Notice of Privacy Practices for COORDINATED HEALTH Holding Company, LLC (“CH”)
(including CHS Professional Practice, P.C., CH Hospital of Allentown, LLC, East Stroudsburg ASC, CH Ambulatory Surgery Center of Lopatcong, LLC, CH of Greater New Jersey, LLC and Coordinated Health Orthopedic Hospital, LLC, collectively, the “Company”)
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact Laurie Gombert (610-861-8080 x36543) or by email at email@example.com. She is the Privacy Contact for Coordinated Health.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) imposes numerous requirements on the use and disclosure of Protected Health Information (as defined herein) by the Company. This Notice of Privacy Practices (the “Notice”) describes how we may use and disclose your Protected Health Information to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control of your Protected Health Information. “Protected Health Information” is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services.
This Notice serves as a summary of your privacy rights. By law, the Company must provide you with this Notice and follow the terms of this Notice while it is in effect. We may change the terms of our notice at any time. The new notice will be effective for all Protected Health Information we maintain at such time, and will be made available to you via our website at www.coordinatedhealth.com. You may also obtain any Notice by calling the office and requesting that a copy be sent to you in the mail, or by asking for one at the time of your next appointment. You may also contact our Privacy Contact, Laurie Gombert confidentially at the number or email address listed above.
The Company is required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your Protected Health Information. We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your Protected Health Information.
- How does the Company use and/or disclose my Protected Health Information?
Generally, under HIPAA, the Company uses and discloses your Protected Health Information, without your written authorization, for the normal business activities that the law sees as falling within the categories of treatment, payment, and health care operations. Below are examples of those activities, although we note that not every use or disclosure falling within each category is listed:
Treatment: We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. This includes the coordination or management of your health care with a third party that has already obtained or will be obtaining (based upon our reasonable belief) your permission to have access to your Protected Health Information. For example, we may disclose your Protected Health Information, as necessary, to a hospital, home health agency, or another health care provider that is providing or will be providing care to you in conjunction with care that we are providing or have requested; so that such a provider will have the necessary information to diagnose or treat you.
Payment: We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. This may include certain activities that your health insurance plan may undertake before it approves or pays for the health care services we recommend for you such as; making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you for medical necessity, and undertaking utilization review activities. For example, obtaining approval for a hospital stay may require that your relevant Protected Health Information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the hospital admission. We may also disclose patient information to another provider involved in your care for the other provider’s payment activities.
Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information, as-needed, to facilitate the operation of this health care entity. These activities include, but are not limited to: quality assessment activities; accreditation, licensing or certification of our health care providers or the practice or related entities; credentialing of our health care providers with different health care insurers and hospitals; securing liability insurance and obtaining its benefits; evaluating and defending allegations of liability; employee review activities; training of medical students; fundraising activities; and conducting or arranging for other business activities. In certain circumstances, we may also disclose patient information to another provider or health plan for their health care operations. For example, we may disclose your Protected Health Information to medical school students that see patients at our office. In addition, we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name and indicate your health care provider. We may also call you by name in the waiting room when your health care provider is ready to see you. We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information, as necessary, to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you and/or to remind you of appointments. Your name and address may be used to send you a newsletter about our practice and the services we offer. We may also send you information about products or services that we believe may be beneficial to you. You may contact our Privacy Contact to request that these materials not be sent to you. We may use or disclose your demographic information and the dates that you received treatment from your health care provider, as necessary, in order to contact you for fundraising activities supported by us or related entities. If you do not want to receive these materials, please contact our Privacy Contact and request that these fundraising materials not be sent to you.
The Company may also, without your written authorization, use your Protected Health Information as follows:
By Law: We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization to the extent that the use or disclosure is permitted or required by law. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law.
Public Health: We may disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability. We may also disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization, if directed by the public health authority, to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.
Communicable Diseases: We may disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.
Health Oversight: We may disclose Protected Health Information without your written authorization to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.
Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, we may disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence to the governmental entity or agency authorized to receive such information. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.
Food and Drug Administration: We may disclose your Protected Health Information without authorization to a person or company required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product defects or problems, biologic product deviations, tract products; to enable product recalls; to make repairs or replacements, or to conduct post marketing surveillance, as required.
Legal Proceedings: We may disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or an administrative tribunal or, under certain circumstances, in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.
Law Enforcement: We may also disclose Protected Health Information without your written authorization for law enforcement purposes. These disclosures may be made under the following reasons or circumstances: (1) compliance with legal process or as otherwise required by law, (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes, (3) suspected criminal victim information, (4) suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct, (5) in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of the practice, and (6) medical emergency (not on our premises) involving suspected criminal conduct.
Coroners, Funeral Directors, and Organ Donation: We may disclose Protected Health Information without your written authorization to a coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, determining cause of death or for the coroner or medical examiner to perform other duties authorized by law. We may also disclose Protected Health Information to a funeral director, as authorized by law, in order to permit the funeral director to carry out their duties. We may disclose such information in reasonable anticipation of death. Protected Health Information may be used and disclosed for cadaveric organ, eye or tissue donation purposes.
Research: We may disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review or privacy board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your Protected Health Information.
Limited Data Sets: We may disclose Protected Health Information by removing directly identifying information (i.e., a limited data set) for research purposes or for public health purposes. If we do so, a “data use agreement” will be required from the recipient of this information that precludes the recipient from re-identifying this information (i.e., making its relationship to you identifiable) and/or disclosing it.
Criminal Activity: Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, we may disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. We may also disclose Protected Health Information if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.
Military Activity and National Security: When the appropriate conditions apply, we may use or disclose Protected Health Information of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel without their written authorization (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits, or (3) to foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military services. We may disclose your Protected Health Information to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities, including for the provision of protective services to the Present or other legally authorized.
Workers’ Compensation: Your Protected Health Information may be disclosed by us without your written authorization as authorized to comply with workers’ compensation laws and other similar legally-established programs.
Inmates: We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization if you are an inmate of a correctional facility and your health care provider created or received your Protected Health Information in the course of providing care to you.
Required Uses and Disclosures: Under the law, we must make disclosures requested by you and when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of Section 164.500 et. seq.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made With Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information in the following instances, to which you have the opportunity to agree or object to the use or disclosure of all or part of your Protected Health Information. If you are not present or not able to agree or object to the use or disclosure of the Protected Health Information, then your health care provider may, using professional judgment, determine whether the disclosure is in your best interest. In this case, only the Protected Health Information that is relevant to your health care will be disclosed.
Facility Directories: Unless you request a restriction of your Protected Health Information in accordance with this Notice, we may use and disclose your name, the location at which you are receiving care, your condition (in general terms), and your religious affiliation in a facility directory. All of this information, except religious affiliation, may be disclosed to people that ask for you by name. Members of the clergy will be told your religious affiliation.
Others Involved in Your Healthcare: Unless you request a restriction of your Protected Health Information in accordance with this Notice, we may disclose your Protected Health Information to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify or who is present during your interactions with us; and we may use or disclose Protected Health Information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care of your location, general condition or death. You should notify your health care provider or the Privacy Contact in writing of any request to restrict such disclosures. Finally, we may use or disclose your Protected Health Information to an authorized public or private entity to assist in disaster relief efforts.
Emergencies: We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information, as needed, in an emergency treatment situation. If this happens, your health care provider shall try to obtain your consent as soon as reasonably practicable after the delivery of treatment. If your health care provider or another health care provider affiliated with the practice is required by law to treat you and the health care provider has attempted to obtain your consent but is unable to obtain your consent, he or she may still use or disclose your Protected Health Information to treat you.
Communication Barriers: We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information, as needed, if your health care provider or another health care provider in the practice attempts to obtain consent from you but is unable to do so due to substantial communication barriers and the health care provider determines, using professional judgment, that you intend to consent to use or disclosure under the circumstances.
Business Associates: We may share your Protected Health Information with third party “business associates” that perform various activities (e.g., billing, transcription services) for the practice. Whenever an arrangement between our office and a business associate involves the use or disclosure of your Protected Health Information, we will have a written contract that contains terms that will demand the protection of the privacy of your Protected Health Information.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Based upon Your Written Authorization
All other uses and disclosures, not previously described, may only be done with your written authorization. We will also obtain your authorization before we use or disclose your Protected Health Information for marketing purposes or before we sell your Protected Health Information.
You may revoke a written authorization to use or disclose your Protected Health Information at any time, so long as it is provided in writing to the Privacy Contact; however, please note that we are permitted to rely and take action on the authorization until we have the reasonable opportunity to process your revocation of the authorization.
- What are my individual privacy rights with respect to my Protected Health Information?
The following is a summary of your rights with respect to your Protected Health Information and a brief description of how you may exercise these rights.
The Company is required by law to:
- Maintain the privacy of your health information;
- Provide this Notice regarding our duties and privacy practices;
- Abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect; and
- Notify affected individuals in the event that a breach compromises your PHI.
