Privacy Practices

**Starting Monday, September 23, Hospice of North Idaho will have a new Notice of Privacy Practices.  Download Here**

Effective Until 9/23/13: Hospice of North Idaho Notice of Privacy Practices

Summary
Hospice of North Idaho (HONI) is required by applicable federal and state laws to maintain the privacy of your health information. We are also required to give you HONI’s Notice of Privacy Practices (Notice). This form is only a summary of the Notice. Please take the time to review the Notice carefully. The privacy of your medical information is important to Hospice of North Idaho.

 The Hospice of North Idaho’s Notice describes how your health information which federal law considers protected health information (PHI) may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.


 Permitted use/disclosure of PHI is for the purposes of treatment, obtainment of payment, internal operational needs of HONI, HONI related activities and appointment reminders.


 Other purposes for which the Hospice of North Idaho is permitted to use/disclose PHI without your written authorization are the following:
• When HONI is legally required to do so by any federal, state or local law
• Release of information to state or federal public health agencies
• Release of information to the Coroner and Medical Examiners
• Release of information to appointed Funeral Director
• Release of information to Organ, Eye or Tissue Donation organizations when you are registered as an organ, eye or tissue donor
• When it is your choice for HONI to work cooperatively with Hospice of Benewah County (HBC).  PHI will be provided to HBC as needed.


 Other uses/disclosures of PHI will only be made after the Hospice of North Idaho obtains a written authorization from you (that may be revoked at any time)

 Your rights in regards to your PHI include the following:
• The right to request restrictions on certain uses/disclosures of PHI
• The right to receive confidential communications of PHI
• The right to inspect a copy of your PHI
• The right to amend your PHI
• The right to receive an accounting of the disclosures of your PHI

 Hospice of North Idaho’s duties related to PHI, include the following:
• HONI is required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI
• HONI is required by law to provide individuals with a Notice detailing its privacy practices and legal duties
• HONI is required to abide by the terms of the Notice
• HONI reserves the right to change the terms of the Notice and will provide you with a revised copy

 You have a right to complain to HONI or the Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services or Joint Commission if you believe your privacy has been violated. 

Hospice of North Idaho
NOTICE OF HOSPICE 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 of North Idaho takes the privacy of your health information seriously. Hospice of North Idaho is required by law to maintain that privacy and to provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices.  This notice is provided to tell you about our duties and practices with respect to your information.  Hospice of North Idaho is required to abide by the terms of the Notice as are currently in effect. 

 Upon admission to Hospice of North Idaho (HONI), HONI makes a record of your admission and subsequent care into a medical record. Typically this record contains your health history, current symptoms, test results, diagnoses and plan for future care. Your medical record is a legal document that serves primarily as a basis for planning your care and treatment and a means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care.

The health information found in your medical record is protected health information as defined in the Privacy Rule of the Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.  Hospice of North Idaho may use your health information found in your medical record for the purposes of providing you treatment, obtaining payment for your care and conducting health care operations.  HONI has established policies to guard against unnecessary disclosure of your health information. 

THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND PURPOSES FOR WHICH YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED:

To Provide Treatment.  Hospice of North Idaho may use and disclose your health information to coordinate care within HONI and with others involved in your care, such as your attending physician, members of the HONI interdisciplinary team and other health care professionals who have agreed to assist HONI in coordinating care.

To Benewah County Residents.  When it is your choice, HONI will work cooperatively with Hospice of Benewah County (HBC) and PHI will be provided to HBC as needed.

Example: Physicians involved in your care will need information about your symptoms in order to prescribe appropriate medications.

HONI may also disclose your health care information to individuals outside of HONI including family member(s), other relative(s), close personal friend(s) or any other person you have identified. You have the right to request that HONI not disclose the information to any of these individuals.

HONI will also provide your physician, other healthcare professionals, or a subsequent healthcare provider with copies of your records to assist them in treating you if you are discharged from the care of HONI.

To Obtain Payment.  Hospice of North Idaho may include your health information in invoices to collect payment from third parties, such as a private health insurer or Medicare, for the care you receive from the Hospice.

Example: HONI may be required by your health insurer to provide information regarding your health care status so that the insurer will reimburse you or HONI. The information provided will identify you and indicate your diagnosis. HONI may also be required to indicate the drugs that are being used in your care and the supplies used.

