This Notice details how your protected health information ‘may’ be used and/or disclosed, also how you may have access to this information. Please proceed to review it carefully.
FIRSTLY, WHAT DO WE MEAN BY ‘NOTICE OF PRIVACY POLICIES?’
This Notice of Privacy Practices (the “Notice”) details the commitment of Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care (collectively referred to as “we,” “us” or “our” in this Notice) to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our patients’ information. For the purposes of this Notice, when we refer to “you” or “your,” we mean you as a patient or you as the provider of information about a minor patient. This Notice of Privacy Practices explains our confidentiality practices, which are the ways we may use and share patients’ information under the law and your right to access and control this information.
In this ‘Notice,’ wherever you see PHI, understand that it stands for ‘Protected Health Information.’ (“Herewith known as “PHI”) PHI involves the data that we got from you or anyone that is related to your mental and physical condition both past, present and future. It also involves the treatment you may have increased and payments that were or are being made for it. Amongst the many data that is required for your PHI, here are the most prominent;
- Geographic data
- Demographic data (which includes your age, race, gender, marital status and ethnicity).
- Medical data
- Data of your past, present or future medical services received.
- Your health insurance data
- Your social security or phone number
- Biometrics and
- Your photographs (not limited, but could be displaying your whole face).
WHO IS OUR ‘NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES’ FOR?
The ‘Notice of Privacy Practices’ is meant to be adhered and followed to by Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care ‘Personnel.’ Our Personnel includes our employees, trainees, volunteers, students, healthcare professionals, independent professionals and various business associates that are located at any Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care location.
Here is an overview to summarize this ‘Notice of Privacy Practices.’
YOUR PHI MAY BE USED BY KINDER PEDIATRIC URGENT CARE WITHOUT YOUR PRIOR CONSENT DUE TO THESE REASONS:
- To make healthcare and other medical services available to you
- To make requests for payment either from you, your health insurance plan or other third party.
- Perform tasks that will enhance our healthcare services quality, physician qualification verifications and general improvement of our business.
- Adding some coordination to your healthcare by letting you know some of the updates in medical services available at Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care as well as informing you of your medical appointments.
- Inform you on Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care events.
- Indulge in preapproved Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care project.
- To be in accordance with legal requirements, court orders, subpoenas, and government instructions.
- Avert any public threat
AS A KINDER PEDIATRIC URGENT CARE PATIENT, THERE ARE CERTAIN RIGHTS YOU HAVE THAT YOU MAY NEED TO WRITE TO THE COMPANY FOR IT TO BE ENFORCED. These rights are concerning your PHI and they include:
- Right to enforce the amendment of PHI records in cases where you think we may have warped records.
- Right to obtain a copy of your medical records in any format you choose, written or printed under the auspices of the law.
- Right to control how we disclose your PHI to third parties.
- Right to control how we may contact you. Some may prefer email alone while others may prefer both email and phone.
- Right to be notified promptly in case your PHI is abused.
- Right to file complaints regarding abuse or improper disclosure of your PHI and
- Right to obtain a printed copy of this NOTICE.
USE AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR PHI BY KINDER PEDIATRIC URGENT CARE
Under close monitoring by the law of the day, Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care uses and shares your PHI in various ways and for various purposes. This may also be done without prior consent by you. Note that in this segment, not all the permissible usage or disclosures are listed but the ones not listed are being contained in the same category as these:
- Use and disclosure on your treatment: We (Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care) do as much as use your PHI to coordinate your treatment. Your PHI may be disclosed to our employees like nurses, technicians, students, physicians or any other third party involved in your health care. These third parties provide us with facilities and agencies to coordinate your healthcare such as laboratory works, X-ray scans and machines, healthcare continuity, etc.
- Use and disclosure on payments: We may use and disclose our patients’ PHI to bodies like the health insurance companies or any third party that may be responsible for paying for the patient’s medical care. For us to receive payment, we have to submit your bill to your payer or insurer with a means of identification, diagnosis and care costs. Your PHI may also be disclosed to our smaller contractors or Ambulance Company that have provided you with their services so they can identify and bill you or one who is liable for your bills.
- Use and disclosure on healthcare operations: If we have to, we can share your PHI to enhance the quality of our services and improve our business. Sometimes we may disclose your PHI records to necessary personnel for purposes of review, research or education, purposes of accreditation, resolving of lawsuits and licensing etc.
- Appointment reminders: Your PHI records such as your phone number or email can be used to remind you if you have appointment with us.
- Use and disclosure to our business associates: We disclose your PHI with our business associates who provide us with facilities and IT services and we ensure they put it in writing that they will protect your data as is satisfactory by the law.
