This notice describes how information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
WHO WILL HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR INFORMATION?
We provide physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and other services necessary to provided optimal rehabilitation to you, our patient/client. Because many individuals within the facility need to access to your clinical and billing records we have declared all of our employees as eligible to manage all of your health information. Specifically, this means all clinical staff (employed or contracted) all interning students, volunteers and all office personnel (employed or contracted).
Typically, your clinical and billing information would be accessed for treatment and related billing purposes only. However clinical and billing audits are required by professional and regulatory standards so your records could, therefore, be randomly selected as part of this compliance and quality assurance process.
A business associate is a person/entity that provides services or activities to a health care provider or covered entity. Business associates who have access to your information will be strictly limited to those who provide billing and collections, document archiving, copying and disposal services. All of these individuals are under contract and have been educated regarding patient rights and privacy regulations.
OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION
We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting medical information about you. We create a record detailing the care and services you receive at our facility so that we can be accurate and consistent in carrying out that care in an optimal manner it also assists us in meeting certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by us, whether made by our employees or our contracted personnel. Your personal physician may have different policies and notices regarding his/her use and disclosure of your medical information created in his/her office. It is important that you are familiar with and understand how each health care provider handles your health information.
This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose health information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of health information.
WE ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO:
Assure that health information that identifies you is kept private,
Provide you with a ‘Notice of Privacy Practices’ relating our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to health information about you,
Follow the terms of the Privacy Practices Notice provided to you.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose health information. Not every use or disclose in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.
We may use health information about you to provide you with rehabilitation or related services. We may disclose health information about you to other therapists, doctors (your medical/dental providers), nurses, technicians, clinical students or other clinical or support personnel needed to assist in optimal care delivery. This might also include disclosing or using your health information to educate and train a designated family member to assist with home rehabilitation or activities support.
We may use and disclose health information about you so that treatment and services you receive from our staff may be billed to and payment may be collect from your insurance company, third party payor or you. We may need to disclose health information to your health plan/payor about a treatment or intervention you are going to have in order to obtain prior approval or to determine whether there is specific coverage for the services to be delivered to you.
Consents, Authorization and Access
Currently there is no federal regulation that requires your healthcare provider to obtain consent for treatment, payment or associated healthcare operations. However, all providers are required to adhere to the privacy regulations stipulated in the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA) effective in April 2001.
The primary focus of the privacy section of the HIPAA is to require that health care providers manage all health care information in a confidential and ‘need to know’ only basis. This includes paper documents, electronic data and telephonic communications. HIPAA requires that all patients/clients have full access to their health information and that they are given the right to review, copy and amend it, as specifically requested.
While consents for provider services are unnecessary, authorizations for use of health information outside of treatment, treatment-related operations and/or payment are required. A signed authorization form giving permission to utilized protected health information, for other than the provider and provider related services note above, must be obtained prior to disclosing or using private health information. The Act clearly states that the health care provider may not restrict access to services or in any way penalize a patient/client in the event of authorization declination or authorization revocation.