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Privacy Policy

Notice of the Oceana County Medical Care Facility Privacy Practices


  2. THE FACILITY HAS A LEGAL DUTY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION (PHI).The Facility is legally required to protect the privacy of your health information.  We call this information “protected health information,” or “PHI”, and it includes information that can be used to identify you that we’ve created or received about your past, present, or future health or condition, the  provision of health care to you, or the payment of this health care.  The Facility must provide you with the Notice about our  privacy  practices that explains how, when, and why we use or disclosed your PHI.   With some exceptions, the Facility may not use or disclose any more of your PHI than is necessary  to accomplish the purpose of the use or disclosure.  The Facility is legally required to follow the privacy practices that are described in this Notice. However, the Facility reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice and our privacy policies at any time without notice.  Any changes will apply to the PHI that the Facility maintains at that time. Before we make an important change to our policies, the Facility will promptly change this Notice and post a new Notice on the board outside the Social Work  Office.  You may also request a copy of this Notice from The Corporate Compliance/Privacy Officer.
    1. The Facility may use and disclose your PHI for the following reasons without your authorization or opportunity to object.
      1. Treatment. The Facility may disclose your PHI to provide, coordinate and manage your health care and any related services provided by the Facility.  This may include the coordination and management of your health care with third parties who may need to have access to PHI.  For example, the Facility may disclose PHI as necessary to any therapists who work with the Facility and who may provide care for you.  We may also disclose PHI to physicians who may be treating you at the Facility so they have access to the information to provide care for you. The Facility may also disclose PHI to specialists or laboratories who may become involved in your care.
      2. The Facility may use and disclose your PHI in order to bill and collect payment for the treatment and services  provided to you.  This may include activities by your health insurance plans which they may need to undertake prior approval of services, to recommend course of care, make determinations of eligibility for coverage for insurance group benefits, and for determination of whether services are medically necessary.
      3. Health Care Operations. The Facility may use or disclose your PHI in order to support the business activities of the Facility.  These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training of medical or nursing students, training of nurse aides, licensing, marketing and fund raising activities. The Facility may share PHI with third party business associates to perform various activities for the Facility.  For example, accountants, consultants, and other  parties involved in the auditing and review of our Facility for purposes  of  reimbursement for your care.  The Facility is also required by law to provide access to information to the state and federal government for purposes of Medicare and  Medicaid. The Facility may also use or disclose PHI as necessary to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health related benefits and  services that might be of interest to you.  This information may also be used for other marketing activities.  For example, your name may be used to send you  information about the Facility’s activities or may be posted outside your room.
      4. Emergencies. The Facility may disclose or use your PHI information in emergency treatment situations.  It will use its professional judgment to disclose that PHI which we determine is reasonably necessary to provide for your care and treatment.
      5. Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors. The Facility may disclose PHI to coroners and medical examiners for notification purposes, determining cause of death, or for other duties required by law.  The Facility may disclose PHI to a funeral director as required by law in order to permit the funeral directors to carry out their duties.  The Facility may disclose such information in reasonable anticipation of death.   Example, PHI may be used and disclosed for organ donation purposes.
      6. Workers Compensation. Your PHI may be disclosed for purposes of complying with Michigan Workers’ Compensation laws.
      7. Required by law. The Facility may use or disclose PHI to the extent that the use or disclosure is required by law.  The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with and limited to the extent required by law.  You will be notified as required by law of any such disclosures.
      8. Law Enforcement.  The Facility may disclose protected health information for law enforcement purposes.  The law enforcement purposes include legal processes and investigations, otherwise required by law;  limited information request for identification and location purposes;  requests pertaining to victims of crimes; suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct; and good faith belief that a crime has occurred on the premises of the Facility; and in emergency situations not on the premises but where a crime is likely to occur.
      9. Criminal Activity. Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, the Facility may disclose PHI if it believes that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen the seriousness of an imminent threat to health and safety of a person of the public.  The Facility may disclose PHI if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.
      10. Legal Proceedings. The Facility may disclose PHI in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, and in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal in response to a subpoena or discovery request or other lawful process.
      11. Abuse or Neglect.  The Facility may disclose PHI to public health authorities who are authorized by law to receive reports of actual or suspected abuse or neglect.  The Facility may disclose PHI to the government agency or agencies authorized to receive such information if there has been abuse and neglect or domestic violence.   In those cases, its disclosure will be consistent with the requirements applicable in federal and state laws.
      12. Public Health. The Facility may disclose PHI to public health authorities that are permitted by law to collect and receive such information.  The Facility may also disclose PHI directed by the public health authority to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority.
      13. Communicable Disease. The Facility may disclose PHI as authorized by law to persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.
