HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices
LAST UPDATED: August 17, 2017
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.
vitaCare Prescription Services, Inc. (“VPS” or “we”) is required to provide you with this HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices (“Notice”), which explains our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information (“PHI”). We are also required, as described below, to maintain the privacy of your PHI, abide by the terms of this Notice (as currently in effect), and notify you following a breach of unsecured PHI.
This Notice describes, in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule, how VPS may use and disclose your PHI to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other specific purposes that are permitted or required by law. The Notice also describes your rights with respect to your PHI.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI for Treatment, Payment and Health Care Operations Purposes
We are permitted to make certain types of uses and disclosures of your PHI, without your authorization, for treatment, payment, and health care operations purposes.
- We may use and disclose your PHI to treat you. For example, we may receive written, verbal, facsimile or electronic health information and prescription orders for you and will use PHI to have prescription medications dispensed to you. We may also disclose your information to other health care providers to coordinate your treatment and provide you with prescriptions, lab work or other health care. We may contact you to provide treatment-related services, such as refill reminders, treatment alternatives, and other health related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
- We may use and disclose your PHI to obtain payment for products and services. For example, we may use your PHI to determine responsibility for coverage and benefits, assist in making eligibility and coverage determinations, or for utilization review activities.
- We may use and disclose your PHI to carry out health care operations. For example, we may use your PHI to conduct quality assessment and improvement activities, provide training, conduct medical reviews and auditing functions, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs, and engage in business planning and development.
Other Uses and Disclosures that are Permitted or Required by the HIPAA Privacy Rule
We may disclose to one of your family members, to a relative, to a close personal friend, or to any other person identified by you, PHI that is directly relevant to the person's involvement with your care or payment related to your care. You have the right to agree or object to such disclosure. In addition, we may use or disclose the PHI to notify a member of your family, your personal representative, another person responsible for your care, or certain disaster relief agencies of your location, general condition, or death. However, if you are incapacitated, there is an emergency, or you otherwise do not have the opportunity to agree to or object to this use or disclosure, we will do what in our judgment is in your best interest regarding such disclosure and will disclose only the information that is directly relevant to the person's involvement with your health care.
We may enter into contracts with some entities known as Business Associates that perform services for us. We may disclose PHI to our Business Associates so that they can perform their services and we require them by contract to limit disclosures of PHI and appropriately safeguard PHI.
In addition, we may use or disclose your PHI without your authorization as required or permitted by federal or state law, including uses and disclosures that are:
- required by law, provided the use or disclosure complies with and is limited to the relevant requirements of such law;
- for public health activities such as disease prevention or control or to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
- to an appropriate government authority regarding victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence;
- to a health oversight agency for oversight activities authorized by law including for example, audits, investigations, inspections and licensure necessary for oversight of government programs utilizing health information;
- in connection with judicial and administrative proceedings provided efforts have been made to notify you of the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested;
- to a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes provided certain conditions are met;
- to a coroner, medical examiner or funeral director for specific purposes;
- to cadaveric organ, eye or tissue donation programs to facilitate donations;
- for research purposes, as long as certain privacy-related standards are satisfied;
- to avert a serious threat to health or safety;
- for specialized government functions (e.g., military and veterans activities, national security and intelligence, federal protective services, medical suitability determinations, correctional institutions and other law enforcement custodial situations); and
- for workers’ compensation or other similar programs established by law that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness without regard to fault.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI with Your Written Authorization
Certain uses and disclosures of PHI require your authorization, such as any use or disclosure of psychotherapy notes, the use or disclosure of PHI for marketing purposes, and the sale of PHI. Other uses and disclosures not described in this Notice will be made only with your written authorization, and you may revoke your authorization in writing at any time. Upon receipt of the written revocation, we will stop using or disclosing PHI about you, except to the extent that we have already taken action in reliance on the authorization.
More Stringent Laws
We also may be subject to state health information privacy laws that are more stringent than the federal requirements. If your state has a more stringent law, we are required to follow that law, and will do so.
You have the following rights with respect to your PHI:
- Request a Restriction. You have the right to request that we restrict uses and disclosures of your PHI to carry out treatment, payment, or health care operations, or restrict uses and disclosures to family members, relatives, friends, or other persons identified by you who are involved in your care or payment for your care. While you are permitted to make this request, we are not required to agree to such requests and therefore do not do so, with one exception. Specifically, if you request the restriction of a disclosure to a health plan that is (i) made for the purpose of carrying out payment or health care operations, and is not otherwise required by law and (ii) the PHI relates solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid out of pocket in full, then we will honor your affirmative request not to disclose that information to a health plan;
- Confidential Communications. You have the right to request, in writing, that you receive your PHI by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests;
- Access PHI. You have the right to inspect and copy your PHI. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for the labor and supplies associated with making the copy, whether on paper or in electronic form;
- Amend PHI. You have the right to amend and correct inaccurate PHI;
- Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures of your PHI (you are not entitled to an accounting of disclosures made for treatment, payment or health care operations, or disclosures made pursuant to your written authorization);
- Electronic Copy. You have the right to receive a paper copy of this Notice upon request, even if you agreed to receive the Notice electronically.
Updates to this Notice
We reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all PHI we maintain. When we make changes in our Notice, copies of the revised Notice will be available on written request and will also be available on our web site.
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you may complain to us in writing (using the contact information set forth above) or to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights at the appropriate regional address or at their website at: https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/smartscreen/main.jsf. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
How to Contact Us
If you would like to exercise your rights described in this Notice or if you have questions or would like additional information about our privacy practices, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll-free at 1-800-350-3819, option 6, Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 10:00pm EST, or Saturday between 9:00am and 3:00pm EST.
You may also contact us at the following address:
vitaCare Prescription Services, Inc.
Attn: Privacy Department
6800 Broken Sound Parkway NW
Boca Raton, FL 33487