Use and disclosure of your health information
The Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) may use your health information for purposes of providing treatment, obtaining payment for your care and services, and to conduct its operations. Colorado VNA has established policies to guard against unnecessary disclosure of your health information as defined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
The following summarizes circumstances & purposes for which your medical information may be used or disclosed.
To Provide Treatment
Colorado VNA may use your health information to coordinate care within the Colorado VNA (among Colorado VNA caregivers and/or other staff or volunteers involved in your care or provision of services). Colorado VNA may also disclose your health care information to individuals involved with the provision of your care and services who are outside the agency (such as your physician, pharmacists, staff or suppliers of medical equipment, family, and significant others). If there is a family member or other relative or close personal friend you do not want the Colorado VNA to disclose health information about you to, you should tell the Colorado VNA staff member(s) providing care to you.
To Obtain Payment
Colorado VNA may include your health information in invoices to collect payment from third parties for the care and services you receive from Colorado VNA. Your health care status may be reported to your health insurer to obtain prior approval for care and/or services or to obtain payment for care and services provided.
To Conduct Health Care Operations
Colorado VNA may use and disclose health information for its own operations to facilitate the function of Colorado VNA and to provide quality care to all Colorado VNA patients. Health care operations include such activities as:
- Quality assessments and improvement activities
- Activities to improve health care and services in a cost-effective manner
- Contacting health care providers and others with information about treatment alternatives and other non-treatment options
- Professional review and performance evaluation
- Training programs including students, trainees, or others who are in supervised health care learning for the home care setting
- Accreditation, certification, licensing, and/or credentialing activities
- Medical record review for a compliance review, legal services, and corporate compliance
- Business planning and program development
- Fundraising and/or obtaining grants for the benefit of the Colorado VNA For example, Colorado VNA may use your health information to evaluate staff performance, to evaluate patient outcomes as part of the performance improvement program, or fundraising.
For Fundraising Activities
Colorado VNA may use information about you including your name, address, phone number, and the date you received care in order to apply for grants and other available funds, to do general fundraising, and for community information mailings (unless you tell us not to contact you). If you do not want Colorado VNA to contact you for these reasons, you may opt-out by notifying the Colorado VNA at (303) 698-2121.
For Appointment Reminders
Colorado VNA may use and disclose your health information to contact you as a reminder of a scheduled home visit or delivery.
For Treatment or Service Alternatives.
Colorado VNA may use and disclose your health information to inform you of possible treatment, symptom management options, or alternatives as well as other health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
When Legally Required
Colorado VNA will disclose your health information when it is required to do so by any Federal, State, or local law.
When Public Health Risks Exists
Colorado VNA may disclose your health information for public activities and purposes to:
Prevent or control disease, injury, or disability, report disease, injury, vital events such as birth or death, and the conducting of public health surveillance, investigations, and interventions.
Report adverse events and/or product defects, track products, or enable product/equipment recalls repairs and replacements of/to the Food and Drug Administration.
Notify person(s) exposed to a communicable disease or who may be at risk of contracting or spreading disease.
Notify an employer about an individual who is a member of the workforce as legally required.
To Report Abuse. Neglect, Misappropriation of Patient Property or Domestic Violence
Colorado VNA may notify government authorities if Colorado VNA staff believes a patient is a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. Colorado VNA will disclose as required/authorized by law or if a patient agrees to disclosure.
To Conduct Health Oversight Activities
Colorado VNA may disclose health information to an oversight agency for audits, civil or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure, or disciplinary actions.
In Connection With Judicial and Administrative Proceedings
Colorado VNA may disclose your health information in any judicial or administrative proceeding in response to order of a court or administrative tribunal under such order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process. A reasonable effort to notify you about the request will be made if legally permitted and time permits.
For Law Enforcement Purposes
As permitted or required by the State of Colorado law and regulations, Colorado VNA 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 (1)Pursuant to a court order, warrant, subpoena or summons or similar process (2)For the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person (3)Under certain limited circumstances when you are the victim of a crime (4)To a law enforcement official if Colorado VNA staff has a suspicion that your death was the result of criminal conduct (5)To a law enforcement official if Colorado VNA staff has a suspicion that criminal conduct has occurred at Colorado VNA (6)In an emergency in order to report a crime (7)
To Coroners and Medical Examiners
Colorado VNA 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.
