Pride in North Carolina (PRIDE) is required by law to protect the privacy of healthcare information about you and that identifies you. This may be information about the care we provide to you or payment for care provided to you. It may also be information about your past, present or future healthcare condition. We are also required by law to provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices, which explains our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to healthcare information. We are legally required to follow the terms of this Notice.
We may change the terms of this Notice in the future. We reserve the right to make changes and to make the new Notice effective for all medical information that we maintain. If we make changes to the Notice, we will:
- Post the new Notice in our facilities
- Have copies of the new Notice available upon request (You may always contact the Privacy Officer listed in this notice to obtain a copy of the current Notice.)
The rest of this Notice will:
- Discuss how we may use and disclose medical information about you
- Explain your rights with respect to healthcare information about you
- Describe how and where you may file a privacy-related complaint
If, at any time, you have questions about information in this Notice or about our privacy policies, procedures or practices, you can contact the Privacy Officer listed in this notice.
We use and disclose medical information about clients when necessary. As a general rule, PRIDE will not disclose healthcare information about you outside our organization without authorization (signed permission) from you or your legally responsible person/personal representative, unless otherwise permitted or required by state and federal confidentiality laws. This section of our Notice explains in some detail how we may disclose medical information about you in order to provide healthcare, obtain payment for that healthcare and operate our business efficiently.
Uses and Reasons for Disclosing Medical Information
Information may be Disclosed Under the Following Circumstances:
We may disclose information about you to provide treatment to you. In other words, we may use and disclose medical information about you to provide, coordinate or manage your care and related services. This may include communicating with other healthcare providers regarding your treatment and coordinating and managing your care with others.
We may use and disclose medical information about you to obtain payment for services that you received. This means that, within PRIDE, we may use information about you to arrange for payment (such as preparing bills and managing accounts).
- Healthcare operations
We may use and disclose medical information about you in performing a variety of business activities that we call “healthcare operations.” For example, members of your treatment team and quality improvement committee may use information in your record to assess the care and outcomes in your case. These “healthcare operations” activities allow us to improve the quality and effectiveness of the services we provide.
- Persons involved in your care
We may disclose medical information about you to a relative or other person you identify if that person is involved in your care and the information is relevant to your care. If the client is a minor, we may disclose medical information about the minor to a parent, guardian or other person responsible for the minor.
- Required by law
We will use and disclose healthcare information about you whenever we are required to do so by law. There are many state and federal laws that require us to use and disclose healthcare information. For example, state law requires us to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services.
- National priority uses and disclosures
When permitted by law, we may use or disclose medical information about you for various activities that are recognized as “national priorities.” In other words, the government has determined that under certain circumstances (described below), it is so important to disclose medical information that it is acceptable to disclose medical information without the individual’s permission. We will only disclose medical information about you in the following circumstances when we are permitted to do so by law. Below are brief descriptions of the “national priority” activities recognized by law.
- Threat to health or safety: We may use or disclose medical information about you if we believe it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious threat to health or safety.
- Public health activities: We may use or disclose medical information about you for public health activities. Public health activities require the use of medical information for various activities, such as investigating diseases, reporting child abuse and neglect, monitoring drugs or devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and monitoring work-related illnesses or injuries.
- Abuse, neglect or domestic violence: We may disclose medical information about you to a government authority (such as the Department of Social Services) if we reasonably believe that you may be a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
- Health oversight activities: We may disclose medical information about you to a health oversight agency – which is basically an agency responsible for overseeing the healthcare system or certain government programs. For example, a government agency may request information from us while they are investigating possible insurance fraud.
- Court proceedings: We may disclose medical information about you to a court or an office of the court (such as an attorney). For example, we would disclose medical information about you to a court if a judge ordered us to do so.
- Law enforcement: We may disclose medical information about you to a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes. For example, we may disclose limited medical information about you to a police officer if the officer needs the information to help find or identify a missing person.
