Notice of Privacy Practices

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 THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.

 

USE AND DISCLOSURE OF HEALTH INFORMATION

Hospice may use your health information for purposes of providing you treatment, obtaining payment for your care and conducting health care operations, as defined in the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Texas State Laws will prevail when they are more stringent with respect to the privacy of health information, or when they allow individuals greater rights of access to or amendment of their health information.

 

YOUR HEALTH RECORD/INFORMATION
When you become a patient of Hospice, a record is maintained that typically includes the following: documentation of visits and other contacts from your Hospice team members, information regarding your medical history and diagnoses, test results, medications and other treatments, information about your Hospice plan of care, and documentation of communication among team members regarding the development of your plan of care.

 

Your Hospice record serves as a:
 Basis for planning your care and treatment
 Means of communication among the healthcare personnel who contribute to your care
 Legal document describing the care that you received
 Means by which you or a third party payor can verify that services billed were actually provided
 Means for educating healthcare personnel/students
 Source of data for Hospice research
 Source of information for public health officials (for example, the Texas Department of Health)
 Source of information for agency planning and marketing
 Means by which we can assess, and work to improve, the quality of the care we provide and the outcomes we achieve

 

Understanding what information is contained in your record, and how it is used can help you to:
 Understand the use and disclosure of your health information
 Ensure its accuracy
 Make informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others

EXAMPLES OF USES AND DISCLOSURES FOR TREATMENT, PAYMENT AND HEALTH OPERATIONS
We will use your health information for treatment. Hospice will use your health information to provide and coordinate your care. Your health care information may be disclosed to: your family members, pharmacists, your attending physician, or other health care professionals involved in your Hospice care.

Example: Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your Hospice team will be recorded in the record and used in planning your care. Members of your Hospice team will record information regarding the care provided to you and your family. This information may be communicated to your attending physician.

We will use your health information for obtaining payment for the services provided to you.
Example: A bill may be sent to a third party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, your diagnosis, and medications and equipment that you have used. We also may need to obtain prior approval from your insurer and may need to discuss your need for hospice care and the services that will be provided to you.

We will use your health information for regular agency operations.
Examples: Quality Improvement: Members of the Hospice team, the quality improvement manager, or members of the quality improvement team, may use information in your Hospice record to assess the care provided to you and your family, and to assess the outcomes related to your care. This information will then be used in an effort to
continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the Hospice services that we provide.

 

Business Associates: There are some services provided by Hospice through contracts with other providers (business associates). Examples include certain tests and treatments, and provision of medications. When these services are provided, we may disclose your health information to our business associates so that they can provide the
services that we have requested, and so that they can bill Hospice, or your third party payor, for these services. To protect your health information, we require the business associate to maintain the privacy of your information.

 

Red Cross and Armed Forces. We may disclose PHI/ePHI to the Red Cross or Armed Forces to assist them in notifying family members of your location, general condition, or death.

Communication with Family: Hospice will request that you identify family members, or other persons, to whom Hospice personnel may disclose your health information when it is relevant to that person’s involvement in your care. Hospice personnel will use their best professional judgment regarding disclosures to the identified person(s).


Research: We may disclose information for research purposes when the research has been approved by the Hospice administration and Quality Improvement leadership. Policies are followed to protect the privacy of your health information. We will obtain a written authorization for disclosure of your health information for
research purposes.

Funeral Directors: We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable laws to carry out their duties.


Organ Procurement Organizations: If you have requested to participate in organ donation, we may disclose health information, consistent with applicable law, to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.


Fundraising: We may disclose your demographic information to the Hospice Foundation including name; address; other contact information; age; gender and date of birth, for purposes of fundraising. We may contact you as part of fund-raising efforts for Hospice. All fundraising communications will include information about how you may
opt out of future fundraising communications.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, products and product defects.


Workers Compensation: We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.

Public Health: As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities responsible for preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability. We may notify a person who has been exposed to, or is at risk of contracting a communicable disease.

Correctional Institution: If you are an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution or its agents, health information necessary for your health care, and the health and safety of other individuals.


Law Enforcement: We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena. Reporting of Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence: We are allowed to notify government authorities if we believe a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will make such a disclosure only when specifically required or authorized by law or when the patient agrees to the disclosure.


Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities including audits, inspections or licensure.


Judicial and Administrative Proceedings: We may disclose your health information in the course of judicial or administrative proceedings in response to a court order or subpoena.


Coroners and Medical Examiners: We may disclose your health information to coroners and/or medical examiners as authorized by law.


Serious Health or Safety Threat: We may, consistent with legal and ethical standards, disclose your health information if we believe that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or minimize a serious threat to your health or safety, or to the public’s health or safety.


Other Uses and Disclosures not described by this Notice will be made only with your authorization.


YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION RIGHTS
Although your Hospice record is the physical property of Hospice, the information contained in the record belongs to you. You have the following rights, as stated in the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

 

You have the right to:
 Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. However, we are not required to agree to your request.
 Request a restriction on disclosure of your health information related to services that you have paid for out-of-pocket, in full, to a health plan. We must agree to the request except when we are required by law to disclose.
 Review and obtain a copy of information in your Hospice record, including billing records, in the form and format you request, as long as it is readily producible. We may charge a reasonable fee for providing a copy of information in your record.
 Request an amendment to your Hospice record. A request to amend your record must be made in writing, and must indicate a reason for the amendment. We are not required to agree to your request.
 Obtain an accounting of disclosures of information in your Hospice record, for certain reasons, including certain research. The request for an accounting must be made in writing, and the time period requested may not be longer than 6 years prior to your request. Accounting requests may be subject to a reasonable fee.

