At Livingston Community Health, we are committed to treating and using your protected health information responsibly. Our Notice of Health Information Practices, available at our health centers, describes the personal information we collect, and how and we use or disclose that information.
HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that was passed by Congress in 1996. HIPAA does the following:
• Provides the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for millions of American workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs;
• Reduces health care fraud and abuse;
• Mandates industry-wide standards for health care information on electronic billing and other processes; and
• Requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information
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.
LCH gathers various types of information about you and with whom we can share that information. The Security and Privacy standards mandate that LCH maintain and monitor safeguards to protect your health information. You have the right to the confidentiality of your medical information and the right to approve or refuse the release of specific information except when required by law. Unless otherwise specified through written notification we may share this information under the following circumstances;
Any health care professional authorized to enter information into your health center chart or medical record.
Employees, staff and other personnel who in the course of their job description need access to your information.
Clinic locations may share medical information with each other for treatment, payment or health care purposes described in this notice.
Your personal health information is private and personal. Livingston Community Health is dedicated to maintaining and protecting this information. At times we may need to disclose this information using discretion. This notice will inform you in ways in which we may use and disclose your medical information. We also describe your rights regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
Your Rights Regarding Medical Information About You.
You have the following rights regarding your medical information:
• Request copy of personal health records
• Amend Health Information
• Authorize disclosure of health information for certain purposes including marketing
• Request a report accounting for disclosure of health information
• Request to be contacted a different address or in different form
• Be notified about data breaches affecting their information
• Request restrictions on certain use or disclosure of PHI
• Ask for additional information or file complaints
Request Copy of Personal Health Records. You have the right to request a copy of your medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. To request and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to Medical Records. If you request a copy of the information, we charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request.
Amend Health Information. If the medical information is incorrect or incomplete, you may need to amend this information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept. To request an
amendment, it must be in writing and submitted to Medical Records. Please provide the circumstances and/or reasons to support your request. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. Additionally, we may deny your request if the information:
• Was not generated by us;
• Is not related or part of the medical information
• Is accurate and complete.
Authorize disclosure of health information for certain purposes including marketing. To request a list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to Medical Records. Your request must state a time period. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
Request a report accounting for disclosure of health information. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care such as a family member or friend.
LCH is not required to agree to your request. We will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to our Medical Records Department. Your request must tell us, what information you want to limit, whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both and to whom you want the limits to apply.
Request to be contacted a different address or in different form. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. You can request that we contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to our Medical Records Department. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Be notified about data breaches affecting their information
Omnibus Final Rule #3 on breach notification for unsecured PHI under the HITECH Act replaces the Breach Notification Rule’s “harm” threshold with a more objective standard:
• Every security incident is presumed a breach, unless risk analysis demonstrates low probability of compromise
• Risk analysis based on:
1. Nature and extent of PHI involved: was information financial (fraud potential) or clinical?
2. Who received/ accessed PHI
3. Was the PHI actually acquired or viewed? Low vs. high probability of compromise
4. Extent to which PHI has been mitigated
• Breach notification of relevant parties must be ‘without unreasonable delay,’ and ‘within 60 days from date of discovery’
• You can always opt to report in the absence of formal breach risk assessment
• Exceptions for inadvertent, harmless mistakes
• Safe Harbor = if data is properly encrypted (must follow HHS specification on encryption standards)
Request restrictions on certain use or disclosure of PHI
Disclosure of your protected health information may be restricted on certain uses of your PHI. You must make your request in writing to our Medical Records Department. All efforts will be made to accommodate this request as it pertains to the law.
Ask for additional information or file complaints
If you have reason to believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with Livingston Community Health or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with Livingston Community Health contact our Privacy Officer at the address and phone number below. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice. Upon request you will be provide with a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically. Please request one in writing from our Medical Records department.
Changes To This Notice
Livingston Community Health reserves the right to change this notice as permitted by law. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical information already obtained about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice.
Other Uses of Medical Information
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, thereafter we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.
How We May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You
The following categories describe different ways that we may use and disclose medical information. This list is neither inclusive nor intended to account for all situations.
For Treatment. We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, training doctors, or other health care professionals who are involved in taking care of you. Different health care professionals also may share medical information about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the health center who may be involved in your medical care after you leave the health center or that provide services that are part of your care.
For Payment. We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party. We may also use and disclose medical information about you to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your insurance will cover the treatment.
For Health Care Purposes. We may use and disclose medical information about you for health care purposes. This is necessary to make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, training doctors, and other health center personnel for review and learning purposes. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of medical information so others may use it to study health care and health care delivery without learning who the specific patients are.
Appointment Reminders. We may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care. Staff or an electronic system such as phone, text message or email will do this process. We may also disclose to third parties who answer your phone limited protected health information regarding pending appointments, and leave a reminder message on your voice mail system or answering machine.
Treatment Alternatives. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
Health-Related Benefits and Services. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. We may release medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. We may also tell your family or friends your condition and that you are in the health center. In addition, we may disclose medical information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location.
Research. Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another, for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with patients’ need for privacy of their medical information. You will be briefed on the research project and will be able to request more information as it becomes available.
Military and Veterans. LCH may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities.
Workers’ Compensation. LCH may release medical information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Public Health Risks. LCH may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. This list is neither inclusive nor intended to account for all circumstances. These activities generally include the following:
• to prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
• to report births and deaths;
• to report child abuse or neglect;
• to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
• to notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
• to notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition;
• to notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
Health Oversight & Regulatory Agencies. LCH may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight agencies/ activities include, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Legal Requests. LCH may disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful order from a court. LCH may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official as part of law enforcement activities; in investigations of criminal conduct or of victims of crime; in response to court orders; in emergency circumstances; or when required to do so by law.
Serious Threat to Health or Safety. LCH may use and disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. LCH may release medical information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release medical information about patients of the health center to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
Eric Sanchez Compliance 1140 Main Street
Livingston, Ca 95334
Contact # 209-394-7913