NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES 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.
Our Duties Visiting Nurse Association of Central New York, Inc. (VNA) is required by law to maintain the privacy of your medical information and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices. We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. VNA reserves the right to change these terms, and any changes made will be effective for all medical information we maintain. A copy of the revised notice will be available from your nurse or therapist. You may also address questions regarding our privacy practices, your privacy rights, or requests for additional information regarding your privacy using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice.
Permitted Uses VNA may use and disclose identifiable health information for specific reasons:
• Treatment: We will use your medical/health information to treat you as your doctor orders, or to assist others in your treatment. We will provide your doctor or other health care provider with results of treatment, progress, or changes in your condition. With your permission or when otherwise appropriate, VNA may disclose health information to a friend or family member who assists in your care.
• Payment: We will use your medical/health information to bill your insurance company, you directly, or another person who may be responsible for payment of your account. We may contact your health insurer to determine whether you are eligible to receive services, and we may provide your insurer with details regarding your treatment, in order to bill and collect payment for the services you receive from us.
• Health Care Operations: VNA may use and disclose your identifiable health information to operate our business. For example, we may use your health information to evaluate the quality of care you receive from us, to contact you and remind you of visits, to conduct business planning activities. We may also select your billing information for review by internal compliance personnel or by external auditors. We may contact you as part of a fund raising effort. You have the right to choose not to receive fund raising communications.
• When Required By Law: VNA will use and disclose your identifiable health information when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law, such as:
- To public health agencies or authorities;
- For government oversight such as review by Medicare or a related agency;
- For judicial or administrative proceedings, in response to a court order, subpoena,discovery request, or other lawful process;
- To law enforcement officials upon request;
- When necessary to reduce or prevent serious threats to your health and safety, or the health and safety of another individual or to the public;
- To appropriate command authorities of military personnel;
- To Workers Compensation and similar programs.
Patient Rights You have the following rights regarding the information that we maintain about you:
Confidential Communications: You may ask that we communicate with you in a particular way, or at a certain location, for example, that we contact you at work, rather than at home. Your request must be in writing, specifying your request. VNA will accommodate reasonable requests; you do not need to give a reason for your request.
Requesting Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction in our use or disclosure of your identifiable health information. We are not required to agree to your request unless specific circumstances apply. If we do agree to it, we will abide by your request except when otherwise required by law, in emergencies, or when this information is necessary to treat you. Your request must be in writing, describing the information that you want restricted; must state whether you are requesting to limit VNA’s use, disclosure or both; and state to whom you want the restriction to apply.
Inspect and Copy: You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of your medical information maintained in VNA records, including medical and billing records. Your request must be in writing, and VNA may charge you a fee for this service. If we deny your request, we will send you a written denial. If this happens, you may request a review of the denial.
Amendment: You may ask us to amend your health information if you believe that it is incorrect or incomplete. Your request must be in writing and must include a reason to support your request. Your request may be denied if we believe that the information is complete and accurate, if the information is not part of the medical record that you would be permitted to inspect or copy, or if VNA did not create the information.
Accounting of Disclosures: You may request a list of certain disclosures that we have made of your health information during a stated time period. The time period can be up to six years, but does not include dates before April 14, 2003. The first request within a 12 month period is free, but VNA may charge you for additional requests within the same 12 month period.
Copy of this Notice: You are entitled to receive a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices, and you may ask for one at any time. You may also obtain a copy from our website at http://www.vnacny.org/
Right to File a Complaint: If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint directly with VNA using the contact information below. You may also file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights at 1-866-627-7748. You will not be penalized for complaining.
Authorization VNA will obtain your written authorization for uses and disclosures that are not identified by this notice, or permitted by applicable law. Any authorization that you provide regarding the use and disclosure of your identifiable health information may be revoked in writing at any time. After you revoke your authorization, we will no longer disclose information for the reasons described in the authorization.
CONTACT INFORMATION To make a request, ask for information, revoke an authorization, or file a complaint, please contact VNA in writing to the following:
Visiting Nurse Association of Central New York, Inc.
Medical Records Department
1050 West Genesee Street
Syracuse, New York 13204
Telephone (315) 476-3101