NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Comanche County Medical Center
Pam Cavaness, Privacy Officer, 254-879-4900
Effective Date: September 23, 2013
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.
We understand the importance of privacy and are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your medical information. We make a record of the medical care we provide and may receive such records from others. We use these records to provide or enable other health care providers to provide quality medical care, to obtain payment for services provided to you as allowed by your health plan and to enable us to meet our professional and legal obligations to operate as a provider of medical services properly. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information, to provide individuals with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information, and to notify affected individuals following a breach of unsecured protected health information. This notice describes how we may use and disclose your medical information. It also describes your rights and our legal obligations with respect to your medical information. If you have any questions about this
Notice, please contact our Privacy Officer listed above.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. How CCMC May Use or Disclose Your Health Information ……………………………………. p.2
B. When CCMC May Not Use or Disclose Your Health Information …………………………….. p.4
C. Your Health Information Rights ……………………………………………………………………………. p.4
1. Right to Request Special Privacy Protections
2. Right to Request Confidential Communications
3. Right to Inspect and Copy
4. Right to Amend or Supplement
5. Right to an Accounting of Disclosures
6. Right to a Paper or Electronic Copy of this Notice
D. Changes to this Notice of Privacy Practices ……………………………………………………………. p.6
E. Complaints …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. p.6
A. How CCMC May Use or Disclose Your Health Information
Comanche County Medical Center (CCMC) collects health information about you and stores it in a chart or in an electronic health record/personal health record. This is your medical record. The medical record is the property of CCMC, but the information in the medical record belongs to you. The law permits us to use or disclose your health information for the following purposes:
1. Treatment. We use medical information about you to provide your medical care. We disclose medical information to our employees and others who are involved in providing the care you need. For example, we may share your medical information with other physicians or other health care providers who will provide services that we do not provide. Or we may share this information with a pharmacist who needs it to dispense a prescription to you, or a laboratory that performs a test. We may also disclose medical information to members of your family or others who can help you when you are sick or injured, or after you die.
2. Payment. We may use or disclose health information about you to determine eligibility for plan benefits, obtain premiums, facilitate payment for the treatment and services you receive from health care providers, determine plan responsibility for benefits, and to coordinate benefits. Health information may be shared with other government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance to manage your benefits and payments. For example, determining whether a particular treatment is covered under your plan.
3. Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose health information about you to carry out necessary insurance-related activities. For example, such activities may include underwriting, premium rating and other activities relating to plan coverage; conducting quality assessment and improvement activities; submitting claims for stop-loss coverage; conducting or arranging for medical review, legal services, audit services, and fraud and abuse detection programs; and business planning, management, and general administration.
4. Notification and Communication With Family. We may disclose your health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care about your location, your general condition or, unless you had instructed us otherwise, in the event of your death. In the event of a disaster, we may disclose information to a relief organization so that they may coordinate these notification efforts. We may also disclose information to someone who is involved with your care or helps pay for your care. If you are able and available to agree or object, we will give you the opportunity to object prior to making these disclosures, although we may disclose this information in a disaster even over your objection if we believe it is necessary to respond to the emergency circumstances. If you are unable or unavailable to agree or object, our health professionals will use their best judgment in communication with your family and others.
5. Marketing. We may contact you to give you information about health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. If we receive compensation from a third party for providing you with information about other product or services (other than drug refill reminders or generic drug availability), we will obtain your authorization to share information with this third party.
6. Sale of Health Information. We will not sell your health information without your prior written authorization. The authorization will disclose that we will receive compensation for your health information if you authorize us to sell it, and we will stop any future sales of your information to the extent that you revoke that authorization.
7. Required by Law. As required by law, we may use and disclose your health information. For example, we may disclose medical information when required by a court order in a litigation proceeding such as a malpractice action.
8. Public Health. We may, and are sometimes required by law, to disclose your health information to public health authorities for purposes related to: preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability; reporting child, elder or dependent adult abuse or neglect; reporting domestic violence; reporting to the Food and Drug Administration problems with products and reactions to medications; and reporting disease or infection exposure.
9. Health Oversight Activities. We may, and are sometimes required by law, disclose your health information to health oversight agencies during the course of audits, investigations, inspections, licensure and other proceedings, subject to the limitations imposed by law.
10. Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. We may, and are sometimes required by law, to disclose your health information in the course of any administrative or judicial
11. Law Enforcement. We may, and are sometimes required by law, to disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for purposes such as identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person, complying with a court order, warrant, grand jury subpoena and other law enforcement purposes.
12. Coroners. We may, and are often required by law, to disclose your health information to coroners in connection with their investigations of deaths.
13. Organ or Tissue Donation. We may disclose your health information to organizations involved in procuring, banking or transplanting organs and tissues.
14. Public Safety. We may, and are sometimes required by law, to disclose your health information to appropriate persons in order to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a particular person or the general public.
15. Proof of Immunization. We will disclose proof of immunization to a school that is required to have it before admitting a student where you have agreed to the disclosure on behalf of yourself or your dependent.
16. National Security. We may disclose your health information for military or national security purposes or to correctional institutions or law enforcement officers that have you in their lawful custody.