- Research organizations: We may use or disclose medical information about you to research organizations if the organization has satisfied certain conditions about protecting the privacy of medical information.
- Certain government functions: We may use or disclose medical information about you for certain government functions, including but not limited to military and veterans’ activities and national and intelligence activities. We may also use or disclose medical information about you to a correctional institution in some circumstances.
Other than the uses and disclosures described above (#1-6), we will not use or disclose medical information about you without the “authorization” – or signed permission – of you or your personal representative. In some instances, we may wish to use or disclose medical information about you and we may contact you to ask you to sign an authorization form. In other instances, you may contact us to ask us to disclose medical information, and we will ask you to sign an authorization form.
If you sign a written authorization allowing us to disclose healthcare information about you, you may later revoke (or cancel) your authorization in writing. If you would like to revoke your authorization, you may write us a letter revoking your authorization. If you revoke your authorization, we will follow your instructions except to the extent that we have already relied upon your authorization and taken some action.
Your Rights Regarding Your Medical Information
You have several rights with respect to medical information about you. This section of the Notice will briefly mention each of these rights.
- Right to a copy of this Notice
You have a right to have a paper copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. In addition, a copy of this Notice will always be posted in our facilities. If you would like to have a copy of our Notice, ask the staff for a copy. Reasonable accommodations shall be made for clients with special needs, such as visual impairment, reading comprehension level or non-speaking English persons.
- Right of access to inspect and copy
You have the right to review and receive a copy of medical information about you that we maintain in certain groups of records. If you would like to inspect or receive a copy of medical information about you, you must provide us with a request in writing. We may deny your request in certain circumstances. If we deny your request, we will explain our reason for doing so in writing. If you would like a copy of the information, we will charge you a fee to cover the costs of the copy.
- Right to have medical information amended
You have the right to have us amend (correct or supplement) medical information about you that we maintain in certain groups of records. If you believe that we have information that is either inaccurate or incomplete, we may amend the information to indicate the problem and notify others who have copies of the inaccurate or incomplete information. If you would like us to amend information, you must provide us with a request in writing and explain why you would like us to amend the information.
We may deny your request in certain circumstances. If we deny your request, we will explain our reason for doing so. You will have the opportunity to send us a statement explaining why you disagree with our decision to deny your amendment request and we will share your statement whenever we disclose the information in the future.
- Right to an accounting of disclosures we have made
You have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures that we have made for the previous six (6) years. If you would like to receive an accounting, you may send us a letter of request.
The accounting will not include several types of disclosures, including disclosures for treatment or payment. It will also not include disclosures made prior to April 14, 2003. It will only include documentation that has been disclosed, not information shared verbally. If you request an accounting more than once every twelve (12) months, we may charge you a fee to cover the costs of preparing the accounting form.
- Right to request restrictions on uses and disclosures
You have the right to request that we limit the use and disclosure of medical information about you for treatment, payment and healthcare operations. We are not required to agree with your request. If we do agree to your request, we must follow your restrictions (except when the information is necessary for emergency treatment). You may cancel the restrictions at any time. In addition, we may cancel a restriction at any time as long as we notify you of the cancellation and continue to apply the restriction to information collected before the cancellation.
- Right to request an alternative method of contact
You have the right to request to be contacted at a different location or by a different method. For example, you may prefer to have all written information mailed to your work address rather than to your home address.
We will agree to any reasonable request for alternative methods of contact. If you would like to request an alternative method of contact, you must provide us a request in writing.
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, or if you are dissatisfied with our privacy policies procedures, you may file a complaint either with us or with the federal government. We will not take any action against you or change our treatment of you in any way if you file a complaint.
To file a written complaint with PRIDE in North Carolina, you may you may mail it to the following address:
PRIDE in North Carolina, LLC
5710 Oleander Drive
Wilmington NC 28403
You also may send a written complaint to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services at:
Office for Civil Rights
US Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue,
SW Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, DC 20201