Duncaster Inc. Notice of Privacy Practices
If you have any questions about this Notice please contact: our Privacy Officer who is Betty Anderson at ext. 5011
I. Privacy Protection Policy for Social Security Numbers (P.A. 08-167)
This section of this notice describes our Privacy Protection Policy for Social Security Numbers we may collect in the course of business. Please review it carefully.
We may collect certain personal information, including Social Security numbers, in the course of our business. We will make what we believe to be reasonable efforts to protect the confidentiality of the Social Security numbers we collect.
We protect the confidentiality of the Social Security numbers we collect in the course of business by maintaining physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect their confidentiality, including:
- Limiting access to the Social Security numbers we collect
- Prohibiting unlawful disclosure of the Social Security numbers we collect
- Reviewing these safeguards on a regular basis
- Training our employees in the proper handling of Social Security numbers
- Requiring that third parties with access to Social Security numbers protect their confidentiality
II. Notice of Privacy Practices for Medical Information
This section of 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.
This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your Protected Health Information to carry out treatment, reimbursement or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control your Protected Health Information. “Protected Health Information” is information about you, including demographic information, relatives’ names, telephone and fax numbers, photo, finger prints, Social Security numbers and any other form of information that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services.
We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We may change the terms of our notice, at any time. The new notice will be effective for all Protected Health Information that we maintain at that time. Upon your request, we will provide you with any revised Notice of Privacy Practices by calling the Privacy Officer and requesting that a revised copy be sent to you in the mail or asking for one at the time of your next appointment.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
Duncaster will use or disclose your Protected Health Information to carry out your treatment, reimbursement, or healthcare operations. Protected Health Information may be used and disclosed by your health care provider, our administration, staff and others outside of Duncaster as necessary to provide optimal level health care services to you. Duncaster will use only the minimum necessary level of your Protected Health Information to provide that optimal level of care. Following are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health care information that Duncaster is permitted to make. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but to describe the types of uses and disclosures that may be made once you have received notice of Duncaster’s Privacy Policies.
Treatment: We will use and disclose your Protected Health Information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. This includes the coordination or management of your health care with a third party that has already obtained your permission to have access to your Protected Health Information. For example, we would disclose your Protected Health Information, as necessary, to a home health agency that provides care to you. We will also disclose Protected Health Information to other health care providers who may be treating you. For example, your Protected Health Information may be provided to a health care provider to whom you have been referred to ensure that the health care provider has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you. In addition, we may disclose your Protected Health Information from time-to-time to another health care provider or health care provider (e.g., a specialist or laboratory) who, at the request of your health care provider, becomes involved in your care by providing assistance with your health care diagnosis or treatment to your health care provider.
Reimbursement: Your Protected Health Information will be used, as needed, to obtain reimbursement for your health care services. This may include certain activities that your health insurance plan may undertake before it approves or pays for the health care services we recommend for you such as; making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you for medical necessity, and undertaking utilization review activities. For example, obtaining approval for a hospital stay may require that your relevant Protected Health Information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the hospital admission.
Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose, as needed, your Protected Health Information in order to support the business activities of Duncaster. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality improvement activities, employee review activities, training of medical students, licensing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities. For example, we may disclose your Protected Health Information to medical school students that see patients at our clinic. In addition, we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name and indicate your health care provider. We may also call you by name in the waiting room when your health care provider is ready to see you. We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information, as necessary, to contact you to remind you of your appointment. We will share your Protected Health Information with third party “business associates” that perform various activities (e.g., billing, transcription services) for Duncaster. Whenever an arrangement between our office and a business associate involves the use or disclosure of your Protected Health Information, we will have a written contract that contains terms that will protect the privacy of your Protected Health Information.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Based upon Your Written Authorization
Other uses and disclosures of your Protected Health Information will be made only with your written authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law as described below. You may revoke this authorization, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that your health care provider or Duncaster has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made With Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information in the following instances. You have the opportunity to agree or object to the use or disclosure of all or part of your Protected Health Information. If you are not present or able to agree or object to the use or disclosure of the Protected Health Information, then your health care provider may, using professional judgement, determine whether the disclosure is in your best interest. In this case, only the Protected Health Information that is relevant to your health care will be disclosed.
Facility Directories: Unless you object, wewill useand disclose in ourfacility directory yourname, the location at which you are receiving care, your condition (in general terms), and your religious affiliation. All of this information, except religious affiliation, will be disclosed to people that ask for you by name. Members of the clergy will be told your religious affiliation.
Others Involved in Your Healthcare: Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your Protected Health Information that directly relates to that person’s involvement in your health care. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment. We may use or disclose Protected Health Information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care of your location, general condition or death. Finally, we may use or disclose your Protected Health Information to an authorized public or private entity to assist in disaster relief efforts and to coordinate uses and disclosures to family or other individuals involved in your health care.
