Permitted Uses & Disclosures
HHI employees will only use your health information when doing their jobs.For uses beyond what HHI normally does, HHI must have your written authorization unless the law permits or requires it, and you may revoke such authorization with limited exceptions.The following are some examples of our possible uses and disclosures of your health information:
Uses and Disclosures without Consent Relating to Treatment, Payment, or Health Care Operations:
- For treatment: HHI may use or share your health information to approve, deny treatment, and to determine if your medical treatment is appropriate. For example, HHI health care providers may need to review your treatment with your healthcare provider for medical necessity or for coordination of care.
- To obtain payment: HHI may use and share your health information in order to bill and collect payment for your health care services and to determine your eligibility to participate in our services.For example, your health care provider may send claims for payment of medical services provided to you.
- For health care operations:HHI may use and share your health information to evaluate the quality of services provided, or to our state or federal auditors.
Other Uses and Disclosures of HealthInformation Required or Permitted by Law:
- Information purposes:Unless you provide us with alternative instructions, HHI may send appointment reminders and other materials about the program to your home.
- Required by law:HHImay disclose health information when a lawrequires us to do so.
- Public health activities:HHI may disclose health information when HHI is required to collect or report information about diseases, injuries, or to report vital statistics to other divisions in the department andother public health authorities.
- Health oversight activities:HHI may disclose your health information to other divisions in the department and other agencies for oversight activities required by law. Examples of these oversight activities are audits, inspections, investigations, and licensure.
- Research purposes: In certain circumstances, and under the supervision of our Institutional Review Board or other designated privacy board, HHI may disclose health information to assist medical research.
- Avert threat to the health or safety: In order to avoid a serious and imminent threat to health or safety, HHI may disclose health information as necessary to law enforcement or other persons who can reasonably prevent or lessen the threat of harm.
- Abuse and neglect:HHI will disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you may be a possible victim of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, or some other crime. HHI may disclose your health information to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of others.
- Specific government functions:HHI may disclose health information of military personnel and veterans incertain situations, to correctional facilities in certain situations, to government benefit programs relating to eligibility and enrollment, and for national security reasons, such as protection of the President. .
- Family, friends, or others involved in your care:HHI may share your health information with people as it is directly related to their involvement in your care or payment of your care. HHI may also share your health information with people to notify them about your location, general condition, or death.
- Worker’s compensation:HHI may disclose health information to worker’s compensation programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses without regard tofault.
- Patient directories:HHI entities generally do not maintain directories for disclosures to callers or visitors who ask for you by name. However, if a HHI program does maintain a directory, you will not be identified to anunknown caller or visitor without authorization, and the limited information we disclose may include your name, location in the entity, your general condition (e.g., fair, stable, etc.) and your religious affiliation.
- Lawsuits, disputes and claims:If you are involved in a lawsuit, a dispute, ora claim, HHI may disclose your health information in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, the investigation of a complaint filed on your behalf, or other lawful process.
- Law enforcement:HHI may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for purposesthat are required by law or in response to a subpoena.
- Other parties for conducting permitted activities:HHI may conduct the above-described activities ourselves, or we may use non-HHI entities (known as Business Associates) to perform those operations. In those instances where we disclose your PHI to a third party acting on our behalf, we will protect your PHI through an appropriate privacy agreement.
- Fundraising Activities:HHI may use information about you to contact you in an effort to raise money for HHI and its operations. The information we release about you will be limited to your contact information, such as your name, address and telephone number and the dates you received treatment or services at HHI.
You Have a Right to:
- Request restrictions:You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information HHI usesor discloses about you.HHI will accommodate your request if possible, but is not legally required to agree to the requested restriction. Except as otherwise required by law,HHI must accommodate your request if the disclosure is to a health plan for purposes of carrying out payment or health care operations (and is not for purposes of carrying out treatment); and the protected health information pertains solely to a health care item or service for which the health care provider involved has been paid out of pocket in full.
- Request confidential communication:You have the right to ask that HHI send you information at analternative address or by alternative means. HHI must agree to your request as long as it is reasonably easy for us to do so.
- Inspect and copy:With certain exceptions (such as psychotherapy notes, information collected for certain legal proceedings, and health information restricted by law), you have a right to see your health information upon your written request.If you want copies of your health information, you may be charged areasonable and cost-based fee for copying, postage, and preparing an explanation or summary of the protected health information. You have a right to choose what portions of your information you want copied and to have prior information on the cost of copying.If HHI maintains your health information using electronic health records, we will provide access in electronic format and transmit copies of the health information to an entity or person designated by you, provided that any such choice is clear, conspicuous, and specific.
- Request amendment:You may request in writing thatHHIcorrect or add to your health record.HHI will respond to your request within 60 days, with up to a 30-day extension, if needed. HHI may deny the request if HHI determines that the health information is: (1) correct and complete; (2) not created by us and/or not part of our records; (3) not permitted to be disclosed.If HHIapproves the request for amendment, HHI will change the health informationandinform you,and HHIwill tell others that need to know about the change in the health information.
- Require authorization:You have the right to require your authorization for most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes, for receiving marketing communication and for the sale of your PHI.
- Receive accounting of disclosures:You have a right to request a list of the disclosures made of your health information after April 14, 2003, and in the six years prior to the date on which the accounting is requested. Exceptions are health information that has been used for treatment, payment, and health care operations. In addition, HHIdoes not have to list disclosures made to you, based on your written authorization, provided for national security, to law enforcement officers, or correctional facilities. There will be no charge for up to one such list each year. Additionally, HHI will provide an accounting for disclosures made through an electronic health record for treatment, payment, and health care operations, but information is limited to three years prior to date of request.
- Opt-Out:You have the right to receive fundraising communication and the right to request to opt-out of fundraising communication. You also have a right to opt-outofMaryland’s Health Information Exchange (HIE), which is the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP).
- Receive notice:You have the right to receive a paper copy of this Notice and/or an electronic copy by mail upon request.
- Receive breachnotification:You have the right to receive notification whenever a breach of your unsecured PHI occurs.
- Receive protection of genetic information:If any of HHI’s health care components is considered a health plan, the health plan is prohibited from using or disclosing your genetic information for certain underwriting purposes.
- Receive protection of mental health records:If a medical record that is developed in connection with you receiving mental health services is disclosed without your authorization, HHI will only release the information in your record that is relevant to the purpose for which the disclosure is sought.
For More information:
This document is available in other languages and alternative formats that meet the guidelinesfor the Americans with Disabilities Act.If you have questions and would like more information, you may contact:Liddy Garcia-Bunuel, Executive Director of Healthy Howard, Inc. (410) 313-6238
To Report a Problem about our Privacy Practices:
If youbelieve that your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint.
- You can file a complaint with Healthy Howard, Inc. at 8930 Stanford Blvd. Columbia, MD 21045
- You can file a complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights.You may call the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for the contact information.
HHI will take no retaliatory action against you if you make such complaints.
Effective Date: This notice is effective onJuly 14, 2015.