Notice of Privacy Practices
This information describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please read it carefully.
Home Vitality Care, which is licensed by the State Department of Health Services and thus, subject to state and federal laws, is committed to protecting the privacy of our clients' personal identification and health information. This Notice of Privacy Practices, which is effective as of April 23, 2018, describes the basis of and how we may use health information while preserving the various rights you have related to that information.
Health privacy laws exist under a long list of statutes and regulations, probably the most common of which is known as the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ( (HIPAA) which defines "protected health information" as information that identifies you and relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health and related health care services. We will use the acronym "PHI" in this notice when referring to "protected health information." Texas laws which also mirror or expand the PHI include a plethora of health licensing provisions including the Texas Health And Safety Code sections 142 and 181. Law protecting Personal Identification Information/Data (referenced hers as "PII") exist under many statutes including the Social Security Act, the Texas Business & Commerce Code section 521 and the Texas Penal Code section 32.51. Thus, gaining access to PHI or PII for you or any other client or person is not causal or option for Home Vitality Care or its staff, it is governed by many legal restrictions.
How we may use your PHI & PII
Legally we may use your PHI or PII for the purposes of obtaining payment for our services and for the operation of our business. For example, we use PHI for deciding which Personal Assistant is most appropriate for the assignment as well as determining whether or not a client's need can be met by our level of staff and under the requirements of our license. We also may use PHI to verify coverage with insurance companies to submit claims to insurance companies for verify coverage with and to create client invoices. We have a legal obligation to maintain the privacy of your PHI. We use PHI and PII in our business operations to evaluate the quality of our services, to train our employees, to create and monitor record keeping and to assess the financial performance of our agency. We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain.
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There may be some services provided to our agency through contracts with Business Associates (BA). Examples include consultants we may use to audit client records, policies and procedures and our business operations to ensure compliance with Federal, State and Local Regulations and quality standards. Other examples of Business Associates include individuals or organizations that may provide the following services: legal, actuarial, accounting, management, administrative, accreditation, data aggregation or financial services. When we utilize these services, we do so under contract with the individual or organization. We may disclose parts or all of your health information to our BA's so that they can perform the task we asked of them. In order to protect your health information, we include a clause in the contract about the need for the BA to do so as well; and to abide by all state and federal laws mandating them to do so as well.
Privacy laws also permit, and sometimes may require, us to use or disclose PHI and PII without a patient's authorization. We will not disclose your health information without your authorization, except as allowed by law and described in this notice. The various uses and disclosures permitted or required "by law" are:
Communication with persons involved in your care or payment for your care. Privacy laws permit us to use professional judgment to disclose to a family member, relative, close friend, or the like, your PHI and PII relevant to the receiving person's involvement with your care or payment for care, or if necessary to notify such persons regarding your care, location or condition.
Health-related communications. We may use your PHI and PII to contact you about other services that may be of interest to you.
Workers Compensation. We may disclose PHI and PII about you as necessary to comply with workers compensation laws for proceedings.
Public health. law enforcement. and legal processes. As required or authorized by law, we may disclose your PHI and PII to public health or law enforcement officials, or in response to a court or administrative order, valid subpoena or other legal process. If we are required to disclose your PHI to another party to a legal proceeding, we will seek an appropriate order protecting the PHI.
Health oversight activities We may disclose PHI and PII about you to an oversight agency for activities including audits, investigations, and inspections as necessary related to our licensure or for the government to monitor health care systems, government programs, or civil rights laws.
Research. We may release PHI and PII about you to researchers if their research has been approved by an institutional review board and protocols have been established to assure the privacy of your information.
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Coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors. We may disclose PHI and PII about you to coroners, medical examiners, or funeral directors in order for them to perform their duties consistent with applicable laws.
Organ or tissue procurement organizations. We may disclose your PHI and PII to organizations involved in procuring donor organs or tissue.
Averting serious threats to safety. We may use and disclose PHI and PII about you to prevent a serious threat to health or safety, whether yours, another person's, or the general publics'.
Military and veterans. If you are a member of the armed forces or a veteran, we may release your PHI and PII to and as required by military authorities.
National security. We may disclose your PHI and PII to authorized federal officials for intelligence and national security activities, to protect public officials, or for federal investigations.
Reporting abuse, neglect, domestic violence. We may disclose PHI and PII about you to authorities if we believe you are a victim of neglect, abuse, or domestic violence.
Other uses and disclosures of PHI and P11 We will comply with any other PHI and PII disclosure rights, obligations, or processes not specified that are required or permitted by law.
We will obtain your written authorization before using or disclosing your PHI and PII for purposes other than those provided above or as otherwise permitted or required by law. You may revoke an authorization in writing at any time. Upon receipt of a written revocation, we will stop the use or disclosure covered by the authorization except to the extent of actions already taken in reliance on the authorization.
Your Protected Health Information Rights
You have the following rights related to your PHI in our possession or control:
Obtain a copy o(this notice. You have the right to receive this Notice and to obtain a copy at any time by contacting our office, Home Vitality Care, in writing at 10924 Grant Road, #611, Houston, TX 77070-4445; or by phone: 281-580-9955.
Request restrictions on use and disclosure of PHJ You have the right to request additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your PHI and PII by sending a written request that complies with the laws, to same address as noted above. We are not required to agree to those restrictions.
Inspect and obtain a copy of PHI and Pll You have the right to access and copy your PHI and II consisting of a "designated record set". Only when the authorization complies
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with laws that protect you. The designated record set is your initial inquiry, Home Assessment, and your billing records. We may charge you a reasonable fee for copying, mailing and supply costs. We or our legal representative may deny a request as permitted by law and if so, provide you with a written explanation of denial.
Request an amendment to PHI and PII You may request we amend your PHI and PII if you believe it to be incorrect. You may request the amendment by providing written support for your request to our address. We may deny a request as permitted by law and if so, provide you with a written explanation of denial as authorized by law. You may send us a written statement of disagreement, which we will file with your PHI or PII.
Receive an accounting of disclosures. As a client, You have the right to receive, upon written request to our address an accounting of your PHI disclosures made after the date of commencement of services by Home Vitality. The accounting would exclude disclosures for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations, disclosures made to you, family or friends involved in your care, or as authorized by you.
Questions or Concerns
We are happy to respond to your privacy questions or concerns at any time. Our staff is very interested in hearing about any issues you feel may exist in our privacy practices or other operations. You can contact us at 281-580-9955 or 713-582-4875. Written complaints should be addressed to the attention of the Executive Administrator (designated privacy officer) at Home Vitality Care, in writing at 10924 Grant Road, #611, Houston, TX 77070-4445. If you believe a privacy matter has not been satisfactorily resolved, you may direct protected health information privacy concerns to: Region VI, Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by mail at 1301 Young St., Suite 1169, Dallas, Texas, 75202, by telephone at (214) 767-4056, by TDD at (214) 767-8940, or by fax at (214) 767-0432. We will not retaliate against any person for filing a privacy complaint.
Your privacy and confidence in our ability to respect and maintain that privacy is of the utmost importance to all of us here at Home Vitality Care. We intend to earn your confidence every day we are given the opportunity to serve your non-medical home care needs.