Bluffton EMS is also required to abide by the terms of the version of this Notice currently in effect. In most situations we may use this information as described in this Notice without your permission, but there are some situations where we may use it only after we obtain your written authorization, if we are required by law to do so.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI:Bluffton EMS may use PHI for purposes of treatment, payment, health care operations, in most cases, without your written permission. Examples of our use of your PHI:
For treatment: This includes such things as verbal and written information that we obtain about you and use pertaining to your medical condition and treatment provided to you by us and other medical personnel (including doctors and nurses who give orders to allow us to provide treatment to you). It also includes information we give to other health care personnel to whom we transfer your care and treatment. Additional included information is the transfer of PHI via radio or telephone to the hospital or dispatch center as well as providing the hospital with a copy of the written record we create in the course of providing you with treatment and transport.
For Payment This includes any activities we must undertake in order to get reimbursed for services we provide to you, including such things as organizing your PHI, submitting bills to insurance companies (through a third party billing company), management of billed claims for services rendered, medical necessity determinations and reviews, utilization review, and collection of outstanding accounts.
For Health Care Operations: This includes quality assurance activities, licensing, and training programs to ensure that our personnel meet our standards of care and follow established policies and procedures, obtaining legal and financial services, conducting business planning, processing grievances and complaints, creating reports that do not individually identify you for data collection purposes, and certain marketing activities.
As an essential part of our commitment to you, the Bluffton EMS maintains the privacy of certain confidential health care information about you, known as Protected Health Information or PHI. We are required by law to protect your healthcare information and to provide you with the attached Notice of Privacy Practices.
The notice outlines our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI. It not only describes our privacy practices and your legal rights, but lets you know among other things, how the Bluffton EMS is permitted to use and disclose PHI about you, how you can access and copy that information, how you may request amendment of that information, and how you may request restrictions on our use and disclosure of your PHI.
Bluffton EMS is also required to abide by the terms of the version of this Notice currently in effect. In most situations we may use this information as described in this Notice without your permission, but there are some situations where we may use it only after we obtain your written authorization if we are required by law to do so.
We respect your privacy and treat all health care information about our patients with care under strict policies of confidentiality that all of our staff are committed to following at all times.
Please read the enclosed detailed Notice. If you have any questions, please contact Chief Jan Basinger, our Privacy Officer, at 419-236-1965
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.
Purpose of this Notice: The Bluffton EMS is required by law to maintain the privacy of certain confidential health care information, known as Protected Health Information or PHI, and to provide you with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI. This Notice describes your legal rights, advises you of our privacy practices, and lets you know how Bluffton EMS is permitted to use and disclose PHI about you.
Use and Disclosure of PHI Without Your Authorization: Bluffton EMS is permitted to use PHI without your written authorization, or opportunity to object in certain situations, including:
•Use in treating you or in obtaining payment for services provided to you or in other health care operations;
•For the treatment activities of another health care provider;
•To another health care provider or entity for the payment activities of the provider or entity that receives the information (such as your hospital or insurance company);
•To another health care provider (such as the facility to which you are transported) for the health care operations activities of the entity that receives the information as long as the entity receiving the information has or has had a relationship with you and the PHI pertains to that relationship;
•For health care fraud and abuse detection or for activities related to compliance with the law;
•To a family member, other relative, or close personal friend or other individual involved in your care if we obtain your verbal agreement to do so or if we give you an opportunity to object to such a disclosure and you do not raise an objection.
•To a public health authority in certain situations (such as reporting birth, death, or disease) as required by law, as part of a public health investigation, to report child or adult abuse or neglect or domestic violence, to report adverse events such as product defect, or to notify a person about exposure to a possible communicable disease as required by law;
•For health oversight activities including audits or government investigations, inspections, disciplinary proceedings, and other administrative or judicial actions.
•For judicial and administrative proceedings as required by a court or administrative order, or in some cases in response to a subpoena or other legal process;
•For law enforcement activities in limited situations, such as when there is a warrant for the request, or when the information is needed to locate a suspect or stop a crime.
•For military, national defense and security and other special government functions;
•To avert a serious threat to the health and safety of persons or the public at large.;
•For workers’ compensation purposes, and in compliance with workers’ compensation laws;
•To coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors for identifying a deceased person, determining cause of death, or carrying out their lawful duties;
•If you are an organ donor, we may release health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye, or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank;
•For research projects subject to strict oversight;
•We may use or disclose health information about you in a way that does not personally identify you or reveal who you are.
Any other use or disclosure of PHI, other than those listed above, will only be made with your written authorization. You may revoke your authorization at any time, in writing, except to the extent that we have already used or disclosed medical information in reliance on that authorization.
Patient Rights: As a patient, you have a number of rights with respect to the protection of your PHI, including:
The right to access,copy, or inspect your PHI. This means you may come into our offices to inspect and copy most of the medical information about you that we maintain. We will normally provide you with access to this information within 30 days of your request. We may charge you a reasonable fee to copy any medical information that you have the right to access. In limited circumstances, we may deny you access to your medical information, and you may appeal certain types of denials.
We have available forms to request access to your PHI and will provide a written response if we deny you access and let you know your appeal rights.
The right to amend your PHI. You have the right to ask us to amend written medical information that we may have about you. We will generally amend your information within 60 days of your request and will notify you when we have amended the information. We are permitted to deny your request to amend your medical information if we believe the information is correct.
The right to request an accounting of our use and disclosure your PHI. You may request an accounting from us of certain disclosures of medical information that we may have made in the last six years prior to the date of your request. We are not required to give you an accounting of information we have used or disclosed for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations, or when we share your health information with our business associates, like our billing company, ODPS, TSASS, or a medical facility which was involved in your care.
We are also not required to give you an accounting of our uses of protected health information for which you have already given us written authorization.
The right to request we restrict the uses and disclosures of your PHI. You have the right to request that we restrict how we use and disclose your medical information that we have about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations, or to restrict the information that is provided to family, friends, and other individuals involved in your health care. But if you request a restriction, and the information you asked us to restrict is needed to provide you with emergency treatment, then we may use the PHI or disclose the PHI to a health care provider to provide you with emergency treatment. Bluffton EMS is not required to agree to any restrictions you request, but any restrictions agreed to by Bluffton EMS are binding on us.
Revisions to the Notice: Bluffton EMS reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice at any time and the changes will be effective immediately and will apply to all PHI that we maintain. Any material changes to the Notice will be promptly posted in our facility. You can get a copy of the latest versions of this Notice by contacting the Privacy Officer.
Your legal rights and complaints:You also have the right to complain to us, or to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint with us or to the government. Should you have questions, comments or complaints, you may direct inquiries to the Privacy Officer listed at the end of this Notice. If you have questions or if you wish to file a complaint or exercise any rights listed in this Notice, please contact:
Chief Jan Basinger
PO Box 63
Bluffton, Ohio 45817