ETSU College of Nursing Notice of Privacy Practices
Effective Date: September 1, 2013
Revised: January 30, 2017
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED OR DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS NOTICE OR IF YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE
CONTACT OUR PRIVACY OFFICER:
Privacy Officer: Aylitta Collins, RN
Mailing Address: Box 70403 Johnson City, TN 37614-1703
About This Notice
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of Protected Health Information (PHI) and to give you this Notice explaining our privacy practices with regard to that information. You have certain rights – and we have certain legal obligations – regarding the privacy of your PHI, and this Notice also explains your rights and our obligations. We are required to abide by the terms of the current version of this Notice.
What is Protected Health Information (PHI)?
Protected Health Information (PHI) is information that individually identifies you and that we create or get from you or from another health care provider, a health plan, your employer, or a health care clearinghouse and that relates to (1) your past, present, or future physical or mental health or conditions, (2) the provision of health care to you, or (3) the past, present, or future payment for your health care.
How We May Use and Disclose Your PHI
We may use and disclose your PHI in the following circumstances:
- For Treatment. We may use PHI to give you medical treatment or services and to manage and coordinate
your medical care. For example, we may disclose PHI to doctors, nurses, technicians,
or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you, including people outside
our practice, such as referring or specialist physicians.
- For Payment. We may use and disclose PHI so that we can bill for the treatment and services you
get from us and can collect payment from you, an insurance company, or another third
party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about your treatment
in order for your health plan to pay for that treatment. We also may tell your health
plan about a treatment you are going to receive to find out if your plan will cover
the treatment. If a bill is overdue we may need to give PHI to a collection agency
to the extent necessary to help collect the bill, and we may disclose an outstanding
debt to credit reporting agencies.
- For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose PHI for our health care operations. For example, we may
use PHI for our general business management activities, for checking on the performance
of our staff in caring for you, for our cost-management activities, for audits, or
to get legal services. We may give PHI to other health care entities for their health
care operations, for example, to your health insurer for its quality review purposes.
- Health Information Exchange. The ETSU College of Nursing Clinics may participate in one or more electronic health
information exchange networks. Through these health information exchanges, your information
will be electronically available to other health care providers and other entities.
These entities can access your health information for your treatment or other permitted
purposes. If you have questions about our involvement in electronic health information
exchange, please contact our Compliance Officer at 423-439-4077.
- Appointment Reminders/Treatment Alternatives/Health-Related Benefits and Services. We may use and disclose PHI to
contact you to remind you that you have an appointment for
medical care, or to contact you to tell you about possible treatment options or alternatives or health related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
- Minors. We may disclose the PHI of minor children to their parents or guardians unless such
disclosure is otherwise prohibited by law.
- Personal Representative. If you have a personal representative, such as a legal guardian (or an executor
or administrator of your estate after your death), we will treat that person as if
that person is you with respect to disclosures of your PHI.
- As Required by Law. We will disclose PHI about you when required to do so by international, federal,
state, or local law.
- To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may use and disclose PHI when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health
or safety or to the health or safety of others. But we will only disclosure the information
to someone who may be able to help prevent the threat.
- Business Associates. We may disclose PHI to our business associates who perform functions on our behalf
or provide us with services if the PHI is necessary for those functions or services.
For example, we may use another company to do our billing, or to provide transcription
or consulting services for us. All of our business associates are obligated, under
contract with us, to protect the privacy of your PHI.
- Organ and Tissue Donation. If you are an organ or tissue donor, we may use or disclose your PHI to organizations
that handle organ procurement or transplantation – such as an organ donation bank
– as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
- Military and Veterans. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release PHI as required by military
command authorities. We also may release PHI to the appropriate foreign military authority
if you are a member of a foreign military.
- Workers’ Compensation. We may use or disclose PHI for workers’ compensation or similar programs that provide
benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
- Public Health Risks. We may disclose PHI for public health activities. This includes disclosures to:
(1) a person subject to the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”)
for purposes related to the quality, safety or effectiveness of an FDA-regulated product
or activity; (2) prevent or control disease, injury or disability; (3) report births
and deaths; (4) report child abuse or neglect; (5) report reactions to medications
or problems with products; (6) notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
(7) a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting
or spreading a disease or condition; and (8) the appropriate government authority
if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
and the patient agrees or we are required or authorized by law to make that disclosure.
- Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law.
These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections,
licensure, and similar activities that are necessary for the government to monitor
the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
- Lawsuits and Disputes. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose PHI in response to
a court or administrative order. We also may disclose PHI in response to a subpoena,
discovery request, or other legal process from someone else involved in the dispute,
but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to get an order
protecting the information requested. We may also use or disclose your PHI to defend
ourselves if you sue us.