To Funeral Directors
Colorado VNA may disclose your health information to funeral directors consistent with law if necessary to carry out their duties for your funeral arrangements. Such disclosures may be made in reasonable anticipation of your death.
For Organ, Eye, or Tissue Donation
Colorado VNA may use or disclose your health information to organ procurement agencies or other entities engaged in procurement, banking or transplantation of organs, eyes, or tissue for purposes of donation and transplantation.
For Research Purposes
Colorado VNA may, under very select circumstances, use your health information for research. Before Colorado VNA discloses any of your health information for such research purposes, the project will be subject to an extensive approval process.
In the Event of a Serious Threat to Health or Safety
Colorado VNA may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards, disclose your health information if Colorado VNA, in good faith, believes that 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.
For Specified Government Functions
In certain circumstances, Federal regulations authorize Colorado VNA to use or disclose your health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military, veterans, national security, and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, medical suitability determinations, and prison inmates.
For Workers’ Compensation
Colorado VNA may release your health information to workers compensation or other similar programs.
Authorization to use or disclose health information
Other than is stated above, Colorado VNA will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. If you or your representative authorizes Colorado VNA to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke the authorization in writing at any time.
Your rights with respect to your health information
Right to Request Restrictions
You may request restrictions on certain uses or disclosures of your health information. You have the right to request a limited disclosure of your information to someone involved in your care; however, Colorado VNA is not required to agree to this.
Right to Receive Confidential Communications
You have the right to request Colorado VNA communicate with you in a certain way. For example, you may ask that Colorado VNA communicate with you privately with no other family member present. Colorado VNA will not request that you provide any reasons for your request and will attempt to honor your reasonable request for confidential communication.
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 such a copy, Colorado VNA may charge reasonable fees for copying and assembling costs associated with this.
Right to Amend Health Care Information
You or your representative have the right to request that Colorado VNA amend your records if you believe that your health information is incorrect or incomplete. That request may be made so long as the information is maintained by Colorado VNA. Colorado VNA 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 Colorado VNA staff, if the records you are requesting are not part of the health information you are permitted to inspect and copy, or if, in the opinion of Colorado VNA, the records of your health information are accurate and complete.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures
You and your representative have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by Colorado VNA for certain 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 prior to the date of the request. Colorado VNA would provide the first accounting of your request during a 12-month period without charge. Subsequent accounting requests may be subject to a reasonable cost-based fee.
Right to a Paper Copy of this Notice
You and your representative have a right to a separate paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you or your representative have previously received this Notice. You may obtain it at our web site: www.vnacolorado.org.
Duties of Colorado VNA
Colorado VNA is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you and your representative this Notice. Colorado Colorado VNA is required to abide by this Notice. Colorado VNA reserves the right to change this Notice and to make the new Notice effective for all health information that it maintains. If Colorado VNA changes its Notice, Colorado VNA will provide a copy of a revised Notice to you or your representative. You and your representative have the right to express complaints to Colorado VNA and to the Secretary of HHS if you or your representative believe that your privacy rights have been violated. Any complaints to Colorado VNA should be in writing. Colorado VNA encourages you to express concerns you may have regarding privacy of your information; you will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
Colorado VNA has designated a HIPAA Privacy Officer as a contact person for all questions/requests/issues/complaints regarding privacy and your rights under Federal privacy standards. You may contact the HIPAA Privacy Officer at (303) 698-2121 or by writing to Visiting Nurse Association, 390 Grant St., Denver, CO 80203. All complaints should be in writing and contain information on how to contact you. You may also complain in writing to the United States Secretary of Health & Human Services at Region VII, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, 1976 Stout St., Room 185 FOB, Denver, CO 80294-3538. The Colorado VNA will not retaliate against you or change our treatment of you if you file a complaint.
This notice is effective April 14, 2003, with amendments effective September 23, 2013.