Buxton Fire-Rescue Notice of Privacy Practices
Important: 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.
As an essential part of our commitment to you, Buxton Fire Rescue (BFR), maintains the privacy of certain confidential health care information about you, known as Protected Health Information (PHI). We are required by law to protect your health care information and to provide you with the Notice of Privacy Practices.
This notice outlines our legal duties and privacy practices. We hold all healthcare information about our patients in the strictest confidence in accordance with BFR policies. BFR is required to abide by the terms of this notice.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI: BFR may use PHI for the purpose or treatment, payment, and health care operations in most cases without your written permission. Examples of our use of PHI:
· For Treatment – This includes such things as verbal and written information that we obtain about you and use pertaining to your medical condition and treatment provided to you by us and other medical personnel including doctors and nurses who give orders to treat you. It also includes information we give to other health care personnel to whom we transfer your care and treatment, and includes transfer PHI via radio or telephone to the hospital or dispatch center as well as providing the hospital with a copy of the written record we create in the course of providing you with treatment and transport.
· For Payment – This includes any activities we must undertake in order to get reimbursed for the services we provide to you, including such things as organizing your PHI and submitting bills to insurance companies, management of billed claims for services rendered, medical necessity determinations, and collection of outstanding accounts.
· For Health Care Operations: This includes quality assurance activities, licensing, and training programs to assure that our personnel meet standards of care and follow established policies and procedures, as well as certain other management functions.
Uses and Disclosure of PHI Without Your Authorization: Buxton Fire Rescue is permitted to us PHI without your written authorization or opportunity to object in certain situations, including:
· For BFR’s use in treating you or in obtaining payment for services provided to you or in other health care operations, for the treatment activities of another healthcare provider.
· To another health care provider or entity for the payment of activities of the provider or entity that receives the information such as your hospital or insurance company.
· To another health care provider such as the hospital to which you are transported for the healthcare operations activities of the entity that receives the information as long as the entity that is receiving the information has or has had a relationship with you and the PHI pertains to that relationship.
· For health care fraud and abuse detection or for activities related to compliance with the law.
· To a family member, other relative, or close personal friend or other individual involved in your care if we obtain your verbal agreement to do so or if we give you an opportunity to object to such a disclosure and you do not raise an objection. We may also disclose health information to your family, relatives, or friends if we infer from the circumstances that you would not object. For example, we may assume you agree to our disclosure of your PHI when your spouse has called the ambulance for you. In situations where you are not capable of objecting because you are not present of due to your incapacity or medical emergency we may, in our professional judgment determine that a disclosure to your family member, relative or friend is in your best interest. In that situation we will disclose only health information relative to that persons involvement in you care. For example, we may inform the person who accompanied you in the ambulance that you have certain symptoms and we may give that person an update on your vital signs and treatments performed.
· To public health authority in certain situations such as reporting a birth, death, or disease as required by law, as part of a public health investigation, to report child or adult abuse or neglect or domestic violence, to report adverse events such as product defects, or to notify a person about exposure to a possible communicable disease as required by law.
· For health oversight activities including audits or government investigations, inspections, disciplinary proceedings, and other administrative or judicial actions undertaken by the government or their contractors by law to oversee the health care system.
· For judicial and administrative proceedings as required by a court or administrative order, or in some cases in response to a subpoena or other legal process
· For law enforcement activities in limited situations such as when there is a warrant for the request, or when the information is needed to locate a suspect or to stop a crime.
· For military, national defense, and security and other special government functions.
· To avert serious threat to health and safety of a person and or the public health at large.
· For workers compensation purpose and in compliance with workers compensation laws.
· To coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors for identifying a deceased person, determining cause of death, or carrying on their duties as authorized by law.
· If you are an organ donor, we may release health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank as necessary.
· For research projects, but this will be subject to strict oversight and approvals.
· We may use or disclose PHI about you in a way that does not personally identify you or reveal who you are.
Any other use of disclosure of PHI other than those written above will only be made with your written authorization. The authorization must specifically identify the information we seek to use or disclose, and when and how we seek to use or disclose it. You may revoke your authorization at any time in writing except to the extent that we have already used or disclosed medical information in reliance on that authorization.
Patient Rights: As a patient, you have a number of rights with respect to the protection of your PHI, including:
· The right to access, copy, or inspect your PHI – This means you may come to our offices and inspect and copy most of the medical information about you that we maintain. We will normally provide you with access to this information within 30 days of your request. We may also charge you a reasonable fee to copy any medical information that you have the right to access. In limited circumstances, we may deny you access to your medical information and you may appeal certain types of denials. We have available forms to request access to your PHI and we will provide a written response if we deny you access and advise you of your appeal rights. If you wish to inspect and copy your medical information contact the privacy officer listed at the end of this notice.
· The right to amend your PHI – You have the right to ask us to amend written medical information that we may have about you. We will generally amend your information within 60 days of your request and will notify you when we have amended the information. We are permitted by law to deny your request to amend your medical information only in certain circumstances, like when we believe the information you have asked us to amend is correct. If you wish to amend medical information we have about you, contact the privacy officer listed at the end of this notice.
· The right to request an accounting or our use and disclosure of your PHI – You may request an accounting of disclosures of your medical information in the 6 years prior to your request. We are not required to give you an accounting of the medical information we have used or disclosed for purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations, or in the sharing of information with our business associates, such as our billing company or a medical facility from/to which you have been transported. We are also not required to give you an accounting of or uses of PHI for which you have already given us written authorization. If you wish to request an accounting of the medical information used or disclosed that is not exempted from the accounting requirements, contact the privacy officer listed at the end of this notice.
· The right to request that we restrict the uses and disclosures of you PHI – You have the right to request that we restrict how we use and disclose your medical information for treatment, payment, or health care operations, or to restrict the information that is provided to friends, family, and other individuals involved in your health care. If you do request a restriction and that information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment, then we may use or disclose the PHI to other health care providers in order to provide you with emergency treatment. Buxton Fire Rescue is not required to agree to any restrictions you request, but any restrictions agreed to by BFR are binding.
· Internet, Email, and the right to obtain a copy of paper notice on request – If we maintain a website, we will prominently post a copy of this notice on our website. You may always request an additional paper copy of this notice.
· Revisions to the notice – Buxton Fire Rescue reserves the right to change the terms of this notice at any time, and the changes will be effective immediately and will apply to all PHI that we maintain. Any material changes to this notice will be promptly posted to our website, if we maintain one. You can get a revised copy of this notice by contacting the privacy officer at the end of this notice.
· Your legal rights and complaints – You have the right to complain to us or the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint with us or with the government. Should you have any questions, comments, or complaints you may direct all inquires to the privacy officer listed at the end of this notice.
Deputy Chief Greg Jones EMT-P
185 Portland Rd
Buxton, ME 04093