NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES Effective August 1, 2010
Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific’s (REHAB) Notice of Privacy Practices describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can access this information. It applies to all of the information related to your care generated or received by REHAB personnel or physicians. Please review it carefully. If you have any questions about this Notice, you may contact our Compliance Officer at (808) 544−3336.
REHAB is required by law to:
- Make sure that medical information which can identify you is kept private:
- Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you; and,
- Follow the terms of the Notice that is currently in effect.
Our Privacy Practices cover:
- Employees, contracted employees/vendors, and volunteers of REHAB hospital or one of its clinics; and,
- Any health care professional authorized by REHAB to access or enter information into your REHAB record.
OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION
In order to provide care to you, we create and keep a record of the care and services you receive at REHAB. This medical record assists us to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements.
We recognize that medical information about you and your health is personal and that we have a responsibility to handle it judiciously. We are committed to protecting it in accordance with State and federal laws and with our own privacy procedures.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
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 you 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 the categories.
- 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, therapists, technicians, medical students or other REHAB personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the hospital or clinic. For example, a doctor treating you for a hip replacement 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 we can arrange for appropriate meals. Different departments of REHAB also may share medical information about you 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 REHAB who may be involved in your medical care after you leave the hospital such as family members, health care providers or others we use to 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 at REHAB may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about therapy you received at the clinic or in the hospital so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the therapy. We may also tell your health plan about treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.
- For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose medical information about you for REHAB operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run REHAB and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may share information about you and your progress with your referring physician and/or referring facility. We may combine medical information about REHAB patients to decide what additional services REHAB should offer, what services are not needed and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, therapist, technicians, medical students and other REHAB personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also use combined medical information about our patients with information from other rehabilitation facilities or hospitals to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. We will 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 also disclose medical information about you to our accountants, attorneys, consultants and others to make sure we are complying with the laws that affect us.
- Appointment Reminders and Treatment Alternatives. We may use medical information to provide appointment reminders or tell you about possible treatment options that may be of interest to you.
- REHAB Directory. We may include certain limited information about you in the REHAB directory while you are a patient at the hospital or clinic. This information may include your name and location in the hospital or the clinic where you are receiving treatment. The directory information may be released to people who ask for you by name. This is so your family, friends and clergy can visit you in the hospital or locate you in the clinic. If you do not wish to be listed in the directory, please check "No" on the Outpatient or Inpatient Directory listing. If you check "No" on the Directory listing, we will not disclose your presence in our hospital or clinic to anyone who asks for you by name, including family and friends.
- 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. 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.
- Fundraising Activities. We may provide your demographic information to the REHAB Foundation. The Foundation raises funds for REHAB. The money raised through its activities is used to expand and support the health care services we provide to the community. If you do not wish to be contacted as part of our fundraising efforts, please write to our Compliance Officer at 226 North Kuakini Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817.
- 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.
- As Required by Law. We will disclose information about you when required to do so 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.
- For Research Purposes. We may use and disclose your protected health information (PHI) for research purposes but only as allowed by law and only with your permission. We may use, or allow other researchers to review your PHI for the purpose of preparing a plan for a specific research project. We may use your PHI to contact you with information about a research study in which you might be interested in participating. If you choose to participate in a research study, you will be asked to sign a written consent form authorizing the use and disclosure of your PHI for that study. All research studies must be reviewed and approved by a committee, called an Institutional Review Board (IRB), before subjects may be enrolled and allowed to participate in any study.
- Organ and Tissue Donation. We may release medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as required and necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
- Military and Veterans. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical 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.
- Workers’ Compensation. We may release medical information about you to 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 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. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when 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 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 the requesting party states that efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
- Law Enforcement. 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 a victim of a crime;
- about a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
- about criminal conduct at REHAB or,
- in emergency circumstances to report a crime, the location of the crime or victims, or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
- Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. We may release medial 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 hospital 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.
- To Business Associates. We may disclose medical information to those we contract with as business associates so that they may perform their jobs on behalf of REHAB. Examples include translator services, transcription services, information technology companies and collection agencies. Business associates are required under law to implement safeguards to protect your medical information.
- 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.
- Inmates. 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; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
- 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 authorization. If you provide us authorization to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time. Once revoked, we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by that written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your authorization and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.
YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION RIGHTS
Although your medical record is the physical property of REHAB, you have the rights described below with respect to your medical information.
- Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to inspect and receive a copy of medical information used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes. You must submit your request in writing to the Health Information Management Department (HIM), REHAB Hospital, 226 North Kuakini Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. We may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. We may deny your request to inspect and copy 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 the hospital 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 the hospital. We may deny a request for an amendment in certain situations. We will inform you of the denial reason if this occurs. If you disagree with the denial, we will inform you of the steps you can take to appeal. Your request for an amendment must be in writing and submitted to HIM, REHAB Hospital, 226 North Kuakini Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request.
- Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an "accounting of disclosures". This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you, except those made for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations or disclosures made for national security purposes or to law enforcement or corrections personnel. To request an accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to HIM, REHAB Hospital, 226 North Kuakini Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. Your request must state a time period which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. You may be charged for the cost of 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 disclose 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 physical therapy 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 with emergency treatment. To request restrictions, you must submit your request in writing to Compliance Officer, REHAB Hospital, 226 North Kuakini Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. 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 work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must submit your request in writing to Compliance Officer, REHAB Hospital, 226 North Kuakini Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. 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 our Compliance Officer at (808)544−3336.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
We reserve the right to change this notice. We reserve the right 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. We will post a copy of the current notice in the hospital and clinics. The notice will contain, on the first page, the effective date. In addition, each time you register or are admitted to REHAB for treatment or health care services as an inpatient or outpatient, we will offer you a copy of the current notice in effect.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with REHAB or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with REHAB, contact our Compliance Officer at 226 North Kuakini Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817 or telephone (808) 544−3336. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.