HIPAA Privacy Notice
JOINT NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Tazewell County Health Department
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.
The Tazewell County Health Department (TCHD) works with Dr. William G. Edwards, Dr. Norman Nathan and Dr. Diane Krall in providing services to you. Dr. Edwards is TCHD’s Medical Advisor, Dr. Nathan is TCHD’s Tuberculosis Program doctor and Dr. Krall is TCHD’s Sexually Transmitted Disease Program doctor. Dr. Edwards, Dr. Nathan and Dr. Krall are not part of TCHD’s workforce. The health department and its employees and associates will follow this Joint Notice of Privacy Practices in providing services to you.
TCHD creates a medical record of your health information in order to treat you, receive payment for services delivered, and to comply with certain policies and laws. The uses and disclosures described in this Notice apply to TCHD, including the doctors who are part of this Joint Notice of Privacy Practices while they are delivering services on behalf of the health department. This Joint Notice does not apply to these doctors when they deliver services on their own behalf.
We are required by federal and state law to maintain the privacy of your Protected Health Information (information). We are also required by law to provide you with this Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices. In addition, the law requires us to ask you to sign an Acknowledgment that you received this Notice.
This is a list of some of the types of uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information that may occur:
Treatment: We will use your health information for treatment. For example, we may use your child’s record to determine what other immunizations or shots your child may need. We may also exchange information about your child’s record with your child’s doctor. We may also use your information to contact you to tell you about other health services that may help you. With your permission, we may give information about you to a friend or family member involved in your care.
Payment: We use your information to obtain payment for the services that we provide. For example, we send your information to Medicaid or Medicare to obtain payment for our services.
Health Care Operations: We use your information for our operations. For example, we may use your information to measure the quality of our services. We may use your information to contact you to remind you of an appointment.
Legal Requirements: We may use and disclose your information as required or authorized by law. For example: The next two requirements are common.
Public Health: We may report your information as required to prevent or control disease, injury or disability, to report births and deaths, to report reactions to medicines or medical devices, to notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease, or to report suspected cases of abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
Health Oversight Activities: We may give your information to state agencies and federal government authorities when required to do so. We may use and disclose your health information in order to determine your eligibility for public benefit programs and to coordinate delivery of those programs. For example, we must give INFORMATION to the Secretary of Health and Human Services in an investigation into our compliance with the federal privacy rule.
The following requirements for use and disclosure of protected health information are not common, but could apply to your information:
Judicial and Administrative proceedings: We may use and disclose your information in judicial and administrative proceedings. Efforts may be made to contact you prior to a disclosure of your information by the party seeking the information.
Law Enforcement: We may use and disclose your information in order to comply with requests pursuant to a court order, warrant, subpoena, summons, or similar process. We may use and disclose information to locate someone who is missing, to identify a crime victim, to report a death, to report criminal activity at our offices, or in an emergency.
Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety: We may use or disclose your information to stop you or someone else from getting hurt.
Work-Related Injuries: We may use or disclose information to an employer if the employer is conducting medical workplace surveillance or to evaluate work-related injuries.
Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors: We may disclose information to a coroner or medical examiner in some situations. For example, information may be needed to identify a deceased person or determine a cause of death. Funeral directors may need information to carry out their duties.
Armed Forces: We may disclose the information of Armed Forces personnel to the military for proper execution of a military mission. We may also disclose information to the Department of Veterans Affairs to determine eligibility for benefits.
National Security and Intelligence: We may disclose information to maintain the safety of the President or other protected officials. We may disclose information for the conduct of national intelligence activities.
Correctional institutions and custodial situations: We may disclose information to correctional institutions or law enforcement custodians for the safety of individuals at the correctional institution, those that are responsible for transporting inmates, and others.
Research: You will need to sign an Authorization form before we use or disclose information for research purposes except in limited situations. For example, if you want to participate in research or a clinical study, an Authorization form must be signed.
Fundraising/Marketing: Ordinarily, we do not use individual information to do fundraising or marketing. If we were to do so, we would need your authorization.
Illinois law: Illinois law also has certain requirements that govern the use or disclosure of your information. In order for us to release information about mental health treatment, genetic information, AIDS/HIV status, and alcohol or drug abuse treatment, you will be required to sign an authorization form unless state law allows us to make the specific type of use or disclosure without your authorization.
Your Rights: You have certain rights under federal privacy laws relating to your information. Some of these rights are described below:
Restrictions: You have a right to request restrictions on how your information is used for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations. We are not required to agree to your request.
Communications: You have a right to receive confidential communications about your information. For example, you may request that we only call you at home. If your request is reasonable, we will accommodate it.
Inspect and Access: You have a right to inspect your information. This information includes billing and medical record information. You may not inspect your record in some cases. If your request to inspect your record is denied, we will send you a letter letting you know why and explaining your options.
You may copy your information in most situations. If you request a copy of your information, we may charge you a fee for making the copies and for mailing them to you, if you ask us to mail them.
Amendments of your Records: If you believe there is an error in your information, you have a right to request that we amend your information. We are not required to agree with your request to amend your information.
Accounting of Disclosures: You have a right to receive an accounting of disclosures that we have made of your information for purposes other than treatment, payment, and health care operations, or for release of information that you have authorized.
Copy of Notice: You have a right to obtain a paper copy of this Notice, even if you originally received the Notice electronically. We have also posted this Notice at the health department offices and on our website.
Complaints: If you feel that your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the health department by calling our Privacy Officer or a Nursing Program Director at (309)925-5511. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC if you feel your privacy rights have been violated.
We do not release information about people who are at TCHD for services. If someone calls or comes in and requests information about you, we will take a message without releasing any information and pass the message on to you.
Some public health services are delivered in a public setting. Incidental disclosure of protected health information may occur; however, we will minimize this disclosure as much as possible. If you have concerns about this, please notify a health department staff member.
We are required to abide with terms of the Notice currently in effect, however, we may change this Notice. If we materially change this Notice, you can get a revised Notice on our website, or by stopping by our office to pick up a copy. Changes to the Notice apply to the health information we already have.
If we seek help from individuals or entities who are not part of this Notice in our treatment, payment, or health care operations activities, we will require those persons to follow this Notice unless they are already required by law to follow the federal privacy rule.
EFFECTIVE DATE: January 15, 2013