Hospice of North Idaho may also 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 Hospice Operations.  Hospice of North Idaho may use and disclose health information for its own operations in order to facilitate the function of HONI and, as necessary, to provide quality care to all HONI patients.  Hospice operations includes such activities as: 

- Quality assessment and improvement activities. 

- Activities designed to improve health or reduce health care costs.

- Protocol development, case management and care coordination.

- Contacting health care providers and you with information about treatment alternatives and other related functions that do not include treatment.

- Professional review and performance evaluation.

- Training programs including those in which students, trainees or practitioners in health care learn under supervision.

- Training of non-health care professionals.


- Accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.

- Review and auditing, including compliance reviews, medical reviews, legal services and compliance programs.

- Business planning and development including cost management and planning related analyses and formulary development.

- Business management and general administrative activities of HONI.

- Research: HONI may disclose information to researchers when their research has been approved by a HONI review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information.

- Fundraising: HONI may use your name and address, telephone number and the dates you received care, for fundraising activities for HONI. You have the right to request this information not be used for fundraising purposes by calling HONI Development Director at 208-772-7994.

- Memorial Service: The annual HONI Memorial Service honors Hospice patients who have died, by reading their names to those in attendance. You have the right to request to not have your name read at the Memorial Service.

Example: HONI may use your health information to evaluate its staff performance, combine your health information with other HONI patients in evaluating how to more effectively serve all HONI patients, disclose your health information to HONI 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 as part of general fundraising and community information mailings.

For Hospice Related Activities.  Hospice of North Idaho may use information about you including your name, address, phone number and the dates you received care in order to contact you or your family about HONI related activities such as to mail you a HONI newsletter.  If you do not want HONI to contact you or your family, notify your HONI social worker and indicate that you do not wish to be contacted. 

For Appointment Reminders.  HONI may use and disclose your health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for a home visit.

THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH, AND PURPOSES FOR WHICH, YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION MAY ALSO BE USED AND DISCLOSED. 

When Legally Required.  Hospice of North Idaho 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 of North Idaho may disclose your health information for public activities and purposes in order to:

- Prevent or control disease, injury or disability; report disease, injury, or vital events such as birth or death; and to report the conduct of public health surveillance, investigations and interventions.

- To report adverse events or product defects, to track products or enable product recalls, repairs and replacements and to conduct post-marketing surveillance and compliance with requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.

- Notify a person who has been exposed to a communicable disease or who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease.

- Notify an employer about an individual who is a member of the workforce as legally required.

To Report Abuse, Neglect Or Domestic Violence.  Hospice of North Idaho will notify government authorities if HONI believes a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence when specifically required or authorized by law, required by professional licensure standards or when the patient agrees to the disclosure.

To Conduct Health Oversight Activities.  Hospice of North Idaho may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities including audits, civil administrative or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure, accreditation or disciplinary action.   HONI, 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 of North Idaho 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 HONI makes reasonable efforts to either notify you about the request, appeal to Idaho state law that protects disclosure of communications made with HONI for purposes of diagnosis and/or treatment or to obtain an order protecting your health information.

For Law Enforcement Purposes.  As permitted or required by State law, Hospice of North Idaho may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for certain law enforcement purposes as follows:

- As required by law for reporting of certain types of wounds or other physical injuries pursuant to the court order, warrant, subpoena or summons or similar process.

- For the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person.

- Under certain limited circumstances, when you are the victim of a crime.

- To a law enforcement official if HONI has a suspicion that your death was the result of criminal conduct including criminal conduct at the Hospice.

- In an emergency in order to report a crime.

To Coroners And Medical Examiners.  Hospice of North Idaho 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 of North Idaho 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, HONI may disclose your health information prior to and in reasonable anticipation of your death.

For Organ, Eye Or Tissue Donation.  Hospice of North Idaho may use or disclose your health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking or transplantation of organs, eyes or tissue for the purpose of facilitating your desire for donation and/or transplantation.

For Research Purposes.  If HONI elects to use and disclose your health information for research purposes, the project will be subject to an extensive approval process.  This process includes evaluating a proposed research project and its use of health information and trying to balance the research needs with your need for privacy. Before HONI uses or discloses health information for research, the project will have been approved through the research approval process. 

For Limited Data Set.  HONI may use or disclose a limited data set of your health information, that is, a subset of your health information for which all identifying information has been removed, for purposes of research, public health, benchmarking with other hospices, or health care operations.  Prior to HONI releasing this information, any recipient of that limited data set must agree to appropriately safeguard your health information.