17. Workers’ Compensation. We may disclose your health information as necessary to comply with workers’ compensation laws or similar laws.
18. Change of Ownership. In the event that CCMC is sold or merged with another organization, your health information/record will become the property of the new owner, although you will maintain the right to request that copies of your health information be transferred to another physician or medical group.
19. Breach Notification. In the case of a breach of unsecured protected health information, we will notify you as required by law. In some circumstances our business associate may provide the notification.
20. Psychotherapy Notes. We will not use or disclose your psychotherapy notes without your prior written authorization except for the following: 1) use by the originator of the notes for your treatment, 2) for training our staff, students and other trainees, 3) to defend ourselves if you sue us or bring some other legal proceeding, 4) if the law requires us to disclose the information to you or the Secretary of HHS or for some other reason, 5) in response to
health oversight activities concerning your psychotherapist, 6) to avert a serious and imminent threat to health or safety, or 7) to the coroner or medical examiner after you die. To the extent you revoke an authorization to use or disclose your psychotherapy notes, we will stop using or disclosing these notes.
21. Research. We may disclose your health information to researchers conducting research with respect to which your written authorization is not required as approved by an Institutional Review Board or privacy board, in compliance with governing law.
22. Fundraising. We may use or disclose your demographic information in order to contact you for our fundraising activities. For example, we may use the dates that you received treatment, the department of service, your treating physician, outcome information and health insurance status to identify individuals that may be interested in participating in fundraising activities. If you do not want to receive these materials, notify the Privacy Officer listed at the top of this Notice of Privacy Practices and we will stop any further fundraising communications. Similarly, you should notify the Privacy Officer if you decide you want to start receiving these solicitations again.
B. When CCMC May Not Use or Disclose Your Health Information
Except as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices, we will not use or disclose your health information without written authorization from you. If you do authorize us to use or disclose your health information for another purpose, you may revoke your authorization in writing at any time. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer be able to use or disclose health information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization, though we will be unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission.
C. Your Health Information Rights
1. Right to Request Special Privacy Protections. You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information by submitting a written request specifying what information you want to limit, and what limitations on our use or disclosure of that information you wish to have imposed. If you tell us not to disclose information to your commercial health plan concerning health care items or services for which you paid for in full out-of-pocket, we will abide by your request, unless we must disclose the information for treatment or legal reasons. We reserve the right to accept or reject any other request, and will notify you of our decision.
2. Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that you receive your health information through a reasonable alternative means or at an alternative location. To request confidential communications, you must submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer. We are not required to agree to your request.
3. Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, with limited exceptions. To access your medical information, you must submit a written request detailing what information you want access to, whether you want to inspect it or get a copy of it, and if you want a copy, your preferred form and format. We will provide copies in your requested form and format if it is readily producible, or we will provide you with an alternative format you find acceptable, or if we can’t agree and we maintain the record in an electronic format, your choice of a readable electronic or hardcopy format. We will also send a copy to any other person you designate in writing. We will charge a reasonable fee which covers our costs for labor, supplies, postage, and if requested and agreed to in advance, the cost of preparing an explanation or summary.
4. Right to Amend or Supplement. You have a right to request that we amend your health information that you believe is incorrect or incomplete. You must make a request to amend in writing, and include the reasons you believe the information is inaccurate or incomplete. We are not required to change your health information, and will provide you with information about our denial and how you can disagree with the denial.
5. Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have a right to receive an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by us in the past six years, except that we do not have to account for the disclosures provided to you or pursuant to your written authorization, or as described in paragraphs 1 (treatment), 2 (payment), 3 (health care operations), 6 (notification and communication with family) and 18 (specialized government functions) of Section A of this Notice of Privacy Practices or disclosures for purposes of research or public health which exclude direct patient identifiers, or which are incident to a use or disclosure otherwise permitted or authorized by law, or the disclosures to a health oversight agency or law enforcement official to the extent CCMC has received notice from that agency or official that providing this accounting would be reasonably likely to impede their activities.
6. Right to a Paper or Electronic Copy of this Notice. You have a right to receive an electronic or paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. To obtain a paper copy of this Notice, send your written request to our Privacy Officer. You may also obtain a copy of this notice at our website, www.comanchecmc.com. If you would like to have a more detailed explanation of these rights or if you would like to exercise one or more of these rights, contact our Privacy Officer listed at the top of this Notice of Privacy Practices.
D. Changes to this Notice of Privacy Practices
CCMC reserves the right to amend this Notice of Privacy Practices at any time in the future and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all health information that it maintain, regardless of when it was created or received. We will keep a copy of the current notice posted in our registration area, and a copy will be available at each appointment. We will also post the current notice on our website at http://www.comanchecmc.com.
Complaints about this Notice of Privacy Practices or how CCMC handles your healthinformation should be directed to our Privacy Officer listed at the top of this Notice of Privacy Practices. CCMC will not retaliate against you in any way for filing a complaint. All complaints to CCMC must be submitted in writing. If you are not satisfied with the manner in which this office handles a complaint, you may submit a formal complaint to: Your local DHHS Office of Civil Rights OCRMail@hhs.gov. The complaint form may be found at www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/hipcomplaint.pdf.