Notice of Privacy Practice HIPAA
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.
Effective April 14, 2003
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule has established a Federal protection for individually identifiable health information. This Privacy Rule creates national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information from disclosure without authorization by the patient/resident/representative, except where this prohibition would result in unnecessary interference with access to quality health care or with identified exception.
Individually Identifiable Health Information is information, whether oral or recorded in any form or medium, including demographic information collected from an individual and: (1) is created or received by a health care provider, health plan, employer or healthcare clearinghouse; and, (2) relates to the past, present or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual; the provision of health care to an individual; or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual; and (a) that identifies the individual; or (b) with respect to which there is a reasonable basis to believe the information can be used to identify the individual.
Albright Care Services is required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information, provide you with the Notice of Privacy Practices and our legal duties and to abide by the Notice, currently in effect.
The regulation gives residents more control over their health information, sets boundaries on the use and release of medical records, and imposes accountability on those violating patient/resident privacy.
Albright Care Service affiliates/facilities may use or disclose PHI (protected health information) without obtaining written authorization for the following:
- For treatment: The facility may use and disclose your personal health information to facility and non-facility personnel who may be involved in your care, such as nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, social service case managers and physicians. For example, a nurse may give information to the nursing assistants to assist them in taking care of your individual needs. Social Services may also inform Home Health agencies with your care needs when you are being discharged.
- For payment: The facility may use and disclose your personal health information in order that we may bill and receive payment for the care and services rendered to you at the facility. For financial issues, Albright Care Services entities may disclose your personal health information to your insurance company, managed care company, or other representative regarding payment. This information may be released to pre-authorize a treatment or service or to confirm coverage of health information.
- For health care operations: We may use and disclose your personal health information for facility operations. This information will be used to monitor quality of care issues and to evaluate performance of the facility, including, but not limited to, quality assurance and care issues and staff performance.
- For treatment or payment activities of another health care provider or health plan: We may use and disclose your personal health information for your continued care, treatment and services if you were to be transferred to a hospital. There will be continued exchange of information between facilities so as not to interrupt your healthcare regime.
- Incidental uses and disclosures (reasonable safeguards should be used and minimum necessary rules followed.)
- To the extent required by law;
- To a public health authority for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease or injury (i.e. Center for Disease Control);
- To a public health authority or other government agency authorized to receive reports of abuse (i.e. Department of Health, Area Agency on Aging, Protective Services);
- To a person subject to the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for public health purposes related to the quality, safety and effectiveness of FDA regulated products or activities.
- To a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or otherwise may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition (if authorized by law).
- To a health oversight agency for oversight activities authorized by law (i.e. investigations, licensure actions).
- For judicial or administrative proceedings (i.e. court order, administrative declaration, subpoena, discovery request or other law process.) All efforts will be made to contact you regarding these orders.
- Certain law enforcement purposes including:
- As required by law to comply with reporting requirements;
- To comply with a court order, subpoena, warrant, or other judicial/administrative process;
- To identify a missing person, fugitive, suspect or material witness;
- To report information about a suspicious death;
- To report information in an emergency about a crime;
- To provide information about the victim of a crime (if the individual agrees or under other limited circumstances);
- To identify or apprehend an individual (or one who has escaped from custody) in relation to a violent crime.
- To coroner for identification.
- To funeral director as necessary to carry out his duties.
- To organization engaged in procurement of organ transplant.
- To avert a serious threat to the health and safety of a patient/resident where the disclosure is made to someone reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat.
- As required by military command authorities if you are a member of the armed forces (either U.S. or foreign military).
- To be used for research purposes provided that the researcher adheres to certain privacy protections. Your personal health information may be used only after a special Institutional Review Privacy Board has reviewed and approved; and, if the researcher is collecting the information for a proposal, if you authorize the use and/or disclosure and if the research occurs after your death.
- To comply with laws relating to workers’ compensation or similar programs.
- To specialized government agencies such as national security and intelligence activities.
- To contact you in an effort to raise money for the facility, unless you object. Albright Care Services or its’ entities would release only name, address, phone number and the dates of care and services in the facility to the foundation directly related to the organization.
- To contact you and/or remind you about appointments.