- Sundry treatment options and other medical benefits: Your PHI records in our possession are used to alert you on various treatment options and benefits that are ongoing. Be rest assured that your records will not be sold to any party for marketing purposes without your consent, but we may get paid by research bodies to disclose your PHI for educational, public health reporting and treatment purposes. All these are done as permitted by the law.
- Use and disclosure to third party that is responsible for your medical bills: Your PHI may be shared with people who are involved in your healthcare or are responsible for your bills. However, you have the right to say otherwise. We can also share PHI records with a ‘patient’s representative.’ These reps are responsible and granted by the law to make medical decisions for you. If the patient is a minor, their PHI is shared with their representative except in cases where the law allows minors to determine who else gets access to their records and make medical decisions for themselves. We may disclose your PHI to your friends and family if there is need to pick up prescriptions, get x-ray scan results etc, which is in your best interest. However, to stop your PHI from being shared with any friend or family, you can write to Manager or contact us any of our offices.
- For research: Your PHI may be shared with relevant bodies for purposes of research that is in accordance with the law of the state or federal framework. Researchers will contact you after you have given them authorization to do so and find out if you are interested in their research. However, if a particular research has been approved by IRB (Institutional Review Board) or other special review agency, we may disclose your PHI to the researcher without your authorization. These review boards ensure that your records are kept confidential and safe. Federal laws also allow some researchers have access to your PHI as long as the records remain with us (Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care). Do not panic. Your PHI records and treatment or Medicare will not be altered or affected by research activities.
- Use and disclosure as the law requires: If the law requires us to disclose PHI records, we have no choice but to do so.
If you have any issues or questions about how your PHI is used and disclosed, endeavor to contact the Manager.
We may disclose or use your PHI in many different ways. However, what if special situations warrant? Here is a list of some special situations and how we would use or disclose your PHI in such situations.
- Legal issues: Lawsuits or other legal proceedings may mean we have to share your PHI with courts or attorneys as required by subpoenas, discovery requests, court orders, summons and various other legal instructions to aid a legal process. If there is a lawsuit against us (Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care), we may have to share your PHI in self-defense.
- Law enforcement: If law enforcement agencies request, we may disclose your PHI. However, we will not disclose your records except in cases that involves: Identification and location of a fugitive, material witness, suspect etc.; getting information about a victim of a criminal act when they (the victim) are not in position to give authorization; getting information about a victim suspected to have died as a result of a criminal activity; getting information about a criminal act that may have taken place at Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care.
- Curbing of a threat to safety or health: Your PHI may be used or disclosed just to rein in a threat to safety or health of both yourself and the society at large. Your PHI is either used to provide assistance or to help reduce the affect of the threat.
- Public health: We may disclose your PHI to public health officers on grounds that there is need for; control of a particular disease or disability; reporting births and deaths; reporting a case of child abuse or neglect; reporting your reaction to a particular drug or medical products; notifying you if you are in a risky state of contracting or spreading a particular disease; reporting work-related illnesses to your employer for more workplace safety measures.
- ‘Workers’ Compensation: This body compensates workers for any work-related injury or illness and we may disclose your PHI to them if you are supposed to get compensated.
- Health Activities Overseer: Your PHI may be disclosed to bodies, both federal and state, that governs the medical services of Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care. These bodies are responsible for licensing, accrediting and auditioning of various public health organizations such as Medicaid and Medicare.
- Government functions: If you are a member of the United States armed forces or probably a foreign country, we will share your PHI records if required by the military to effectively carry out their duties. We can also use and disclose your PHI to the authorized bodies on matters of national security and intelligence, protection of the president of the United States and or several other officials.
- Medical examiners, Coroners and funeral directors: Coroners or medical examiners and funeral directors may request your PHI for carrying out their duties such as information to identify a dead person and possible cause of death.
- Incidental disclosures: Incidental disclosures may be unavoidable no matter how hard we try to protect your records. An example of incidental disclosure is being overheard by another patient as you disclose your PHI to our personnel. You have to understand that these disclosures are permissible.
- Certain special categories of information: There is certain information on your PHI records that requires additional protection. Some of these categories may include HIV-status, mental ill-health, alcohol and drug abuse records as well as genetic records. We ensure that we abide by all the laws and add extra protection where necessary.
USE AND DISCLOSURE THAT REQUIRES YOUR CONSENT: We will request your written authorization before we use or disclose your PHI in ways that are not listed in this ‘Notice of Privacy Practices.’ You can give or revoke your authorization at any time through written medium; however, if we have disclosed your PHI with your initial consent before your revoked, we may not be able to revoke (or retrieve, or recall) the already disclosed PHI data.
