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Privacy Policy

Important Information Regarding Your Privacy

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.

At Home Aides of Central New York, Inc. we know that your privacy is important to you.  We respect your privacy when it comes to your health information.  We are committed to protecting this information.  We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your medical information and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices.  We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy.  We want you to know the steps we have taken to protect your privacy.  This includes how we gather and use your health information.

When you decide to utilize health care services from Home Aides of Central New York, you agree to give us access to your health information.  This allows us to design a plan of care that best meets your needs, to make appropriate suggestions regarding your care and to communicate with other health care providers involved in your care.  This information assists us in delivering quality services.

OUR USES & DISCLOSURES

1. How does Home Aides of Central New York gather your health information?
Most commonly, you or your representative communicates this information to our clinical or office staff. Health information may also be gathered through the observations of the health care worker assigned to care for you, from your physician, or from other health care providers involved in your care. 

2. How does Home Aides of Central New York use your health information?
Home Aides of Central New York uses your health information for your treatment, to obtain payment, and for the health care operations of our agency.  This information assists us in providing quality home care, respite or Lifeline services that meet your health care and personal needs. 

Home Aides of Central New York uses your health information to develop a plan of care and instruct the home health aides and other health care personnel in carrying out that plan.  Home Aides of Central New York also uses your information to assist in the provision of respite services at local long-term care facilities, when you request that service.  Home Aides of Central New York shares your health information with other organizations, such as Lifeline, to respond to your needs when you call for assistance. 

Home Aides of Central New York uses your health information to request payment for your services from individuals, insurance carriers, governmental agencies and/or special grants we may receive that provide payment for your services.

Home Aides of Central New York uses your health information for the health care operations of our agency, including billing and payroll functions, quality assurance activities, and fund raising. Occasionally your information is used for training new employees in the skills they require to become a home care worker or to orient a volunteer who may call or visit you. 

Your health information will not be used for purposes other than for your treatment, to seek payment for your services, or for the health care operations of Home Aides of Central New York without your written authorization. 

3. How else can Home Aides of Central New York use or share your health information? 
We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. 

Examples: 

Help with public health issues
We can share health information about you for certain situations such as: 

*  Preventing disease;
*  Helping with product recalls;
*  Reporting adverse reactions to medications;
*  Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence;
*  Reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety. 

Research
We can use your information for health research.     

Comply with the law
We will share information about you if states or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we are complying with federal privacy law. 

Respond to organ and tissue donation request
We can share information about you with organ procurement organizations. 

Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.  

Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement and other government requests
We can use or share health information about you:

*  For workers’ compensation claims;
*  For law enforcement purposes or with law enforcement officials;
*  With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law;
*  For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protection services.

Respond to lawsuits and legal actions
We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.

4. Who has access to your personal health information?
Authorized employees and volunteers of Home Aides of Central New York have access to your health information to the extent they need it to carry out their job duties.  For example, nursing staff have access in order to make appropriate suggestions and decisions regarding your care.  Scheduling staff have access in order to assure that appropriate services are delivered as ordered and that the health care worker assigned to you is capable of meeting your needs.  Home care workers assigned to your care have access to your information to the extent it is needed to carry out your plan of care.  Billing staff have access in order to submit claims for payment for your home care services.  Administrative staff have access for quality assurance, business planning and fund raising purposes.  Trainees have access to your information to the extent they need it to learn the skills they need to become a home care worker.  Volunteers have access to your information to the extent they need it to conduct friendly calling or visiting.

YOUR RIGHTS

When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights regarding health information we have about you. You have the right to:

1. Inspect and copy health information that may be used to make decisions about your care or payment for your care
This includes medical and billing records, other than psychotherapy notes. To inspect and copy this health information you must make your request in writing. We have up to 30 days to make your protected health information available to you, and we may charge you a reasonable fee for the costs of copying, mailing and other costs associated with your request. We may not charge you a fee if you need the information for a claim for benefits under the Social Security Act or any state or federal needs-based benefit program. 

2. Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record
You can ask to see or get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information. We may charge a reasonable, cost based fee. 

3. Ask us to correct your medical record
You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. We may say “no” to your request, but we will tell you why in writing. 

4. Request confidential communications
You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address. We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.

5. Ask us to limit what we use or share
You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment or our operations. If you pay for a service out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care.  We never share your information (i.e. for marketing purposes or the sale of information) unless you give us written permission. 

In the case of fundraising, we may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again. 

6. Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information
You have the right to request a list of the times we’ve shared your health information, who we shared it with and why. You may ask for this information for as long as we have this information in our office or available to us.  We will include all the disclosures except those about treatment, payment, and healthcare operations or for which you provided written authorization. To request an accounting of disclosures, you must make your request, in writing, to the address at the end of this document.  

7. Choose someone to act for you
If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information. We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.  

8. Request that access to your protected health information be restricted
For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information you can tell us what you want us to do and we will follow your request. 

9. Get a copy of this privacy notice
You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide a paper copy promptly.              

OUR RESPONSIBILITIES

1. Home Aides of Central New York is required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your protected health information.

2. We are required to abide by the terms of this notice.

3. Our staff and volunteers are trained about our privacy policy upon hire and annually thereafter.

4. Computer systems utilize passwords to limit access to health information by authorized staff only.

5. Medical records are stored in secured locations.

6. We will promptly notify you if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your  information.

7. The Senior Director of Clinical Services of Home Aides of Central New York is assigned to assure that the privacy policy is followed at all times.

8. The Senior Director of Clinical Services is assigned to receive all complaints regarding violations of the privacy policy.

9. We will obtain written authorization for uses and disclosures that are not identified by this notice, or permitted by  applicable law. Any authorization that you provide regarding the use and disclosure of your identifiable health information may be revoked in writing at any time.  After you revoke your authorization, we will no longer disclose information for the reasons described in the authorization.

FILING A COMPLAINT

If you feel that your privacy has been violated by Home Aides of Central New York, you have the right to file a complaint with the Senior Director of Clinical Services at Home Aides of Central New York.  You may do so by calling 315.476.4295 and asking for the Senior Director of Clinical Services.  A thorough investigation will be conducted to determine if your privacy has in fact been violated and you will be informed of the results of this investigation.  Home Aides of Central New York welcomes your feedback, and you will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.  You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Home Aides of Central New York reserves the right to amend the terms of this notice and to make any new notice provisions effective for all protected health information that we maintain.  Home Aides of Central New York will send you a revised notice if the provisions of this notice are changed.

If you should have any questions or concerns
about this privacy notice please contact:

Compliance Officer/Executive Vice President of Performance Excellence
Home Aides of Central New York
1050 West Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13204
Phone:  477-HOME (4663)

 

Home Aides of Central New York
1050 West Genesee Street Syracuse, NY 13204
Phone: 315.476.4295
Fax: 315.476.7252
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