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.
At the Laurel Health Centers we are committed to treating and using protected health information about you responsibly. This Notice of Health Information Practices describes the personal information we collect, and how and when we use or disclose that information. It also describes your rights as they relate to your protected health information. This notice is effective April 1, 2003, and applies to all protected health information as defined by federal regulations.
Each time you visit the Laurel Health Centers, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as a:
• Basis for planning your care and treatment,
• Means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care,
• Legal document describing the care you received,
• Means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided,
• A tool in educating heath professionals,
• A source of data for medical research,
• A source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of this state and the nation,
• A source of data for our planning and marketing,
• A tool with which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render and the outcomes we achieve.
Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to: ensure its accuracy, better understand who, what, when, where, and why others may access your health information, and make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.
Your Health Information Rights: Although your health record is the physical property of the Laurel Health Centers, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:
• Obtain a paper copy of this notice of information practices upon request,
• Inspect and copy your health record,
• Amend your health record,
• Obtain a listing of releases of your health information,
• Request communications of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations,
• Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information.
The restriction may be refused if it is in conflict of providing you with quality healthcare or in the event of an emergency situation, and
• Revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that the information was already used or disclosed.
Our Responsibilities: The Laurel Health Centers are required to:
• Maintain the privacy of your health information,
• Provide you with this notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you,
• Abide by the terms of this notice,
• Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction, and
• Accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations.
We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. Should our information practices change, we will make a notification of this revision. We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice. We will also discontinue to use or disclose your health information after we have received a written revocation of the authorization according to the procedures included in the authorization.
For More Information or to Report a Problem: If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All complaints will be investigated. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint with either the Privacy Officer or the Office for Civil Rights. The address for the OCR is listed below: Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Room 509F, HHH Building Washington, D.C. 20201
Federal law makes provision for your health information to be released to an appropriate health oversight agency, public health authority or attorney, provided that a work force member or business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or have otherwise violated professional or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more patients, workers or the public.