- Law Enforcement. We may release PHI if asked by a law enforcement official for the following reasons:
in response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process; to identify
or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person; about the victim
of a crime if; about a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct; about
criminal conduct on our premises; and in emergency circumstances to report a crime,
the location of the crime or victims, or the identity, description, or location of
the person who committed the crime.
- National Security. We may release PHI to authorized federal officials for national security activities
authorized by law. For example, we may disclose PHI to those officials so they may
protect the President.
- Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors. We may release PHI to a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director so that they
can carry out their duties.
- Inmates. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law
enforcement official, we may disclose PHI to the correctional institution or law enforcement
official if the disclosure is necessary (1) for the institution to provide you with
health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others;
or (3) the safety and security of the correctional institution.
- Students. As this is a teaching facility, nursing students, medical residents or medical students
may observe or participate in your treatment or use your PHI to assist in their training.
- Newsletters and Other Communications. We may use your PHI to communicate to you by newsletters, mailings, or other means
regarding treatment options, health related information, disease management programs,
wellness programs, or other community based initiatives or activities in which our
practice is participating.
- Psychotherapy Notes. Under most circumstances, without your written authorization we may not disclose
the notes a mental health professional took during a counseling session. However,
we may disclose such notes for treatment and payment purposes, for state and federal
oversight of the mental health professional, for the purposes of medical examiners
and coroners, to avert a serious threat to health or safety, or as otherwise authorized
- Research. We may use and disclose your PHI for research purposes, but we will only do that if the research has been specially approved by an institutional review board or a privacy board that has reviewed the research proposal and has set up protocols to ensure the privacy of your PHI. Even without that special approval, we may permit researchers to look at PHI to help them prepare for research, for example, to allow them to identify patients who may be included in their research project, as long as they do not remove, or take a copy of, any PHI. We may use and disclose a limited data set that does not contain specific readily identifiable information about you for research. But we will only disclose the limited data set if we enter into a data use agreement with the recipient who must agree to (1) use the data set only for the purposes for which it was provided, (2) ensure the security of the data, and (3) not identify the information or use it to contact any individual.
- For Treatment. We may use PHI to give you medical treatment or services and to manage and coordinate your medical care. For example, we may disclose PHI to doctors, nurses, technicians, or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you, including people outside our practice, such as referring or specialist physicians.
Uses and Disclosures That Require Us to Give You an Opportunity to Object and Opt Out
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. We may disclose PHI to a person who is involved in your medical care or helps pay for your care, such as a family member or friend, to the extent it is relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care. We will provide you with an opportunity to object to and opt out of such a disclosure whenever we practicably can do so.
Disaster Relief. We may disclose your PHI to disaster relief organizations that seek your PHI to coordinate your care, or notify family and friends of your location or condition in a disaster. We will provide you with an opportunity to agree or object to such a disclosure whenever we practicably can do so.
Your Written Authorization is Required for Other Uses and Disclosures
Uses and disclosures for marketing purposes and disclosures that constitute a sale of PHI can only be made with your written authorization. Other uses and disclosures of PHI not covered by this Notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. If you do give us an authorization, you may revoke it at any time by submitting a written revocation to our Privacy Officer and we will no longer disclose PHI under the authorization. Disclosures that we made in reliance on your authorization before you revoked it will not be affected by the revocation.
University Health Center must follow state and federal laws that protect your privacy and the confidentiality of your health records. In general, we will ask for your written permission before sharing your records with someone else. However, there are certain exceptions where your records may be shared without your consent.
Special Protections for HIV, Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Mental Health, and Genetic Information
Special privacy protections apply to HIV-related information, alcohol and substance abuse, mental health, and genetic information. Some parts of this general Notice of Privacy Practices may not apply to these kinds of PHI. Please check with our Privacy Officer for information about the special protections that do apply. For example, if we give you a test to determine if you have been exposed to HIV, we will not disclose the fact that you have taken the test to anyone without your written consent unless otherwise required by law.
