AR&C is committed to protecting the privacy of the personal and health information we collect or create as part of providing healthcare services to our clients, known as “Protected Health Information” or “PHI”. PHI typically includes your name, address, date of birth, billing arrangements, care, and other information that relates to your health, healthcare provided to you, or payment for healthcare provided to you. PHI DOES NOT include information that is deidentified or cannot be linked to you.
This notice of Health Information Privacy Practices (the “Notice”) describes AR&C’s duties with respect to the privacy of PHI, AR&C’s use of and disclosure of PHI, client rights and contact information for comments, questions, and complaints.
AR&C’s Privacy Procedures and Legal Obligations
AR&C obtains most of its PHI directly from you, through care applications, assessments and direct questions. We may collect additional personal information depending upon the nature of your needs and consent to make additional referrals and inquiries. We may also obtain PHI from community healthcare agencies, other governmental agencies or healthcare providers as we set up your service arrangements.
AR&C is required by law to provide you with this notice and to abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect. AR&C reserves the right to amend this Notice at any time to reflect changes in our privacy practices. Any such changes will be applicable to and effective for all PHI that we maintain including PHI we created or received prior to the effective date of the revised notice. Any revised notice will be mailed to you or provided upon request. AR&C is required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI. AR&C will comply with federal law and will comply with any state law that further limits or restricts the uses and disclosures discussed below. In order to comply with these state and federal laws, AR&C has adopted policies and procedures that require its employees to obtain, maintain, use and disclose PHI in a manner that protects client privacy.
Uses and Disclosures With Your Authorization
Except as outlined below, AR&C will not use or disclose your PHI without your written authorization. The authorization form is available from AR&C (at the address and phone number below). You have the right to revoke your authorization at any time, except to the extent that AR&C has taken action in reliance on the authorization. The law permits AR&C to use and disclose your PHI for the following reasons without your authorization:
For Your Treatment:
We may use or disclose your PHI to physicians, psychologists, nurses and other authorized healthcare professionals who need your PHI in order to conduct an examination, prescribe medication or otherwise provide healthcare services to you.
To Obtain Payment:
We may use or disclose your PHI to insurance companies , government agencies or health plans to assist us in getting paid for our services . For example, we may release information such as dates of treatment to an insurance company in order to obtain payment.
For Our healthcare Operations:
We may use or disclose your PHI in the course of activities necessary to support our healthcare operations such as performing quality checks on your employee services. We may also disclose PHI to other persons not in AR&C’s workforce or to companies who help us perform our health services (referred to as “Business Associates”) we require these business associates to appropriately protect the privacy of your information .
As Permitted or Required By The Law:
In some cases we are required by law to disclose PHI. Such as disclosures may be required by statute, regulation court order, government agency, we reasonably believe an individual to be a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence: for judicial and administrative proceedings and enforcement purposes.
For Public Health Activities:
We may disclose your PHI for public health purposes such as reporting communicable disease results to public health departments as required by law or when required for law enforcement purposes.
For Health Oversight Activities:
We may disclose your PHI in connection with governmental oversight, such as for licensure, auditing and for administration of government benefits. The Florida Department of Children and Families is an example of an agency that oversees AR&C’s operations.
To Avert Serious Threat to Health and Safety:
We may disclose PHI if we believe in good faith that doing so will prevent or lessen a serious or imminent threat to the health and safety of a person or the public.
Disclosures of Health Related Benefits or Services:
Sometimes we may want to contact you regarding service reminders, health related products or services that may be of interest to you, such as healthcare providers or settings of care or to tell you about other health related products or services offered at AR&C. You have the right not to accept such information.
Incidental Uses and Disclosures:
Incidental uses and disclosures of PHI are those that cannot be reasonably prevented, are limited in nature and that occur as a by-product of a permitted use or disclosure. Such incidental uses and disclosures are permitted as long as AR&C use reasonable safeguards and use or disclose only the minimum amount of PHI necessary.
To Personal Representatives:
We may disclose PHI to a person designated by you to act on your behalf and make decisions about your care in accordance with state law. We will act according to your written instructions in your chart and our ability to verify the identity of anyone claiming to be your personal representative.