 Request communication of information in your Hospice record by alternative means or at alternative locations.
 Revoke your authorization to use or disclose your health information except to the extent that action has already been taken.


OUR RESPONSIBILITIES
Hospice is required to:
 Maintain the privacy of your health information, including genetic information.
 Provide you with a notice as to our legal responsibilities and privacy practices with respect to your health information that we receive and maintain.
 Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction.
 Accommodate reasonable requests that you may have to communicate your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations.
 Notify you of any breach of your unsecured health information.
 Obtain written permission to share your personal information for marketing purposes or for the sale of your information.
 Abide by the terms of this notice. We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information that we maintain. If our information practices change, we will post the revised notice to our website and provide you with a copy upon request.

 

RIGHTS OF THE ELDERLY

Hummingbird Hospice is in complete compliance with the Rights of the Elderly. Please click here for a complete explanation of these rights.

 

ALL PATIENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO:

  1. Be informed in advance about the care to be furnished, the plan of care, expected outcomes, barriers to treatment, and any changes in the care to be furnished. The agency must ensure that written informed consent specifying the type of care and services that may be provided by the agency has been obtained for every client, either from the client or their legal representative. The client or the legal representative must sign or mark the consent form.

  2.  Participate in planning the care or treatment and in planning a change in the care or treatment.

  • Hummingbird Hospice must advise or consult with the client or legal representative in advance of any change in the care or treatment.

  • Refuse care and services.

   3.  Be informed, before care is initiated, of the extent to which payment may be expected from      the client, a third-party payer, and any other source of funding known to Hummingbird Hospice.

   4.  Exercise rights as a client of Hummingbird Hospice and have assistance in understanding and exercising these rights. 
   5.  Person and property treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of individuality and personal needs.
   6. Be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation by an agency employee, volunteer, or contractor.
   7.  Confidential treatment of the client's personal and medical records.
   8. Voice grievances regarding treatment or care that is or fails to be furnished, or regarding the lack of respect for property by anyone who is furnishing services on behalf of the agency and must not be subjected to discrimination or reprisal for doing so.

  • In the case of a client adjudged incompetent, the rights of the client are exercised by the person appointed by law to act on the client's behalf.

  • In the case of a client who has not been adjudged incompetent, any legal representative may exercise the client's rights to the extent permitted by law.


OBTAINING MORE INFORMATION OR REPORTING A PROBLEM
If you have questions, would like additional information, or wish to request: restrictions, access to your record, or an accounting of disclosures, you may contact our Corporate Compliance Officer at 210-908-9774.
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with our Corporate Compliance Officer at hr@hbh-tx.com or with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights. If you file a complaint, there will be no adverse consequences affecting the care that we provide to you.

Effective Date: March 25, 2021

An agency must comply with the provisions of the Texas Human Resources Code, Chapter 102, Rights of the Elderly, which applies to a client 60 years of age or older.

 

(d) At the time of admission, an agency must provide a client who receives licensed home health services, licensed and certified home health services, hospice services, or personal assistance services with a written statement that informs the client that a complaint against the agency may be directed to the Department of Aging and Disability Services, DADS' Consumer Rights and Services Division, P.O. Box 149030, Austin, Texas 78714-9030, toll free 1-800-458-9858. The statement also may inform the client that a complaint against the agency may be directed to the administrator of the agency. The statement about complaints directed to the administrator also must include the time frame in which the agency will review and resolve the complaint.

 

(e) In advance of furnishing care to a client or during the initial evaluation visit before the initiation of treatment, an agency must provide the client or their legal representative with a written notice of all policies governing client conduct and responsibility and client rights.

 

(f) A client has the following rights:

 

  (1) A client has the right to be informed in advance about the care to be furnished, the plan of care, expected outcomes, barriers to treatment, and any changes in the care to be furnished. The agency must ensure that written informed consent specifying the type of care and services that may be provided by the agency has been obtained for every client, either from the client or their legal representative. The client or the legal representative must sign or mark the consent form.

 

  (2) A client has the right to participate in planning the care or treatment and in planning a change in the care or treatment.

 

    (A) An agency must advise or consult with the client or legal representative in advance of any change in the care or treatment.

 

    (B) A client has the right to refuse care and services.

 

    (C) A client has the right to be informed, before care is initiated, of the extent to which payment may be expected from the client, a third-party payer, and any other source of funding known to the agency.

 

  (3) A client has the right to have assistance in understanding and exercising the client's rights. The agency must maintain documentation showing that it has complied with the requirements of this paragraph and that the client demonstrates understanding of the client's rights.

 

  (4) A client has the right to exercise rights as a client of the agency.

 

  (5) A client has the right to have the client's person and property treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of the client's individuality and personal needs.

 

  (6) A client has the right to be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation by an agency employee, volunteer, or contractor.

 

  (7) A client has the right to confidential treatment of the client's personal and medical records.

 

  (8) A client has the right to voice grievances regarding treatment or care that is or fails to be furnished, or regarding the lack of respect for property by anyone who is furnishing services on behalf of the agency and must not be subjected to discrimination or reprisal for doing so.

 

(g) In the case of a client adjudged incompetent, the rights of the client are exercised by the person appointed by law to act on the client's behalf.

 

(h) In the case of a client who has not been adjudged incompetent, any legal representative may exercise the client's rights to the extent permitted by law.