Notice of Privacy Practices
Effective Date: January 1, 2018
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. If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the In-House Privacy Officer.
Who Will Follow This Notice:
This notice describes the practices of In-House Senior Services, LLC “In-House” and those of:
Any In-House affiliated health care professional authorized to enter information into your medical records/chart.
All employees, staff and other personnel working on In-House’s behalf.
All these individuals, wherever located will follow the terms of this notice. In addition, they may share medical information with each other for treatment, payment or business operation purposes described in this notice.
Our Pledge Regarding Medical Information:
We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting medical information about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive from or through In-House. We need this record to provide you with quality health care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by In-House, whether made by In-House personnel, In-House affiliated professionals or nursing home staff. Your residential facility may have different policies or notices regarding the use and disclosure of your medical information created in the doctor’s office, clinic or in the health care facility in which you reside.
This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
We are required by law to:
We are required by law to provide you with this notice explaining In-House’s privacy practices with regard to your medical information and how we may use and disclose your protected health information (PHI) for treatment, payment, and for health care operations, as well as for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. You have certain rights regarding the privacy of your protected health information and we also describe those rights in this notice.
What Is Protected Health Information:
Protected Health Information (PHI) consists of individually identifiable health information, which may include demographic information In-House collects from you or creates or receives by a health care provider, a health plan, your employer, or a health care clearinghouse and that relates to: (1) your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition; (2) the provision of health care to you; or (3) the past, present or future payment for the provision of health care to you.
In-House is including HITECH Act provisions to its Notice as follows:
HITECH Notification Requirements:
Under HITECH, In-House is required to notify patients whose PHI has been breached.
Notification must occur by first class mail within 60 days of the event. A breach occurs when an
unauthorized use or disclosure that compromises the privacy or security of PHI poses a significant risk
for financial, reputational, or other harm to the individual. This notice must:
Contain a brief description of what happened, including the date of the breach and the date of discovery;
The steps the individual should take to protect themselves from potential harm resulting from the breach;
A brief description of what In-House is doing to investigate the breach, mitigate losses, and to protect against further breaches.
Effective October 2012, In-House Business Associate Agreements have been amended to provide that all HIPAA security administrative safeguards, physical safeguards, technical safeguards and security policies, procedures, and documentation requirements apply directly to the business associate
HITECH states that if a patient pays in full for their services out of pocket they can demand that the information regarding the service not be disclosed to the patient’s third party payer since no claim is being made against the third party payer.
Access to E-Health Records:
HITECH expands this right, giving individuals the right to access their own e-health record in an electronic format and to direct In-House to send the e-health record directly to a third party. In-House may only charge for labor costs under the new rules.
Accounting of E-Health Records for Treatment, Payment, and Health:
In-House does not currently have to provide an accounting of disclosures of PHI to carry out treatment, payment, and health care operations. However, starting January 1, 2014, the Act will require In-House to provide an accounting of disclosures through an e-health record to carry out treatment, payment, and health care operations. This new accounting requirement is limited to disclosures within the three-year period prior to the individual’s request. In-House must either: (1) provide an individual with an accounting of such disclosures it made and all of its business associates disclosures; or (2) provide an individual with an accounting of the disclosures made by In-House and a list of business associates, if requested.
How We Will Use or Disclose Your Health Information:
The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures we will explain what we mean and try to give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of these categories.
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, or other health care personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the nursing home. For example, a doctor treating you for a foot sore may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process. In addition, the doctor may need to tell the dietitian if you have diabetes so that appropriate meals can be arranged for you. Different departments within In-House may share medical information about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prosthetics and follow up visits. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the nursing home who may be involved in your medical care, such as family members, clergy or others we use to provide services that are part of your care.
We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive from or through In-House may be billed to, and payment may be collected from, Medicare, Medicaid, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about care you received at the nursing facility so we may be paid or reimbursed for the care. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.
For Health Care Operations:
We may use and disclose medical information about you for In-House’s business operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run our business and make sure that all of the patients we treat receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff or affiliated doctors in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many other patients to decide what additional services In-House should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians and other health care personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the medical information we have with medical information from other health care providers to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. 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.
We may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care.
We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about recommended 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. 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. We will not disclose your information to family or friends if you object. We may also disclose to your personal representatives who have authority to act on your behalf (for example, to legal guardians or someone with a power of attorney.
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 treatment 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. Before we use or disclose medical information for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process, but we may, however, disclose medical information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project, for example, to help them look for patients with specific medical needs, so long as the medical information they review does not leave the health care facility. We will always ask for your specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care.
As Required By Law:
We will disclose medical information about you when required by federal, state or local law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety: We 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.
Organ and Tissue Donation:
If you are an organ donor, we may release medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
Military and Veterans:
If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
We 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:
We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:
To prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
To report births and deaths;
To report elder or child abuse and/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. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
Health Oversight Activities:
We may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, 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.
Lawsuits and Disputes:
If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process;
To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
About the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement;
About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
About criminal conduct at a health care facility, if we become aware of it; and
In emergency circumstances – to report a crime, the location of the crime, or victims; identity description, or location of the person who committed the crime.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors:
We 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 to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
National Security and Intelligence Activities:
We may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
Protective Services for the President and Others:
We may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.
If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release medical information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary (1) for the institution to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
Your Rights Regarding Medical Information About You:
You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy:
You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. This includes medical and billing records.
To inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to our Privacy Officer. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies or expenses associated with your request.
We may deny your request to inspect and copy your medical information in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to medical information, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed health care professional chosen by In-House will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to Amend:
If you feel that medical information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for In-House. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to our Privacy Officer. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports 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. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
Is not part of the medical information kept by or for In-House;
Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or is accurate and complete.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures:
You have the right to request an “account of disclosures.” This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you. To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer. Your request must state a time period which may not be longer than six years. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper or electronically). The first list you request within a 12 month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. 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.
Right to Request Restrictions:
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 disclosed about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a treatment you had.
We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, 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 the Privacy Officer. In your request, you must tell us (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply, for example, disclosures to your spouse.
Right to Request Confidential Communications:
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at home or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to the Privacy Officer. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice:
You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice. To obtain a paper copy of this notice, contact:
In-House Senior Services, LLC
Attn: Privacy Officer
6600 Lyndale Avenue South #130
Richfield, MN 55423
Changes to This Notice:
We reserve the right to change this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. If In-House makes a material change to our Notice, we will post the changes promptly on our website at http://www.inhss.com/privacy-notice.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with In-House or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with In-House contact the Privacy Officer at (612) 200-8030. This should be the same person or department listed on the first page as the contact for more information about this notice. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a compliant.
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, 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.