NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
NOTE: Effective June 1, 2020
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.
Protecting Your Privacy
Montana Arthritis and its affiliates (collectively, “Montana Arthritis”) understands the importance and sensitivity of your health information, and Montana Arthritis is committed to maintaining the privacy of your health information, your health condition, your care, or all aspects relating to the payment for your health care (collectively, as “Protected Health information”). Montana Arthritis protects the privacy of your Protected Health Information simply because it is the right thing to do. Further, we also follow federal and state laws that govern your Protected Health Information. We use your Protected Health Information (and allow others to have it) only as permitted by federal and state laws. These laws give you certain rights regarding your Protected Health Information.
Your Protected Health Information Rights
- Inspect and obtain a copy of your medical or billing records (including an electronic copy if we maintain the records electronically), as allowed by law, usually within 30 days of your written request.
- Request and receive a paper copy of our current Notice of Privacy Practices.
- Require us to communicate with you using an alternate address or phone number.
- Request in writing that restrictions be placed on how your Protected Health Information is used or shared for treatment or other purposes.
- Request an accounting of when your identifiable health information is shared outside of Montana Arthritis for a purpose other than treatment or payment.
- Receive notice if we or our business associates have breached the confidentiality of your Protected Health Information.
- Report a privacy concern and be assured that we will investigate your concern thoroughly, support you appropriately, and not retaliate against you in any way (you may report any privacy concerns to the Compliance or Privacy Coordinator at one of our facilities, to our main Privacy Office at 855.550.3358 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or to the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Denver Office).
- Request in writing that your health information be amended if you think there is an error.
Summary of Privacy Practices
We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information, without your permission, for treatment, payment, and health care operations activities and, when required or authorized by law, for public health and interest activities, law enforcement, judicial and administrative proceedings, research, and certain other public benefit functions.
We may disclose your Protected Health Information to your family members, friends, and others you involve in your health care or payment for health care, and to appropriate public and private agencies in disaster relief situations.
We may disclose to your employer your Protected Health Information, our findings from medical surveillance of your employer’s workplace, and evaluation whether an illness or injury is work-related.
We will not otherwise use or disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization.
You have the right to examine and receive a copy of your Protected Health Information, to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we may make of your Protected Health Information, and to request that we amend, further restrict use and disclosure of, or communicate in confidence with you about your Protected Health Information.
Please review this entire notice for details about the uses and disclosures we may make of your Protected Health Information, about your rights and how to exercise them, and about complaints regarding or additional information about our privacy practices.
Our Legal Duty
We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of your Protected Health Information. We are also required to give you this notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your Protected Health Information. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this notice while it is in effect. This notice takes effect October 31, 2018, and will remain in effect unless we replace it.
We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this notice at any time, provided such changes are permitted by applicable law. We reserve the right to make the changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our notice effective for all Protected Health Information that we maintain, including Protected Health Information we created or received before we made the changes. Before we make a significant change in our privacy practices, we will change this notice, post the revised notice at each of our service sites, and make the new notice available to our patients and others upon request.
You may request a copy of our notice at any time. For more information about our privacy practices, or for additional copies of this notice, please contact us using the information at the end of this notice.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF MEDICAL INFORMATION
We may use your Protected Health Information, without your permission, to treat you. We may disclose your Protected Health Information, without your permission, to a physician or other health care provider for your treatment. These treatment activities include coordination of your care with other providers, with health plans, and with others, consultation with other providers, and referral to other providers related to your care.
We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information, without your permission, to obtain or provide reimbursement for health care we provide to you, including submitting claims to health plans, other insurers, or others. These payment activities include justifying our charges for and demonstrating the medical necessity of the care we deliver to you, determining your eligibility for health plan benefits for the care we furnish to you, obtaining pre-certification or preauthorization for your treatment or referral to other health care providers, participating in utilization review of the services we provide to you, and the like. We may disclose your Protected Health Information to another health care provider or to a health plan for that provider or to a health plan for that provider or plan to obtain payment or engage in other payment activities with respect to your health care.
Health Care Operations
We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information, without your permission, for health care operations. Health care operations include:
- health care quality assessment and improvement activities;
- reviewing and evaluating health care provider and health plan performance, qualifications and competence, health care training programs, health care provider and health plan accreditation, certification, licensing, and credentialing activities;
- conducting and arranging for medical reviews, audits, and legal services, including fraud and abuse detection and prevention; and
- business planning, development, management, and general administration, including customer service, de-identifying medical information, and creating limited data sets for health care operations, public health activities, and research.
We may disclose your Protected Health Information to a health plan or another health care provider who is subject to federal privacy protection laws, as long as the provider or plan has or had a relationship with you and the Protected Health Information is for that provider’s or plan’s health care quality assessment and improvement activities, competence and qualification evaluation and review activities, or fraud and abuse detection and prevention.
You may give us written authorization to use your Protected Health Information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosure permitted by your authorization while it was in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization, we will not use or disclose your Protected Health Information for any purpose other than those described in this notice.