To Family and Friends:
We may disclose PHI to persons that you indicate are involved in your care or the payment of care. These disclosures may occur when you are not present, as long as you agree and do not express an objection. These disclosures may also occur if you are unavailable, incapacitated, or facing an emergency medical situation and we determine that a limited disclosure may be in your best interest. We may also disclose limited PHI to public or private entity that is authorized to assist in disaster relief efforts in order for that entity to locate a family member or other person that may be involved in caring for you. You have the right to limit or stop these disclosures.
Access to Certain Records:
You have the right to inspect and copy your PHI in a designated record set except where State law may prohibit client access. A designated record set contains medical and billing and case management information. If we do not have your PHI record set but know who does, we will inform you how to get it. If our PHI is a copy of information maintained by another health care provider, we may direct you to request the PHI from them.
If AR&C produces copies for you, we may charge you up to $1.00 per page up to a maximum fee of $50.00. Should we deny your request for access to information contained in your designated record set, you have the right to ask for the denial to be reviewed by another healthcare professional designated by AR&C.
Amendments to Certain Records:
You have the right to request certain amendments to your PHI if, for example, you believe a mistake has been made or a vital piece of information is missing. AR&C is not required to make the requested amendments and will inform you in writing of our response to your request.
Accounting of Disclosures:
You have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of your PHI that were made by AR&C for a period of six (6) years prior to the date of your written request. This accounting does not include for purposes of treatment, payment, health care operations or certain other excluded purposes, but includes other types of disclosures, including disclosures for public health purposes or in response to a subpoena or court order.
You have the right to request that we agree to restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your PHI, but we are not required to agree to your request. You cannot place limits on uses and disclosures that we are legally required or allowed to make.
You have the right to revoke any authorizations you have provided, except to the extent that AR&C has already relied upon the prior authorization.
Delivery by Alternate Means or Alternate Address:
You have the right to request that we send your PHI by alternate means or to an alternate address.
Complaints & How to contact us:
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you have the right to file a complaint by contacting AR&C at the address and/or phone number indicated below. You also have the right to file a complaint with the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human services in Washington, D.C. AR&C will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may make a complaint by contacting the Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. No individual will be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
The U.S.Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Toll Free: 1-877-696-6775
Notice of Privacy Practices:
This notice describes how your protected health information (PHI) may be used and disclosed and how you can access this information. Please review this notice carefully – the privacy of your PHI is important to us.
Our Legal Duty:
We are required by applicable federal and state laws to maintain the privacy of your protected health information. PHI is information that may identify you and that relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health/condition and related health care services. We will not use or disclose PHI about you without your written authorization – except as described in this notice. We are required to give this notice about privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your PHI. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this notice while it is in effect.
Uses and Disclosures of Health Information:
We use and disclose protected information about you for treatment, payment, and healthcare/program operations as follows:
In addition to our use of your PHI for treatment, payment or healthcare/program operations you may give us written authorization to use your PHI or to disclose it for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time (except where required by courtordered services). Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosure permitted by your authorization while it was in effect. Unless you give us written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your PHI for any reason except those described in this notice.
We may use or disclose your PHI to the referral source for purposes of treatment planning and coordination, reporting compliance/non-compliance issues, and referral to another additional service provider.
We may use or disclose your PHI to obtain payment for services we provide to you. This may include such activities as verification of coverage and billing/collection activities and related data processing.
We may use or disclose your PHI in connection with our healthcare program operations. This may include such activities as quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing the competence and/or qualifications of healthcare/program professionals, evaluating provider performance, conducting training programs, and accreditation, certification, licensing and/or credentialing activities.
Required by Law:
We may use or disclose your PHI when we are required to do so by law – including judicial and administrative proceedings.
Abuse or Neglect:
We may disclose your PHI to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence or the possible victim of other crimes. We may also disclose your PHI to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of others – including, if we have good reason to believe that you are engaging in child or elder abuse.
We may disclose to authorized federal officials PHI required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, or other national security activities. We may disclose to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials having lawful custody of PHI under certain circumstances.
Appointment Reminders and Termination Notices:
We may use or disclose your PHI to provide you with appointment reminders or to advise you that you are at risk for program termination. Such activities may include voicemail messages and letters.
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