HIPAA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Updated July1, 2010
This notice describes the privacy practices of SpeechCare, Inc. The notice applies when you are receiving treatment and services from one of our therapists while in your home, at our office, or in a natural environment. We know that information about you/your child is personal, and we will protect your information. We keep a record of the care and services you receive through SpeechCare, Inc. The law requires us to keep this record. We also use it to give you quality care.
Your/your child’s record is really a group of records maintained by SpeechCare, Inc. that includes billing records and any item or grouping of information that is used in whole or in part to make therapy treatment decisions. Your therapy record is the physical property of SpeechCare, Inc.
How SpeechCare, Inc. may use and disclose your/your child’s therapy information: (We make efforts to limit information to the minimum necessary to accomplish the intended purpose, use, disclosure, or request.)
- For Treatment: We may use and reveal your therapy information to give you therapy services. All SpeechCare, Inc. providers may disclose your information to manage your care. This could include progress notes, reports, evaluation results, and therapy summaries. Also, we may disclose your information with others who may be involved with your/your child’s services after you are discharged from SpeechCare, Inc.
- For Payment: We may use and disclose your therapy information relating to billing and payment of treatment and services you received through SpeechCare, Inc. Payment may be collected from you or another party. We may need to give information to an insurance company or another party so that they will pay us or repay you. We may also tell your insurance company or another party about a treatment plan you are going to receive for pre-approval or to determine if your plan will cover treatment and services.
- For Quality Control: We may use and disclose therapy information about you/your child to make sure that everyone gets quality care. As an example, we may use this information to look at our treatment and services and see how well our staff cared for you/your child. We may use information to see if certain treatment methods work, and for educational purposes. We may use this information to see how we can improve.
- To Inspect and Copy: You can inspect and/or get a copy of your official therapy and billing records. You may be charged a fee for this service. Requests to review your therapy information should be made in writing and sent to SpeechCare, Inc., 2137 Embassy Dr., #103., Lancaster, PA 17603, attention Roberta Kornfield, privacy officer.
- A Right to Amend: If you feel that your official therapy and billing records are wrong or incomplete, you may do so in writing. You then need to designate who will receive a copy of this amendment.
- A Right to an Accounting of Disclosures: This is a list of the releases we made of your official therapy and billing records for reasons other than treatment, payment, or related healthcare operations purposes. We may charge a fee for this information.
- A Right to Request Restrictions: You have a right to ask us not to use your therapy information in certain ways. Your request must be described, in writing, and sent to our privacy officer. SpeechCare, Inc. is not required by law to agree to your request.
- Right to Request Confidential Communications: You can ask that we contact you about therapy matters in a specific way. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at home or through the mail.
Other Ways We May Use and Disclose Your/Your Child’s Therapy Information
- Appointment Reminders: We may use your information to remind you of an appointment.
- Treatment Alternatives & Health-Related Benefits and Services: We may use and disclose therapy information to tell you about treatment options and health-related benefits or services that may interest you.
- Marketing: We may contact you to provide information about other services provided by SpeechCare. We may contact you if we think these services might interest you.
- Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care: We may release therapy information about you/your child to a friend or family member helping with your care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your/your child’s care.
- As Required by Law: We will disclose therapy information about you/your child when federal, state, or local laws require us. We may release therapy information about you to federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security measures authorized by law.
- Public Safety & Public Health Risks: We may disclose your/your child’s therapy information to prevent or lessen a threat to the health or safety of one or more persons. These reasons include: to prevent or control disease, injury or disability; to report child abuse or neglect; to notify someone who may have been exposed to a disease or who could get or spread a disease or condition; to notify the proper government authority if we believe a client has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will only disclose this information if you agree or when we must or we are authorized by law.
- Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose your therapy information to an oversight agency for approved activities. Examples include audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities help the government oversee the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
- Lawsuits and Disputes: If you are in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose your/your child’s therapy information as asked by a court or administrative order. We may disclose your/your child’s therapy information because of a subpoena, discovery request, or other legal process from someone else involved in the situation. We will do this if efforts were made to tell you about the request.
- Law Enforcement: We may release therapy information in response to court orders, subpoenas, warrants, summons, or similar process. We may also release this information to identify or find a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person. We may release information about the victim of a crime if, under certain circumstances, we cannot obtain the person’s agreement. In emergencies, we may release therapy information to report a crime, the location of a crime or victims, or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
- Military and Veterans: If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release your therapy information to military command authorities.
- Inmates: If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or in the charge of a law enforcement official, we may release therapy information about you to the institution or official.
Our Security Procedures
If You Have Questions or Complaints
If you feel that we have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about the right to use your/your child’s records, please contact our privacy officer listed below. You may also send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at (202)619-0257 or 1-877-696-6775. Clients should be assured that SpeechCare, Inc. or its employees will not intimidate, threaten, coerce, discriminate against, or take any other retaliatory action in response to anyone who exercises their rights under the regulations.
Privacy Officer: Roberta Kornfield, SpeechCare, Inc.,2137 Embassy Dr. #103., Lancaster, PA 17603, (717) 569-8972.
SpeechCare, Inc. reserves the right to revise this notice of policies and procedures at any time. This Privacy Notice replaces any prior privacy notices you received from SpeechCare, Inc.