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.
USE AND DISCLOSURE OF HEALTH INFORMATION
LCFH&LCC may use your health information, information that constitutes protected health information as defined in the Privacy Rule of the Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, for purposes of providing you treatment, obtaining payment for your care and conducting health care operations. LCFH&LCC has established policies 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:
To Provide Treatment.
LCFH&LCC may use your health information to coordinate care within LCFH&LCC and with others involved in your care, such as your attending physician, members of the LCFH&LCC interdisciplinary team and other health care professionals who have agreed to assist LCFH&LCC in coordinating care. For example, physicians involved in your care will need information about your symptoms in order to prescribe appropriate medications. LCFH&LCC also may disclose your health care information to individuals outside of LCFH&LCC involved in your care including family members, clergy who you have designated, pharmacists, suppliers of medical equipment or other health care professionals.
To Obtain Payment.
LCFH&LCC may include your health information in invoices to collect payment from third parties for the care you receive from LCFH&LCC. For example, LCFH&LCC may be required by your health insurer to provide information regarding your health care status so that the insurer will reimburse you or LCFH&LCC. LCFH&LCC also may need to obtain prior approval from your insurer and may need to explain to the insurer your need for LCFH&LCC care and the services that will be provided to you.
To Conduct Health Care Operations.
LCFH&LCC may use and disclose health information for its own operations in order to facilitate the function of the LCFH&LCC and as necessary to provide quality care to all of LCFH&LCC’s clients. 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 clients with information about treatment alternatives and other functions that do not include treatment.
- Professional review and performance evaluation.
- Training programs including those in which students or trainees 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 of LCFH&LCC.
- Fundraising for the benefit of LCFH&LCC.
For example LCFH&LCC may use your health information to evaluate its staff performance, combine your health information with other LCFH&LCC clients in evaluating how to more effectively serve all LCFH&LCC clients, disclose your health information to LCFH&LCC 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 as part of general fundraising and community information mailings (unless you tell us you do not want to be contacted).
LCFH&LCC may disclose certain information about you including your name, your general health status, your religious affiliation and where you are in the LCFH&LCC’s facility while you are in the Hospice Care Center. LCFH&LCC may disclose this information to people who ask for you by name. Please inform us if you do not want your information to be given out.
For Fundraising Activities.
LCFH&LCC may use information about you including your name, address, phone number and the dates you received care in order to contact you or your family to raise money for LCFH&LCC. LCFH&LCC may also release this information to a related foundation. If you do not want LCFH&LCC to contact you or your family, notify the HIPAA Privacy Officer at 910-772-5444.
For Appointment Reminders.
LCFH&LCC may use or disclose your information to contact you to remind you about a home visit.
For Treatment Alternatives.
LCFH&LCC may use and disclose your health information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AND PURPOSES FOR WHICH YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION MAY ALSO BE USED AND DISCLOSED
When Legally Required.
LCFH&LCC will disclose your health information when it is required to do so by Federal, State or local law.
When There Are Risks to Public Health.
LCFH&LCC 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.
- 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.
- Notify a person who has been exposed to a communicable disease or who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease.
- Notify an employer about an individual who is a member of the workforce as legally required.
To Report Abuse, Neglect Or Domestic Violence.
LCFH&LCC is allowed to notify government authorities if LCFH&LCC believes a client is the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. LCFH&LCC will make this disclosure only when specifically required or authorized by law or when the client agrees to the disclosure.
To Conduct Health Oversight Activities.
LCFH&LCC may disclose your health information to a health oversight hospice for activities including audits, civil administrative or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure or disciplinary action. LCFH&LCC, however, may not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information is not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.
In Connection With Judicial And Administrative Proceedings.
LCFH&LCC 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, but only when LCFH&LCC makes reasonable efforts to either notify you about the request or to obtain an order protecting your health information.
For Law Enforcement Purposes.
As permitted or required by State law, LCFH&LCC may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for certain 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.
- To a law enforcement official if LCFH&LCC has a suspicion that your death was the result of criminal conduct including criminal conduct at LCFH&LCC.
- In an emergency in order to report a crime.
To Coroners And Medical Examiners.
LCFH&LCC 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.
LCFH&LCC 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, LCFH&LCC may disclose your health information prior to and in reasonable anticipation of your death.
For Organ, Eye Or Tissue Donation.
LCFH&LCC 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.
LCFH&LCC may, under very select circumstances, use your health information for research. Before LCFH&LCC discloses any of your health information for such research purposes, the project will be subject to an extensive approval process.
In the Event of A Serious Threat To Health or Safety.
LCFH&LCC may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, disclose your health information if LCFH&LCC, 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 Specified Government Functions.
In certain circumstances, the Federal regulations authorize LCFH&LCC 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.
For Worker's Compensation.
LCFH&LCC may release your health information for worker's compensation or similar programs.
AUTHORIZATION TO USE OR DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION
Other than is stated above, LCFH&LCC will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. If you or your representative authorizes the LCFH&LCC to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time.
THE FOLLOWING ARE YOUR RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION.
Right to request restrictions. You may request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. You have the right to request a limit on LCFH&LCC’s disclosure of your health information to someone who is involved in your care or the payment of your care. However, LCFH&LCC is not required to agree to your request. If you wish to make a request for restrictions, please contact the Privacy Officer.
Right to receive confidential communications. You have the right to request that LCFH&LCC communicate with you in a certain way. For example, you may ask that LCFH&LCC only conduct communications pertaining to your health information with you privately. LCFH&LCC 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 make a request for confidential communications, please contact the Privacy Officer at 910.772.5444.
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 Privacy Officer. If you request a copy of your health information, LCFH&LCC may charge a reasonable fee for copying and assembling costs associated with your request.
Right to amend health care information. You or your representative has the right to request that LCFH&LCC amend your records, if you believe that your health information is incorrect or incomplete. That request may be made as long as the information is maintained by LCFH&LCC. A request for an amendment of records must be made in writing to the Privacy Officer. LCFH&LCC 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 LCFH&LCC, if the records you are requesting are not part of LCFH&LCC’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 LCFH&LCC, the records containing your health information are accurate and complete.
Right to an accounting. You or your representative have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by LCFH&LCC for certain reasons, including reasons related to public purposes authorized by law and certain research. The request for an accounting must be made in writing to the Privacy Officer. The request should specify the time period for the accounting starting on or after April 14, 2003. Accounting requests may not be made for periods of time in excess of six (6) years. LCFH&LCC 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.
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 have received this Notice previously. To obtain a separate paper copy, please contact the Privacy Officer. You may also print a copy of the current version of LCFH&LCC’s Notice of Privacy Practices by clicking on privacy.
DUTIES OF LCFH&LCC
The LCFH&LCC is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide to you and your representative this Notice of its duties and privacy practices. The LCFH&LCC is required to abide by the terms of this Notice as may be amended from time to time. The LCFH&LCC reserves the right to change the terms of its Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all health information that it maintains. If the LCFH&LCC changes its Notice, the LCFH&LCC will provide a copy of the revised Notice to you or your appointed representative. You or your personal representative has the right to express complaints to the LCFH&LCC and to the Secretary of DHHS if you or your representative believes that your privacy rights have been violated. Any complaints to the LCFH&LCC should be made in writing. The LCFH&LCC encourages you to express any concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint.
The LCFH&LCC has designated a Privacy Officer as its contact person for all issues regarding client privacy and your rights under the Federal privacy standards. You may contact this person at 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401, Phone 910-796-7900.
This Notice is effective April 14, 2003.
If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact the HIPAA Privacy Officer at 910.796.7900.