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The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Public Law was passed by Congress:
- To improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets
- To combat waste, fraud, and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery
- To reduce costs and the administrative burdens of health care by improving efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system by standardizing the interchange of electronic data for specified administrative and financial transactions
- To ensure protecting the privacy of Americans’ personal health records by protecting the security and confidentiality of health care information
Your right to confidentiality. Although your health records are the physical property of Lakewood Health System, you have certain rights under the Federal Privacy Standard with regard to the information contained in them.
You have a right to request restriction on uses and disclosure of your health information for treatment, payment and heathcare operations. Healthcare operations consist of activities that are necessary to carry out the functions of the provider, such as quality assurance and peer review. The consent to use and disclose your individually identifiable health information provides the ability to request restriction. Lakewood Health System, however, has to agree to the restriction. If agreed, Lakewood Health System will adhere to it unless you request otherwise, or Lakewood Health System gives you advance notice.
You may also ask Lakewood Health System to communicate with you by alternate means and, if the method of communication is reasonable, Lakewood Health System will grant the alternate communication request.
Obtain a copy of this notice of information practices. Although a copy has been posted in prominent locations throughout the facility and on the Lakewood Health System website, you have a right to have a copy of your own.
Inspect and copy your health information upon request. Again, this right is not absolute. In certain situations, such as if access would cause harm, Lakewood Health System can deny access. You may not have a right of access to the following:
- Information compiled in reasonable anticipation of or for use in civil, criminal, or administrative actions or proceedings.
- Information obtained from someone other than a healthcare provider under a promise of confidentiality.
- Protected health information that is subject to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988.
- Psychotherapy notes which are recorded by a healthcare provider who is a mental health professional documenting or analyzing a conversation during a private counseling session or a group, joint or family counseling session and that are separated from the rest of your medical record.
In other situations, Lakewood Health System may deny you access and will provide you with a review of the reasons for denial. The grounds for denial include:
- A licensed healthcare professional has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that the access is likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the individual or another person.
- Protected health information makes reference to another person (other than a healthcare provider) a licensed healthcare provider has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that access would likely cause substantial harm to such other person.
- The request is made by the individual’s personal representative and a licensed health care professional has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that providing access to the personal representative may cause substantial harm to the individual or another person.
For these reviewable grounds, another licensed professional must review the decision of the provider denying access within 60 days. If Lakewood Health System denies you access, an explanation of what your rights are, including how to seek review, will be given to you. If access is granted, Lakewood Health System will tell you what, if anything, you have to do to get access.
Lakewood Health System does not have to grant a request for an amendment/correction of your health information if:
- In the case of a consultation report from another provider, Lakewood Health System did not create the record, therefore Lakewood Health System cannot know whether it is accurate or not. In such a case, you must seek amendment/correction from the party creating the record. If they amend or correct the record, Lakewood Health System will put the corrected record in our records.
- The records are not available to you as discussed in the previous paragraph.
- The record is accurate and complete.
If Lakewood Health System denies your request for amendment/correction, you will be informed of why; how you can attach a statement of disagreement to your records (which may be rebutted); and of the complaint process. If Lakewood Health System grants the request, the correction will be made and the correction distributed to those who need it and those you identify to receive the corrected information.
Lakewood Health System will provide an accounting of “non-routine” uses and disclosures, those other than for treatment, payment, and health care operations, beginning April 14, 2003.
Lakewood Health System will provide the accounting within 60 days. The accounting must include:
- Date of each disclosure.
- Name of the organization or person who received the protected health information.
- Brief description of the information disclosed.
- Brief statement of the purpose of the disclosure that reasonably informs you of the reason for the disclosure.