Privacy Notice

HIPAA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

Updated-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

This notice is provided to you pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"). It is designed to tell you how we may, under federal law, use or disclose your health information. HIPAA law is intended to simplify the health care industry. The law addresses the exchange of health information between care providers, pharmacies, health insurance companies, employers, and patients. Health information is easily transferred; within the HIPAA Law, strict standards for storage, maintenance, and transfer of private information are adhered to in order to prevent unintentional or other, breach of privacy. Standard and specific coding systems are applied when obtaining health information and protection of privacy in regard to health and other personal information is strictly monitored.

USES AND DISCLOSURES

We can use or disclose you health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.
For example: a doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition; OR, the health care professionals in our facility may access your information for the purpose of proving you care.

We can use and share your health information to run our organization, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.
For example: we use your health information about you to manage your treatment and services; OR, we may use it to notify and/or communicate with your family. Unless you put in writing that you object, we may use or disclose your health information in order to notify your family or assist in notifying your family, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care about your location, your general condition or in the event of your death. If requested, our agency will provide you with a sample authorization for release of information for your use. If you are unable or unavailable to agree or object, our health professionals will use their best judgment in any communications with your family and others.

We can use your and share your health information to bill and get payment from health insurance plans or other entities.
For example: Our billing department may access your information - and send relevant parts - to your insurance company to allow us to be paid for the services we render to you; OR, we may access or send your information to our attorneys or accountants in the event we need the information in order to address one of our own business functions.

OTHER USES AND SHARING OF YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION

We can share health information about you for certain situations such as the following:

Public Health and Safety Purposes:
We may use or disclose your health information to provide information to state or federal public health authorities; as required by law to prevent or control disease, injury or disability; to report child abuse or neglect; report domestic violence; to report to the Food and Drug Administration problems with products and reactions to medications; and to report disease or infection exposure.

Health Oversight Activities:
We may use or disclose your health information to health agencies during the course of audits, investigations, inspections, licensure and other proceedings.

In Response to Subpoenas or for Judicial and Administrative Proceedings:
We may use or disclose your health information in the course of any administrative or judicial proceedings. However, in general, we will attempt to ensure that you have been made aware of the use or disclosure of your health information prior to providing it to another person.

To Law Enforcement Personnel:
We may use or disclose your health information to a law enforcement official to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person, comply with a court order or subpoena and other law enforcement purposes.

To Coroners or Funeral Directors:
We may use or disclose your health information for purposes of communicating with coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors.

In Order to Conduct Research:
We may use or disclose your health information in order to conduct research.

For Public Safety:
We may use or disclose your health information in order to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a particular person or the general public.

To Aid Specialized Government Functions:
If necessary, we may use or disclose your health information for military or national security purposes.

For Worker's Compensation:
We may use or disclose your health information as necessary to comply with worker's compensation laws.

To Correctional Institutions or Law Enforcement Officials:
If you are an inmate, we may use or disclose your health information to these officials.

FOR ALL OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES

We May Only Use or Disclose Your Health Information After You Have Signed an Authorization.
If you authorize us to use or disclose your health information for another purpose, you may revoke your authorization in writing at any time.

YOUR RIGHTS

You have the right to request restrictions on the uses and disclosures of your health information. We are not required to comply with your request.

You have the right to receive your health information through confidential means, through a reasonable alternative means or at an alternative location.

You have the right to ask us not to share any service or health care item you paid for out of pocket. We will agree unless a law requires us to share that information with a health insurer.

You have the right to inspect an electronic or paper copy of your medical record, and other health information we may have about you. We may charge you a reasonable cost-based fee to cover copying, postage and/or preparation of a summary, usually within 30 days of your request.

You have a right to ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. We may say "no" to your request, but we will tell you why in writing within 60 days, and provide you with information about how you can disagree with our denial.

You have a right to receive an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by us for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why. We do not have to account for disclosures made for treatment, payment, health care operations, information provided to you, directory listing, notification and communicate with family, certain government functions, appointment reminders and fund raising as described in section above.

You have the right to ask us to contact you in a specific way (home, office phone, postal mail, electronic mail, etc), and we will comply with your preference.

You have the right and choice to tell us to share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care.

For the purposes of fundraising, we may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you have the right to tell us not to contact you again.

You have the right to have your health information protected against breach of any kind under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical health Act ("HITECH ACT"). You will be notified of any breach under the Breach Notification Rule.

If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information. We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.

You have a right to a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices. 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 the CEO of Home Health Services at 570-421-5390; or in writing at VNA/Hospice of Monroe County, 502 VNA Road, East Stroudsburg, Pa. 18301.

I understand that I have the right to revoke this authorization at any time provided that the revocation is in writing.

OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO YOU

We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you with a copy of this notice.

We are also required to abide by this notice.

We will let you know immediately if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy and security of your information.

We will not use or share your information other than described in this notice unless you tell us we can. In any case, your written permission will be obtained. If you change your mind at any time, we ask that you let us know in writing of your decision.

In the event that our facility is sold or merged with another organization, your health information/record will become the property of the new owner.

We reserve the right to amend this notice at any time in the future and to make the new notice provisions applicable to all your health information - even if it was created prior to the change in the notice. If such amendment is made, we will immediately display the revised notice at our office and provide you with a copy of the amended notice. We will also provide you with a copy, at any time, upon request.

COMPLAINTS TO THE GOVERNMENT

You may make complaints to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) if you believe your rights have been violated.

You may contact us if you wish to have any rights explained, or if you do not understand this notice:
CEO
VNA/Hospice of Monroe County
502 VNA Road
East Stroudsburg, Pa. 18301

You can also file a complaint a with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W.; Washington, D.C. 20201 or by calling 1- 877-695-6775 or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/.

We will not retaliate against you for any complaint you make to the government about our privacy practices.



Concerns & Complaints

Feel free to contact VNA/Hospice of Monroe County if you are unsatisfied in any way at (570) 421-5390 or info@vnahospiceofmc.org . If the issue is of major concern and you don't feel it was appropriately addressed a formal complaint may be filed with our accrediting body the Joint Commission.

Joint Commission

Any person has the right to contact the Joint Commission directly with concerns about the safety or quality of care provided by the VNA/Hospice. No disciplinary action or retaliatory disciplinary action will be taken against an employee for reporting their concerns related to safety or quality of care to the Joint Commission.

The contact information for the Joint Commission:

Mail: The Joint Commission
 One Renaissance Boulevard
 Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Phone: 800-994-6610

Email: complaint@jointcommission.org

Website: www.jointcommission.org