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Hospice Touch Privacy Policy


HOSPICE TOUCH, INC.
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.


USE AND DISCLOSURE OF HEALTH INFORMATION


Hospice Touch, Inc. (Hospice) may use your protected health information (PHI) for purposes of providing you treatment, obtaining payment for your care and conducting health care operations. Your health information may be used or disclosed only after Hospice Touch has obtained your written consent. Hospice Touch has established a policy to guard against unnecessary disclosure of your health information.


THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AND PURPOSES FOR WHICH YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AFTER YOU HAVE PROVIDED YOUR WRITTEN CONSENT:


To Provide Treatment.

Hospice Touch may use your health information to coordinate care within the Hospice and with others involved in your care, such as your attending physician, members of the Hospice interdisciplinary team and other health care professionals who have agreed to assist the Hospice in coordinating care. For example, physicians involved in your care will need information about your symptoms in order to prescribe appropriate medications. Hospice Touch also may disclose your health care information to individuals outside of the Hospice involved in your care including family members, clergy whom you have designated, pharmacists, suppliers of medical equipment or other health care professionals that the Hospice uses in order to coordinate your care.


To Obtain Payment.

Hospice Touch may include your health information in invoices to collect payment from third parties for the care you may receive from Hospice. For example, Hospice Touch may be required by your health insurer to provide information regarding your health care status so that the insurer will reimburse Hospice. Hospice Touch also may need to obtain prior approval from your insurer and may need to explain to the insurer your need for hospice care and the services that will be provided to you.


To Conduct Health Care Operations.

Hospice Touch may use and disclose health care information for its own operations in order to facilitate the function of the Hospice and as necessary to provide quality care to all of the Hospice's patients. Health care operations includes such activities as:

For example, Hospice may use your health information to evaluate its staff performance, combine your health information with other Hospice patients in evaluating how to more effectively serve all Hospice patients, disclose your health information to Hospice staff and contracted personnel for training purposes, use your health information to contact you as a reminder regarding a visit to you, or contact you or your family as part of general fundraising and community information mailings (unless you tell us you do not want to be contacted).


Hospice Touch may disclose certain information about you including your name, your general health status, your religious affiliation and where you are in the Hospice facility in a Hospice directory while you are in the Hospice Inpatient facility. The Hospice may disclose this information to people who ask for you by name. Please inform us if you do not want your information to be included in the directory.


For Fundraising Activities.

Hospice Touch may use information about you including your name, in order to send mailings, such as newsletters, event notifications and fundraising activities to raise money for the Hospice. If you do not want the Hospice to contact you or your family, notify Hospice Touch and indicate that you do not wish to be contacted.


FEDERAL PRIVACY RULES ALLOW THE HOSPICE TO USE OR DISCLOSE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT OR AUTHORIZATION FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS:


When Legally Required.

Hospice Touch will disclose your health information when it is required to do so by any Federal, State or local law.


When There Are Risks to Public Health.

Hospice Touch may disclose your health information for public activities and purposes in order to:

To Report Abuse, Neglect Or Domestic Violence.

Hospice Touch is allowed to notify government authorities if the Hospice believes a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. The Hospice will make this disclosure only when specifically required or authorized by law or when the patient agrees to the disclosure.


To Conduct Health Oversight Activities.

Hospice Touch may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities including audits, civil administrative or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure or disciplinary action. The Hospice, however, may not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information is not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.


In Connection With Judicial And Administrative Proceedings.

Hospice Touch may disclose your health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal as expressly authorized by such order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process, but only when the Hospice makes reasonable efforts to either notify you about the request or to obtain an order protecting your health information.


For Law Enforcement Purposes.

Hospice Touch may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes as follows:

To Coroners and Medical Examiners.

Hospice Touch may disclose your health information to coroners and medical examiners for purposes of determining your cause of death or for other duties, as authorized by law.


To Funeral Directors.

Hospice Touch may disclose your health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law and if necessary, to carry out their duties with respect to your funeral arrangements. If necessary to carry out their duties, the Hospice may disclose your health information prior to and in reasonable anticipation, of your death.


For Organ, Eye Or Tissue Donation.

Hospice Touch may use or disclose your health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking or of organs, eyes or tissue for the purpose of facilitating the donation and transplantation.


For Research Purposes.

Hospice Touch may, under very select circumstances, use your health information for research. Before the Hospice discloses any of your health information for such research purposes, the project will be subject to an extensive approval process. The Hospice will ask your permission if any researcher will be granted access to your individually identifiable health information.


In the Event of A Serious Threat To Health Or Safety.

Hospice Touch may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, disclose your health information if the Hospice, in good faith, believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public.


For Specified Government Functions.

In certain circumstances, the Federal regulations authorize the Hospice to use or disclose your health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military and veterans, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, medical suitability determinations and inmates and law enforcement custody.


For Worker's Compensation.

Hospice Touch may release your health information for worker's compensation or similar programs.


To The Plan Sponsor.

Hospice Touch may release health information as necessary to carry out administrative functions of the plan such as evaluating quotes for reinsurance, reviewing claims appeals, approving settlements and evaluating performance of the plan.


AUTHORIZATION TO USE OR DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION

Other than is stated above, Hospice Touch will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. If you or your representative authorizes the Hospice to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time.


YOUR RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION


You have the following rights regarding your health information that Hospice Touch maintains:

DUTIES OF HOSPICE TOUCH


Hospice Touch is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide to you and your representative this Notice of its duties and privacy practices. The Hospice is required to abide by terms of this Notice as may be amended from time to time. The Hospice reserves the right to change the terms of its Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all health information that it maintains. If the Hospice changes its Notice, the Hospice will provide a copy of the revised Notice to you or your appointed representative. You or your personal representatives have the right to express complaints to the Hospice and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you or your representatives believe that your privacy rights have been violated. Any complaints to the Hospice should be made in writing to Hospice Touch. Hospice encourages you to express any concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint.


IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMPLAINTS PLEASE CONTACT:


HOSPICE TOUCH PRIVACY OFFICER


Hospice Touch has designated the Privacy Officer as its contact person for all issues regarding patient privacy and your rights under the Federal Privacy Standards.