HORIZON HOSPICE & PALLIATIVE CARE PRIVACY PRACTICES

OUR RESPONSIBILITIES

Horizon Hospice & Palliative Care (“Horizon”) takes the privacy of your health information seriously. Horizon is required by law to maintain that privacy and to provide you with this notice of Privacy Practices. This notice is provided to tell you about our duties and practices with respect to your information. Horizon is required to abide by the terms of this notice as are currently in effect.

HOW HORIZON HOSPICE & PALLIATIVE CARE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION

The following categories describe different ways that Horizon uses and discloses your health information. For each category, an explanation of the category is provided, in some cases with examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways Horizon is permitted to use and disclose your health information will fall into one of these categories.

Treatment
Horizon may use and disclose your health information to coordinate care within Horizon and with others involved in your care, such as your attending physician, members of Horizon interdisciplinary team and other health care professionals who have agreed to assist Horizon in coordinating care. For example, Horizon may disclose your health information to a physician involved in your care who needs information about your symptoms to prescribe appropriate medications. Horizon also may disclose health information about you to individuals outside of Horizon involved in your care, including family members, other relatives, close personal friends, pharmacists, suppliers of medical equipment or other health care professionals.

Payment
Horizon may use and disclose your health information to receive payment for the care you receive from Horizon. For example, Horizon may be required by your health insurer to provide information regarding your health care status, your need for care and the care that Horizon intends to provide to you so that the insurer will reimburse you or Horizon.

Health Care Operations
Horizon may use and disclose health information for its own operations to facilitate the functioning of Horizon and as necessary to provide quality care to all of Horizon patients. Health care operations include such activities as:

  • Quality assessment and improvement activities.
  • Activities designed to improve health or reduce health care costs.
  • Protocol development, case management and care coordination.
  • Contacting health care providers and patients with information about treatment alternatives and other related functions that do not include treatment.
  • Professional review and performance evaluation.
  • Training programs, including those in which students, trainees or practitioners in health care learn under supervision.
  • Training of non-health care professionals.
  • Accreditation, certification, licensing, or credentialing activities.
  • Review and auditing, including compliance reviews, medical reviews, legal services, and compliance programs.
  • Business planning and development, including cost management and planning related analyses and formulary development.
  • Business management and general administrative activities of Horizon.

For example Horizon may use your health information to evaluate its performance, combine your health information with other patients in evaluating how to more effectively serve all Horizon patients, disclose your health information to members of Horizon workforce for training purposes, use your health information to contact you as a reminder regarding a visit to you, or contact you as part of community information mailings (unless you tell us you do not want to be contacted).

Facility Directory
Horizon may disclose certain information about you, including your name, and your general health status in a Horizon directory while you are under our care. Horizon may disclose this information to people who ask for you by name. Please inform us if you do not want your information to be included in the directory.

Appointment Reminders
Horizon may use and disclose your health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for a home visit.

Treatment Alternatives
Horizon may use and disclose your health information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.

As Required by Law
Horizon will disclose your health information when it is required to do so by any Federal, State or local law.

Public Health Risks
Horizon may disclose your health information for public activities and purposes in order to:

  • Prevent or control disease, injury or disability, report disease, injury, vital events such as birth or death and the conduct of public health surveillance, investigations, and interventions.
  • Report adverse events, product defects, to track products or enable product recalls, repairs, and replacements and to conduct post-marketing surveillance and compliance with requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Notify a person who has been exposed to a communicable disease or who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease.
  • Notify an employer about an individual who is a member of the employer’s workforce in certain limited situations, as authorized by law.

Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence
Horizon is allowed to notify government authorities if Horizon believes a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. Horizon will make this disclosure only when specifically required or authorized by law or when the patient agrees to the disclosure.

Health Oversight Activities
Horizon may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities including audits, civil administrative or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure, or disciplinary action. Horizon, however, may not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information is not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.

Judicial And Administrative Proceedings
Horizon may disclose your health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal as expressly authorized by such order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process, but only when Horizon makes reasonable efforts to either notify you about the request or to obtain an order protecting your health information.

Law Enforcement
As permitted or required by State law, Horizon may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for certain law enforcement purposes as follows:

  • As required by law for reporting of certain types of wounds or other physical injuries pursuant to the court order, warrant, subpoena or summons or similar process.
  • For the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person.
  • Under certain limited circumstances, when you are the victim of a crime.
  • To a law enforcement official if Horizon has a suspicion that your death was the result of criminal conduct, including criminal conduct at Horizon.
  • In an emergency in order to report a crime.

Coroners And Medical Examiners
Horizon may disclose your health information to coroners and medical examiners for purposes of determining your cause of death or for other duties, as authorized by law.

Funeral Directors
Horizon may disclose your health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law and, if necessary, to carry out their duties with respect to your funeral arrangements. If necessary to carry out their duties, Horizon may disclose your health information prior to and in reasonable anticipation of your death.

Organ, Eye or Tissue Donation
Horizon may use or disclose your health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking or transplantation of organs, eyes, or tissue for the purpose of facilitating the donation and transplantation.

