This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can access this information. Please review it carefully.
Almost Home respects your confidentiality and privacy. We keep anything we learn about you confidential, and we have policies and procedures in place that protect your personal health information. In addition, federal and state governments oversee home health care to be sure that we provide you with quality home health care services.
Collection and use of personal health information
To provide services to you, we must collect information about you and your health care needs from you and from others (for example, insurance companies, hospitals, physicians, family members, other caregivers). We may also share information about you and your health care needs with the members of our health care team, as well as with physicians, hospitals, other health care providers, people involved directly in your care, insurance companies, and so forth. Here are some examples of how we may use your personal health information:
To communicate with your physician about your care to ensure that your care plan is kept up to date and your needs are met.
To share information about your care with your insurer or health plan in order to receive payment and authorization for your care.
For review and learning purposes within our company to help ensure we are providing quality care.
For other disclosures not related to your treatment, payment to Almost Home, or our general health care operations, we must have your signature on a specific authorization form. For example, if you change physicians, we will need your authorization to release your records to your new doctor. There are a few situations in which we may release information about your care without seeking your permission. These are all clearly defined in laws and government regulations, which we must follow. For example:
When a law enforcement official presents us with a subpoena, warrant, or court order to see your records.
When an accrediting body asks to see your records to ensure that we are providing quality health care.
When a government regulatory agency or oversight board asks to see your records to ensure that we are conforming to laws and regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act, known as HIPAA.
Your privacy rights
You have the right:
To know and see the information about your care in our files and to request copies of your medical chart. You must give us reasonable time to prepare for your visit to our office to see the records or to make copies of your information. If you cannot see the records personally, you may designate someone to do so on your behalf.
To request that certain people NOT have access to your personal health information. We ask that you provide this information to our staff.
To ask us to amend information in our files that you think is incorrect or incomplete. You may use our Request to Amend My Personal Health Information Form for this purpose.
Under some circumstances we may deny your request. This may happen if :
We did not create the information.
The medical information is not kept by us.
The information we have is accurate and complete.
To request an accounting of any disclosures that you did not authorize. This is a list of any releases of your medical information that is not related to treatment, payment, or Almost Home health care operations. It may also include releases to attorneys, law enforcement officials, and government agencies. To request a copy of this list, please contact your staff or nursing supervisor or the local office director.
Photographs, videotapes, and digital or other images may need to be recorded to document your care. Almost Home retains ownership rights to these photographs, videotapes, and digital or other images. We will store them in a secure manner in order to protect your privacy. You have the right to view these images or to obtain copies. You must give us reasonable time to prepare for your visit to our office to see them or to make copies. If you cannot see them personally, you may designate someone to do so on your behalf.
Almost Home may occasionally communicate information about your care via email. There are a number of risks associated with email.
Email can be circulated, forwarded, and stored electronically.
Email messages can be printed.
Email senders can misaddress an email.
Email is easier to falsify than handwritten or signed documents.
Backup copies of email exist even after the sender or the recipient has deleted the message.
Email can be intercepted, altered, forwarded, or used without authorization and often without detection.
Email can contain viruses, which may be introduced into computer systems.
Almost Home uses reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of email information that is sent and received. However, because of the risks outlined above, Almost Home cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of the information.
We take the following precautions with email containing confidential information.
We will, where possible, remove any detailed identifying information (for example, we will refer to you by first name and last initial or by our internal client number instead of by your full name).
We will print all emails about your health care treatment or payment and make them part of your record.
We will only send emails from Almost Home computer systems, which are password-protected to help guard against unauthorized access and use.
Almost Home employees who receive email regarding your treatment and payment may forward messages internally to other Almost Home employees. However, email will not be forwarded to independent third parties without your written authorization unless required by law.
Almost Home does not use email to communicate sensitive medical information regarding sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV, mental health, developmental disabilities, or substance abuse. If there are other types of information you do not wish to be transmitted via email, please notify us as soon as possible.
We recommend that any email you or third parties send to us regarding your treatment should only be sent to an email address at advancedhhcs.com (for example, an address ending in ‘advancedhhcs.com’).
Almost Home employees endeavor to read and respond to emails promptly. However, we recommend that you avoid email for emergencies or time-sensitive matters.
Changes to this notice
On occasion, we may need to update or change this Privacy Notice. Copies of the updated notice will be available in our local office and will also be posted on our website. If you would like to receive another copy of this notice, please ask your staff or nursing supervisor at any time.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding possible violations of your privacy, please contact us