This Notice is being given to you because federal law gives you the right to be told ahead of time about how the Allegheny Health Network Providers (AHNP) handle your protected health information (PHI), our Network’s legal duties related to your protected health information and your rights with regard to your protected health information. This notice applies to the privacy practices of the organizations listed below and any other additional entities or physicians that join Allegheny Health Network from time to time. As participants in an Organized Health Care Arrangement (OHCA) we may share with each other your protected health information, and the medical information of others we service, for the health care operations of our joint activities.
We must give you a notice that tells you how we may use and share your health information and how you can exercise your health privacy rights. We respect your right to privacy and function to ensure your confidentiality by following federal and state laws concerning protected health information. This Notice describes the manner and means by which AHNP demonstrates the appropriate privacy measures.
We understand that medical information about you and your health is important to you. We are committed to protecting the privacy of your protected health information. “Protected Health Information” (PHI) is your individually identifiable health information, including demographic information, collected from you or created or received by a health care provider, a health plan, your employer, or a health care clearinghouse that relates to: (i) info your past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition; (ii) the provision of health care to you; or (iii) the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to you.
This Notice describes our privacy practices, which include how we may use, disclose, collect, handle, and protect our patients’ PHI. This Notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by us. It also describes your rights and our obligations regarding use and disclosure of your protected health information. We are required by applicable federal and state laws to maintain the privacy of your PHI. We also are required by the HIPAA Privacy Rule (45 C.F.R. parts 160 and 164, as amended) to give you this Notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your PHI.
Each time you visit a hospital, physician, or other health care provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, response to treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as a:
We use your health information within the AHNP and disclose your health information outside of the AHNP for the reasons described in this Notice. The following categories describe some of the ways that we may use and disclose your health information.
The term “may” means that the AHNP is permitted under federal law to use or disclose this information without obtaining an additional or specific authorization from you to do so. Even though we may be permitted to use or disclose information in a given instance, it does not mean that we will disclose the information.
We will restrict use and disclosure concerning AIDS / HIV, mental health, behavioral health and alcohol and drug treatment or other particular categories of health information based upon state law if state law is more stringent or provides additional patient privacy safeguards not included in federal regulations.
We use your PHI to enable delivery of health care services and for other activities that are included within the definition of “treatment” as set out in 45 C.F.R. § 164.501. Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your health care team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. We may disclose your PHI to other doctors, medical students, hospitals, pharmacies or other persons who are integral to providing you care. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process.
We also may disclose your PHI to others who may help in your care, such as your spouse, children or parents.
We may use and disclose your PHI for all activities that are included within the definition of “payment” as set out in 45 C.F.R. § 164.501. For example, we may use and disclose your PHI to coordinate with you, your insurance company, or another third party to ensure that the health care you receive is billed and paid for appropriately. This PHI may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, procedures, and supplies used.
Additionally, we may also seek prior payment approval from your health plan concerning treatments you are scheduled to receive or determine if your health plan will pay for the treatment. For example, obtaining approval for a hospital stay may require that your relevant PHI be disclosed to your health plan to obtain approval for hospital admission.
We may use and disclose your PHI for all activities included within the definition of “health care operations” as set out in 45 C.F.R § 164.501. These uses and disclosures help us maintain and improve patient care and may be used for our health care operations or the operations of another entity that has a direct treating relationship with you.
We may use PHI about many patients to ascertain what new services to offer, what practices are not needed, and whether certain methods of treatment are effective. We may also disclose PHI to doctors, nurses, technicians and other persons to improve the quality of treatment and service.
We may use and / or disclose your PHI as permitted or required by federal, state or local law, in the following situations: