NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Effective date: January 1, 2021
Notice of privacy practices. 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.
WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE.
This Notice describes the privacy practices of Mobile Hyperbaric Centers, LLC (“MHC”).
Each MHC entity, its employees, staffing, personnel, and the healthcare professionals providing services at the entity participate in an “organized healthcare arrangement” that permits sharing of protected health information (“PHI”) to carry out treatment, payment, and healthcare operations related to the arrangement. Additionally, each MHC entity participates in organized healthcare arrangements that permit all MHC entities to share PHI for the same purpose under similar arrangements. Each of the participants in the organized healthcare arrangements remains solely responsible and liable for its/his/her own acts and missions. These organized healthcare arrangements do not create a joint venture, partnership, agency, or employment relationship, and joint and several liability is not intended.
WHEN THIS NOTICE APPLIES.
This Notice applies to all the records of your care generated by an MHC entity, whether made by MHC entity personnel or your personal doctor. Your personal doctor may have different policies or Notices regarding the use and disclosure of your PHI created in the doctor's office or clinic.
MHC entities are required by law to make sure that PHI is kept private, to provide this Notice of MHC legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI, to follow the terms of the Notice currently in effect, and to notify affected individuals following certain breaches of unsecured PHI.
HOW WE MAY DISCLOSE AND USE PHI.
The following categories describe different ways that MHC entities use and disclose PHI. Although not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed, all the ways MHC is permitted to use and disclose PHI will fall within one of the categories.
MHC may use PHI to provide or arrange for medical treatment. MHC may disclose PHI to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, or other healthcare personnel or facilities involved in a patient's care. For example, different departments of an MHC entity may share PHI to coordinate the different things a patient needs, such as prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. MHC may also use and disclose PHI to arrange for healthcare (e.g., referrals to specialists; transfers or referrals to other healthcare providers, including arranging for care once a patient is discharged from a hospital, etc.). MHC may also use and disclose PHI to send treatment related communications concerning treatment alternatives or other health related products or services.
MHC may use and disclose PHI to create bills and process payments. For example, MHC may provide a health insurer with information about a surgery a patient received so the insurer will pay for the
surgery. MHC may also tell a health insurer about a treatment a patient will receive to obtain prior approval, or to determine whether the insurer will cover the treatment.
MHC may use and disclose PHI for the operation of MHC. These uses or disclosures are necessary to run MHC entities and to ensure that all patients receive quality care. For example, MHC may use PHI for internal review of treatment and services and to evaluate staff performance. MHC may combine PHI about many of MHC patients to decide what additional services the MHC entities should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. MHC entities may share PHI with each other to conduct overall quality assessment and improvement activities, to review the competence or qualifications of healthcare professionals, and to conduct fraud and abuse detection programs. MHC may also disclose PHI to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, and other MHC entity personnel for review and learning purposes. MHC may also combine the PHI MHC have with PHI from other healthcare systems to compare how MHC is doing and see where MHC can make improvements in the care and services MHC offers. Note. MHC may remove from PHI information that identifies individuals so it may be used without learning the identity of specific patients.
MHC make contact patients by telephone, email, or text message to advise them of upcoming appointments and needed follow-up services, treatment options or alternatives, health-related benefits or services of interest, survey participation, and for other lawful treatment and healthcare operations purposes using any of the telephone numbers and/or email addresses you provide (e.g., on patient intake forms or registration materials). MHC may use any method of contact to the telephone numbers provided, including automatic dialing devices. Please keep in mind text messaging and email are not secure forms of communication and information contained in texts and emails sent to the telephone numbers or email addresses you provide could be accessed or used by unauthorized third parties. Please do not include any sensitive or private information in any email or survey responses, because such email or survey responses may not be transmitted by secure means and could be intercepted by unauthorized third parties. You may opt out of receiving telephone, text message, and/or email communications at any time by contacting an MHC representative at your location of treatment or by contacting MHC at 216-443-0430.
MHC may use and disclose certain PHI for fundraising activities. Such disclosures would be to associates of, or a foundation related to, or partnered with the MHC entity where the patient obtained services. You have the right to opt out of receiving such communications.
An MHC entity within a hospital or facility may maintain limited directory information (e.g., patient name, location, and general condition). The directory information may also include religious affiliation, which would be released only to clergy. Unless you object, the directory information (except for religious affiliation) will be released to those who ask for you by name. You may request that your information not be included in the directory or limit the information in the directory.
Individuals Involved in Patient Care or Payment for Care; Disaster Relief Agencies.
MHC may release PHI to a family member or friend involved in a patient's medical care or payment of such care period Additionally, MHC may release PHI to notify family member, a friend, or a person responsible for a patient's care of the patient's location and general condition, and MHC may disclose
PHI to a disaster relief agency so a patient's family can be notified of the patient's condition, status, and location.
MHC may use and disclose PHI necessary for research purposes. All research projects are subject to a special approval process that evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with the patient's right to privacy. Before MHC uses or discloses PHI for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process. MHC may, however, disclose PHI to people preparing to conduct a research project (e.g., to help them look for patients with specific medical), so long as the medical information they reviewed does not leave the MHC entity. In almost all other cases MHC will obtain specific authorization if the researcher will have access to a patient's name, address, or other information that reveals the patient’s identity. Note. MHC may remove from PHI information that identifies individuals so that it may be used without learning the identity of specific patients.
As Required by Law or to Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety.
MHC will disclose PHI when required by law. MHC may also use or disclose PHI if necessary to prevent or lessen a serious threat to a patient's health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to prevent or lessen the threat.
