Our community is dedicated to protecting the privacy of your personal health information and is committed to maintaining our residents’ confidentiality. Certain state and federal laws and regulations require us to implement policies and procedures to safeguard the privacy of your health information.
This Policy applies to all information created, collected, received, shared and/or maintained.
WE ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO: (1) Maintain the privacy of your health information; (2) Provide to you this Policy of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we create, collect, receive, share and/or maintain; (3) Follow the Policy currently in effect.
WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION FOR TREATMENT, PAYMENT, AND CONTINUITY OF OPERATIONS.
- For Treatment: We will use your health information to plan, coordinate, and provide your care. We disclose your health information for treatment purposes to your physicians and other health care providers. We also may disclose your health information to individuals or health care professionals who will be involved in your care after you leave our community.
- For Payment: We may use and disclose your protected health information so that we can bill and collect payment for the treatment and services you receive at our community. For billing and payment purposes, we may disclose your protected health information to your insurance company or third-party payor. We may contact your health insurer to request prior approval for care or confirm continued eligibility for benefits.
- For Continuity of Operations: We may use and share your health information to ensure our residents receive quality care and services and to evaluate our staff performance. When you apply to become a member of our community, we photograph you for identification purposes and for medication administration, treatment and care. We may disclose your health information to our staff for auditing, education, treatment planning, and care.
WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU FOR OTHER SPECIFIC PURPOSES
- As Required by Law: We may disclose your health information when a federal, state or local law requires that we report information about suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, reporting adverse reactions to medications or injury from a health care product. We may share your health information in response to a court order, a subpoena, a discovery request, or other legal process. We may disclose your protected health information with law enforcement to comply with laws, which include reporting a suspicious injury or death, in response to a court order, warrant, or subpoena. We will contact you about a subpoena to give you an opportunity to obtain a protective order from court.
- Public Health and Safety: We may disclose your health information to public health authorities and oversight agencies that are authorized by law to receive and collect health information including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Allegheny, Beaver and Butler County health departments. We may use and disclose your personal health information when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of the public or another person. We may use or disclose your health information to a public or private entity authorized by law to assist in a disaster relief effort, for the purpose of coordinating with your family member your location and your condition.
- Workers’ Compensation: We may use or disclose your health information to comply with laws relating to workers’ compensation or similar programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses.
- Powers of Attorney and Family Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care: Unless you object, we may disclose your protected health information to your Power of Attorney or family members involved in your health care or in payment for your care.
- Reporting Victims of Abuse: Neglect or Domestic Violence: If we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, we may use and disclose your personal health information to notify the Area Agency on Aging or other government authority if required or authorized by law, or if you agree to the report.
- Funeral Directors, Medical Examiners, Coroners, Medical Bequests: We may release your health information to funeral directors, coroners, or medical examiners to carry out their duties and/or determine cause of death. In accordance with any advance directives, we will assist in the process of eye, organ or tissue transplants, and we may share your health information with organizations involved in carrying out your final wishes.
- Military and Veterans: If you are or were a member of the armed forces, we may use and disclose your personal health information as required by military command authorities.
- Business Associates and Affiliates: There are some services provided in our community through contracts with business associates who provide services for care within our community. When these outsourced services are contracted, we may share your health information so that our business associates can perform the job they have contracted to perform. To protect your health information, our business associates must safeguard your information, which they are also required to do by law.
- Fundraising: We may use certain types of information about you, on a minimum necessary basis, in order to contact you in an effort to raise money for our St. Barnabas communities. We may disclose health information to a Business Associate or St. Barnabas Charities, Inc. so that the Charities may contact you for a donation. In doing so we would only release contact information such as your name or contact person’s name and address. You have the right to opt out of receiving fundraising communications. In any fundraising material that we send you, we will clearly tell you how to opt out of receiving any further communications.
- Community Directory: We include limited information about you in our community directory. This information includes your name, your room number, your phone number, and any email address. Our directory does not include any medical information about you. You have the right to maintain privacy concerning your residency in our community. We will not provide your room number or resident status to family or friends if you request that we do not disclose that information.
WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION FOR OTHER DISCLOSURES
- Marketing: All disclosures of your health information that we may use for marketing will only be shared if a written authorization is signed by you or your responsible party. If you provide us with a written authorization for use or disclosure of your protected health information, you may revoke your authorization any time in writing. After you revoke an authorization, we will no longer use or disclose your identifiable health information for the reasons described in the authorization.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
- Right to Request Restrictions on Disclosure: You have the right to request that we limit how we use or disclose your health information for treatment, payment, or continuity of operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care or services. For example, you could request that we do not share information about a particular diagnosis or treatment with a family member. You must submit any request for a restriction on disclosure in writing. The request must include the information you want to limit and to whom. We are not required to agree with the request. However, should we agree, we will comply with your request not to release such information unless release of information is needed to care for you in an emergency.
- Right to Request Restrictions on Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate with you and your responsible party about your health information in a certain way or at a certain location that you believe provides you with optimal privacy. For example, you can ask that we only talk to you in an area that affords you privacy. To request restrictions on confidential communications, you must submit your request in writing. Where possible, we will accommodate all reasonable requests.
- Right of Access to Protected Health Information: You have the right to ask to see and request a copy of the health information we use to make decisions about your care. This includes your right to receive a copy of any electronic medical record in electronic form. A written authorization must be completed. We will provide you with any invoice describing costs prior to processing your request. We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain limited circumstances. If so, you may request a review of denial to be reviewed by a licensed healthcare professional who was not directly involved in the denial. We will comply with the outcome of the review.
- Right to Request an Amendment of Your Health Information: If you feel that your health information on file is incorrect or incomplete, you may request an amendment. You must make your request in writing and state the reason that supports your request. We have the right to deny your request and we will provide you with a written notice that explains our reasons for denial. You will have the right to submit a written statement disagreeing with our denial that will be added to your information on file.
- Right to be Notified of a Breach: We are required to notify you in the event that your unsecured protected health information (PHI) is breached. A “breach” is defined as the unauthorized acquisition, access, use, or disclosure of PHI which compromises the security or privacy of the PHI, but does not include unintentional acquisition, access or use of such information, inadvertent disclosure of such information within a facility, and disclosure to a person not reasonably able to retain it. We will notify you no later than 60 days after discovery of such breach via first-class mail or e-mail, if specified by you as your preference. Our notification to you will include: a brief description of what happened, including the date of breach and date of discovery (if known); a description of the types of PHI that were involved in the breach; and any steps you should take to protect yourself. We will include a brief description of what we are doing to investigate the breach, mitigate any harm to you and protect against further breaches. We will provide contact procedures for you to ask questions.
- Right to Voice Complaint: If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a confidential complaint by directly contacting The Administrator or by calling our Corporate Compliance Director, J.D. Turco at724-687-9355; ext. 5459. You may also file a complaint with the federal government by contacting the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20201. You will not be penalized or retaliated against for filing a complaint.