Notice of Privacy Practices
Effective Date: November 17, 2015
Our Legal Duty
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.
AllHealth CHOICE and its employees are dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your personal health information (“PHI”) as required by applicable federal and state law. The privacy of your health information is important to us and we at AllHealth CHOICE are committed to treating and using protected health information about you responsibly. Federal and State laws require us to protect the privacy of your health information and to provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices, and to inform you of your rights, and our legal responsibilities concerning your health information or PHI, which is information that identifies you and that relates to your physical or mental health condition. We must follow the privacy practices in this Notice while it is in effect. This Notice takes effect on the date listed at the top, and will remain in effect until we replace it and this applies to all protected health information as defined by Federal Regulations.
We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time, as allowed by law. This includes the right to make changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our Notice effective for all health information that we maintain, including health information we created or received before we made the changes. Prior to a substantial change to this Notice related to the uses or disclosures of your PHI, your rights or duties, we will revise and distribute this Notice.
Permitted Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
The following are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health information that are permitted under HIPAA. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but are meant to describe types of uses and disclosures that may be made of the health information that is collected from your entry into our CHARLIE system, recorded by our health professionals into our Electronic Health Record, and provided by other healthcare professionals that are involved in your care.
Disclosure to You: Although your health record is the property of AllHealth CHOICE, we must disclose your Protected Health Information to you, or someone who has the legal right to act on your behalf. You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this Notice of Information Practices upon request, inspect and copy your health record, and amend your health record. In addition you have the right to obtain an accounting of the disclosures of your health information, request communications of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations, and request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information. You may revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that actions has already been taken.
Disclosure for Treatment: Your Protected Health Information may be used or disclosed by you or your authorized caregivers, including AllHealth CHOICE, to provide, coordinate, or mange your healthcare and any other related services. We may disclose your PHI to a physician or other health care provider providing treatment to you. For example, we may disclose medical information about you to physicians, nurses, technicians, or personnel who are involved with the administration of your care. It is a means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care. It can be a tool in educating health professionals, a source of data for medical research, and a source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of this state and the nation.
Disclosure for Payment: Your protected health information may be used and disclosed, if needed, by you or your authorized caregivers, including AllHealth CHOICE, to obtain payment for your healthcare services. We may disclose your PHI to bill and collect payment for services we provide to you. For example, we may send a bill to you or to a third party payor for the rendering of service by us. The bill may contain information that identifies you, your diagnosis and procedures and supplies used. We may need to disclose this information to insurance companies to establish insurance eligibility benefits for you. We may also provide your PHI to our business associates, such as billing companies, claims processing companies and others that process our health care claims.
Disclosure to Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose, as needed, your Protected Health Information in order to support the business activities and operations of AllHealth CHOICE. Any use or disclosure would involve the minimum necessary information to do the job, to the minimum number of people, and only to those who have signed a written agreement to comply with HIPAA’s Privacy and Security restrictions protecting your health information. These activities include, but are not limited to, technical support, computer software business associates, quality assessment and improvement activities, to evaluate the performance of the health care services you received, and conducting or arranging for other business activities. We may also provide your PHI to accountants, attorneys, consultants and others to make sure we comply with the laws that govern us.
We will share your protected health information with third party “business associates” that perform various activities for our company. These business associates are covered by the same privacy laws, and are legally obligated to protect the privacy of your protected health information.
In addition, we may use your protected health information, as necessary, to provide you with information about products and services that may be of interest or benefit to you and your health status.
With Your Authorization: You may give AllHealth CHOICE 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 uses or disclosures permitted by your authorization prior to your revocation.
If Required By Law: AllHealth CHOICE may use or disclose your protected health information for law enforcement purposes if the use or disclosure is required by law. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and will be limited to the requirements of the laws. You will be notified, if required by law, of any uses or disclosures. For example, the law may require us to report instances of abuse, neglect or domestic violence; to report certain injuries such as gunshot wounds; or to disclose PHI to assist law enforcement in locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person. We will inform you or your representative if we disclose your PHI because we believe you are a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, unless we determine that informing you or your representative would place you at risk. In addition, we must provide PHI to comply with an order in a legal or administrative proceeding. Finally, we may be required to provide PHI in response to a subpoena discovery request or other lawful process, but only if efforts have been made, by us or the requesting party, to contact you about the request or to obtain an order to protect the requested PHI.
Disaster Relief: AllHealth CHOICE may use or disclose your health information to a government or private entity (such as FEMA or Red Cross) to assist in disaster relief efforts, unless you object.
People Involved in Your Care: Your protected health information will be available to those people you identify as being involved with your care or payment for care, unless you object. Those involved with your care could be family members, friends, Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, personal representatives, or any individuals that you identify, who have been set up in the AllHealth CHOICE system as your Authorized Caregivers. You have the right to identify an account manager that you designate who can determine to which of your other Caregivers your protected health information can be disclosed. Before they can access this data, each Caregiver will be required to agree to protect the privacy of your health information. Your protected health information will also be available to persons allowed by you to utilize or view your touchscreen AllHealth CHOICE system, unless your account manager turns off the availability setting based on your specific written request.
New or Marketing Activities: A representative of AllHealth CHOICE may contact you or one of your family members to discuss whether or not you want to participate in a media or news story or a marketing campaign about your services. We will not use your protected health information for these types of communications without your written authorization.