Emergencies: We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information in an emergency treatment situation. If your health care provider or another health care provider in Duncaster is required by law to treat you and the health care provider has attempted to give you notice of Duncaster Privacy Practices but are unable to obtain your consent; he or she may still use or disclose your Protected Health Information to treat you.
Communication Barriers: We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information if your health care provider or another health care provider in Duncaster attempts to obtain consent from you but is unable to do so due to substantial communication barriers and the health care provider determines, using professional judgement, that you intend to consent to use or disclosure under the circumstances.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made Without Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information in the following situations without your consent or authorization. These situations include:
Organized Health Care Arrangement (OHCA): We are part of an Organized Health Care Arrangement (OHCA) with Hartford Hospital Physicians for the purpose of engaging in certain medical management, utilization review, quality assessment and improvement, and data aggregation activities. We may use and disclose your protected health information without your consent in connection with the operations of the OHCA. No member of the OHCA shall be liable or otherwise responsible in any manner for the acts or omissions of any other member of the OHCA by reason of its participation in such arrangement.
Required By Law: We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information to the extent that law requires the use or disclosure. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law. You will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.
Public Health: We may disclose your Protected Health Information for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability. We may also disclose your Protected Health Information, if directed by the public health authority, to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority.
Communicable Diseases: We may disclose your Protected Health Information, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.
Health Oversight: We may disclose Protected Health Information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws.
Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your Protected Health Information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of abuse or neglect. We may disclose your Protected Health Information if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the governmental entity or agency authorized to receive such information. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.
Food and Drug Administration: We may disclose your Protected Health Information to a person or company required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product defects or problems, biologic product deviations, track products; to enable product recalls; to make repairs or replacements, or to conduct post marketing surveillance, as required.
Legal Proceedings: We may disclose Protected Health Information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized), in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.
Law Enforcement: We may also disclose Protected Health Information, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes. These law enforcement purposes include (1) legal processes and otherwise required by law, (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes, (3) pertaining to victims of a crime, (4) suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct, (5) in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of the practice, and (6) medical emergency (not on the Practice’s premises) and it is likely that a crime has occurred.
Coroners, Funeral Directors, and Organ Donation: We may disclose Protected Health Information to a coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, determining cause of death or for the coroner or medical examiner to perform other duties authorized by law. We may also disclose Protected Health Information to a funeral director, as authorized by law, in order to permit the funeral director to carry out their duties. We may disclose such information in reasonable anticipation of death. Protected Health Information may be used and disclosed for cadaveric organ, eye or tissue donation purposes.
Research: We may disclose your Protected Health Information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your Protected Health Information.
Criminal Activity: Consistent with applicable federal and state-laws, we may disclose your Protected Health Information, if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. We may also disclose Protected Health Information if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.
Military Activity and National Security: When the appropriate conditions apply, we may use or disclose Protected Health Information of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits, or (3) to foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military services. We may also disclose your Protected Health Information to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities, including for the provision of protective services to the President or others legally authorized.
Workers’ Compensation: Your Protected Health Information may be disclosed by us as authorized to comply with workers’ compensation laws and other similar legally established programs.
Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your Protected Health Information and a brief description of how you may exercise these rights.
You have the right to inspect and copy your Protected Health Information. This means you may inspect and obtain a copy of Protected Health Information about you that is contained in a designated record set for as long as we maintain the Protected Health Information. A “designated record set” contains medical and billing records and any other records that your health care provider and Duncaster uses for making decisions about you. Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records; psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, and Protected Health Information that is subject to law that prohibits access to Protected Health Information. Depending on the circumstances, a decision to deny access may be revisable. In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed. Please contact our Privacy Officer if you have questions about access to your medical record.
You have the right to request a restriction of your Protected Health Information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your Protected Health Information for the purposes other then treatment, reimbursement or healthcare operations. You may request that any part of your Protected Health Information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. Your health care provider is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. If health care provider believes it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your Protected Health Information, your Protected Health Information will not be restricted. If your health care provider does agree to the requested restriction, we may not use or disclose your Protected Health Information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment. With this in mind, please discuss any restriction you wish to request with your health care provider. You may request a restriction by contacting our Privacy Officer.
You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests. We may also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how reimbursement will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request. Please make this request in writing to our Privacy Officer.
You may have the right to have your health care provider amend your Protected Health Information. This means you may request an amendment of Protected Health Information about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. Please contact our Privacy Officer to determine if you have questions about amending your medical record.
You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your Protected Health Information. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, reimbursement or healthcare operations as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. It excludes disclosures we may have made to you, for a facility directory, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes. You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures that occurred after April 14, 2003. You may request a shorter timeframe. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations.
You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us , upon request, even if you have agreed to accept this notice electronically.
You may complain to us or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe we have violated your privacy rights. You may file a complaint with us by notifying our Privacy Officer of your complaint. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. You may contact our Privacy Officer Betty Anderson at (860) 380-5011 or firstname.lastname@example.org or further information about the complaint process. This notice was published and becomes effective on September 26, 2008.