WHAT IS YOUR RIGHTS AS REGARDS YOUR PHI? Yes, you have rights accrued to you as regards your PHI. These are:
- Right To Obtain A Copy Of Your PHI Records: As a company, we rely on your PHI records to help you and us to make decisions about your health and care. You reserve the right to ask for and obtain a copy of the records. You have right to ask for your billing records, but you do not have right to request for psychotherapy notes. If we have an electronic record of your data, you can get an electronic copy on request. Your request may however be denied by us. We will provide a written note as to why we have denied you in whole or in part. You may ask through writing for us to review our stance in the denial or file your complaint with our company or with the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Although you have the right to request for a copy of your records, we can also deny you access. We will write to you as per the reasons behind our denial of your request. You can write to us for a review of this decision by filing a complaint with our company or with the Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
IF YOU WISH TO OBTAIN A COPY OF YOUR RECORDS, YOU SHOULD FILL A ‘HIPAA AUTHORIZATION’ FORM AND SEND TO THE MANAGER at Kinder Pediatric. THE FORM DISCLOSES THE DATA YOU WANT TO OBTAIN, WHEN YOU WANT IT AND WHERE YOU WANT IT DELIVERED TO. FEES MAY APPLY FOR COPYING AND SENDING YOU THESE MAILS.
- Right To Obtain Forms In This Section: All you will do is walk up to our office (Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care) or contact the Manager.
- Right To Request An Amendment Or Addendum: If you think that the records of your PHI with us are faulty or incorrect, you have the right to request for an amendment. However, we will not discard the former record but only add the amendment made to it. We may also deny a request for amendment of your record for these reasons: (i) the request holds no solid reason for an amendment and is not made in the required form (writing); (ii) the records needing amendment was not created by us (Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care ) or for us, except in special cases where the PHI record creator is not in position to do it; (iii) the records are not necessary for our decisions about your health care; (iv) if your PHI rights does not allow you to have a copy of the records; (v)and lastly, if our discoveries say the records are accurate. We always ensure we write to our patients enlightening them on the reasons why we denied their requests. Also added to the letter are the steps you must take to file a complaint with us or the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The ‘request for amendment’ form must be completed and send to the Manager for you to be taken seriously. This form should contain your solid reasons for requesting the amendment.
- Right To An Accounting Of Disclosures: You reserve the right to know the people or bodies whom we may have disclosed your PHI records to in the space of six years before your request.
- Unavailable Disclosures: You may request any disclosures of your PHI but these will not be available in the list that will be given to you: disclosures made to you, your healthcare representative, disclosures made to coordinate your healthcare, disclosures made to influence your treatment or payment for our services, disclosures made due to your authorization or as permitted by the law, disclosures made to your friends and families who partake in your healthcare, disclosures made to the authorities in cases of natural security and intelligence, disclosures made to law enforcement, correctional agencies or research institutions with for ‘limited data’ research.
- You Can Request Accounting On Disclosures: All you should do is simply complete a form tagged ‘Request for Accounting Disclosures’ and deliver it to the Manager. The form should signify the time range of disclosures that you want to observe. The first request over a year period is often done for free. Subsequent requests attract a fee for the same time frame (a year).
- You Also Have The Right To Restrict Disclosures: You can request to limit how much people have access to your PHI records. Although we are not obliged to grant this request, we may as well consider the request. If you do not want us to disclose your PHI to any third party involved in your healthcare payments for example, we will only grant it on grounds that you pay your bills by yourself in full. Failure to do so will mean that we have to disclose your PHI records to whoever will pay for the follow-up care. To exercise this request, you have to complete the ‘Disclosure Preference’ form while registering and deliver it to the Manager.
- Right To Request Suitable Means Of Communication: You can also choose how we communicate with you that will be most suitable and confidential for you. We will adhere to your wishes however, if we cannot reach you via your desired means, we will have to do so via your home address or phone number on our file. You make your request to be contacted in a suitable way by contacting the Manager or indicating it at your registration or intake. Unlike other requests, you do not have to provide any reason for your communication preference but you must add at least one means of contact where we can send your healthcare bills.
- Right To Be Notified During A Breach: Amongst your rights is the right to receive a notice where there is a breach by our company (Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care) or our business associates. This notice will get to you by email and it will be not later than 60days after discovery of the breach. We will notify you letting you know the breach (PHI data involved), when it was identified and steps we are taking to remedy the situation as well as a phone number you can call if you have any issues or question to ask us.
- Right to Obtain A Copy Of This ‘Notice’ (Paper Copy): You can make a request to get a paper copy of this Notice and it will be granted even if you may have made a previous request for the electronic copy. However, all you should do is contact the Manager or check in any of our offices and request for one.
- Right To File Complains As Regards Violated Rights: In cases where you feel your rights in this Notice are being violated and you wish to file any complain, you should put it into writing and file it directly with the Manager at Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care .
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE IN THE FUTURE: We have the right to review this notice and make necessary changes to it in the future without prompting you. We also reserve the right to work with your available PHI or any other data we receive in the future as regards to the reviewed Notice.