Limited Data Set
Horizon may use or disclose a limited data set of your health information, that is, a subset of your health information for which all identifying information has been removed, for purposes of research, public health, or health care operations. Prior to our release, any recipient of that limited data set must agree to appropriately safeguard your health information.

Serious Threat to Health or Safety
Horizon may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, disclose your health information if Horizon, in good faith, believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public.

Specified Government Functions
In certain circumstances, the Federal regulations authorize Horizon to use or disclose your health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military and veterans, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, medical suitability determinations and inmates and law enforcement custody.

Worker’s Compensation
Horizon may release your health information for worker’s compensation or similar programs.

Research Purposes
Horizon does not allow PHI to be used for research purposes.

OTHER USES OR DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION

Except as otherwise permitted or required by this Notice of Privacy Practices, Horizon will not use or disclose your health information unless you provide written authorization. If you or your representative authorizes Horizon to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke that authorization, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your authorization, Horizon will no longer use or disclose health information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization, except to the extent that Horizon has taken action in reliance thereon. You understand that Horizon is unable to take back any disclosures it has already made under the authorization, and that Horizon is required to retain our records of the care that it has provided you.

Persons Involved in Your Care
When appropriate, we may share your health information with a family member, other relative or any other person you identify if that person is involved in your care and the information is relevant to your care of the payment of your care. We also may notify your family about your location or general condition or disclose such information to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort.

You may ask us at any time not to disclose your health information to any person(s) involved in your care. We will agree to your request unless circumstances constitute an emergency or if the patient is a minor.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION

You have the following rights regarding your health information that Horizon maintains. Your request to exercise any of the following rights must be made in writing to:

Privacy Officer
Horizon Hospice & Palliative Care
608 East Holland Ave
Spokane, WA 99218

Right to Request Restrictions
You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. You have the right to request a limit on Horizon disclosure of your health information to someone who is involved in your care or the payment of your care. Horizon is not required to agree to your request, unless your request is for a restriction on a disclosure to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations (and is not for purposes of treatment) and the medical information you are requesting to be restricted from disclosure pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid out of pocket in full, if you wish to make a request for restrictions.

Right to Receive Confidential Communications
You have the right to request that Horizon communicate with you in a certain way. For example, you may ask that Horizon only conduct communications pertaining to your health information with you privately with no other family members present. Horizon will not request that you provide any reasons for your request and will attempt to honor your reasonable requests for confidential communications.

Right to Inspect and Copy your Health Information
You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, including billing records. If you request a copy of your health information, Horizon may charge a reasonable fee for copying and assembling costs associated with your request.

You have the right to request that Horizon provide you, an entity, or a designated individual with an electronic copy of your electronic health record containing your health information, if Horizon uses or maintains electronic health records containing patient health information. Horizon may require you to pay the labor costs incurred by Horizon in responding to your request.

Right to amend Health Care Information
You or your representative have the right to request that Horizon amend your records, if you believe that your health information is incorrect or incomplete. That request may be made as long as the information is maintained by Horizon. Horizon may deny the request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason for the amendment. The request also may be denied if your health information records were not created by Horizon, if the records you are requesting are not part of Horizon records, if the health information you wish to amend is not part of the health information you or your representative are permitted to inspect and copy or if, in the opinion of Horizon, the records containing your health information are accurate and complete.

Right to an Accounting
You or your representative have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by Horizon for certain reasons, including reasons related to public purposes authorized by law and certain research. The request should specify the time period for the accounting starting on or after April 14, 2003. Accounting requests may not be made for periods of time in excess of six (6) years. Horizon would provide the first accounting you request during any 12-month period without charge. Subsequent accounting requests may be subject to a reasonable cost-based fee.

Right to Receive Notification of a Breach
You or your representative has the right to receive notification of a breach of your unsecured health information. If you have questions regarding what constitutes a breach or your rights with respect to breach notification, please contact:

Horizon Privacy Officer: 509-489-4581

Right to a Paper Copy of this Notice
You or your representative have a right to a separate paper copy of this Notice at any time, even if you or your representative have received this Notice previously. The patient or a patient’s representative may also obtain a copy of the current version of Horizon Hospice & Palliative Care Notice of Privacy Practices at its website, www.HorizonHospice.com.

CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE

Horizon reserves the right to change this notice. Horizon reserves the right to make the revised notice effective for health information we already have about you, as well as any health information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current Notice in a clear and prominent location to which you have access. The notice also is available to you upon request. The notice will contain, at the end of this document, the effective date. In addition, if Horizon revises the notice, Horizon will offer you a copy of the current notice in effect.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS NOTICE

Horizon has designated a Privacy Officer as its contact person for all issues regarding patient privacy and your rights under the Federal privacy standards. You may contact this person at 608 East Holland Ave, Spokane WA 99218 or via phone at 509-489-4581.

COMPLAINTS

You or your personal representative have the right to express complaints to Horizon and to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if you or your representative believe that your privacy rights have been violated. Any complaints to Horizon Hospice & Palliative Care should be made in writing to:

Privacy Officer
Horizon Hospice & Palliative Care
608 East Holland Ave
Spokane, WA 99218
509-489-4581

Horizon Hospice & Palliative Care encourages you to express any concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint.