NOTICE OF PRIVACY INFORMATION 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.
A. PURPOSE OF THE NOTICE.
This Notice will provide you with information regarding our privacy practices and applies to all of your personal health information (PHI) created and/or maintained at our agency, including any information that we receive from other providers or health care facilities. The Notice describes the ways in which we may use or disclose your personal health information and also describes your rights and our obligations concerning such uses or disclosures.
We will abide by the terms of this Notice, including any future revisions that we may make to the Notice as required or authorized by law. We reserve the right to change this Notice and to make the revised or changed Notice effective for personal health information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will provide directly to you, as well as, post a copy of the current notice and revised changes in the privacy practices, (which will identify its effective date), in our offices and on our website at www.stepbystepusa.com.
B. USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
- FOR REHABILITATIVE/MEDICAL TREATMENT, PAYMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL OPERATIONS.
We may use or disclose certain personal health information about you for:
- Rehabilitative/medical Treatment. To provide you with rehabilitative/medical treatment and services. We may disclose your personal health information to doctors, nurses, therapists, psychologists, counselors, or other professionals actively engaged involved in your rehabilitative/medical treatment. (Example: Your PHI history may be shared with a primary care/clinical physician for rehabilitative and/or medical treatment.)
- Payment. So that we may bill and receive payment for you from an insurance company, county or state, or another third party for the rehabilitative/medical services you receive from us, or regarding necessary collection of room and board in consumerial programs. (Example: We may bill a county for services provided. The information on or accompanying the bill may identify you as well as your diagnosis and services provided.)
- Organizational Operations. In order to perform the necessary administrative, educational, quality assurance and business functions of our facility. (Example: We may use your personal health information to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We also may use your personal health information to evaluate whether certain treatment or services offered by our agency are effective.)
- SPECIAL SITUATIONS
We may use or disclose your personal health information in certain special situations as described below.
- Appointment Reminders.
- Licensing Authorities and Accrediting Bodies to obtain necessary certification.
- Appropriate Commonwealth Of PA Personnel in regard to an investigation of alleged abuse.
- In Response To An Emergency Medical Situation to prevent serious risk of bodily harm or death.
- To parents or guardians to obtain consent to medical treatment.
- Family Members and Friends involved in your care or who help pay for your care. We may disclose your personal health information to family members or friends in instances when you are unable to agree or object to such disclosures, provided that we feel it is in your best interests to make such disclosures and the disclosures relate to that family member or friend’s involvement in your care.
- Public Relations to use for agency public relations purposes (i.e., agency video, brochures, etc.), but only after purpose is reviewed and consent is received.
- OTHER PERMITTED OR REQUIRED USES AND DISCLOSURES
There are certain instances in which we may be required or permitted by law to use or disclose your personal health information without your permission. These instances are as follows:
- As required by law to evaluate whether we are in compliance with the federal privacy regulations.
- Public Health Activities who are authorized by law to receive and collect personal health information for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability; to report births, deaths, suspected abuse or neglect, reactions to medications; or to facilitate product recalls.
- Law Enforcement officers when a crime has been committed on Step By Step premises or against agency staff. (no consent required)
- Court Mental Health Review Officer Or Attorneys assigned to represent you, in the course of legal proceedings authorized by the Pennsylvania Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966.
C. YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION.
You have the right to revoke a written authorization at any time as long as you do so in writing. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose your personal health information for the purposes identified in the authorization, except to the extent that we have already taken some action in reliance upon your authorization. You have the right to access the documents of your own rehabilitation, service or habilitation record upon written request and approval by the Executive Director/CEO. You also have the right to:
- Right to Inspect and Copy personal health information that may be used to make decisions about your care. We may deny your request in certain limited circumstances. If you are denied access to your personal health information, you may request that the denial be reviewed.
- Right to Request an Amendment of your personal health information that is maintained by or for our agency and is used to make health care decisions about you. We may deny your request if it is not properly submitted or does not include a reason to support your request, or if the information sought to be amended: (a) was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment; (b) is not part of the information that is kept by or for our facility; (c) is not part of the information which you are permitted to inspect and copy; or (d) is accurate and complete.
- Right to an Accounting of Disclosures of your personal health information made by us. This accounting will not include disclosures of personal health information that we made for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations or pursuant to a written authorization that you have signed.
- Right to Request Restrictions or limitations on the personal health 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 personal health information we disclose about you to someone, such as a family member or friend, who is involved in your care or in the payment of your care. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information regarding a particular treatment that you received. We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, that agreement must be in writing and signed by you and us.
- Right to Request Confidential Communications with you about your health care in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you by mail.
- Right to a Paper Copy of this Notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this Notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this Notice.
D. QUESTIONS OR COMPLAINTS.
If you have any questions regarding this Notice, wish to receive additional information about our privacy practices, or would like to file a complaint with our facility, please contact our Privacy Officer at Step By Step, Inc. Cross Valley Commons, 744 Kidder Street, Wilkes-Bare, Pa 18702. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our facility or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
This Notice of Privacy Practices is effective April 14, 2003.