The Law entitles you to:
Inspect and Receive Copies: You have the right to inspect and copy your Protected Health Information. This means you may inspect and obtain a copy of Protected Health Information about you that is contained in your designated record set for as long as we maintain the Protected Health Information. A “designated record set” contains medical and billing records and any other records that your health care provider and the practice uses for making decisions about you.
Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records: psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding; and Protected Health Information that is subject to law that prohibits access to Protected Health Information. We may deny your request to inspect or copy your Protected Health Information. . The Company will inform you of the reason for such a denial and depending on the circumstances, you may have the right to a review of our decision to deny access by a licensed health care professional designated by us who did not participate in the original decision to deny access. We retain the right to charge you reasonable fees for copying and postage (if applicable) and may require advance payment, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. We will not charge a fee to retrieve the records for copying. Any requests for inspection and copying your Protected Health Information or for review of a denial of access shall be submitted in writing to our Privacy Contact. Generally, we will provide our responses to any of these requests within sixty (60) days after receipt by our Privacy Contact. If another health care provider requires these records to render care or treatment, please have that provider contact us; so we may make every reasonable effort to get your records to that provider within the time that he or she requires your records.
Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction of your Protected Health Information: This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your Protected Health Information for the purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You may also request that any part of your Protected Health Information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice. Your request must be in writing and state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. It must be provided to the Privacy Contact. We are generally not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. However, if you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer and we must agree to such a request unless a law requires us to share that information. If your health care provider believes it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your Protected Health Information, your Protected Health Information will not be restricted. If your health care provider does agree to the requested restriction, we may not use or disclose your Protected Health Information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment. Further, we may terminate our agreement to a restriction under certain circumstances.
Right to Request Confidential Communications: You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests. We may also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request. Please make this request in writing to our Privacy Contact.
Right to Amend: You may have the right to request your health care provider amend your Protected Health Information. This means you may request an amendment of Protected Health Information about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information. The Company may deny your request to amend your record if such a request is not submitted in writing and/or does not state the reason that supports your decision. The Company may deny your request in certain circumstances if you ask us to amend information that the Company did not create (unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment), is not part of the records used by the Company to make decisions about your, and/or is not part of the information you are permitted to inspect and to receive a copy of, or is accurate and/or complete. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us; and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. Regardless, your request for an amendment shall remain part of your designated record set. Your request and any statement of disagreement shall be printed or typewritten, shall not exceed two (2) pages and shall state the basis for the request. It must be provided to our Privacy Contact. Generally, we will provide our responses to any of these requests within sixty (60) days after receipt by our Privacy Contact.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your Protected Health Information. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations, as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. It excludes disclosures pursuant to your written authorization and disclosures we may have made to you, for a facility directory, to family members, or friends involved in your care, or for certain other disclosures that we are permitted to make without your authorization. You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures that occurred after April 14, 2003. You may request a shorter timeframe. We also shall not supply an accounting of disclosures for more than the most recent six (6) years from the date of the request. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations. Your request for an accounting shall be provided in writing to our Privacy Contact. Generally, we will provide our responses to any of these requests within sixty (60) days after receipt by our Privacy Contact. We will provide the first accounting during a twelve (12) month period without charge; but we reserve the right to charge a reasonable cost-based fee for additional accountings during the same twelve (12) month period of time.
Right to a Paper Copy of this Notice: You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us, upon request, even if you have agreed to accept this notice electronically. If we revise this Notice, we will make it available at our offices upon your request and will post a notice in a clear and prominent location that it has been amended.
- What if I need to make a complaint?
You may complain to us or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us or that we have not followed our legal obligations under HIPAA. You may file a complaint with us by notifying our privacy contact of your complaint. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. You may contact our Privacy Officer at 610-861-8080 x36543 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about the complaint process.
To file a complaint with the Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, call 1-(877) 696-6775, or write to:
200 Independence Ave., S.E.,
Washington, D.C. 20201
This notice was published and became effective on April 14, 2003 and was amended on May 8, 2011 and November 6, 2017.
- What are the Company’s Admission Policies?
No person seeking necessary medical care from the hospital shall be denied such care for reasons not based on sound medical practice or the hospital’s charter and, particularly, no such person shall be denied such care on account of race, creed, color, religion, sex or sexual preference, in accordance with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
All care will be provided in a non-discriminatory manner.
The governing body, with the advice of and in conjunction with the medical staff, shall establish medical criteria for admissions to ensure provision of care based on medical necessity and appropriateness.