Notice of Privacy Practices
We are required by law to protect the privacy of your health information. We are also required to provide you with this notice, which explains how we may use information about you and when we can give out or "disclose" that information to others. You also have rights regarding your health information that are described in this notice. We are required by law to abide by the terms of this notice.
The terms "information" and "health information" in this notice include any information that we maintain that reasonably can be used to identify you and that relates to your physical or mental health condition, the provision of health care to you, or the payment for your health care.
We have the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this notice. If we make a material change to our privacy practices, we will provide you with a revised notice at your first visit after the revision or electronically as permitted by applicable law. In all cases, we will post the revised notice on our website. We reserve the right to make any revised notice effective for information we already have and for information that we receive in the future.
Use and Disclosure of Health Information
Transitions Hospice Care may use your health information, including photographs, for purposes of providing you treatment, obtaining payment for your care and conducting health care operations. We may share your health information for these purposes verbally, in paper format, electronically, or via other standard means. Transitions Hospice Care has established policies to reasonably protect your health information as defined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules when using and disclosing your health information.
To Provide Treatment
Transitions Hospice Care may use your health information to coordinate treatment with others involved in your care, such as your physician, members of the care team and other health care professionals who assist in providing care. For example, physicians involved in your care will need information about your symptoms in order to prescribe appropriate medications. Transitions Hospice Care also may disclose your health care information to individuals outside the organization who are involved in your care including family members, clergy who you have designated, pharmacists, suppliers of medical equipment or other health care professionals.
To Obtain Payment
We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services we provide to you, unless you request that we restrict such disclosures to your health plan when you have paid out-of-pocket and in full for services rendered.
To Conduct Health Care Operations
Transitions Hospice Care may use and disclose health information for its own operations in order to facilitate its function and as necessary to provide quality care to all. For example, Transitions Hospice Care may use or disclose your health information to perform quality assessment activities or evaluate the performance of its staff.
In addition to our use of your health information for treatment, payment or health care operations, you may give us written authorization to use your health information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it is in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your health information for any reason except those described in this notice.
Persons Involved In Care
We may use or disclose health information to notify or assist in the notification of (including identifying or locating) a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care, of your location, your general condition or your death. If you are present, then prior to use or disclosure of your health information, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to such uses or disclosures. In event of your incapacity or emergency circumstances, we will disclose health information based on a determination using our professional judgement disclosing only health information that is directly relevant to the person’s involvement in your health care.
For Appointment Reminders
Transitions Hospice Care may use and disclose your health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for a visit.
For Treatment Alternatives
Transitions Hospice Care may use and disclose your health information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
Transitions Hospice Care provides some services by using outside vendors (business associates). Transitions Hospice Care may share your information with them so that they can perform as Transitions Hospice Care has asked them to do. To protect your
information, Transitions Hospice Care requires the business associate to contractually agree to appropriately safeguard your information.
When Legally Required
Transitions Hospice Care will disclose your health information when it is required to do so by any Federal, State or local law.
When There are Risks to Public Health
Transitions Hospice Care may disclose your health information for public activities and purposes like reporting vital events such as birth or death, tracking medical devices or reporting communicable diseases.
To Report Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence
Transitions Hospice Care is allowed to notify government authorities if it believes a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. Transitions Hospice Care will make this disclosure only when specifically required or authorized by law or when the patient agrees to the disclosure.
To Conduct Health Oversight Activities
Transitions Hospice Care may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities including audits, civil administrative or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure, or disciplinary action. Transitions Hospice Care, however, may not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information is not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.
In Connection with Judicial and Administrative Proceedings
Transitions Hospice Care may disclose your health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to court or administrative order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process, but only when Transitions Hospice Care makes reasonable efforts to either notify you about the request or to obtain an order protecting your health information.
For Law Enforcement Purposes
As permitted or required by State law, Transitions Hospice Care may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for certain law enforcement purposes such as to report:
• Certain types of wounds, or
• To help identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person, to report a crime; or
• If there is a suspicion that your death was the result of criminal conduct.
To Coroners and Medical Examiners
Transitions Hospice Care may disclose your health information to coroners and medical examiners for purposes of determining your cause of death or for other duties, as authorized by law.
To Funeral Directors
Transitions Hospice Care may disclose your health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law and if necessary, to carry out their duties with respect to your funeral arrangements. Transitions Hospice Care may disclose your health information to funeral directors prior to and in reasonable anticipation of your death, if deemed necessary to fulfill their duties.
For Organ, Eye or Tissue Donation
In the event you have chosen to be a donor, Transitions Hospice Care may use or disclose your health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking or transplantation of organs, eyes, or tissue for the purpose of facilitating the donation and transplantation.
For Research Purposes
Transitions Hospice Care may, under very select circumstances, use your health information for research. Before Transitions Hospice Care discloses any of your health information for such research purposes, the project will be subject to an extensive approval process.
