Notice of Privacy Practices - Policy and Procedure
According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, all covered entities shall provide all patients with a summary of the covered entities privacy practices and all related legal duties and the patient’s rights in connection with the use and disclosure of one’s Protected Health Information (PHI).
- To assure that the patient is informed of his/her rights and provide a notice of the covered entities privacy practices.
- To protect the patient against public access to personal information
- To assure the patient that PillHelp, Inc. and it’s staff will not sell or market patient information
1. A covered entity is any health care provider, a health plan or a health care clearinghouse that has access to patient health information (PHI).
2. The consulting business shall provide a clear explanation of a patient’s rights which includes and is not limited to:
a. Accessing their PHI
b. Requesting to view PHI held by a covered entity
c. Amending their PHI
d. Requesting an amendment to their record if it is inaccurate, etc.
e. Requesting an accounting of non-routine disclosures of PHI
f. Filing a complaint
3. The Notice shall provide how Protected Health Information is used and disclosed. The uses include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Provide a patient with health care services and products.
b. Provide another health care provider with information
c. To process information to your health plan for payment
d. To operate the consulting business
e. To offer you alternative treatments
f. To comply with federal or state laws
4.The Notice binds all employees of the consulting business and the third parties, who provide services for the consulting business.
5. The Privacy Notice will be distributed to all patients, effective April 14, 2003. The consulting business shall make “good faith efforts” to provide each patient or legal representative a copy of the Privacy Notice.
a. The consulting business shall attempt at least two (2) times to obtain a signature for acknowledgement of the receipt of the Privacy Notice. If no signature is obtained, the acknowledgement log shall reflect “good faith efforts.”
b. The acknowledgement is only needed once per patient. If the Notice of Privacy Practices is amended, the Notice shall be available for all patients at their request.
c. The acknowledgement shall be retained for a minimum of six (6) years.
6. The Privacy Notice shall be displayed in the consulting business.
7. The consulting business may amend the Notice of Privacy Practices at any time.
8. The notice shall have the following statement at the beginning: “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.”
9. The Notice of Privacy Practices shall contain an effective date.
10. The consulting business shall appoint the Privacy Officer to oversee all aspects of the HIPAA rules and regulations. The Privacy Officer will maintain all forms and records in accordance with the policy and procedures. The consulting business shall direct all requests and questions regarding HIPAA to the Privacy Officer. (The Privacy Officer for PillHelp, Inc. is Colette Thibodeau)
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMAITON ABOUT YOU MAY BE
USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.
PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Effective Date: April 14, 2003
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
General Information About This Notice
PillHelp, Inc. is committed to maintain the confidentiality of your health information. This Notice describes our efforts to safeguard your health information from improper use or unnecessary use or disclosure.
A new federal law requires us to provide you with a summary of our privacy practices and related legal duties and your rights in connection with the use and disclosure of your information.
The employees of PillHelp, Inc. and the third parties (physicians, insurance companies, and technical & development staff working with PillHelp Works¨), who perform services for the business, are bound by the terms of this Notice.
PillHelp, Inc., its pharmacists and staff
- will protect the patient against public access to personal information
- assure the patient that PillHelp, Inc. and it’s staff will not sell or market patient information
- will transmit information using secure encryption using HIPAA standards which is 2048 level encryption as of this publication date. If encryption is unavailable, as with some e-mail, the patient and PillHelp, LLC should use other more secure methods.
- PillHelp, LLC will develop new methods for communicating securely.
This Notice does not apply to products or services provided by independent contractors who provide services and products for our company.
This Notice only applies to PillHelp, Inc. clients and patients.
What is Protected?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) requires that the consulting business have a special policy for safeguarding health information related to you called “protected health information”, or “PHI”, which is received or created while providing services to you through the consulting business. PHI is health information that can be used to identify you and that relates to:
- Your physical or mental health condition;
- The provision of health care to you;
- Payment for your health care; or
- Maintenance of electronic patient records.
The remainder of this Notice generally describes our rules with respect to PHI received or created by the consulting business.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI
To protect the privacy of PHI, the consulting business not only guards the physical security of PHI, but we also limit the way PHI is used or disclosed to others. We may use or disclose PHI in certain permissible ways described below.
To provide you with health care services and products. The consulting business uses and discloses PHI in order to provide you with health care services and products. For example, the pharmacist asks you questions regarding drug allergies or reviews your prescription history in order to ensure your prescriptions will not cause an allergic reaction or interact with other prescriptions or non-prescription medications.
To another health care provider if needed for your treatment. For example, the pharmacist may discuss your prescription information with your physician and pharmacist to assess potential drug interactions.
To bill you for health care services or products. The consulting business may use and disclose PHI to bill you and to accept payment for services. For example, an employee of the business may handle invoicing, insurance activities, and/or tax summaries.
For the administration and operation of the consulting business. We use and disclose PHI for numerous administrative and quality control functions necessary for the consulting business’ operation. For example, we may use your prescription drug information for fraud and abuse detection activities or to conduct data analyses for business planning-related purposes. The highest professional privacy standards will be applied when using consulting business data for business planning purposes.
To inform you about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefit that may be offered by the consulting business. For example, we may use your prescription data to alert you to a generic drug or if alternative medications are available.
To another health care provider or health plan. We may share PHI with another health care provider or a health plan who has a relationship with you for quality assessment and improvement activities, to review the qualifications of health care professionals who provide care to you, or for fraud and abuse detection and prevention purposes.
To a family member, friend, or other person involved in your health care if you are present and you do not object to the sharing of PHI or in the event of an emergency. Our consulting business may also share PHI with a family member, friend or other person if, in the exercise of professional judgment and experience, we determine it is in your best interests.
To comply with an applicable federal, state or local law, including, for example, workers’ compensation programs established by law.
For public health reasons, including to a public health authority for the prevention or control of disease, injury or disability; to report reactions to medications or problems with products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration; to notify individuals of recalls of medication or products they may have been prescribed.
To report a suspected case of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, as permitted or required by applicable law.
To comply with other health agencies, such as audits, investigations, inspections, licensure actions, and other government monitoring and activities related to health care provision or public benefits or services.
To the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to demonstrate our compliance with HIPAA.
To respond to an order of a court, such as a court ordered warrant, subpoena or summons, grand jury subpoena, or administrative subpoena or other request.
To a law enforcement official for a law enforcement purpose as required by law.
For purposes of public safety or national security.
To allow a coroner or medical examiner to identify you or determine your cause of death.
To allow a funeral director to carry out his or her duties.
To respond to a request by military command authorities if you are or were a member of the armed forces.
To the extent required under law, we use the minimum amount of PHI necessary to perform these tasks.
If an applicable state law provides greater health information privacy protections than the federal law, we will comply with the stricter state law.
Other Uses and Disclosures of PHI
Before we use or disclose PHI for any other purpose than as described above, we must obtain your written authorization. You may revoke your authorization, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your authorization, the consulting business will no longer use or disclose PHI except as described above (or as permitted by any other authorizations that have not been revoked). However, please understand that we cannot retrieve any PHI disclosed to a third party in accordance to your prior authorization.
Federal law provides you with certain rights regarding PGHI that pertains to you. Parents of minor children and other individuals with legal authority to make health decisions for patients or clients of PillHelp, Inc. may exercise these rights on behalf of such patients or clients, consistent with state law.
Right to request restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the consulting business’ use or disclosure of PHI. The law does not require the consulting business to agree to your request for restriction and depending upon your request, we may not be able to grant it because it may affect our ability to provide health care services or products to you. However, if we do agree to your requested restriction or limitation, we will honor the restrictions until you agree to terminate the restriction or until we notify you that we are terminating the restriction.
