Notice of Privacy Practices
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.
Understanding Your Health Record/Information
Each time you visit NMOHC, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination, test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as:
• basis for planning your care and treatment
• means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care
• means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided
• a tool in educating health professionals
• a source of data for medical research
• a source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of the nation
• a source of data for facility planning and marketing
• a tool with which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render and the outcomes we achieve.
Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to:
• ensure accuracy
• better understand who, what, when, where, and why others may access your health information
• make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.
Your Health Information Rights
Although your health record is the physical property of NMOHC, the information belongs to you. This Notice of Privacy Practices is designed to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (“HITECH Act”). You have the right to:
• request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information as provided by § 45 CFR 164.522
• obtain a paper copy of the Notice of Information Practices upon request
• inspect and copy your health record as provided for in § 45 CFR 164.524
• amend your health record as provided in § 45 CFR 164.526
• obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information as provided § 45 CFR 164.528
• request communications of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations
• revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken.
NMOHC is required to:
• maintain the privacy of your health information
• provide you with a notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you
• abide by the terms of this notice
• notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction
• accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations.
We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. Should our privacy practices change, we will make the new Notice available upon request and we will post it on our website at http://www.nmcancercenter.org/.
We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice or permitted by law.
For More Information or to Report a Problem
If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact the Manager of Health Information Management at 505-822-3943.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint to:
Barbara McAneny, MD, CEO
Privacy Officer for Patient Complaints
New Mexico Cancer Center
New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants, Ltd.
4901 Lang Ave., NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
If we are unable to resolve your complaint, the HIPAA regulation enables you to address your concern:
Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
200 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20201
Examples of Disclosures for Treatment, Payment, and Health Operations
We will use your health information for treatment. For example, information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your healthcare team will be recorded in your record and used to determine your course of treatment. Your physician will document in your record his or her directions to the members of your healthcare team. Members of your healthcare team will then record the actions they took and their observations. In that way the physician will know how you are responding to treatment. We may also provide your physician or a subsequent healthcare provider with copies of various reports for the purposes of continuity of care.
We will use your health information for payment. For example, a bill may be sent to you or a third-party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, procedures, and supplies used.
We will use your health information for health care operations. For example, members of the medical staff, the risk or quality improvement manager, or members of the quality improvement team may use the information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and service NMOHC provides.
Other Uses or Disclosures
Business Associates: There are some services provided by our organization through business associates. Examples include physician services through radiology and laboratory tests. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your health information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we have asked them to do. So that your health information is protected, however, NMOHC requires the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
Notification: Using their best judgment, health professionals may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying individuals responsible for your care, and/or any other person you identify, of health information relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care.
Research: We may disclose information to researchers when their research has been approved by an Institutional Review Board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information.
Funeral Directors: We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties.
Organ Procurement Organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.
Appointment Reminders: We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects, or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.
Workers’ Compensation: We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers’ compensation or other similar programs established by law.
Public Health: As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability or involved in other activities necessary for appropriate oversight of government program (for example, to investigate Medicare fraud) .
Correctional Institutions: Should you be an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution or agents thereof, health information necessary for your health, and the health and safety of other individuals.
To Report Abuse: We may disclose health information when the information relates to a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will make this report only in accordance with laws that require or allow such reporting, or with your permission.
Law Enforcement: We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law, or in response to a valid subpoena.
Legal Requirement to Disclose Information: We will disclose your information when we are required by law to do so. This includes reporting information to government agencies that have the legal responsibility to monitor the health care system. For instance, we may be required to disclose your health information if we are audited by a state or federal health care agency. We will also disclose your health information when we are required to do so by a court order or other judicial or administrative process.
HITECH Act Breach Notification Requirements: The HITECH Act requires us to notify each individual whose unsecured medical information has been, or is reasonably believed to have been accessed, acquired or disclosed due to a breach. The HITECH Act imposes a similar requirement on Business Associates. Medical information is “unsecured” if it is not secured through the use of technologies or methodologies that render it unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable to unauthorized individuals.
This Notice of Privacy Practices became effective on April 14, 2003 and was amended November 1, 2012.