Greater New Bedford Community Health Center

508-992-6553

Notice of Privacy Practices

Your Rights Under the Federal HIPAA Privacy Standard

Although your health records are the physical property of the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, you have certain rights with regard to the information contained therein.

You have the right to:

In other situations, the provider may deny you access but, if the provider does, the provider must provide you with a review of the decision denying access. These "reviewable"grounds for denial include:

For these reviewable grounds, another licensed professional must review the decision of the provider denying access within 60 days. If we deny you access, we will explain why and what your rights are, including how to seek review. If we grant access, we will tell you what, if anything, you have to do to get access.

We reserve the right to charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for making copies.

Request to amend or correct your health information. We do not have to grant the request if:

If we deny your request for amending or correcting your record, we will notify you as to why. We will explain how you can attach a statement of disagreement to your record (which we may rebut), and how you can complain.

If we grant your request to amend or correct your record, the amendment or correction will become part of your permanent record and we will identify within our system those who will need the amendment or correct and distribute it accordingly. If there are others you feel need a copy of the amendment or correction, that are outside our system,  with  your authorization  we will provide it to  them.

Obtain an accounting of "non-routine" uses and disclosures (those other than for Treatment, Payment, and Health care Operations [HPO]) to individuals of protected health information. We do not need to provide an accounting for:

We must provide the accounting within 60 days. The accounting will include:

The first accounting in any 12 month period is free. Thereafter, we reserve the right to  charge  a reasonable,  cost based fee.
Revoke your consent or authorization to use or disclose protected health information (PHI) except to the extent that we have already taken action in reliance on the consent or authorization.

Our Responsibilities  Under the Federal HIPAA Privacy Standard

In addition to providing you your rights, as detailed above, the federal HIPAA privacy standard requires us to:

We will not use or disclose your health information without your consent or authorization, except as described in this notice or otherwise required by law.

Examples of Disclosures for Treatment, Payment, and Health care Operations

We will share your  health  information for treatment.

Example: A physician,  nurse,  or other member  of your  health care  team  will record  information in your record to diagnose }'our condition and  determine  the best  course  of treatment  for you.  The primary care giver will give treatment orders and document what he or she expects other members of the health care team to do to treat you. Those other members will then document the actions they took and their observations. In that way, the primary  caregiver  will  know how you  are responding  to treatment.

With a properly signed authorization, we will also provide a subsequent health care provider with copies of your records to assist them in treating   you.

We will use your health information for seeking payment for  services rendered.

Example: We may send a bill to you, or to a third -party payer, such as your health ins;urance company. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, your diagnosis, treatment received, and supplies used.

We will use your  health  information for  health care operations.

Example: Members of the medical staff, the risk or quality improvement manager, or members of the quality assurance team may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your cases and the competence of the caregivers. We will use this information in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the health care and services we provide. When reporting results, personal identifiers are used whenever possible.

Business Associates: We provide some services through contracts with business associates. Examples include but are not limited to diagnostic tests, paper shredding copy service to make copies of medical records, and the like. When we  use  these  services,  we  may  disclose  your health information to the business associate so that they can perform the function(s) we have contracted with them to do and bill you, or your third-party insurer, or GNBCHC for services rendered. To protect your health information however, we require our business associates to appropriately  safeguard your information.

Directory: Unless you notify us that you object, we will use your name, location in the facility, and general condition for directory purposes. This information may be provided to our staff or others to help expedite your treatment or help in health care operations.

Notification: We may use or disclose information to notify or  assist  in  notifying  a  family  member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, your location, and general condition.

Communication with family: Unless you object, health professionals, using their best judgment, may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify, health information relevant to that person's involvement in your care or payment related to your care.

Research: We may disclose information to researchers when their research project has been approved by the GNBCHC Research Review Committee and that the Committee has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information.

Funeral Directors: We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable laws to enable them to carry out their duties.
Marketing continuity of care: We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.

Fund-raising: We may contact you as part of a fund-raising effort You have the right to request not to receive subsequent fund-raising materials.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse effects I events with respect to food, drugs, supplements, product or product defects, or post marketing signorinas information to enable product recalls, repairs or replacement.

Worker's Compensation: We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to worker's 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 charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, disability, or death.

Correctional Institutions: Should you be an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution or agents there of health information necessary for your health  and the health  and safety of other individuals, as required by law.

Law Enforcement: We may disclose health information for purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena.

Health Oversight Agencies and Public Health Authorities: If a member of our workforce or a business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or otherwise violate professional or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more patients, workers, or the public, they may disclose your health information to health oversight agencies and/or public health authorities, such as the department of public health.  As part of our federal
and state funding requirements we may disclose your health information to authorized members of their staff or organizations that may be acting as their agent as part of oversight audits.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS): Under the HIPAA privacy standards, we must disclose your health information to DHHS as necessary for them to determine our compliance with those standards

WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE OUR PRACTICES AND TO MAKE THE NEW PROVISIONS EFFECTIVE FOR ALL INDIVIDUALLY INDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMANTION WE MAINTAIN. SHOULD WE CHANGE OUR INFORMATION PRACTICES, \VE WILL POST SUCH CHANGES IN A PUBLIC LOCATION WITHIN OUR BUILDINGS AND OFFER A NEW COPY TO YOU UPON YOUR NEXT VISIT TO OUR PRACTICE.

How to get more information  or to Report a Problem.

If you have questions, would like additional information, or you believe your privacy rights have been violated, please contact the Privacy Officer at GNBCHC, 874 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA 02740 or (508) 984-8405- ext 106. If you feel that we have not adequately addressed your concerns, you may contact the Privacy Officer at the above address or contact  the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

You will  not  be penalized  for filing a complaint.

 

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