- To inform you about treatment alternatives or to inform you about health-related benefits and services, both of which may be of interest to you.
We may use and disclose certain personal health information about you unless you object. You may agree or object to the following.
Albright Care Services will:
Include certain information about you in the facility directory. This may include your name, location, your general condition (i.e. critical, stable), and your religious affiliation. Albright Care Services facility directories currently include name and location only. We may release your location if an individual inquires about you. We may also release your religious affiliation to members of the clergy.
We may disclose your personal health information to a family member or close personal friend and your clergy who is involved in your care.
We may disclosure your personal health information to an organization assisting in a disaster relief effort.
Albright Care Services will use and disclose your personal health information only with your written authorization on all other issues. You may revoke your authorization at any time, in writing.
All requests for records and/or authorizations may be made to the Medical Records Department/designee. He/she will assist you in completing the necessary forms.
You have the right to:
- Access your own health information; you have the right to request your medical and/or financial records, or any other written information regarding your care. You may make this request either orally or in writing. Albright Care Services must allow you to inspect your records within twenty-four (24) hours of your request. You may also request copies of this information. Albright Care Services is required to provide you with these copies within two (2) days of your request. We may charge a fee for copies and mailing expenses. [Exception: We may deny this request if, in professional judgment, it would be detrimental to you or someone else. You may appeal this denial to the facility. This appeal would be performed by a licensed health care professional designated by the facility who did not participate in the denial.] Law enforcement or court order may also enforce denial.
- Have your authorized information amended: You have the right to request we amend any of your personal health information maintained by the facility. The request must be written and state the reason for the request to amend. Albright Care Services is not required to grant your request. Albright Care Services has the right to deny your request if the information:
- Is already complete and accurate according to the facility.
- Is not part of the personal health information maintained by the facility.
- Is not part of the information that you have access to.
- Was not created by the facility (i.e. hospital records, physician), unless the entity/individual who created the information is no longer available to take action on your request.
If Albright Care Services denies your request, you will be notified in writing the reason(s) for the denial and your right to submit a written response for disagreeing with the denial.
- Limit disclosure of your information: You have the right to request restrictions on the use or disclosure of your personal health information to treatment, payment or health care operations that the facility discloses about you to a family member, friend or other individual involved in your care. Albright Care Services is not required to agree to your requested restriction; however, if we grant your request, we must adhere to it. In certain emergency situations, it will be the professional judgment of the facility regarding notifications.
- Request that communication regarding your personal health information, be directed in a certain manner or certain location or to a certain phone number. Albright Care Services will attempt to honor any reasonable request.
- Request an accounting of disclosures that the facility has made regarding your personal health information. The accounting list includes your personal health information made by the facility or by others on your behalf. It does not include disclosures for treatment, payment or health care operations and certain other exceptions, including those disclosures made pursuant to your written authorization. A written request for your accounting may be made to the Medical Records department of your facility. It must include time frame requested, but cannot be for a period of more than six (6) years and may not include dates prior to April 14, 2003. The accounting log includes, resident name, resident number, date requested, date of disclosure, name of recipient, address, brief description of personal health information, reason for disclosure.
- You have the right to complain to the facility or other agency(s) that your right of privacy was violated. Albright Care Services has a legal obligation to maintain the privacy of all individuals’ protected health information. If you feel your right to privacy of personal health information has been violated, we encourage you to contact the Administrator/designee with your concerns. A “Concern Form” will be completed. He/she will then notify the privacy officer of Albright Care Services who will initiate an investigation. You may also contact the Office of Civil Rights.
The following are phone numbers that will provide you with further information or answer questions you may have regarding the Privacy Rules of the Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Albright Care Services (570) 522-3880
Vice President for Operations
Privacy Officer for HIPAA
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Attention: Office for Civil Rights
Albright Care Services reserves the right to change or revise our Privacy Notice at any time and to make the revised Notice provisions effective for all personal health information already obtained and maintained in the facility as well as all personal health information we continue to receive. The Notice of Privacy Practices and its changes will be posted in the Albright Care Services facilities and on our web site. You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this Notice at any time from the facility. Albright Care Services will promptly revise and post any material changes to the Notice according to regulations.
If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact your Administrator or Executive Director.