In accordance with the Privacy Regulations of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and regulatory update of 2013 (HIPPA), this is our notice of privacy. This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed. Please review it carefully.

If you have questions about this Notice, please contact our Privacy Officer at 1-800-358-7844.

This Notice of Privacy describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out our treatment, payment, or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control your protected health information. “Protected Health Information” is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health or conditions and related health care services.

We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We may change the terms of our notice at any time. The new notice will be effective for all protected health information that we maintain at any time. Upon your request, we will provide you with any revised Notice of Privacy Practices either by calling the office and requesting that a revised copy be sent to you by mail or asking for one at the time of your next scheduled visit.

Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information

Uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information Based Upon Your Written Consent

Your protected health information may be used and disclosed by your home health agency, our office staff and others outside our office that are involved in your care and treatment for the purpose of providing health care services to you. Your protected health information may also be used and disclosed to pay your health care bills and to support the operation of the home health agency.

Following are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health care information that Smoky Mountain Home Health & Hospice, Inc. is permitted to make.

These examples of the types of uses and disclosures are not meant to be exhaustive, but describe the types of uses and disclosures that may be made by our office.

Treatment: We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide , coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. This includes coordination or management of your health care with a third party that has already obtained your permission to have access to your protected health information. For example, we would disclose your information to a physician’s office that provides care for you.

We will also disclose protected health information to other physicians who may be treating you, when we have the necessary permission from you to disclose your protected health information. The request must be in writing and signed and clearly identify the individual the protected health information is going to. For example, your protected health information may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred to ensure that the physician has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you.

We will also provide protected health information, with your authorization as you designate, to research facilities for conditional or non-conditional research, specified for now or in the future.

The minimum required protected health information to meet the need is the amount that will be disclosed in all circumstances.

Payment: Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. This may include activities that your insurance plan may undertake before it pays for the health care services we recommend for you such as making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you for medical necessity, and undertaking utilization review activities. For example, obtaining approval for home health visits may require that your relevant protected health information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for admission. We will not disclose genetic testing results to the health plan or information on services that you have paid for personally.

Your home health agency will comply with the restrictions of protected health information that you request. Unless the Home Health Agency or Hospice believes it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your protected health information, it will not be restricted. If your physician does not agree to the request for restriction, we may not use or disclose your protected health information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment.

Health Care Operations: We may use and and disclose your PHI as necessary for our health care operations. Examples of health care operations include activities relating to the creation, renewal, or replacement of your Group Health Plan.

You have the right to request to receive confidential communication form us by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests. We also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specifications for any alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis of this request. Please make this request in writing to our Privacy Officer, P.O. Box 754, Newport, TN  37821.

You have the right to review, amend, or copy your protected health information and the copy may be requested in electronic form. This request must be made in writing. This means you may request an amendment of protected health information about you in a designated record set as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. There will be a fee for any coping of protected health information. If we deny your request for an amendment, you have a right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you a copy of any such rebuttal. Please contact our Privacy Officer if you have any questions about amending your medical record.

The request to provide a copy or transmit your protected health information to another designated person must be made in writing and signed by you. The request must identify the designated person and the location to send the information.

You have the right to limit the uses and disclosers of your protected health information.

Immunization records may be disclosed to a school where state law requires the school to have such information before admitting the student. Written authorization is no longer required to permit the disclosure, but an agreement must be obtained, which may be oral or over the phone from a parent, guardian or other person acting in loco parentis for the individual, or from the individual himself or herself if an adult or an emancipated minor.

Protected health information is never sold.

Fund raising efforts will only include protected health information when a signed authorization has been obtained.

Marketing will not include protected health information and no third party payments will be forth coming.

Decedent information may be disclosed to family members and others who were involved in the care or payment of care for the decedent prior to death, unless doing so is inconsistent with any prior expressed preference of the individual that is known to the covered entity. In questionable cases, the entity is not required to make a disclosure. Otherwise decedent protection of health information continues for 50 years.

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us in writing. Send it to Privacy Officer, P.O. Box 745, Newport, TN 37821 or phone 423-623-0233 for further information about the complaint process. You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.