Family, Friends, and Others Involved in Your Care or Payment for Care
We may disclose your Protected Health Information to a family member, friend, or any other person you involve in your health care or payment for your health care. We will disclose only the Protected Health Information that is relevant to the person’s involvement. We may use or disclose your name, location, and general condition to notify, or to assist an appropriate public or private agency to locate and notify, a person responsible for your health care in appropriate situations, such as during a medical emergency or disaster relief efforts.
Before we make such a disclosure, we will provide you with an opportunity to object. If you are not present or are incapacitated or it is an emergency or disaster relief situation, we will use our professional judgment to determine whether disclosing your Protected Health Information is in your best interest under the circumstances.
Marketing; Health-Related Products and Services
Except as otherwise permitted by law, we will not use or disclose your medical information for marketing without your written authorization. However, we may use your medical information to contact you to provide appointment reminders and to communicate with you about treatment alternatives and other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. These communications may describe health-related products or services that we provide payment for such products or services, and the health care providers in a provider or health plan network.
Public Health and Benefit Activities
We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information, without your permission, when required by law, and when authorized by law for the following kinds of public health and interest activities, judicial and administrative proceedings, law enforcement, research, and other public benefit functions:
- for public health, including to report disease and vital statistics, child abuse, and adult abuse, neglect, or domestic violence;
- to avert a serious and imminent threat to health and safety;
- for health care oversight, such as activities of state licensing and peer review authorities, and fraud prevention enforcement agencies;
- for research;
- in response to court and administrative orders and other lawful process;
- to law enforcement officials with regard to crime victims, crimes on our premises, crime reporting in emergencies, and identifying or locating suspects or other persons;
- to coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors, and organ procurement organizations;
- to the military; to federal officials for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and national security activities; and to correctional institutions and law enforcement regarding persons in lawful custody; and
- as authorized by state worker’s compensation laws.
We may contract with one or more third parties (our business associates) in the course of our business operations. We may disclose your Protected Health Information to our business associates so that they can perform the job that we have asked them to do. We require that our business associates sign a business associate agreement.
No Sale of your Medical Information
We will not sell your Protected Health Information to a third party without your prior written authorization.
You have the right to examine and to receive a copy of your medical information, with limited exceptions. You must make a written request to obtain access to our medical information. You should submit your request to the contact at the end of this notice. You may obtain a form from that contact by which to make your request.
We may charge you reasonable, cost-based fees for a copy of your Protected Health Information, for mailing the copy to you, and for preparing any summary or explanation of your Protected Health Information you request. If you are under 18 and your request involves access to Protected Health Information relating to mental health and disabilities, we must provide to you assistance in interpreting the record at no charge. No charges for copies will be assessed for individuals who are indigent. Contact us using the information at the end of this notice for information about our fees.
You have the right to a list of instances in the six (6) years prior to the date of your request in which we disclose your Protected Health Information for purposes other than treatment, payment, health care operations, as authorized by you, and for certain other activities.
You should submit your request to the contact at the end of this notice. You may obtain a form from that contact to make your request. We will provide you with information about each accountable disclosure that we made during the period for which you request the accounting. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12-month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to your additional requests. Contact us using the information at the end of this notice for information about our fees.
You have the right to request that we amend your medical information. Your request must be in writing, and it must explain why the information should be amended. You should submit your request to the contact at the end of this notice. You may obtain a form from that contact to make your request.
We may deny your request only for certain reasons. If we deny your request, we will provide you a written explanation. If we accept your request, we will make your amendment part of your medical information and use reasonable efforts to inform others of the amendment who we know may have and rely on the un-amended information to your detriment, as well as persons you want to receive the amendment.
You have the right to request that we restrict our use or disclosure of your Protected Health Information for treatment, payment or health care operations, or with family, friends or others you identify. We are not required to agree to your request, however, we will agree to your request not to disclose your Protected Health Information to a health plan for a particular item or service if the disclosure is for payment or health care operation purposes and you have otherwise paid for the item or service in full. If we do agree, we will abide by our agreement, except in a medical emergency or as required or authorized by law. You should submit your request to the contact at the end of this notice. You may obtain a form from that contact by which to make your request. Any agreement we may make to a request for restriction must be in writing signed by a person authorized to bind us to such an agreement.
We will accommodate your request if it is reasonable, specifies the alternative means or location for confidential communication, and explains how payment for our services will be handled under the alternative means or alternative location you request for confidential communication of your Protected Health Information. We will not ask you to explain the reason for your request.
If you receive this notice on our web site or by electronic mail (email), you are entitled to receive this notice in written form. Please contact us using the information at the end of this notice to obtain this notice in written form.
If you want more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, please contact us using the information at the end of this notice.
If you are concerned that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your Protected Health Information, in response to a request you made to amend, restrict the use or disclosure of, or communicate in confidence about your Protected Health Information, you may complain to us using the contact information below.
Montana Arthritis Privacy Department
222 S Main St, 5th Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Person: Privacy Rights Coordinator
Please be aware that complaints can also be filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights via phone, through the Civil Rights Complaint Portal, by fax, or by mail. Complaint forms are available here.