What is HIPAA?
The acronym "HIPAA" stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA is a Privacy Rule that has been established by the US Department of Health and Human Services in order to protect certain personal health information. Because Boyertown Community Ambulance Service(BCAS) is an organization that provides medical care and handles sensitive information, we are required by law to comply with HIPAA. Below you will see a copy of our privacy practices.
Purpose of This Notice:
This Notice describes your legal rights, advises you of our privacy practices, and lets you know how Boyertown Lions Community Ambulance Service (BLCAS) is permitted to use and disclose PHI about you.
Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI We Can Make Without Your Authorization
BCAS may use or disclose your PHI without your authorization, or without providing you with an opportunity to object, for the following purposes:
Other Uses and Disclosure of Your PHI We Can Make Without Authorization.
BCAS is also permitted to use or disclose your PHI without your written authorization in situations including:
For the treatment activities of another healthcare provider;
Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI That Require Your Written Consent
Any other use or disclosure of PHI,other than those listed above, will only be made with your written authorization (the authorization must specifically identify the information we seek to use or disclose, as well as when and how we seek to use or disclose it). Specifically, we must obtain your written authorization before using or disclosing you’re: (a) psychotherapy notes. other than for the purpose of carrying out our own treatment, payment or health care operations purposes,(b) PHI for marketing when we receive payment to make a marketing communication; or (c) PHI when engaging in a sale of your PHI. 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.
You’re Rights Regarding Your PHI
As a patient, you have a number of rights with respect to your PHI, including:
Right to access, copy or inspect your PHI. You have the right to inspect and copy most of the medical information that we collect and maintain about you. Requests for access to your PHI should be made in writing to our HIPAA Compliance Officer. In limned 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 let you know your appeal rights. If you wish to inspect and copy your medical information, you should contact Jeff Knopf, our HIPAA Compliance Officer.
We will normally provide you with access to this information within 30 days of your written request. If we maintain your medical information in electronic format, then you have a right to obtain a copy of that information in an electronic format. In addition, if you request that we transmit a copy of your PHI directly to another person, we will do so provided your request is in writing, signed by you (or your representative), and you clearly identify the designated person and where to send the copy of your HPI
We may also charge you a reasonable cost-based fee for providing you access to your PHI, subject to the limits of applicable state law.
Right to request an amendment of your PHI. You have the right to ask us to amend the protected health information that we maintain about you. Requests for amendments to your PHI should be made in writing and you should contact Jeff Knopf, our HIPAA Compliance Officer if you wish to make a request for amendment and fill out an amendment request form.
When required by law to do so, we will 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 in certain circumstances, such as when we believe that the information you have asked us to amend is correct.
Right to request an accounting of uses and disclosures of your PHI. You may request an accounting from us for disclosures of your medical information. If you wish to request an accounting of disclosures of your PHI that are subject to the accounting requirement, you should contact Jeff Knopf, our HIPAA Compliance Officer, and make a request in writing.
You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures of your PHI made within six (6) years immediately preceding your request. But, we are not required to provide you with an accounting of disclosures of your PHI:(a) for purposes of treatment payment or healthcare operations;(b) for disclosures that you expressly authorized;(c) disclosures made to you, your family or friends ,or (d) for disclosures made for law enforcement or certain other governmental purposes.
Right to request restrictions on uses and disclosures of your PHI. You have the right to request that we restrict how we use and disclose your medical information for treatment, payment or healthcare operations purposes, or to restrict the information that is provided to family, friends, and other individuals involved in your healthcare. However, we are only required to abide by a requested restriction under limited circumstances, and it is generally our policy that we will not agree to any restrictions unless required by law to do so. If you wish to request a restriction on the use or disclosure of your PHI, you should contact Jeff Knopf, our HIPAA Compliance Officer, and make a request in writing.
BLCAS is required to abide by a requested restriction when you ask that we not release PHI to your health plan (insurer) about a service for which you (or someone on your behalf) paid BLCAS Association in full. We are also required to abide by any restrictions that we agree to. Notwithstanding, if you request a restriction that we agree to, and the information you asked us to restrict is needed to provide you with emergency treatment, then we may disclose the PHI to a healthcare provider to provide you with emergency treatment.
A restriction may be terminated if you agree to or request the termination. Most current restrictions may also be terminated by BLCAS as long we notify you. If so, PHI that is created or received after the restriction is terminated is no longer subject to the restriction. But, PHI that was restricted prior to the notice to you voiding the restriction must continue to be treated as restricted PHI.
Right to notice of a breach of unsecured protected health information. If we discover that there has been a breach of your unsecured PHI, we will notify you about that breach by first-class mail dispatched to the most recent address that we have on file. If you prefer to be notified about breaches by electronic mail, please contact Jeff Knopf, our HIPAA Compliance Officer, to make BLCAS aware of this preference and to provide a valid email address to send the electronic notice. You may withdraw your agreement to receive notice by email at any time by contacting Jeff Knopf – Interim Director of Operations.
Right to request confidential communications. You have the right to request that we send your PHI to an alternate location (e.g., somewhere other than your home address) or in a specific manner (e.g., by email rather than regular mail). However, we will only comply with reasonable requests when required by law to do so. If you wish to request that we communicate PHI to a specific location or in a specific format, you should contact Jeff Knopf, our HIPAA Compliance Officer, and make a request in writing.
Internet. Email and the Right to Obtain Copy of Paper Notice
If we maintain a website, we will prominently post a copy of this Notice on our website and make the Notice available electronically through the website. If you allow us, we will forward you this Notice by electronic mail instead of on paper and you may always request a paper copy of the Notice. Revisions to the Notice
BLCAS is required to abide by the terms of the version of this Notice currently in effect. However, BLCAS 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 the Notice will be promptly posted in our facilities and on our website. if we maintain one. You can get a copy of the latest version of this Notice by contacting Jeff Knopf, our HIPAA Compliance Officer.
Your Legal Rights and Complaints
You also have the right to complain to us, or to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, if you believe that your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint with us or to the government.
Should you have any questions, comments or complaints, you may direct all inquiries to Jeff Knopf, our HIPAA Compliance Officer. Individuals will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
If you have any questions or if you wish to file a complaint or exercise any rights listed in this Notice, please contact:
Jeff Knopf, B.S., EMT-P
Executive Director of EMS
Boyertown Community Ambulance Service
2 East Second Street
Boyertown, PA 19512
Effective Date of the Notice 03/28/2018
To learn more about HIPAA in detail, please click here to visit the US Department of Health and Human Services website.