You may submit a written request for restriction on the use and disclosure of PHI to our Privacy Officer or pharmacist. Your request must specify: (a) the PHI you want to limit; (b) how you want the consulting business to limit the use, disclosure or both of that PHI; and
(c) to whom you want the restrictions to apply.
Right to receive confidential communications: You have the right to request that the consulting business communicate with you about PHI at a new address or by different means if you believe that communication through normal business practices could endanger you. You may submit a written request for confidential communications, although PillHelp, Inc. adheres to high privacy practice standards in all of its communications.
Right to obtain a copy of PHI: You have the right to review and obtain a copy of PHI that is contained in medical or billing records that the consulting business maintains or other records that the consulting business uses to make decisions about you.
However, we will not give you access to PHI records created in anticipation of a civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding. We will also deny your request to inspect and copy PHI if a licensed health care professional hired by the consulting business has determined that giving you the requested access is reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of you or another individual or to cause substantial harm to you or another individual, or that the record makes references to another person (other than a health care provider) and that the requested access would likely cause substantial harm to the other person.
If your request to access PHI is denied, you may have that decision reviewed. A different licensed health care professional chosen by the consulting business will review the request and denial, and we will comply with the health care professional’s decision.
You may make a request to review or obtain a copy of PHI at the consulting business. We may charge you a fee to cover the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies directly associated with our request. You will be notified of any costs before you incur any expenses.
Right to amend PHI: You have the right to request an amendment of PHI if you believe the information the consulting business has about you is incorrect or incomplete. You have this right as long as PHI is maintained by the consulting business. We will correct any mistakes if we created the PHI or if the person or entity that originally created the PHI is no longer available to make the amendment.
Amendments involving the addition of information to the consulting business’s records may generally be made at the consulting business. However, for other types of changes, you must submit a written request to amend PHI by filling out a Request for Amendment form available from the Privacy Officer or pharmacist and submitting the form back to our Privacy Officer or pharmacist. You should include evidence to support your request because we cannot amend PHI that we believe to be accurate and complete.
Right to receive an accounting of disclosures of PHI: You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures of PHI by the consulting business. The accounting will not include (a) disclosures necessary to provide treatment, to determine proper payment, or to operate the consulting business; (b) disclosures we make to you; (c) disclosures permitted by your authorization; (d) disclosures to friends or family members as discussed in this Notice, or made in your presence or because of an emergency; or (e) disclosures for national security purposes. Your first request for an accounting within a 12-minth period will be free. We may charge you for costs associated with providing you additional accountings. We will notify you of the costs involved, and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request before you incur any expenses.
You may submit a written request for an accounting of disclosures of PHI by filling out a Request for Accounting of Disclosures form available from the Privacy Officer or pharmacist and submitting the form back to the Privacy Officer or pharmacist. Your request must include (a) the time period for the accounting, which may not be longer than six (6) years and may not include dates prior to April 14, 2003; and (b) the form (e.g., paper) in which you would like the accounting.
You may file a formal complaint with our Privacy Officer and/or with the United States Department of Health and Human Services at the addresses below. You should attach any documents or evidence that supports your belief that your privacy rights have been violated. We take your complaints very seriously. PillHelp, Inc. and federal law prohibit retaliation against any person for filing such a complaint.
Complaints should be sent to:
8191 Breton Circle
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Attn: Privacy Officer
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Civil Rights
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20201
Additional Information About This Notice
Changes to this Notice: We reserve the right to change the consulting business’ privacy practices as described in this Notice. Any change may affect the use and disclosure of PHI already maintained by the consulting business as well as any of PHI that the consulting business may receive or create in the future. The revised Notices will be made available at the consulting business.
Acknowledgement: When first delivering this Notice to you, the consulting business will ask you to sign an acknowledgement that you were provided a copy of this Notice.
How to obtain an additional copy of this Notice: You can obtain a copy of the current notice by writing our Privacy Officer at the address in this Notice.