to track products or enable product recalls, repairs and replacements and to conduct post-marketing surveillance and compliance with requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.
- To notify a person who has been exposed to a communicable disease or who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease.
- To an employer about an individual who is a member of the workforce as legally required.
To Report Abuse, Neglect Or Domestic Violence. Hospice Home Care is allowed to notify government authorities if we believe a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. Hospice Home Care will make this disclosure only when specifically required or authorized by law or when the patient agrees to the disclosure.
To Conduct Health Oversight Activities. Hospice Home Care may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities including audits, civil administrative or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure or disciplinary action. Hospice Home Care, however, may not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information are not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.
In Connection With Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. Hospice Home Care may disclose your health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal as expressly authorized by such order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.
For Law Enforcement Purposes. Hospice Home Care may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes as follows:
- As required by law for reporting of certain types of wounds or other physical injuries pursuant to the court order, warrant, subpoena or summons or similar process.
- For the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person.
- Under certain limited circumstances, when you are the victim of a crime.
- If Hospice Home Care has a suspicion that your death was the result of criminal conduct.HHH
- In an emergency in order to report a crime.
To Coroners and Medical Examiners. Hospice Home Care may disclose your health information to coroners and medical examiners for purposes of determining your cause of death or for other duties, as authorized by law.
To Funeral Directors. Hospice Home Care may disclose your health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law and if necessary, to carry out their duties with respect to your funeral arrangements. If necessary to carry out their duties, Hospice Home Care may disclose your health information prior to and in reasonable anticipation, of your death.
For Organ, Eye or Tissue Donation. Hospice Home Care may use or disclose your health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking or transplantation of organs, eyes or tissue for the purpose of facilitating the donation and transplantation.
For Research Purposes. Hospice Home Care may, under very select circumstances, use your health information for research. Before Hospice Home Care discloses any of your health information for such research purposes, the project will be subject to an extensive approval process. Hospice Home Care will ask your permission if any researcher will be granted access to your individually identifiable health information.
In the Event of a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. Hospice Home Care may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, disclose your health information if HHC, in good faith, believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public.
For Worker's Compensation. Hospice Home Care may release your health information for worker's compensation or similar programs.
Limited Data Set. We may use or disclose a limited data set of you health information, that is, a subset of you health information for which all identifying information has been removed, for purposes of research, public health, or health care operations, Prior to our release, any recipient of that limited data set must agree to appropriately safeguard your health information.
Specialized Government Functions. In certain circumstances, the Federal regulations authorize us to use or disclose your health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military and veterans, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, medical suitability determinations and inmates and law enforcement custody.
OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES OF YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION TO WHICH YOU MAY AGREE OR OBJECT
Persons involved in your care. When appropriate, we may share your health information with a family member, other relative or any other person you identify if that person is involved in your care and the information is relevant to your care of the payment of your care. We also may notify your family about your location or general condition or disclose such information to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort. You may ask at any time not to disclose your health information to any person(s) involved in your care. We will agree to your request unless circumstances constitute an emergency or if the patient is a minor.
Fundraising Activities. Hospice Home care, our foundation, or our business associates may use information about you, including your name, address, telephone number and the dates you received care, in order to contact you for fundraising purposes. You have the right to opt-out of receiving these communications from us. If you do not want us to contact you for fundraising purposes, notify the Compliance Officer at 1-800-479-1219 and indicate that you do not wish to receive fundraising communications.
AUTHORIZATION TO USE OR DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION
Other than is stated above, Hospice Home Care will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. If you or your representative authorizes Hospice Home Care to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time.
YOUR RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
You have the following rights regarding your health information:
- Right to request restrictions. You have the right to request restrictions on uses and disclosures of your health information for treatment, payment and health care operations. You have the right to request a limit on the disclosure of your health information to someone who is involved in your care or the payment of your care. We are not required to agree to your request, unless your request is for a restriction on a disclosure to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations (and is not for purposes of treatment) and the medical information you are requesting to be restricted from disclosure pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid out-of-pocket in full. If you wish to make a request for restrictions, please contact your Patient Care Coordinator.
- Right to receive confidential communications. You have the right to request that Hospice Home Care communicate with you in a certain way. For example, you may ask that the HHC only conduct communications pertaining to your health information with you privately with no other family members present. Hospice Home Care will not request that you provide any reasons for your request and will attempt to honor your reasonable requests for confidential communications. If you wish to receive confidential communications please contact your Patient Care Coordinator.
- Right to inspect and copy your health information. You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, including billing records. A request to inspect and copy records containing your health information may be made to the Patient Care Coordinator at Hospice Home Care. If you request a copy of your health information, Hospice Home Care may charge a reasonable fee for copying and assembling costs associated with your request. You have the right to request that we provide you, an entity or a designated individual with an electronic copy of your health record containing your health information, if we use or maintain electronic health records containing patient health information. We may require you to pay the labor costs incurred in responding to your request.
- Right to amend health care information. If you or your representative believes that your health information records are incorrect or incomplete, you may request that Hospice Home Care amend the records. That request may be made as long as the information is maintained by Hospice Home Care. A request for an amendment of records must be made in writing to the Patient Care Coordinator. Hospice Home Care may deny the request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason for the amendment. The request also may be denied if your health information records were not created by Hospice Home Care, if the records you are requesting are not part of HHC’s records, if the health information you wish to amend is not part of the health information you or your representative are permitted to inspect and copy, or if, in the opinion of Hospice Home Care, the records containing your health information are accurate and complete.
- Right to opt-out of fundraising. You or your representative has the right to opt-out of receiving fundraising communication. Instructions for how to opt-out are included in each fundraising solicitation you receive.
- Right to receive notification of a breach. You or your representative has the right to receive notification of a breach of your unsecured health information. If you have questions regarding what constitutes a breach or your rights with respect to breach notification, please contact your Patient Care Coordinator.
- Right to a paper copy of this notice. You or your representative has a right to a separate paper copy of this Notice at any time, even if you or your representative has received this Notice previously. To obtain a separate paper copy, please contact your Patient Care Coordinator.
- Right to an accounting. You or your representative have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by Hospice Home Care for any reason other than for treatment, payment or health operations. The request for an accounting must be made in writing to the Patient Care Coordinator. The request should specify the time period for the accounting. Accounting requests may not be made for periods of time in excess of six years. Hospice Home Care would provide the first accounting you request during any 12-month period without charge. Subsequent accounting requests may be subject to a reasonable cost-based fee.
- Changes to This Notice. Hospice Home Care reserves the right to change this Notice, and you will be notified of such changes in the manner legally required. To the extent legally permitted, we reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make any new Notice provisions effective for all protected health information that we maintain. We will post a copy of the current Notice in a clear and prominent location to which you have access – and on our website (www.hospicehomecare.com). Then Notice also is available to you upon request. The Notice contains, at the end of this document, the effective date.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS NOTICE
Hospice Home care has designated the Director of Compliance as it contact person for all issues regarding patient privacy and your rights under the Federal privacy standards. You may contact his person at 1-800-479-1219.
You or your personal representative has the right to express complaints to the hospice and to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if you or your representative believes that your privacy rights have been violated. Any complaints to the hospice should be made in writing to Director of Compliance, PO Box 21697 Hot Springs, AR 71903-1697
This Notice is effective September 23, 2013.