HIPAA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

HIPPA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center
Effective Date:  April 14, 2003
Review Date:  September 17, 2009
Review & Revised Date:  June 17, 2011

 

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.

 PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY

If you have any questions about this notice, please contact our Privacy Officer at (808) 871-7772.

Who will follow this notice: Community Clinic of Maui d/b/a Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center, including our clinics in Lahaina and KHAO and our Dental Clinic.

 This notice describes our privacy practices.  All these entities, sites, and locations follow the terms of this notice.  In addition, these entities, sites, and locations may share health information with each other for treatment, payment, or health care operations purposes described in this notice.

OUR PLEDGE REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION

We understand that health information about you and your health care is personal.  We are committed to protecting health information about you.  We create a record of the care and services you receive from us.   We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements.  This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by this health care practice, whether made by your personal doctor or others working in this office.  This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose health information about you.  We also describe your rights to the health information we keep about you, and describe certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of your health information.

We are required by law to:

  • make sure that health information that identifies you is kept private;
  • give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to health information about you; and
  • follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.

HOW MAY WE USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose health information.  For each category of uses or disclosures we will explain what we mean and try to give some examples.  Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed.  However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.

For Treatment:  We may use health information about you to provide you with health care treatment or services.  We may disclose health information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, health students, or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you.  They may work at our offices, at the hospital if you are hospitalized under our supervision, or at another doctor’s office, x-rays, pharmacy, to perform lab tests, to have prescriptions filled, or for other treatment purposes.  For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process.  In addition, the doctor may need to tell the dietitian at the hospital if you have diabetes so that we can arrange for appropriate meals.  We may also disclose health information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location.

For Payment:  We may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and operations of our health care practice.  These uses and disclosures are necessary to run our practice and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care.  For example, we may use health information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you.  We may also combine health information about many patients to decide what additional services we should offer, what services are not needed, whether certain new treatments are effective,  or to compare how we are doing with others and to see where we can make improvements.  We may remove information that identifies you from this set of health information so others may use it to study health care delivery without learning who our specific patients are.

Appointment Reminders:  We may use and disclose health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment.  Please let us know if you do not wish to have us contact you concerning your appointment, or if you wish to have us use a different telephone number or address to contact you for this purpose.

Research:  Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose health information about you for research purposes.  For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another, for the same condition.  All research projects, however, are subject to special approval process.  This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of health information, trying to balance the research needs with patients’ need for privacy of their health information.  Before we use or disclose health information for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process:  but we may disclose health information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project.  For example, we may help potential researchers look for patients with specific health needs, so long as the health information they review does not leave our facility.  We will almost always ask for a specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address, or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care.

As Required By Law:  We will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state, or local law.

To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety:  We may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.  Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.

Military and Veterans:  If you are a member of the armed forces or separated/ discharged from military services, we may release health information about you as required by military command authorities or the Department of Veterans Affairs as may be applicable.  We may also release health information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authorities.

Workers’ Compensation:  We release health information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs.  These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.

Public Health Risks:  We may disclose health information about you for public health activities.  These activities may include the following:

  • to prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
  • to report births and deaths;
  • to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
  • to notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
  • to notify person or organization required to receive information on FDA-Regulated 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 appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic/partner violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.

Health Oversight Activities:  We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law.  These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure.  These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.

Lawsuits and Disputes:  If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose health information about you in response to a court or administrative order.  We also disclose health information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.

Law Enforcement:  We may release health information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:

  • in reporting certain injuries, as required by law, gunshot wounds, burns, injuries to perpetrators of crime;
  • in response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process;
  • to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person:
    • Name and address
    • Date of birth or place of birth;
    • Social security number;
    • Blood type or Rh factor;
    • Type of injury;
    • Date and time of treatment and/or death, if applicable; and
    • A description of distinguishing physical characteristics.
  • About the victim of a crime, if the victim agrees to disclosure or under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the persons’ agreement;
  • About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
  • 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.

Coroners, Health Examiners and Funeral Directors:  We may release health information to a coroner or health examiner.  This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death.  We may also release health information about patients to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.

National Security and Intelligence Activities:  We may release health information to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.

Protective Services for the President and Others:  We may disclose health information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized person or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.

Inmates:  If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release health information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official.  This release would be necessary (1) for the institution to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

You have the following rights regarding health information we maintain about you:

Right to Inspect and Copy:  You have the right to inspect and receive a copy of health information that may be used to make decisions about your care.  Usually, this includes health and billing accounts.

To inspect or receive a copy of health information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must summit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer or Medical Records.  If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or supplies and services associated with your request.

Right to Amend:  If you feel that health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information.  To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing, submitted to the Privacy Officer, and must be contained on one page of paper, legibly handwritten or typed in at least 10 point font.  In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request for an amendment.

We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request.  In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:

  • was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
  • is not part of the health information kept by or for our practice;
  • is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect or copy; or
  • is accurate and complete.

Any amendment we make to your health information will be disclosed to those with whom we disclose information as previously specified.

Right to an Accounting of Disclosures:  You have the right to request a list accounting for any disclosures of your health information we have made, except for uses and disclosures for treatment, payment, and health care operations, as previously described.

To request this list of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer.  Your request must state the time period which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003.  The first list you request within a 12 month period will be free.  For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list.  We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.  We will mail you a list of disclosures in paper form within 30 days of your request, or notify you if we are unable to supply the list within that time period and by what date we can supply the list;  but this date will not exceed 60 days from the date you made the request.

Right to Request Restrictions:  You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information.  This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information and by law we must comply.  You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in the Notice of Privacy Practices.  Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want to the restriction to apply.  By law, you may request that we restrict the disclosure of your PHI for treatment purposes.

We are not required to agree to your request for restrictions if it is not feasible for us to ensure our compliance or believe it will negatively impact the care we may provide you.  If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment.  To request a restriction, you must make your request in writing to the Privacy Officer.  In your request, you must tell us what information you want to limit and to whom you want the limits to apply; for example, use of any information by a specified nurse, or disclosure of specified surgery to your spouse.

Right to Request Confidential Communications:  You have the right to request that we communicate with you about health matters in a certain way or at a certain location.  For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail to a post office box.

To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to the Privacy Officer.  We will not ask you the reason for your request.  We will accommodate all reasonable requests.  Your requests must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.

Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice:  You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice at any time.  However, at the time of first service rendered after April 14, 2003, it is required that you receive a paper copy.  To obtain a copy, please request it from the Privacy Officer.

CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE

We reserve the right to change this notice.  We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for health information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future.  We will post a copy of the current notice in our facility.  The notice will contain on the first page, in the top right-hand corner, the effective date.  In addition each time you register for treatment or health care services, we will offer you a copy of the current notice in effect.

COMPLAINTS

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  To file a complaint with us, contact our Privacy Officer.  All complaints must be submitted in writing.  You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.

Office of Civil Rights, DHHS

90 7th Street, Suite 4-100

San Francisco, CA 94103

415-437-8310

 

OTHER USES OF HEALTH INFORMATION

Other uses and disclosures of health information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission.  If you provide us permission to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time.  If you revoke your permission, we will not longer use or disclose health information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization.  You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain your records of the care that we provided to you.

Acknowledgement of Receipt of this Notice

We will request that you sign a separate form or notice acknowledging you have received a copy of the notice.  If you choose, or are not able to sign, a staff member will sign their name, and date.  This acknowledgement will be filed with your records.

 

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