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HIPAA PRIVACY POLICY
 
THIS POLICY DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT OUR CLIENTS MAY BE USED AND WHICH INFORMATION MAY OR MAY NOT BE DISCLOSED AND HOW AND TO WHOM THIS INFORMATION MAY BE DISCLOSED.
PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

Introduction  |  Permitted Uses and Disclosures  |  Other Uses and Disclosures

Introduction
 
Loving Care Family Services, LLC (LCFS) wants our clients to understand that all medical information concerning any of our clients is private and confidential. Further, all employees are required by law to maintain the privacy of "PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION." Protected Health Information includes any individually identifiable information that we obtain from our clients and their families that relates to their past, present or future physical or mental health, the health care they have received or payment for their health care.

As required by law, this policy provides our clients with information about their rights and our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to the privacy of protected health information. All employees must comply with the provisions of this policy as currently in effect, although LCFS reserves the right to change the terms of this policy from time to time and to make the revised policy effective for all protected health information we maintain.
 
Permitted Uses and Disclosures
 
We can use or disclose our clients’ protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations. For each of these categories of uses and disclosures, we have provided a description and an example below.

However, not every particular use or disclosure in every category will be listed.

1. TREATMENT means the provision, coordination management of our clients’ health care, including consultations between health care providers relating to their care and referrals for health care from one health care provider to another. For example, a LCFS employee may need to disclose to emergency health care professionals a client’s protected health information during a life threatening event such as a seizure so that the client may receive the proper emergency health care.

2. PAYMENT means the activities we undertake to obtain reimbursement for the health care provided to our clients, including billing collections, claims management, determinations of eligibility and coverage and other utilization review activities, for example, prior to providing health care services we may need to provide information to a client’s Third Party Payer about his or her medical condition to determine whether the proposed course of treatment will be covered. When we subsequently bill the Third Party Payer for the services rendered to the client, we can provide the Third Party Payer with information regarding his or her care if necessary to obtain payment.

Federal or State law may require us to obtain a written release from the client prior to disclosing certain specially protected health information for payment purposes, and we will ask him or her to sign a release when necessary under applicable law.

3. HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS means the support functions of LCFS and its employees related to treatment and payment, such as quality assurance activities, case management, receiving and responding to client comments, and complaints, physician reviews, compliance programs, audits, business planning, development, management and administrative activities. For example, we may use a client’s protected health information to evaluate the performance of our staff when caring for him or her.

LCFS may also combine health information about many clients to decide what additional services we should offer, what services are not needed and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students and others for review and learning purposes.

LCFS will remove names and any identifying data from the client’s information so that others can use the de-identified information to study health care delivery without learning which client the information is concerning.
 
Other Uses and Disclosures
 
In addition to using and disclosing client information for treatment, payment and health care operations, LCFS may use client protected health information in the following ways:

1. LCFS may contact clients to provide appointment reminders for treatment or medical care.

2. LCFS may contact clients to tell them about or recommend possible treatment alternatives or other health related benefits and services that may be of interest to them.

3. LCFS may disclose to a client’s family or friends or any other individual identified by their protected health information, including the LCFS contract, as directly related to such person's involvement in their care or the payment for their care. We may use or disclose their protected health information to notify, or assist in the notification of a family member, a personal representative, or another person responsible for their care, of their location, general condition or death. If a client or their guardian is present or otherwise available, we will give them an opportunity to object to these disclosures, and we will not make these disclosures if they object. If they are not present or otherwise available, we will determine whether a disclosure to the client’s family or friends is in their best interest taking into account the circumstances and based upon our professional judgment.

4. When permitted by law, LCFS may coordinate our uses and disclosures of protected health information with public or private entities authorized by law or by charter to assist in disaster relief efforts.

5. LCFS will allow a client’s family and friends to act on a client’s behalf to pick-up filled prescriptions, medical supplies, x-rays, and similar forms of protected health information, when we determine, in our professional judgment that it is in the client’s best interest to make such disclosures.

6. Subject to applicable law, LCFS may make incidental uses and disclosures of protected health information. Incidental uses and disclosures are by-products of otherwise permitted uses or disclosures which are limited in nature and cannot be reasonably prevented.

7. LCFS may contact clients as part of our fund-raising and marketing efforts as permitted by applicable law.

8. LCFS may use or disclose clients’ protected health information for research purposes, subject to the requirements of applicable law. For example, a research project may involve comparisons of the health and recovery of all clients who received a particular treatment or medication. All research projects are subject to a special approval process which balances research needs with our clients' need for privacy. When required, we will obtain a written authorization from our clients prior to using any health information for research.

9. LCFS will use or disclose protected health information about our clients when required to do so by applicable law.
 
[NOTE: LCFS WILL NOT DISCLOSE YOUR OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER’S PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION EXCEPT IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAW. WE MAY DISCLOSE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION TO YOUR EMPLOYER ONLY IF WE ARE RETAINED TO CONDUCT AN EVALUATION RELATING TO MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE AT YOUR WORKPLACE OR TO EVALUATE WHETHER YOU HAVE A WORK-RELATED ILLNESS OR INJURY. YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THESE DISCLOSURES BY YOUR EMPLOYER OR LCFS AS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW.]
 
 

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© 2017 Loving Care Family Services, LLC Last Update: June 2011 Questions, Comments, Suggestions