In the Event of A Serious Threat To Health Or Safety.  Hospice of North Idaho may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, disclose your health information if HONI, 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. 

Worker’s Compensation.  Hospice of North Idaho may release your health information for worker’s compensation or similar programs.

AUTHORIZATION TO USE OR DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION
Other than is stated above, Hospice of North Idaho will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization.  If you or your representative authorizes HONI to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time.  If you revoke your authorization, HONI will no longer use or disclose health information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization, except to the extent that HONI has taken action in reliance thereon.  You understand that HONI is unable to take back any disclosures it has already made under the authorization, and that HONI is required to retain our records of the care that it has provided you. 

YOUR RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
You have the following rights regarding your health information that Hospice of North Idaho maintains:

- Right to request restrictions.  You may request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information for treatment, payment and health care operations. HONI is permitted or mandated by law for certain uses or disclosures of your health information and is not required to agree to your request. HONI will honor your request if it is for a restriction on a disclosure to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations (and is not for purposes of treatment) and the medical information you are requesting to be restricted from disclosure pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid out of pocket in full. If you wish to make a request for restrictions, please contact your HONI social worker at 208-772-7994.

- Right to receive confidential communications.  You have the right to request that HONI communicate with you in a certain way.  For example, you may ask that HONI only conduct communications pertaining to your health information with you privately with no other family members present.  If you wish to receive confidential communications, please contact your HONI social worker.  HONI will not request that you provide any reasons for your request and will attempt to honor your reasonable requests for confidential communications.

- Right to inspect and copy your health information.  You have the right to inspect and copy your health information (hard copy or electronic), including billing records.  A request to inspect and copy records containing your health information may be made to your HONI social worker.  This right is not absolute. In certain situations, such as if access would cause harm to you or if state or federal law prohibits, HONI can deny access. If you request a copy of your health information, HONI may charge a reasonable fee for copying and assembling costs associated with your request.

- Right to amend health care information.  You or your representative has the right to request that Hospice of North Idaho amend your records if you believe that your health information is incorrect or incomplete.  This request may be made as long as the information is maintained by HONI.  A request for an amendment of records must be made in writing to your HONI social worker.  HONI may deny the request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason for the amendment.  The request also may be denied if your health information records were not created by HONI, if the records you are requesting are not part of HONI records, if the health information you wish to amend is not part of the health information you or your representative are permitted to inspect and copy, or if, in the opinion of HONI, the records containing your health information are accurate and complete.

- Right to an accounting.  You or your representative have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by Hospice of North Idaho for certain reasons, including reasons related to public purposes authorized by law and certain research. The request for an accounting must be made in writing to your HONI social worker.  The request should specify the time period for the accounting starting on or after April 14, 2003.  Accounting requests may not be made for periods of time in excess of six (6) years.  HONI would provide the first accounting you request during any 12-month period without charge.  Subsequent accounting requests may be subject to a reasonable cost-based fee.

 

- Right to a paper copy of this notice.  You or your representative has a right to a separate paper copy of this Notice at any time even if you or your representative has received this Notice previously.  To obtain a separate paper copy, please contact your HONI social worker. You may obtain a copy of the current version HONI Notice of Privacy Practices at its website, www.honi.org

DUTIES OF THE HOSPICE OF NORTH IDAHO
Hospice of North Idaho 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.  HONI is required to abide by the terms of this Notice as may be amended from time to time.  HONI 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 HONI changes its Notice, HONI will provide a copy of the revised Notice to you or your appointed representative.  You or your personal representative has the right to express complaints to HONI, to our accrediting body The Joint Commission (1-800-994-6610, (complaint@jointcommission.org), and to the Secretary of the United States Department of Human Services (www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy) if you or your representative believe that your privacy or security rights have been violated.  Any complaints to HONI should be made in writing to the Privacy Official of HONI at 9493 North Government Way, Hayden, ID 83835.  HONI encourages you to express any concerns you may have regarding the privacy or security of your information.  You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint. 

CONTACT PERSON
Hospice of North Idaho has designated the Hospice Privacy Official as its contact person for all issues regarding patient privacy and your rights under the Federal privacy standards.  You may contact this person by mail at 9493 N. Government Way, Hayden, ID 83835 or phone at (208) 772-7994. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: This Notice is effective April 14, 2003.
        Revised: December 12, 2011


IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS NOTICE, PLEASE CONTACT 
YOUR SOCIAL WORKER OR THE HOSPICE PRIVACY OFFICIAL.