Public Benefit: We may use or disclose your protected health information as authorized by law for the following purposes deemed to be in the public interest or benefit:
- As required by law;
- To report adult abuse, neglect or domestic violence;
- To coroners and medical examiners for the purposes of identifying a deceased person or determining the cause of death, and to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties;
- In response to court and administrative orders and other lawful processes;
- To correctional institutions regarding inmates;
- To health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law. These activities include audits; civil , administrative or criminal investigations or proceedings; inspections; licensure or disciplinary actions; or other activities necessary for oversight of the health care system, government programs and compliance with civil rights laws;
- To law enforcement officials pursuant to subpoenas and other lawful processes, concerning crime victims, suspicious deaths, crimes on our premises, reporting crimes in emergencies, and for purposes of identifying or locating a suspect or other person;
- To the military and to federal officials if you are active military or a veteran, we may disclose your PHI as required by military command authorities. We may also be required to disclose PHI to authorized federal officials for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and national security activities;
- To organ procurement organizations if you are an organ donor, or have not indicated that you do not wish to be a donor we may disclose your PHI to facilitate organ, eye, or tissue donation and transplantation;
- For public health activities, we may disclose your PHI to public health or other authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability, or charged with collecting public health data, including disease and vital statistics reporting, child abuse reporting, FDA oversight, and to employers regarding work-related illness or injury;
- In connection with certain research purposes and activities, we may disclose your PHI, but only if we have protections and protocols in place to ensure the privacy of your PHI;
- If necessary to avert a serious threat to the health or safety of you or the public;
- As authorized by State Worker’s Compensation laws.
- We may disclose your PHI if you require emergency treatment or are unable to communicate with us.
Disclosures Requiring Written Authorization
- Not Otherwise Permitted: In any other situation not described under the “Public Benefit” section listed-above, we may not disclose your PHI without your written revocable authorization.
- Psychotherapy Notes: We must receive your written authorization to disclose psychotherapy notes, except for certain treatment, payment or health care operations activities.
- Marketing and Sale of PHI: We must receive your written authorization for any disclosure or PHI for marketing purposes or for any disclosure which is a sale of PHI.
Your Health Information Rights
Access: You have the right to receive a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices upon request. You have the right to look at or obtain copies of your protected health information, with limited exceptions, for as long as we maintain your medical record. This information is available to you and your Caregivers through the normal use of the AllHealth CHOICE CHARLIE system. You may also receive an electronic copy of your health information that appears in CHARLIE in comma separated value file format by making a request in writing to AllHealth CHOICE. You may receive printed copies of your protected health information contained in our Electronic Health Record by making a request in writing to AllHealth CHOICE. You must make a written request for access to your PHI to the AllHealth CHOICE Privacy/Compliance Officer at the address listed at the end of this Notice. In certain circumstances we may deny your request to access your PHI, and you may request that we reconsider our denial. Depending on the reason for the denial, another licensed health care professional chosen by us may review your request and the denial. As permitted by law, a reasonable fee may be charged to accommodate this request.
Restrictions: You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use of disclosure of your protected health information for the purpose of treatment, payment or health care operations, except for in the case of an emergency. You also have the right to request a restriction on the information we disclose to a family member or friend who is involved in your care or the payment of your care. AllHealth CHOICE is not required by law to comply with these requests but we will make every effort to do so. These restrictions must be requested in writing to the AllHealth CHOICE Privacy/Compliance Officer at the address at the end of this Notice.
Alternative Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your protected health information by alternative means or at alternative locations. These requests must be made in writing to AllHealth CHOICE.
Amendment: You have the right to request that we amend your protected health information for as long as we maintain your medical record if you believe it is incorrect or incomplete. These requests must be made in writing to AllHealth CHOICE. We may deny your request to amend if (a) we did not create the PHI, (b) is not information that we maintain, (c) is not information that you are permitted to inspect or copy (such as psychotherapy notes), or (d) we determine that the PHI is accurate and correct.
Disclosure Accounting: You have the right to receive a list of instances in which AllHealth CHOICE or our “Business Associates” disclosed your protected health information during the 6 years prior to the date of your request. This list will not include disclosures for treatment, payment, health care operations, or disclosures requested by you. If you request this accounting more than once in a twelve month period, AllHealth CHOICE may charge you a reasonable, cost based fee for responding to these additional requests. All requests for disclosure accounting must be made in writing to the AllHealth CHOICE Privacy/Compliance officer at the address listed at the end of this Notice specifying the time period for the accounting.
Restrict Disclosure for Services Paid by You in Full: You have the right to restrict the disclosure of your PHI to a health plan if the PHI pertains to health care services for which you paid in full directly to us.
Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your PHI by certain means or at certain locations. For example, you may specify that we call you only at your home phone number, and not at your work number. You must make a written request, specifying how and where we may contact you.
Notice of Breach: You have the right to be notified if we or one of our business associates become aware of your unsecured PHI.
Acknowledgment of Receipt of Notice: We will ask you to sign an acknowledgment that you received this Notice.
For More Information or to Report a Problem
If you have more questions and would like additional information, you may contact the Privacy/Compliance Officer at the address listed at the end of this Notice or at (478) 449-1255.
If you would like more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, please contact us. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the AllHealth CHOICE Privacy/Compliance Officer at the below listed address, or with the Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address of the U.S. Office of Civil Rights to file such a complaint upon request. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint with either the Privacy Officer or the Office for Civil Rights.
3920 Arkwright Road
Macon, Georgia 31210
This notice is effective Nov. 17, 2015.