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HIPAA

We are required by law to protect the privacy of health information that may reveal your identity, and to provide you with a copy of this notice which describes the health information privacy practices of our hospitals, its medical staff, and affiliated health care providers that jointly provide health care services with our hospitals. We are required to abide by the terms of this notice for as long as it is in effect. Here is our Notice of Privacy Practice.


Notice of Privacy Practices

HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley’s purpose is to provide the highest quality healthcare services to all people in our communities through the distinct missions of its affiliated members.

Who will follow this notice?

This notice describes the HealthAlliance privacy practices and will be followed by:

– Any health care professional who treats you and is authorized to enter information in your medical record.

– All members of the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley and its credentialed members of the medical staff.

– All Departments and units of the HealthAlliance, and all satellite units. These entities, sites and locations may share medical information with each other for treatment, payment or hospital operations purposes described in this notice.

– All employees, staff and other hospital personnel.

– Any member of a volunteer group we allow to help you while you are in the hospital.

– Any Business Associate or partner of the HealthAlliance with whom we share health information.

– Staff at HealthAlliance Foundation and Benedictine Health Foundation for fundraising purposes.

Our pledge to you.

We understand that medical information about you and your health is highly personal and we are committed to protecting the privacy of that information. We regard privacy as having a moral dimension, in that respecting an individual’s privacy is equivalent to respecting the individual. In our organization respect for all individuals is a core principle, so privacy, or confidentiality, naturally flows from our values. We are committed to protecting medical information about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive to provide you with quality care and to comply with legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care that we maintain, whether created by our staff or your personal doctor when treated at the hospital. We have designated ourselves as participating in an Organized Health Care Arrangement with credentialed members of our medical staff to allow the exchange of your health information to provide for your care. Your personal doctor may have different policies or notices regarding the doctor’s use and disclosure of your medical information created in the doctor’s office. We are required by law to:

– Make sure that medical information that identifies you is kept private.

– Make sure that confidential Sickle Cell Anemia, HIV-related information will not be disclosed without a separate specific written authorization signed by the patient and to only those persons who need to know in connection with the patient’s medical care, and, in certain limited circumstances, to public health officials (as required by law), by special court order, or to insurers as necessary for payment for services.

– Make sure the confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse records are protected by federal laws and regulations.

– Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you.

– Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.

Changes to the notice.

We can change this notice at any time. Changes will apply to medical information we already hold, as well as new information after the change is made. We will post a copy of the current notice in the hospital and it will be available on our HAHV website. You can request a copy of our current notice at any time. You will be offered a copy of the current notice each time you register at our hospital. You will be asked to acknowledge in writing your receipt of this notice with the initial notice and then only the first time you are admitted after a change in the notice.

How we may use and disclose medical information about you.

– We may use and disclose medical information about you for treatment (such as sending medical information about you to a specialist as part of a referral); to obtain payment for treatment (such as sending billing information to your insurance company, Medicare, or Medicaid), however you may restrict certain disclosures of PHI if you or someone on your behalf pay of out of pocket for the services, and to support our health care operations (such as comparing patient data to improve the quality or effectiveness of the healthcare services we provide.)

– We may use and disclose medical information about you without your prior authorization for several other reasons. Subject to certain requirements, we may give out medical information about you without prior authorization for public health purposes, abuse or neglect reporting, health oversight audits or inspections, research studies, funeral arrangements and organ donation, and emergencies. We also disclose medical information when required by law, such as in response to a request from law enforcement in specific circumstances, or in response to valid judicial or administrative orders.

– We may also contact you for appointment reminders, or to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options, alternatives, health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you, or use your demographic information to support fundraising efforts. You may communicate your right to opt out of a fundraising support.

– If admitted as a patient, unless you tell us otherwise, we will list in the house list your name and location in the hospital and will release this information to anyone who asks for you by name. If you opt-out of being included, your presence here will not be disclosed to family, friends or neighbors who inquire about you and all mail and flowers addressed to you will be returned. You will also be asked if you want your name included on the Clergy List, which will allow us to disclose your religious affiliation to clergy members, even if they do not ask for you by name.

– We may disclose medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care, based on our professional judgment, or to disaster relief authorities so that your family can be notified of your location and condition.

– We may notify you following a breach of your unsecured PHI.

– With your authorization we may use and disclose information about you which may include disclosures of psychotherapy notes and uses for marketing purposes.

– We may disclose your health information to contractors, agents and other business associates who need the information in order to assist us with obtaining payment or carrying out our business operations.

– All other uses and disclosures not described in this notice will be made only with your authorization.

Other uses of medical information.

In any other situation not covered by this notice, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing medical information about you. If you chose to authorize use or disclosure, you can later revoke that authorization by notifying us in writing of your decision.

Your rights regarding medical information.

– In most cases, you have the right to look at or get a copy of your medical information which includes a copy of PHI maintained electronically that we use to make decisions about your care, when you request it in writing or complete a Patient Authorization to Disclose Medical Information and submit it to the Medical Record Department. If you request copies, we may charge a fee for the cost of copying, mailing or other related supplies. If we deny your request to review or obtain a copy, you may submit a written request for a review of that decision.

– If you believe that information in your medical record is incorrect or if important information is missing, you have the right to request that we correct the records, by requesting it in writing or submitting a Request for Amendment/Correction of Health Information form and submitting it to the Medical Record Department. We could deny your request to amend a record if the information was not created by us; if it is not part of the medical information maintained by us; or if we determine that the record is accurate. You may appeal, in writing, a decision by us not to amend a record.

– You have a right to a list of those instances where we have disclosed medical information about you, other than for treatment, payment, health care operations or where you specifically authorized a disclosure, when you submit to the Medical Record Department a request in writing or a completed Request for an Accounting of Disclosures form. Your request must state a time period that is not greater than 6 years prior to the date of the request. You may receive the list in paper or electronic form. The first disclosure list request in a 12-month period is free; additional requests will be charged according to our cost of producing the list. We will inform you of the cost before you incur any costs.

– If this notice is sent to you electronically, you have a right to a paper copy of this notice.

– You have the right to request that medical information about you be communicated to you in a confidential manner, such as sending mail to an address other than your home, by notifying us in writing of the specific way or location for us to use to communicate with you.

– You may request in writing, that we not use or disclose medical information about you for treatment, payment or healthcare operations or to persons involved in your care except when specifically authorized by you, when required by law, or in an emergency. We will consider your request, but we are not legally required to accept it. Your written request is to be sent to the Medical Record Department and you will be informed of our decision on your request.
Your right to a paper copy of this notice

– You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us for a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice.

Complaints.

If you are concerned that your privacy rights may have been violated, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your records, you may contact the corporate compliance hotline at 845.334.4963.

You may send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights. Under no circumstances will you be penalized or retaliated against for filing a complaint. To file a written complaint contact:

The Privacy Officer
396 Broadway
Kingston, NY 12401

OR

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jacob Javits Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza – Suite 3312
New York, New York 10278

 
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