      14. Health Oversight. The Facility may disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and  inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies which oversee the health-care system, government benefit programs, and other government regulatory programs.
      15. The Facility may disclose PHI to a person or entity, as required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product defects or problems, to enable product recalls, etc., as required by law.
      16. The Facility may disclose PHI for research when it has been approved by an institutional review board which has reviewed the research  proposal and has established protocols to ensure the privacy of your PHI.
      17. Military Activity/National Security. The Facility may use and disclose PHI of individuals who are armed forces personnel when deemed  necessary by  appropriate military authorities;  for purposes of determination of eligibility for  VA benefits; or to foreign military authorities to which you are a member of.  The Facility will also disclose PHI to authorized federal officials for conducting national security activities.
    2. Uses and Disclosures That You Have An Opportunity to Object To:
      1. Resident Directory.  The Facility may include your name and location in this facility on our resident directory for use by visitors who ask for you by name unless  you  object in whole or in part. We may also give your general condition and religious affiliation information out.  The opportunity to consent may be obtained retroactively in emergency situations.
      2. Disclosures to family, friends or others.  The Facility may provide your PHI to a family member, friend or other person that you indicate is involved in your care or the  payment for your health care, unless you object in whole or in part.  If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, the Facility may disclose such information as it deems necessary for your best interest, based upon its professional judgment.  The Facility may use or disclose PHI to notify and/or communicate with family members, personal representatives, or other person(s) who are responsible for your care.
      3. Miscellaneous.  Unless you object in whole or in part, the Facility may also use your PHI for their resident seating chart which is posted on the bulletin board in the RDR, on your dietary ticket for identifying information and required assistance, for care conference schedules which are posted at the nurses stations and  for welcome notices, birthdays and tidbit articles posted in the hall outside the Recreational  Therapy Department.  We may also use your PHI in the Facility newsletter and we  may notify the church that you indicated of any admissions, discharges or deaths.   Resident pictures  may also be posted for special events and special recognition about the Facility and your name may be given to community groups for special  occasions or recognition.
    3. All Other Uses and Disclosures Require Your Prior Written Authorization.  In any other situation not described in sections III A and B above, we must ask for your  written authorization before using or disclosing any of your PHI.  You may revoke this authorization at any time in writing, except to the extent that the Facility has  taken  action in reliance upon your authorization.
  4. WHAT RIGHTS YOU HAVE REGARDING YOUR PHI. You have the following rights with respect to your PHI:
    1. The Right To Request Limits on Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI. You have the right to ask that we limit how we use and disclose your PHI.  We will consider your request but are not legally required to accept it.  If we accept your request, we will put any limits in writing and abide by them except in emergency situations.  You may not limit the uses or disclosures that we are legally required or allowed to make.
    2. The Right to Choose How We Send PHI to You. You have the right to ask that we send information to you to an alternate address (for example, sending information to your work address rather than your home address) or by alternate means (for example, e-mail instead of regular mail).  We must agree to your request so long as we can easily provide it in the format your requested.
    3. The Right to See and Get Copies of Your PHI. In most cases, you have the right to look at or get copies of your PHI that we have, but you must make the request in writing.  If we don’t have your PHI but we know who does, we will tell you how to get it.  We will respond to you within 30 days after receiving your written request.  In certain situations, we may deny your request.  If we do, we will tell you, in writing,  our reasons for the denial and explain your right to have the denial reviewed.
    4. The Right to Get a List of the Disclosure We Have Made. You have the right to get a list of instances in which we have disclosed your PHI after April 14, 2003.   Information concerning disclosures will be limited to the 6 years prior to the request.    Disclosures made for the purpose of treatment, payment and healthcare operations are not required to be kept in a log by the Facility, however.
    5. The Right to Correct or Update Your PHI.  You may request the PHI about yourself in a designated record be modified and/or changed as long as the Facility maintains this information.  In certain cases the Facility may deny your request for amendment.  If the Facility denies your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with the Facility.
    1. Complaints should be filed with either the Facility’s Privacy Officer or Administrator.
    2. The Suspected Violations of Privacy Practices Report Form, used for complaints, is located with the Privacy Officer during business hours or at the nursing stations after business hours. See Attachment A – Suspected Violation of Privacy Practice Report Form.
    3. The Facility’s Privacy Officer can be contacted by calling (231) 873-6608 or by writing to OCMCF, Att. Privacy Officer, 701 E. Main Street, Hart, MI 49420.
    4. If you feel your complaint has not been adequately addressed, you may contact the Secretary of Health and Human Services Department by obtaining the Health Information Privacy Complaint form from the Privacy Officer.
    5. The Facility will take no retaliatory action against any person who makes a complaint under this Policy.