This notice describes how information about you may be used and disclosed. It also tells you how you can access this information. Please review it carefully.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR HEALTH RECORD/INFORMATION
Each time a nurse works a shift in your home, a record of the care that was provided is made. As well, each time you visit a hospital, physician, or other health care provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination, test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as a:
- basis for planning your care and treatment
- means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care
- legal document describing the care you received
- means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided
- tool in educating health professionals
- source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of the nation
- source of data for facility planning and marketing
- tool with which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render and the outcomes we achieve
YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION RIGHTS
Although your health record is the physical property of the health care practitioner or facility that compiled it, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:
- request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information as provided by 45 CFR 164.522
- obtain a paper copy of the "Notice of Information Practices" upon request
- inspect and obtain a copy of your health record as provided in 45 CFR 164.524
- amend your health record as provided in 45 CFR 164.528
- obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information as provided in 45 CFR 164.528
- request communication of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations
- revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken
This organization is required to:
- maintain the privacy of your health information
- provide you with a notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you
- abide by the terms of this notice
- notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction
- accommodate your reasonable requests to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations
We reserve the right to change our practices in compliance with changes in state/federal laws and regulations. Should our information practices change, we will mail a revised notice to the address that you have supplied to us.
We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice.
EXAMPLES OF DISCLOSURES FOR TREATMENT, PAYMENT, AND HEALTH OPERATIONS
1. We will use your health information for treatment
For example: Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your health care team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. Your physician will document in your record his or her expectations of the members of your health care team. Members of your health care team will then record the actions they took and their observations. In that way, the physician will know how you are responding to treatment.
After discharge from this agency, we will also provide your physician or subsequent health care provider with a copy of your discharge summary that should assist him or her in treating you.
2. We will use your health information for payment
For example: A bill may be sent to you or a third-party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, procedures, and supplies used.
3. We will use your health information for regular health operations
For example: Members of the clinical staff, the performance improvement manager, and/or members of the Performance Improvement Committee may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the nursing services we provide.
Communication with family: Health professionals, using their best judgement, may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify, health information relevant to that person's involvement in your care or payment related to your care.
Funeral Directors: We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties.
Marketing: We may contact you for the purpose of obtaining your consent to use your photos, testimonials, stories, and/or references for promotional reasons, (i.e., brochures, newsletters, etc.).
Workers Compensation: We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.
Public Health: As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.
Law Enforcement: We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena or court order.
Federal law makes provision for your health information to be released to an appropriate health oversight agency, public health authority or attorney, provided that a work force member or business associate believes in good faith that we have been engaged in unlawful conduct or have otherwise violated professional or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more patients, workers, or the public.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REPORT A PROBLEM
If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact our Health Information Coordinator/Privacy Coordinator at (206) 789-9054.