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.
Your privacy is important to us, and we understand your desire to keep medical information about you confidential. We are committed to protecting the privacy of your medical information, and to comply with applicable state and federal law in doing so. In the course of assessing your condition and health care needs, and in the course of coordinating your at-home care and in arranging referrals to other health care providers, we will create a record of your care requirements, and may obtain information about your past, present or future physical or mental health and related health care services. This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use or disclose your medical information. It also explains your rights regarding medical information we maintain about you. We are required by law to:
- maintain the privacy of medical information that identifies you;
- provide you a copy of this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices; and
- abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect.
How We May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You
The following categories describe and give examples of the different ways that we may use and disclose medical information:
- For Treatment. We may use medical information about you to provide or coordinate the provision of medical treatment or services. For example, as your care advocate and coordinator, we may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, and other medical care personnel and providers, as well as family members, who are involved in your care. We may also share medical information about you in order to coordinate different aspects of your care, such as in-home nursing, medical equipment, respiratory services, and physical therapy.
- For Payment. Your medical information may be disclosed to health and disability insurers or a third party for the purpose of payment or reimbursement for treatment and services you receive. For example, we may give your insurer information about in-home or outpatient care you received so they will pay us or reimburse you. We may also disclose medical information about you in order to obtain prior approval, to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment, or to resolve an appeal of denial of benefits. We may also disclose such medical information in the course of coordinating payment for services provided to you by third parties to whom we have referred you.
- For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose medical information about you for our health care operations, to ensure you receive the best possible level of care. For example, we may use medical information to assess your condition and determine your changing health care needs and the need for referral to outside service providers, if any. We may also use or disclose medical information to review our treatment and services, to evaluate the performance of our staff, and to survey you on your satisfaction with the care you are receiving. Some of the medical information we obtain about you may be transferred to a computer program for the purposes of retrieval, storage, billing and payment purposes. Seniorcorp, Inc. maintains policies to ensure the confidentiality of all paper and computer records containing your private medical information, and we pledge that such records are kept secure in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.
Subject to applicable state law, Seniorcorp, Inc. is also permitted or required to use or disclose medical information for the following purposes; however, some of these uses and disclosures may never occur:
- Appointment Reminders. We may use or disclose your medical information to remind you of an appointment.
- Treatment Alternatives. We may use or disclose your medical information to tell you about possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
- Health Related Benefits and Services. We may use or disclose your medical information to tell you about health related benefits or services.
- Business Associates. We contract with business associates to perform certain services or functions on our behalf. We may disclose medical information about you to our business associates so that they can perform the job we have asked them to do. To protect your privacy, we require our business associates to appropriately safeguard medical information they receive from us.
As Required by Law. We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal or state law, including laws related to public health risks.
- Worker’s Compensation. We may release medical information about you for worker’s compensation or similar programs.
- Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a valid subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain a protective order.
- Law Enforcement. We may disclose medical information about you for certain law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena or other lawful process.
- Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors. We may disclose medical information about you to coroners and medical examiners to perform certain functions authorized by law, such as identifying a deceased person or determining cause of death. We may also disclose medical information about you to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties.
- Cadaveric, Organ, Eye or Tissue Donation. We may use or disclose medical information about you to facilitate the donation and transplantation of cadaveric organs, eyes, and tissue consistent with your wishes in this regard.
- Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may disclose medical information about you that we believe is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.
- Victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We may disclose medical information about you to a government authority, such as a social service or protective service agency, if we reasonably believe you are a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, but only where you agree to such disclosure or when such disclosure is required or authorized by law.
- Research. Under certain limited circumstances, and in accordance with applicable law, we may disclose medical information about you for research purposes.
Your Rights Regarding Medical Information We Maintain About You
You have the following rights regarding your medical information:
- Right to Obtain a Copy of This Notice Upon Request. You may request a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. Such requests may be directed by phone or in writing to our Privacy Contact Person at the address and phone number listed at the end of this Notice.
- Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to review and obtain a copy of medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care, such as medical and billing records. Such requests must be submitted in writing to our Privacy Contact Person at the address listed at the end of this Notice. We may impose reasonable, cost-based fees for the cost of copying and postage. In certain limited circumstances, we may deny your request to inspect and copy. If you are denied access to medical information about you, you may request that the denial be reviewed by another licensed health care professional.
- Right to Amend. If you feel that the medical information we maintain about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may request that we amend it. You may request an amendment for as long as we maintain the information that is the subject of the request. To request an amendment, you must send a written request to our Privacy Contact Person at the address listed at the end of this Notice. You must include a reason that supports your request. In certain cases, we may deny your request for amendment. If your request is denied, you will be notified in writing of such denial and will be given an opportunity to submit a statement of disagreement for inclusion in our records.
- Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have a right to receive an accounting of the disclosures we have made of medical information about you. The accounting will exclude certain disclosures, such as disclosures made for purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations, disclosures to family and friends involved in your care, disclosures you authorize, and other disclosures for which an accounting is not required by law.
To request an accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to our Privacy Contact Person at the address listed at the end of this Notice. Your request must specify the time period for which you wish to obtain an accounting; this time period may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. The first accounting you request within a twelve month period will be provided free of charge, but you may be charged for the cost of providing additional accountings. 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.
- Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request restrictions on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to persons involved in your care or the payment for your care, such as a family member or friend. We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment. To request restrictions, you must send a written request to our Privacy Contact Person at the address listed at the end of this Notice. You must specify the exact information you want to limit, the specific type of use or disclosure of such information you wish to limit, and to whom you want such limitations to apply.
- Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you may request that we contact you on a mobile phone number instead of your home number, or that bills be sent to a post office box rather than your home address. To request confidential communications, you must send a written request to our Privacy Contact Person at the address listed at the end of this Notice. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Other Uses and Disclosures of Medical Information
We will obtain your written permission before using or disclosing your medical information for purposes other than those provided for above or as otherwise permitted or required by law. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission in writing at any time. Upon receipt of the written revocation, we will stop using or disclosing medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization, except to the extent that we have already taken action in reliance on the authorization.
Changes to the Notice of Privacy Practices
Seniorcorp, Inc. reserves the right to change its practices regarding the use and disclosure of medical information and to make changes or revisions to this Notice, consistent with applicable law. We will provide any revised notice to you within sixty days of revision.
Complaints and Additional Information
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our Privacy Contact Person at the address listed below or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint. You may direct specific requests or questions regarding your medical information to:
Seniorcorp Privacy Contact Person
4524 Wishart Road, Suite 200
Virginia Beach, VA 23455