Blog Index

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICE

1.  This notice describes how medical information about your child, ward, or guardian may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. 

2.  OUR DUTY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION. 

 Individually identifiable information about your past, present, or future health or condition the provision of health care to you, or payment for the health care is considered "Protected Health Information" (PHI).  We are required to extend certain protections to your PHI and to give you this Notice about our privacy practices that explains how, when and why we may use and disclose necessary PHI to accomplish the purpose of the use or disclosure.

We are required to follow the privacy practices described in this Notice, though we reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time.  If we do so, we will post a new Notice.  You may request a copy of the new notice from the facility administrator.

3.  HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION.

 USES AND DISCLOSURES RELATING TO TREATMENT, PAYMENT, OR HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS.

Generally, we must have your consent to use/disclose your PHI.

For Treatment:  We may disclose your PHI to doctors, nurses, and other health care personnel who are involved in providing health care to our clients.  For example:  the PHI of a client will be shared among members of his/her treatment team, attending staff, pharmacists who have a need to know about PHI and any and all individuals who must be aware of a client's PHI in order to provide care for the client.

To Obtain Payment:  We may use/disclose PHI in order to bill and collect payment for health care services.  For example, we may release portions of PHI to Medicaid and/or a private insurer to get paid for services that were provided to the client.

For Health Care Operations:  We may use/disclose individual PHI in the course of operating our facility.  For example:  we may use PHI in evaluating the quality of services provided, or disclose PHI to our accountant or attorney for audit purposes.  We may disclose PHI to designated staff in our corporate office or any other location that provides support services for similar purposes.  Release of your PHI to DHHS and/or a Medicaid agency might also be necessary to determine your eligibility for publicly funded services.

Appointment Reminders:  Unless you provide us with alternative instructions, we may send appointment reminders and other similar materials to your home.

Exceptions:  Although consent is usually required for the use/disclosure of PHI for the activities described above, the law allows us to use/disclose PHI without consent in certain situations.  For example, we may disclose PHI if needed for emergency treatment if it is not reasonably possible to obtain consent prior to the disclosure and we think that consent would be given, if able.  Also, if we are required by law to provide treatment, we may use/disclose PHI for treatment, payment and operations with obtaining prior consent.

  • Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorizations:  for uses and disclosures beyond treatment, payment and operations purposes we are required to have written authorization, unless the use of disclosure falls within one of the exceptions described below.  Like consents, authorizations can be revoked at any time to stop future uses/disclosures except to the extent that we have already undertaken an action in reliance upon previous authorization.
  •  Uses and Disclosures Not Requiring Consent or Authorizations:  The law provides that we may use/disclose PHI without consent or authorization in the following circumstances:

 A.  When required by law:  We may disclose PHI when a law requires that we report information about suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence, or relating to suspected criminal activity, or in response to a court order.  We must also disclose PHI to authorities who monitor compliance with these privacy requirements.

B.  For public health activities:  We may disclose PHI when we are required to collect information about disease or injury, or to report vital statistics to the public health authority.  For example, in the case of contracting an infectious disease.

C.  For health oversight activities:  We may disclose PHI to our corporate office, the protection and advocacy agency, or another agency responsible for monitoring the health care system for such purposes as reporting or investigation of unusual incidents.

D.  Relating to decedents:  We may disclose PHI relating to an individual's death to coroners, medical examiners or funeral directors, and to organ procurement organizations relating to organ, eye, or tissue donations or transplants.

E.  To avert threat to health or safety:  In order to avoid a serious threat to health or safety, we may disclose PHI as necessary to law enforcement or other persons who can reasonably prevent or lessen the threat of harm.

  • Uses and Disclosures Requiring You to Have an Opportunity to Object:  In the following situations, we may disclose PHI if we inform you about the disclosure in advance and you do not object.  However, if there is an emergency situation  and you cannot be given your opportunity to object, disclosure may be made if it is consistent with prior expressed wishes and disclosure is determined to be in the client's best interests.  You must be informed and given an opportunity to object to further disclosure as soon as you are able to do so.
  • Client Directories:  A client's name, location, general condition, and religious affiliation may be put into a client directory for use by clergy and callers or visitors who ask for the client by name.  To families, friends or others involved in our clients' care:  We may share with these people information directly related to family's friends, or other person's involvement in the clients' care, or payment for such care.  We may also share PHI with these people to notify them about the client's location, general condition, or death.

 4.  Your Rights Regarding Protected Health Information.  You have the following rights relating to protected health information:

To request restrictions on uses/disclosures:  You have the right to ask that we limit how we use or disclose PHI.  We will consider your request, but are not legally bound to agree to restriction.  To the extent that we do agree to any restrictions on our use/disclosure of PHI, we will put the agreement in writing and abide by it except in emergency situations.  We cannot agree to limit use/disclosures that are required by law.

To choose how we contact you:  You have the right to ask that we send you information at an alternative address or by an alternative means.  We must agree to your request as long as it is reasonable for us to do so.

To inspect and copy PHI:  Unless your access is restricted for clear and documented treatment reasons, you have a right to see protected health information if you put your request in writing.  We will respond to your request within 30 days.  If we deny your access, we will give you written reasons for the denial and explain any right to have the denial reviewed.  If you want copies of PHI, a charge for copying may be imposed, but may be waived, depending on your circumstances.  You have a right to choose what portions of information you want copied and to have prior information on the cost of copying.

To request amendment of PHI:  If you believe that there is a mistake or missing information in our PHI record, you may request, in writing, that we correct or add to the record.  We will respond within 60 days of receiving your request.  We may deny the request if we determine that the PHI is: (i) correct and complete; (ii) not created by us and/or not part of our records, or; (iii) not permitted to be disclosed.  Any denial will state the reasons for denial and explain your rights to have the request and denial, along with any statement in response that you provide, appended to the PHI.  If we approve the request for amendment, we will change the PHI and so inform you, and tell others that need to know about the change in the PHI.

To find out what disclosures have been made:  You have the right to get a list of when, to whom, for what purpose and what content of PHI has been released other than instances of disclosure for which you gave consent: (i.e. for treatment, payment operations, to you or your family or any facility directory).  This list also will not include any disclosures made for national security purposes, to law enforcement officials or correctional facilities on/or before April 2003.  We will respond to your written request for such a list within 60 days of receiving it.  Your request can relate to disclosures going as far back as six years.  There will not be a charge for up to one such list each year.  There may be a charge for more frequent requests.

To receive this notice:  You have a right to receive a paper copy of this Notice and/or an electronic copy by email upon request.

5.  How to Complain About Our Privacy Practices:  If you think we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about your access to PHI, you may file a complaint with the person listed in Section 6 below.  You also may file a written complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint.

6.  Contact Person for Information, or to Submit a Complaint:  If you have questions about this Notice or any complaints about our privacy practices, please contact:

Rita H. Oglesbee

Executive Director/QIDP Assistant

t.l.c. home, inc.,

1775 Hawkins Avenue

Sanford, NC 27330