THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL AND HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Use and Disclosure of Health Information
Direction Home Akron Canton has a limited right to use and/or disclose your Protected Health Information (PHI) for the purposes of providing you treatment, obtaining payment for your care and conducting healthcare operations. Direction Home Akron Canton has established policies to guard against the unnecessary disclosure of your health information.
When applicable, Direction Home Akron Canton will comply with state and federal laws that are more stringent than the privacy regulations created under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as they are amended from time to time, regarding Direction Home Akron Canton's use or sharing of your protected health information.
When and Why Your Health Information May Be Used and Disclosed
The following is a helpful summary of the circumstances when it may be necessary to use and disclose your health information.
To provide treatment. Direction Home Akron Canton may use your health information to coordinate or manage your care within the organization and with other individuals outside of the Agency involved in your care, such as your attending physician and other healthcare professionals. For example, certain service providers involved in your care need information about your medical condition in order to deliver appropriate services.
To obtain payment. Direction Home Akron Canton may include your health information in invoices to collect payment from third parties for the care you receive through Direction Home Akron Canton. For example, some health information is transmitted to the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services when billing transactions are conducted.
To conduct healthcare operations. Direction Home Akron Canton may use and disclose health information for its own operations and as necessary to provide quality care to all of Direction Home Akron Canton's service recipients. Healthcare operations includes such activities as:
- Quality assessment and improvement activities
- Activities designed to improve health or reduce health care costs
- Protocol development, case management and care coordination
- Contacting healthcare providers and clients with information about treatment alternatives and other related functions that do not include treatment
- Professional review and performance evaluation
- Review and auditing, including compliance reviews, medical reviews, legal services and compliance programs
- Business planning and development including cost management and planning-related analyses and formulary development
- Business management and general administrative activities of the AAoA
- Fundraising for the benefit of the AAoA if the recipient is not enrolled in Medicaid. The information about you that may be used or disclosed for fundraising is limited to your demographic information and the dates you were provided health care.
As an example, the Agency may use your health information to evaluate its staff performance, or combine your health information with other Direction Home Akron Canton consumers in evaluating how to more effectively serve all Agency consumers. Your health information may be disclosed to Agency staff and contracted personnel for training purposes, or used to contact you as a reminder regarding a visit to you, or to contact you as part of general fundraising and community information mailings (unless you tell us you do not want to be contacted regarding fundraising).
For appointment reminders. Direction Home Akron Canton may use and disclose your health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for a home visit.
For treatment alternatives. Direction Home Akron Canton may use and disclose your health information to tell you about or recommend possible service options or alternatives that maybe of interest to you.
When legally required. Direction Home Akron Canton will disclose your health information when it is required to do so by any Federal, State or local law.
When there are risks to public health. Direction Home Akron Canton may disclose your health information for public activities and purposes in order to:
- Prevent or control disease, injury or disability; report disease, injury or vital events such as birth or death and the conduct of public health surveillance, investigations and interventions
- Notify a person who has been exposed to a communicable disease or who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease
To report abuse, neglect or domestic violence. Direction Home Akron Canton is allowed to notify government authorities if Direction Home Akron Canton believes a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. Direction Home Akron Canton will make this disclosure only when specifically required or authorized by law or when the patient agrees to the disclosure.
To conduct health oversight activities. Direction Home Akron Canton may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities including audits, civil administrative or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure or disciplinary action. Direction Home Akron Canton, however, may not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information is not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.
In connection with judicial and administrative proceedings. Direction Home Akron Canton may disclose your health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal as expressly authorized by such order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process, but only when Direction Home Akron Canton makes reasonable efforts to either notify you about the request or to obtain an order protecting your health information.
For law enforcement purposes. As permitted or required by State law, Direction Home Akron Canton may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for certain law enforcement purposes as follows:
- As required by law for reporting of certain types of wounds or other physical injuries pursuant to the court order, warrant, subpoena or summons or similar process
- For the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person
- Under certain limited circumstances, when you are the victim of a crime
- To a law enforcement official if the AAoA has a suspicion that your death was the result of criminal conduct including criminal conduct at Direction Home Akron Canton
- In an emergency in order to report a crime
For research purposes. Direction Home Akron Canton may, under very select circumstances, use your health information for research. Before Direction Home Akron Canton discloses any of your health information for such research purposes, the project will be subject to an extensive approval process. (This does not pertain to Medicaid recipients.)
In the event of a serious threat to health or safety. Direction Home Akron Canton may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, disclose your health information if Direction Home Akron Canton, in good faith, believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public.
