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.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact our Director of Client Services at (505) 271-2120, or in writing at P.O. Box 51267, Albuquerque, NM 87181-1267.
WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE
This notice describes the information privacy practices followed by our employees, staff and other office personnel, including our “on-call” employees.
YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
This notice applies to the information and records we have about your health, health status, and the home care services you receive from this office.
We are required by law to give you this notice. It will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose health information about you and describes your rights and our obligations regarding the use and disclosure of that information.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
For In Home Care We may use health information about you to provide you with home care services. We may disclose health information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, office staff or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you and your health.
Different personnel in our office may share information about you and disclose information to people who do not work in our office in order to coordinate your care, such as communicating with your case manager or physician. Family members and other health care providers may be part of your medical care outside this office and may require information about you that we have.
For Payment We may use and disclose health information about you so that the service you receive from this office may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give the Medicaid Fiscal Agent information about a service you received so Medicaid will pay us or reimburse you for the service. We may also tell Medicaid about the service you are going to receive to obtain prior approval, or to determine whether your plan will cover the home care.
For Health Care Operations We may use and disclose health information about you in order to run the office and make sure that you and our other clients receive quality care. For example, we may use your health information to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also use health information about all or many of our clients to help us decide what additional services we should offer, how we can become more efficient, or whether certain new services are effective.
Appointment Reminders We will contact you to schedule caregivers for services in your home.
Revocation of Consent You may revoke your Consent at any time by giving us written notice. Your revocation will be effective when we receive it, but it will not apply to any uses and disclosures which occurred before that time.
If you do revoke your Consent, we will not be permitted to use or disclose information for purposes of your home care services, payment or health care operations, and we may therefore choose to discontinue providing you with services.
We may use or disclose health information about you without your permission for the following purposes, subject to all applicable legal requirements and limitations:
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety We may use and disclose health 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.
Required By Law We will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
Military, Veterans, National Security and Intelligence If you are or were a member of the armed forces, or part of the national security or intelligence communities, we may be required by military command or other government authorities to release health information about you. We may also release information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
Public Health Risks We may disclose health information about you for public health reasons in order to prevent or control disease, injury or disability; or report births, deaths, suspected abuse or neglect, non accidental physical injuries, reactions to medications or problems with products.
Health Oversight Activities We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for audits, investigations, inspections, or licensing purposes. These disclosures may be necessary for certain state and federal agencies 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 health information about you in response to a court or administrative order. Subject to all applicable legal requirements, we may also disclose health information about you in response to a subpoena.
Law Enforcement We may release health information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official in response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process, subject to all applicable legal requirements.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors We may release health information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death.
Information Not Personally Identifiable We may use or disclose health information about you in a way that does not personally identify you or reveal who you are.
Family and Friends We may disclose health information about you to your family members or friends if we obtain your verbal agreement to do so or if we give you an opportunity to object to such a disclosure and you do not raise an objection. We may also disclose health information to your family or friends if we can infer from the circumstances, based on our professional judgment that you would not object
In situations where you are not capable of giving consent (because you are not present or due to your incapacity or medical emergency), we may, using our professional judgment, determine that a disclosure to your family member or friend is in your best interest. In that situation, we will disclose only health information relevant to the person’s involvement in your care. For example, we may inform the person who accompanied you to the emergency room that you suffered a heart attack and provide updates on your progress and prognosis. We may also use our professional judgment and experience to make reasonable inferences that it is in your best interest to allow another person to act on your behalf to pick up, for example, filled prescriptions, medical supplies, or X rays.
OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION
We will not use or disclose your health information for any purpose other than those identified in the previous sections without your specific, written Authorization. We must obtain your Authorization separate from any Consent we may have obtained from you. If you give us Authorization to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that Authorization, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your Authorization, we will no longer use or disclose information about you for the reasons covered by your written Authorization, but we cannot take back any uses or disclosures already made with your permission.
If we have HIV or substance abuse information about you, we cannot release that information without a special signed, written authorization (different than the Authorization and Consent mentioned above) from you. In order to disclose these types of records for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations, we will have to have both your signed Consent and a special written Authorization that complies with the law governing HIV or substance abuse records.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
You have the following rights regarding health information we maintain about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, such as medical and billing records, that we use to make decisions about your care. You must submit a written request to our Director of Client Services in order to inspect and/or copy your health information. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other associated supplies. We may deny your request to inspect and/or copy in certain limited circumstances. If you are denied access to your health information, you may ask that the denial be reviewed. If such a review is required by law, we will select a licensed health care professional to review your request and our denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request, and we will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to Amend If you believe health 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 as long as the information is kept by this office.
To request an amendment, complete and submit a Medical Record Amendment/Correction Form to our Director of Client Services. 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:
a) We did not create, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment.
b) Is not part of the health information that we keep.
c) You would not be permitted to inspect and copy.
d) 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 for purposes other than in home services, payment and health care operations. To obtain this list, you must submit your request in writing to our Director of Client Services. It must state a time period, which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper, electronically). 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 health information we use or disclose about you for in-home care, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for it, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a surgery you had.
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 may complete and submit the Request For Restriction On Use/Disclosure Of Medical Information to our Director of Client Services.
Right to Request Confidential Communications You have the right to request that we communicate with you about home care and medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail.
To request confidential communications, you may complete and submit the Request For Restriction On Use/Disclosure Of Medical Information And/Or Confidential Communication to our Director of Client Services. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
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 it electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy. To obtain such a copy, contact our Director of Client Services.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
We reserve the right to change this notice, and 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 summary of the current notice in the office with its effective date in the top right hand corner. You are entitled to a copy of the notice currently in effect.
COMPLAINTS If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our office or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with our office, contact our Director of Client Services. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
OFFICE OPEATIONS FOR PROTECTING CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY
Screening Process Pre-employment screening processes are used for employment candidates who will have access to client records.
Security training is provided to all levels of staff.
Employees are instructed on how to report breaches.
Employees sign a confidentiality statement acknowledging their ongoing responsibilities to protect client privacy and confidentiality. Breach of confidentiality results in immediate termination of employment.
Computer databases with client information are password protected and limited to those positions that have a need to access them in order to do their jobs.
There is a written organizational policy regarding computer usage that includes policies on prohibiting the disclosure or sharing of passwords, access codes or other identifiers.
During non-business hours, all client records are secured and locked in filing cabinets.
Paper-based information is shredded when no longer needed.
Paper billing information is locked in filing cabinets. Electronic billing information is protected by encryption and billing software is “HIPAA” compliant.
End of Privacy Practices