Public health activities. MHC may disclose PHI for certain public health activities including prevention or control of disease, injury, or disability; reporting births and deaths; reporting child abuse or neglect; reporting reactions to medications or problems with products; providing recall notification for product; notifying a person who may or have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or to spreading a disease or condition; notifying employers for workplace safety purposes or to provide information regarding work related injury or illness; and notifying the appropriate government authority if MHC believe a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence (unless the patient is a child, has a disability, or is elderly, MHC generally will make this disclosure only if the patient consents).
Health Oversight Activities.
MHC may disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure actions.
MHC may release PHI to law enforcement to comply with a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process authorized by law; in emergencies, to report crimes (e.g., child sexual abuse), the location of the crime or victims, or the identity, description, or location of the person who committed the crime; to comply with laws regarding the reporting of suspicious wounds and death; to identify a victim of a crime; to report criminal conduct on the premises of an MHC entity; and to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person.
Lawsuits and Disputes.
MHC may disclose PHI in response to a court or administrative order. MHC may also disclose PHI in response to a subpoena or other lawful process.
Specialized Government Functions.
MHC may release PHI for specialized government functions. For example, if a patient is a member of the armed forces, MHC may release PHI as required by military command authorities. MHC may also release
PHI about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority. MHC may release PHI to the authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law. MHC may disclose PHI to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state, or conduct special investigations. If a patient is an inmate of a correctional Institute or in the custody of law enforcement, MHC may release that patients PHI to such institution or to a law enforcement official.
MHC may release PHI as required by workers compensation or similar programs providing benefits for work-related injury or illness.
Coroners; Medical Examiners; Funeral Directors.
MHC may release PHI to a coroner or medical examiner. With consent or under other circumstances permitted by law, MHC may release PHI to funeral directors.
Organ and Tissue Donation.
MHC may release PHI to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye, or tissue transplantation.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDIN MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.
You have the following rights regarding the PHI MHC maintains about you:
Rights to Inspect and Copy.
you may inspect and copy PHI used to make decisions about your care period usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include certain psychotherapy notes and certain other materials accepted by law. To inspect and copy PHI used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to an MHC entity representative (contact your MHC entity care location or an MHC representative at 216-443-0430 for more information, including information on how to obtain electronic or paper copies). If you request a copy of the information, MHC may charge a reasonable fee for the cost of copying, mailing, or other supplies associated with your request. MHC may deny your request inspecting copies in limited circumstances. If you are denied access to PHI, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed healthcare professional chosen by MHC will review your request and the denial. Person conducting review will not be the person who denied the request. MHC will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to Amend.
if you feel that PHI MHC has about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for the MHC entity. To request an amendment, your request must be submitted in writing to an MHC representative (contact 216-443-0430 for more information). In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request. MHC may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a valid reason to support the request. In addition, MHC may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment; is not part of the PHI kept buy or for the MHC entity; is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or is accurate and complete.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures.
You may request an “accounting of disclosures”. This is a list of certain disclosures MHC makes of your PHI. To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to an MHC representative (contact 216-443-0430 for more information). Your request must state a time period that may not be longer than six years. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (e.g., on paper, electronically). The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional requests, MHC may charge you for the costs of providing the list. MHC will notify you of the cost involved, and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request that time before any costs are incurred.
Right to Request Restrictions.
You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the PHI MHC uses or discloses about you for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the PHI MHC discloses about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment of your care, like a family member or friend. MHC is not required to agree to request for restrictions on uses and disclosures of PHI for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations purposes accept as such requests pertain to certain disclosures to health plans for purposes of payment and healthcare operations. If MHC does agree, MHC will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to an MHC representative (contact 216-443-0430 for more information). In your request, you must tell us what information you want to limit; whether you want to limit MHC’s use, disclosure, or both; and to whom you want the limits to apply.
Right to Request Confidential Communications.
You have the right to request that MHC communicates with you about medical matters in a certain way or at certain location. For example, you can ask that MHC only contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to an MHC representative (contact 216-443-0430 for more information). MHC will not ask you the reason for your request. MHC will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
Right to a Paper Copy of this Notice.
You have the right to a paper copy of this Notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this Notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this Notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this Notice. You may obtain a copy of this Notice at MHC’s website, http:// www.mhcenters.com. To obtain a paper copy of this Notice, please request it from the admissions or registration area of the MHC entity treating you.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE.
MHC reserves the right to change this Notice. MHC reserves the right to make the revised or changed Notice effective for PHI MHC already have about you, as well as any information MHC receive in the future. MHC will post a copy of the current Notice in each MHC entity and provide you with a new Notice on request. The Notice will contain on the first page, in the top right-hand corner, the effective date. In addition, each time you register at or admitted to an MHC entity for treatment or healthcare services as an inpatient or outpatient, MHC will offer you a copy of the current Notice in effect.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the relevant MHC entity or with the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services period to file a complaint
with an MHC entity contact and MHC compliance officer (call 216-443-0430 for more information). You may also contact the MHC corporate headquarters at 216-443-0430. MHC may request that your complaint be submitted in writing. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
OTHER USES OF MEDICAL INFORMATION.
Other uses and disclosures of PHI not covered by this Notice or the laws that apply to MHC entities will be made only with your written authorization. Types of uses and disclosures that may require written authorization include certain uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes, marketing related uses and disclosures of PHI, and sales of PHI. If you authorize us to use or disclose PHI about you, you may revoke that authorization, in writing, at any time, by providing notice of such intent to revoke to an MHC entity representative (call 216-443-0430 for more information). If you revoke your authorization, MHC will no longer use or disclose PHI about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. However, MHC is unable to take back any disclosures MHC has already made with your permission. Further, MHC is required to retain records of the care that MHC provided to you.