In the Event of a Serious Threat to Health or Safety
Transitions Hospice Care may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, disclose your health information if Transitions Hospice Care, in good faith, believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public.
For Specified Government Functions
In certain circumstances, the Federal regulations authorize Transitions Hospice Care to use or disclose your health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military and veterans, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, medical suitability determinations and inmates and law enforcement custody.
For Workers’ Compensation
Transitions Hospice Care may release your health information for workers’ compensation or similar programs.
Authorization to Use or Disclose Health Information
Other than as stated above, Transitions Hospice Care will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. You may revoke that authorization in writing at any time. However, Transitions Hospice Care is unable to take back any disclosures it has already made with your permission and that Transitions Hospice Care is required to retain for its records of care.
Uses and Disclosures That You Authorize
Other than as stated above, we will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. Your written authorization is required for most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes; uses and disclosures of health information for marketing purposes; and disclosures that are a sale of health information. You may revoke your authorization in writing at any time except to the extent that we have taken action in reliance upon the authorization.
If Transitions Hospice Care participates in a Health Information Exchange (“HIE”) to allow timely and secure sharing of your information with other health care providers, health care entities, or their business associates as permitted by law, you will have a chance to opt- in to participate in the HIE. HIEs can provide faster access, better coordination of care and assist providers and public health officials in making more informed decisions about your care.
Your Rights with Respect to Your Health Information
You have the following rights regarding your health information that Transitions Hospice Care maintains. If you wish to exercise this right, you may contact the Privacy Officer.
Right to Request Restrictions
You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your health information. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in emergency). In the event you pay out-of-pocket and in full for services rendered, you may request that we not share your health information with your health plan. We must agree to this request.
Right to Receive Confidential Communications
You have the right to request that Transitions Hospice Care communicate with you in alternative means. For example, you may ask that Transitions Hospice Care only conduct communications pertaining to your health information with you privately with no other family members present. Transitions Hospice Care will not request that you provide any reasons for your request and will attempt to honor your reasonable requests for confidential communications.
Right to Inspect and Copy Your Health Information
You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, including billing records. If you request a copy of your health information, Transitions Hospice Care may charge a reasonable fee for copying and assembling costs associated with your request.
Right to an Electronic Copy of Electronic Medical Records
If your protected health information is maintained in an electronic format, you have the right to request that an electronic copy of your record be given to you or transmitted to another individual or entity. We will make every effort to provide access to your protected health information in the form or producible in the form or format, you request your record will be provided in either our standard electronic format or if you do not want this form or format, a readable hard copy form. We may charge you a reasonable, cost- based fee for the labor associated with transmitting the electronic medical record.
Right To Amend Health Care Information
You or your representative has the right to request that Transitions Hospice Care amend your records, if you believe that your health information is incorrect or incomplete. That request must be in writing and explain why the amendment is necessary. We may deny your request under certain circumstances.
Right To An Accounting Of Disclosures
You or your representative have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by Transitions Hospice Care for reasons, other than treatment, payment or operations. The request must specify the time period for the accounting which may not be older than six (6) years. Transitions Hospice Care will provide the first accounting you request during any 12-month period without charge. Subsequent accounting requests may be subject to a cost-based fee.
Right To A Paper Copy Of This Notice
You or your representatives have a right to a separate copy of this Notice at any time, even if you or your representative have received this Notice previously. You may also obtain a copy of the current version of Transitions Hospice Care ’s Notice of Privacy Practices at its website at Transitionshospice.com.
Right to Receive Notice of Breach of Protected Health Information
In the event of any unauthorized acquisition, access, use or disclosure of Protected Health Information; Transitions Hospice Care, will fully comply with the breach notification requirements, including any and all regulations which have been or may be promulgated, which will include notification to you of any impact that breach may have had on you.
Duties of Transitions Hospice Care
Transitions Hospice Care is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide this Notice of its duties and privacy practices to you or your representative. Transitions Hospice Care is required to abide by the terms of this Notice as may be amended from time to time. Transitions Hospice Care reserves the right to change the terms of its Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all health information that it maintains. If Transitions Hospice Care makes material changes to its Notice, Transitions Hospice Care will make a copy of the revised Notice available to you or your appointed representative.
You have the right to express complaints to Transitions Hospice Care and to the Secretary of US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights, if you believe that your privacy rights have been violated. Complaint forms are available at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/file/index.html. Complaints to Transitions Hospice Care should be made in writing to HIPAA Privacy Officer, PO Box 898, Cassville, Georgia 30123. Transitions Hospice Care encourages you to express any concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information and offers its assurance that you will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint.
Transitions Hospice Care has designated the HIPAA Privacy Officer as its contact person for all issues regarding patient privacy and your rights under the Federal privacy standards. To make a request or ask a question, you may contact the HIPAA Privacy Officer at PO Box 898, Cassville, GA 30123 or at (470) 377-2193.