For specified government functions. In certain circumstances, the Federal regulations authorize Direction Home Akron Canton to use or disclose your health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military and veterans, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, medical suitability determinations and inmates and law enforcement custody.
For worker's compensation. Direction Home Akron Canton may release your health information for worker's compensation or similar programs.
Authorization to Use or Disclose Health Information
Other than as stated above, Direction Home Akron Canton will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. If you or your representative authorize Direction Home Akron Canton to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time, except to the extent Direction Home Akron Canton has taken action in reliance on the authorization.
Your Rights With Respect to Your Health Information
You have the following rights regarding your health information that Direction Home Akron Canton maintains:
Right to request restrictions. You or your personal representative may request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. You have the right to request a limit on the Direction Home Akron Canton's disclosure of your health information to someone who is involved in your care or the payment of your care. However, Direction Home Akron Canton is not required to agree to your request. If you wish to make a request for restrictions, please contact the Privacy Official at 1-800-421-7277.
Right to receive confidential communications. You or your personal representative have the right to request that Direction Home Akron Canton communicate with you in a certain way. For example, you may ask that Direction Home Akron Canton only conduct communications pertaining to your health information with you privately with no other family members present or that you receive communications only at a specific address or telephone number. If you wish to receive confidential communications, please contact the Privacy Official at 1-800-421-7277. Direction Home Akron Canton will not request that you provide any reasons for your request and will attempt to honor your reasonable requests for confidential communications.
Right to inspect and copy your health information. You or your personal representative have a right to see your protected health information upon your request. You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, including billing records. A request to inspect and copy records containing your health information may be made to the Privacy Official at 1-800-421-7277. If you request a copy of your health information, Direction Home Akron Canton may charge a reasonable fee for copying and assembling costs associated with your request.
Right to amend healthcare information. You or your personal representative have the right to request that Direction Home Akron Canton amend your records, if you believe that your health information is incorrect or incomplete. That request may be made as long as the information is maintained by Direction Home Akron Canton. A request for an amendment of records must be made in writing to the Privacy Official at 1550 Corporate Woods Pkwy., Suite 100, Uniontown, OH 44685. Direction Home Akron Canton may deny the request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason for the amendment. The request also may be denied if your health information records were not created by Direction Home Akron Canton, if the records you are requesting are not part of Direction Home Akron Canton's records, if the health information you wish to amend is not part of the health information you or your personal representative are permitted to inspect and copy, or if, in the opinion of Direction Home Akron Canton, the records containing your health information are accurate and complete.
Right to know what disclosures have been made. You or your personal representative have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by Direction Home Akron Canton for certain reasons, including reasons related to public purposes authorized by law and certain research. The request for an accounting must be made in writing to the Privacy Official at 1550 Corporate Woods Pkwy. Suite 100, Uniontown, OH 44685. The request should specify the time period for the accounting starting on or after April 14, 2003. Accounting requests may not be made for periods of time in excess of six (6) years. Direction Home Akron Canton would provide the first accounting you request during any 12-month period without charge. Subsequent accounting requests within the same 12-month period may be subject to a reasonable cost-based fee.
Right to a paper copy of this notice. You or your personal representative have a right to a separate paper copy of this Notice at any time even if you or your representative have received this Notice previously. To obtain a separate paper copy, please contact the Privacy Official at 1-800-421-7277.
Duties of Direction Home Akron Canton
Direction Home Akron Canton is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide to you and your personal representative this Notice of its duties and privacy practices. Direction Home Akron Canton is required to abide by the terms of this Notice as may be amended from time to time. Direction home Akron Canton reserves the right to change the terms of its Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all health information that it maintains. If the Agency changes its Notice, Direction Home Akron Canton will provide a copy of the revised Notice to you or your appointed representative.
Where to File a Complaint
You or your personal representative have the right to express complaints to Direction Home Akron Canton and to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if you or your personal representative believe that your privacy rights have been violated. Any complaints to Direction Home Akron Canton should be made in writing to the Planning & Quality Improvement Division Director. Direction Home Akron Canton encourages you to express any concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint. You may also file a written complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C., 2201 or call 1-877-696-6775.
Direction Home Akron Canton has designated the Privacy Official as its contact person for all issues regarding patient privacy and your rights under the Federal privacy standards. You may contact this person at Direction Home Akron Canton, 1550 Corporate Woods Pkwy, Suite 100, Uniontown, OH 44685 or at 1-800-421-7277.
This Notice is effective April 14, 2003.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS NOTICE, PLEASE CONTACT:
Direction Home Akron Canton
1550 Corporate Woods Pkwy, Suite 100
Uniontown, OH 44685