Your Rights Regarding Your PHI
You have the following rights, subject to certain limitations, regarding your PHI:
- Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to inspect and/or receive a copy of PHI that may be used to make
decisions about your care or payment for your care. But you do not have a right to
inspect or copy psychotherapy notes. We may charge you a fee for the costs of copying,
mailing or other supplies associated with your request. We may not charge you a fee
if you need the information for a claim for benefits under the Social Security Act
or any other state or federal needs-based benefit program. We may deny your request
in certain limited circumstances. If we do deny your request, you have the right to
have the denial reviewed by a licensed healthcare professional who was not directly
involved in the denial of your request, and we will comply with the outcome of the
- Right to an Electronic Copy of Electronic Medical Records. If your PHI is maintained in one or more designated record sets electronically (for
example an electronic medical record or an electronic health record), you have the
right to request that an electronic copy of your record be given to you or transmitted
to another individual or entity. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for
the labor associated with copying or transmitting the electronic PHI. If you chose
to have your PHI transmitted electronically, you will need to provide a written request
to this office listing the contact information of the individual or entity who should
receive your electronic PHI.
- Right to Receive Notice of a Breach. We are required to notify you by first class mail or by e-mail (if you have indicated
a preference to receive information by e-mail), of any breach of your Unsecured PHI.
- Right to Request Amendments. If you feel that PHI we have is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend
the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information
is kept by or for us. A request for amendment must be made in writing to the Privacy
Officer at the address provided at the beginning of this Notice and it must tell us
the reason for your request. We may deny your request if it is not in writing or does
not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request
if you ask us to amend information that (1) was not created by us, (2) is not part
of the medical information kept by or for us, (3) is not information that you would
be permitted to inspect and copy, or (2) is accurate and complete. If we deny your
request, you may submit a written statement of disagreement of reasonable length.
Your statement of disagreement will be included in your medical record, but we may
also include a rebuttal statement.
- Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to ask for an “accounting of disclosures,” which is a list of
the disclosures we made of your PHI. We are not required to list certain disclosures,
including (1) disclosures made for treatment, payment, and health care operations
purposes, (2) disclosures made with your authorization, (3) disclosures made to create
a limited data set, and (4) disclosures made directly to you. You must submit your
request in writing to our Privacy Officer. Your request must state a time period which
may not be longer than 6 years before your request. Your request should indicate in
what form you would like the accounting (for example, on paper or by e-mail). The
first accounting of disclosures you request within any 12-month period will be free.
For additional requests within the same period, we may charge you for the reasonable
costs of providing the accounting. We will tell you what the costs are, and you may
choose to withdraw or modify your request before the costs are incurred.
- Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the PHI we use or disclose
for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request
a limit on the PHI we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or
the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. We are not required to
agree to your request. If we agree, we will comply with your request unless we terminate
our agreement or the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment.
- Right to Restrict Certain Disclosures to Your Health Plan. You have the right to restrict certain disclosures of PHI to a health plan if the
disclosure is for payment or health care operations and pertains to a health care
item or service for which you have paid out of pocket in full. We will honor this
request unless we are otherwise required by law to disclose this information. This
request must be made at the time of service.
- Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that we communicate with you only in certain ways
to preserve your privacy. For example, you may request that we contact you by mail
at a special address or call you only at your work number. Your must make any such
request in writing and you must specify how or where we are to contact you. We will
accommodate all reasonable requests. We will not ask you the reason for your request.
- Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice. You have the right to a paper copy of this Notice, even if you have agreed to receive this Notice electronically. You may request a copy of this Notice at any time. You can get a copy of this Notice at our website: http://www.etsuphysicians.com.
- Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to inspect and/or receive a copy of PHI that may be used to make decisions about your care or payment for your care. But you do not have a right to inspect or copy psychotherapy notes. We may charge you a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. We may not charge you a fee if you need the information for a claim for benefits under the Social Security Act or any other state or federal needs-based benefit program. We may deny your request in certain limited circumstances. If we do deny your request, you have the right to have the denial reviewed by a licensed healthcare professional who was not directly involved in the denial of your request, and we will comply with the outcome of the review.
How to Exercise Your Rights
To exercise your rights described in this Notice, send your request, in writing, to our Privacy Officer at the address listed at the beginning of this Notice. We may ask you to fill out a form that we will supply. To get a paper copy of this Notice, contact our Privacy Officer by phone or mail.
Changes To This Notice
The effective date of the Notice is stated at the beginning. We reserve the right to change this Notice. We reserve the right to make the changed Notice effective for PHI we already have as well as for any PHI we create or receive in the future. A copy of our current Notice is posted in our office and on our website.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with us, contact our Privacy Officer at the address listed at the beginning of this Notice. All complaints must be made in writing and should be submitted within 180 days of when you knew or should have known of the suspected violation. There will be no retaliation against you for filing a complaint.
East Tennessee State University complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
East Tennessee State University cumple con las leyes federales de derechos civiles aplicables y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, discapacidad o sexo.
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