Privacy Practices

As a patient, you have certain privacy protections regarding your medical information: how it may be used, how it may be disclosed, and how you may obtain access to this information.  This notice is a public document and will be provided to anyone who asks for a copy.

Effective Date: April 14, 2003

Please review this information carefully.

How Your Medical Information May Be Used Or Disclosed:

Treatment Purposes

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, students or other agency personnel who are involved in taking care of you.

Payment Purposes

We may use and disclose health 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 payor.  For example, we may need to give your insurance company information about your diagnosis so your carrier will make payment.

Healthcare Operations

We may use and disclose health information about you for agency operations.  These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the agency and make sure all of our patients receive quality care.  For example, we may use helath information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you.

Business Associates

There are some services provided at our agency through contacts with business associates.  When we use these services, we may disclose your health information to our business associates so they may perform the job we have asked them to do.  We require the business associate to protect your information.

Funeral Directors/Coroners

We may disclose health information to funeral directors/coroners so they may carry out their duties as permitted by law.

Marketing

We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.  Our practice may include leaving messages on your answering machine and/or sending you letters.

Fund-Raising

We may contact you as part of a fund-raising effort.

Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

We may disclose health information to the FDA relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects, or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.

Workers Compensation

We may disclose health information to your employer, or to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.

Abuse & Neglect

We may disclose your protected health information to public authorities as allowed by law to report abuse or neglect.

Law Enforcement

We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law, such as when required by a court order, or in cases involving felony prosecutions.

Health Oversight

Federal law allows us to release your health information to appropriate health oversight agencies or for health oversight activities.

Judicial/Administrative Proceedings

We may disclose your health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceedings as allowed or required by law, with your consent, or as directed by a proper court order.

Threat to Health & Safety

We may disclose your health information to prevent or lessen a serious, imminent threat to the health or safety of the public as required by law.

Special Government Functions

We may disclose your health information for special government functions as authorized by law such as to Armed Forces personnel, for national security purposes, or to public assistance program personnel.

Other Uses

Other uses and disclosures besides those identified in this notice will be made only if allowed by law or with your written authorization.  You may revoke the authorization as described in this notice. 

If a member of our staff or a business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or have violated professional or clinical standards, he or she may release health information to an appropriate health oversight agency, public health authority, or attorney.

Unless You Tell Us You Object

Directory

We may use your name, location in our facility, general condition, and religious affiliation for directory purposes.  This information may be provided to members of the clergy and, except for religious affiliation, to other people who ask for you by name.

Notification

Using our best judgement, we may disclose to a relative or any other person you may identify, health information relevant to that person's involvement in your care or in payment for your care.  We may also tell your family or another person responsible for your care, your location in the hospital and general condition.

Your Rights Regarding Health Information

  • The health record we maintain and billing records are the physical property of Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County.  The information in it, however, belongs to you.
  • You have the right to request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your medical record.  We are not required to grant the request.
  • You have the right to obtain a paper copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices for Protected Health Information.
  • You may request to view and receive a copy of your health record and billing record.
  • You have the right to appeal if you are denied access to your medical record, providing your request is not prohibited by law.
  • You have the right to request that your record be amended if you believe the record is incomplete or incorrect.
  • You have the right to file a statement of disagreement if your amendment is denied.  You may also require that the request for amendment and any denial be attached in all future disclosures of your medical record.
  • You have the right to an accounting of your medical record disclosures.  This applies to disclosures that we are required by law to maintain.  It does not include internal uses of information for treatment, payment, or operations, disclosures made to you or made at your request, or disclosures made to family members or friends in the course of providing care.
  • You have the right to request that communication of your health information be made by alternative means or at an alternative location.
  • Unless information or action has already been taken, you have the right to revoke any authorizations you have made regarding the disclosure of your information.

Understanding Your Medical Record

Each time you visit a hospital, physician, or other healthcare provider, a record of your visit is made.  Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnosis, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment.  It also includes billing documents for those services.

The information is referred to as your medical record or as your "protected health information."  Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County is required to:

  • maintain the privacy of your health information
  • provide you with a notice as to your legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you
  • abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect
  • notify you is we are unable to agree to a requested restriction
  • accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or alternative locations

Our Responsiblities To Our Patients

We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice.

Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County reserves the right to change its practice and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain.  Should our information practices change, we will make the new notice available.

To Request Or File A Complaint

Requests should be made in writing using forms we will provide.  Please ask a staff person for assistance.

If you have questions, would like additional information, or want to report a problem regarding the handling of your information, you may contact:

Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County

HIPPA Privacy/Security Officer

620.665.2473

Also, if you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a written complaint at our office by delivering the written complaint to:

Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County

HIPPA Privacy/Security Officer

1600 No. Lorraine, Ste 203

Hutchinson, KS  67501

You may also file a privacy complaint by contacting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Ave., SW

Washington, D.C.  20201

202.619.0257

We cannot, and will not, require you to waive the right to file a privacy complaint with the Secretary of Health and Human Services as a condition of receiving treatment from Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County.

We cannot, and will not, retaliate against you for filing a complaint with the Secretary.