Catawba Valley Healthcare
Notice of Privacy Practices
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of Protected Health Information (“PHI”) that identifies you. This may include information about services that we provide to you or payment for services provided to you. We are required by law to provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices explaining our legal duties and privacy practices with regard to your PHI. We are only allowed to use and disclose health care information in the manner that we have described in 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 health care information that we maintain. If we make changes to the Notice we will (i) post the new Notice in our waiting area, and (ii) have copies of the new Notice available upon request.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI
We may use and disclose your PHI in order to provide treatment, to obtain payment for treatment, to operate our business efficiently, and/or for other legally mandated or authorized purposes. The following list is not exhaustive:
Treatment: We may use or disclose PHI with providers who are involved with your care. For example, information may be shared to determine the course of treatment that would work best for you.
Primary Care: If you receive primary care services with us we may disclose/exchange your health information to other healthcare facilities or providers involved in your continuing care. We may disclose/exchange information in order to provide referrals on your behalf.
Referrals: If you are referred to our agency, we may disclose appointment status information with the provider who referred you to our practice. If you have signed an authorization to disclose information form for the agency that referred you to our services, we may send them your visit note for continuity of care and referral follow up.
Mutual Patients: As a part of integrated care and best practices if you have signed an authorization to disclose information form for your primary care provider, we may send them a mutual patient letter informing them our treatment relationship.
Payment: We may use or disclose PHI to obtain payment for services we provide to you. Information may be shared with Partners Behavioral Health Management or your MCO provider for billing/management services and any third party payers (your insurance company, Medicare, Medigap, or Medicaid). Data released to any of the above mentioned parties may include the dates of service, type of service, diagnosis, name of service provider, and charges, HIV/AIDS related treatment and any available alcohol/drug information.
Service & Treatment Operations: We may use or disclose PHI to manage our programs and activities. For example, we may use your PHI to review the quality of services you receive.
Authorization: We cannot use or disclose PHI for any reason except for the treatment, payment, or service & treatment operations described in this Notice. If you give authorization to use or disclose your PHI for other purposes, you may revoke such authorization. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosure permitted by your authorization while it was in effect.
Accrediting/Licensing Agencies: Accrediting and licensing agencies may review PHI to determine compliance with regulations and standards.
Audit Purposes: Confidential information may be disclosed to persons responsible for general research or clinical, financial, or administrative audits (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, PBHM and other purchasers of services).
Persons Involved in Care: We may disclose PHI to a relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify (i) if that person is involved in your care, and (ii) if the information is relevant to your care. If the patient is a minor, except in limited circumstances, we may disclose PHI about the minor to a parent, guardian or other person responsible for the minor.
Emergencies: Health care providers may disclose confidential information to a physician or other health care providers who is providing emergency medical services to you.
Required by Law/ Threat to Health or Safety: We may disclose PHI in the event of risk of imminent danger to the health or safety of you or other individual(s). We may disclose your PHI to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety, or to the health or safety of others.
Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation: We may disclose PHI to a government authority that is authorized by law to conduct an investigation, if we reasonably believe that you may be a victim of or involved in abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Public Health Activities: We may disclose PHI about you for Public Health activities: for example, activities related to investigating exposure to communicable diseases, problems with medical products, or reporting child abuse and neglect.
Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose PHI about you to a Health Oversight agencies which may include audits, investigations, inspections, managed care and licensure.
Court Proceedings: We may disclose PHI to a court or an officer of the court, such as an attorney. For example, we would disclose PHI about you to a court, if ordered by the judge to do so.
Law Enforcement: We may disclose PHI for specific law enforcement purposes.
Litigation: We may disclose PHI to an attorney who represents our facility or an employee of our facility if such information is relevant to litigation, to the operations of the facility, or to the provision of services by the facility.
Government Functions: We may use or disclose PHI for certain governmental functions. For example, we may disclose PHI about you for national security and intelligence activities.
Appointment Reminders: We may send you reminders for medical care or checkups.
Marketing: Uses or disclosures for marketing purposes require your authorization.
Health Exchanges: CVH participates in NC HealthConnex. NC HealthConnex is a secure computer system for doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to share information that can improve your care. The system links your key medical information from all of your health care providers to create a single, electronic patient health record. NC HealthConnex helps health care providers quickly access the information they need to make more informed decisions about your care, especially in an emergency. To opt out, please see a member of our medical records department.
Access: You have the right to inspect and receive a copy of your PHI that we maintain in certain groups of records, with the exception of information that might be detrimental to your wellbeing if shared with you. We will charge you a fee to cover the cost of making the copies. You must make your request in writing to obtain access to your PHI. If you need your PHI in a different format than presented to you, please request this in writing to our Chief Financial Officer.
Disclosure Accounting: You have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures we have made of your PHI, for purposes other than treatment, payment, health care operations and certain other activities, for the previous six (6) years.
Breach Notification: You have the right to be notified when a breach of your PHI has occurred.
Restriction: You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your PHI. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do agree, we will abide by our agreement, except in emergency situations. If you request, we must mandatorily restrict disclosure of PHI to a health plan (i.e. insurance company) when you pay for services out of pocket in full unless prohibited by law. This request must be made in writing to our Billing Administrator.
Alternative Communication: You have the right 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 your home address. We will agree to any reasonable request for alternative methods of contact.
Amendment: You have the right to request that we amend your PHI. Your request must be in writing and it must explain why the information should be amended. We are not required to honor any such request and may deny same under certain circumstances. We will provide you with an explanation of our reason for doing so.
Fundraising: You have the right to opt out of fundraising communications. To opt out, please contact our Development Officer.
Right to a Copy of this Notice: You have a right to receive a copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices. For other available formats, please contact our Quality Management Department.
If you have any questions about this Notice or want to file a complaint, contact us at:
Catawba Valley Healthcare
327 1st Avenue NW Hickory, NC 28601
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated or if you are dissatisfied with our privacy policies or procedures, you may file a complaint either with us, or with the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
To report a violation of 42 CFR part 2, you may contact The United States Attorney’s Office Western District of North Carolina, 227 West Trade St., Suite 1650,Charlotte, NC 28202
Telephone number: 704- 344-6222
To file a complaint with the federal government, you may contact the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington, DC 20201.
Telephone number: 1-866-627-7748.