HIPAA – Notice of Patient Privacy Practices
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.
Who Will Follow This Notice
This notice describes the process of Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services (RMCHCS). Healthcare professionals who care for you, employees who enter information into your health care records and any other RMCHCS staff members will follow the rules of this notice. In addition, they may share your medical information with each other for treatment, payment or administrative purposes as described in this notice.
Our Pledge Regarding Medical Information:
We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting your medical information. We create a record of the care and services you receive in our facility. We need this record to provide you with medical care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care.
This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose medical information about you. It also describes your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
The Law requires us to:
- Make sure that medical information that identifies you is kept private
- Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you
- Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect
What About Changes?
We have the right to change parts of this notice, if needed. If we do make changes, we will post a copy of the new notice at RMCHCS. Every time you come in for healthcare services or treatment, we will offer you the latest copy of this notice.
How May We Use and Share Your Medical Information?
While we will not list all the ways in which we may use and share your medical information, here are some examples of how your medical information may be used or shared:
- For Treatment: Your healthcare team will need to be given your health information so they can provide you with the right treatment or service. Your healthcare team will be adding information about x-rays, lab work and medications to your records. Some of this information may need to be shared with family members or with people outside of RMCHCS who may be involved in your medical care. When information must be shared, we share only what must be shared and only with your permission. Sometimes the law tells us that you must give permission in writing before we share information about you. We follow the law.
- For Payment: We may use and share health information about you so we can send out our bills. We may use and share information about a treatment you are going to receive to get prior approval or to find out if your insurance plan will pay for the treatment.
- Appointment Reminders: We may also use your health information to tell you that you have an appointment for treatment or healthcare services, or to tell you of other healthcare services or benefits.
- Other Treatments: We may use or share health information to tell you about treatments that you may like to have as part of your healthcare.
- People Helping With or Paying for Your Care: We may give out health information about you to the people you put on your list for us to notify such as family members helping with your medical care or someone who helps pay for your care.
- When You Let Us: we may also tell your family or friends about your health or may share minimally necessary amount of health information about you to someone helping when there is a disaster relief effort so your family can be told about your health status and where you are.
- Marketing: Many RMCHCS patients want information about programs, services and donations to our non-profit, the RMCHCS Foundation. If you do NOT want RMCHCS to give you this information, please call the RMCHCS Privacy Officer at (505) 863-7265.
- Research: With special cases, we may use and share minimally necessary health information about you for research use. All research, however, needs special permission. Before we use or share health information for research, you must sign a special research approval form.
- By Law: We will share minimally necessary health information about you when we must do so because of federal, state or local law.
- Health and Safety Problems: We may use and share a minimal amount of health information about you as needed to prevent a serious threat to your own health and safety or to the health and safety of the public or another person. We would only share with someone who is able to help prevent the threat.
Organ and Tissue Donors: If you are an organ donor, we may share minimally necessary health information as needed so organ or tissue donation or transplant can take place.
Armed Forces and Vets: If you are a member of the armed forces, we may share minimally necessary information as asked for by the armed forces. If you become a POW we may also need to share your health information with foreign armed forces.
Workers’ Compensation: We may share minimally necessary health information as needed for workers’ compensation or other programs. These programs help out with workers’ benefits. State and Federal laws control any sharing of this information.
Public Health: We may share a minimal amount of health information as needed for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:
- to prevent or control disease, injury or disability
- to report births or deaths
- to report child abuse or neglect
- to report vulnerable adult abuse
- to report reaction to medications or problems with products
- to notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition
- to notify the right government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of domestic violence. We will only share this information with your permission or when required by law
Health Reports: We may share minimally necessary health information as needed to a health office when it is the law. The government must over-see the healthcare system, government programs and make certain that we obey civil rights laws.
Lawsuits and Claims: If you are part of a lawsuit or a claim, we may share minimally necessary health information needed about you. We will share when there is a lawful need. But we share only if someone has already tried to tell you about this or tried to get an order that protects the information.
The Law: We may share minimally necessary health information as needed about you if we are asked to do so by an officer of the law:
- In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process
- To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person
- About the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement
- About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct
- About criminal conduct involving our practice
- In emergency circumstances to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
When there is a Death: We may also share minimally necessary health information about you as needed to a health officer, for example, to identify a dead person or to tell the cause of death. We may also share minimally necessary health information as needed about patients to funeral homes so they can do their jobs.
National Safety: We may share a minimal amount of health information about you as needed to federal law officers, as the law tells us we must.
Inmates: If you are an inmate or under the care of the law, we may need to share minimally necessary health information about you. This sharing would be needed (1) for another place to give you healthcare (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others or (3) for the safety and security of the jail or prison.
Rights About Your Healthcare Records
You have these rights about your healthcare records that we keep:
Right to Look at and Copy: You can look at and copy the health information used to make decisions about your care. This includes health and billing records but does not include psychotherapy notes or records. To look at and copy this health information, you need to write the RMCHCS Health Information Office. (The address is at the end of this policy.) We may charge a fee for the costs to copy and mail the information to you.
Right to Change: If you feel that any of the health information we have about you is wrong or that something is missing, you may ask us to make changes. As long as the information is kept by RMCHCS, you have a right to ask for a change. To make a change, you can write to the Health Information Office. You need to give us a reason for the change. We may say “no” to your request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason for the change. We may say “no” to your request if you ask us to change information that:
- was not made by us
- was made by a person who is no longer here to make the change
- is not part of the health information we keep
- is not part of the information you are allowed to look at and copy
- is right as it is written
Right to a List: You have the right to ask for a list of all the sharing we have made of your health information. This does not include people on our staff, but only persons who are not on our staff. To request a list of all the sharing of your health information, write to the RMCHCS Health Information Office. You need to give a time period that does not begin before April 14, 2003. The first request will be free. If you ask for this information more than once, we may charge you for the cost of making the list. We will tell you the cost and you can choose to continue, modify or withdraw your request.
Right to Ask for Information in Private: You have the right to ask that we tell you about health matters in a certain way or at a certain place. Maybe you want to ask that we only contact you at work or by mail. To ask to receive your health information in private, write to the Health Information Office. Tell us how or where you wish to be contacted. We will do as you ask, if what you ask is within reason.
Right to a Copy of this Notice: You have the right to a copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. To request a copy of this notice, write to the RMCHCS Privacy Officer.
Right to Ask for Limits: All the sharing we already make is needed. You have the right to ask for a limit on the health information we share about you for treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You have the right to ask for a limit on the health information we share about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment of your care. You also have the right to request a limit on the people who are able to get the information we share. However, we do not need to agree to what you ask. If we do agree, we will do what you ask unless the information is needed to give you emergency care. RMCHCS does not have to agree to your request for limits, but, we will try to do what you ask if it is within reason.
If you believe your privacy rights have not been honored, you may file a complaint with RMCHCS or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint, contact the RMCHCS Privacy Officer at 505-863-7265. All complaints must to be in writing.
If you are a patient in the hospital, your name, location and your health status will be listed in a patient directory and will be shared with anyone who asks for you by name, unless you ask not to be listed in the directory. This information will also be shared with the faith worker you choose – unless you ask that they NOT visit you. Behavioral Health Services (BHS) patients are not put on the patient list.
If you have any questions about his notice, please contact the Privacy Officer at 505 863-7265 or write to : Health Information Office 1901 Red Rock Drive Gallup, New Mexico 87301.