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HIPAA Privacy Policy

PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF GREATER OHIO'S
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 THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.

If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio’s Akron Headquarters at 330-535-2674.

1. WE WILL SAFEGUARD YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION (PHI)

We understand that health information is personal. Planned Parenthood of Geater Ohio’s policy is to safeguard individually identifiable information about your health condition, about the health services we provide to you and about payment for such health services. This kind of information is called "Protected Health Information" or "PHI." Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio is required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI.

We will follow the privacy practices described in this Notice but we reserve the right to change our privacy practices and this Notice at any time and to make the new privacy practices and Notice effective for all PHI that we maintain at the time of the change. This notice and any revisions will be posted in the Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio office, and on our web site at http://www.ppneo.org. We will send you a copy of the revised notice at your request.

2. HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION

We will obtain your written consent in advance to use your Protected Health Information for purposes of treatment, payment, and for Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio's healthcare operations. For other purposes, we will request your authorization for the use of your PHI except where the law permits or requires us to use or disclose your PHI without your consent or authorization. If we disclose your health information to an outside entity so that the entity may perform a function on our behalf, we will enter into an agreement with that entity to protect your PHI in the same manner that we must protect it.

3. USES AND DISCLOSURES RELATED TO TREATMENT, PAYMENT OR HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS

For treatment. We may disclose your Protected Health Information to effectively provide and coordinate your care at Planned Parenthood. For example, your PHI may be shared with doctors, counselors, interns, volunteers or other persons involved in taking care of you. Your PHI may also be shared with your private physician, outside consultants or with community agencies involved in the provision or coordination of your care.

To obtain payment. We may use/disclose your PHI to bill and collect payment for your health care services. For example, we may provide portions of your PHI to our internal billing department, to external payers such as Medicaid or to private insurers.

For health care operations. We may use your PHI to operate our organization effectively. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run our practice and to make sure that all our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use your PHI for our quality assurance activities, our program evaluation, and our financial audits. We may provide your PHI to outside entities and persons, such as our attorneys, accountants, consultants, and other persons and entities that provide services to us or in our behalf.

For fundraising activities. Because Planned Parenthood of Grater Ohio is a not-for-profit organization, we rely on the generosity of our donors to assist in the financial support of the services we provide. We may contact you to request your support for fundraising activities. Additionally, we may send you information regarding programs and services offered by Planned Parenthood. If you do not want these kinds of communications from us, you must notify us in writing.

For appointment reminders. We may use or disclose your PHI to provide appointment reminders. Unless you provide us with alternative instructions, we may send appointment reminders and similar materials to your home.

4. USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PHI THAT REQUIRE YOUR AUTHORIZATION

For uses and disclosures other than for treatment, payment and operations we are required to have your written authorization, unless the use or disclosure falls within one of the exceptions described below. For example, should we require personally identifiable health information for research purposes, we will first seek your authorization. Your authorization can be revoked at any time to stop future uses or disclosures of Protected Health Information except to the extent that we have already taken an action in reliance on your authorization.

5. USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PHI THAT DO NOT REQUIRE YOUR AUTHORIZATION

When required by law. We may disclose your PHI when required by federal, state or local law. We may disclose PHI when a law requires that we provide information about suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence, or related to suspected criminal activity or when a crime has been committed or attempted on the program premises or against program personnel, or in response to a court or administrative order.

For public health, health reporting and health oversight activities. We may disclose your PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as collecting information about diseases or for vital statistics or to report infectious diseases or treatment outcomes or for activities such as audits, investigations, inspections and licensure.

For research. We may use your PHI for research purposes when the research has been approved by an institutional review board or privacy board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your PHI.

In an emergency and to avert threat to health and safety. We may use and disclose PHI when necessary in an emergency or to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would be to someone able to prevent the threat.

Workers' Compensation. We may use or disclose your PHI in order to comply with the laws, regulations and requirements related to Workers' Compensation.

For specific government functions. We may disclose PHI of military personnel and veterans in certain situations, to correctional facilities in certain situations, and for national security in certain situations.

6. YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION

To request restrictions on uses or disclosures. You have the right to ask in writing that Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio restricts how it uses PHI for treatment, payment or operations. We will consider your request, but we are not obligated to agree to it. If we do agree, we will put our agreement in writing and abide by the agreement except in emergency situations.

To inspect and receive a copy of your PHI. You have a right to request in writing to see your PHI. We will respond to such request within 30 days and provide you with your PHI unless, for treatment reasons, your right to see your PHI has been restricted. If we deny your request we will give you written reasons for doing so and will advise you how to have the denial reviewed. We may impose a charge for copying your PHI depending on your circumstances and we will advise you of the amount of such charge in advance.

To request amendment of your PHI. You may request an amendment of your PHI and we will respond within 60 days of receiving your request. We may deny the request if we determine the PHI is correct and complete, not created by us, not part of our records or not permitted to be disclosed. If we deny your request we will tell you why and explain how you may append your written response to your records.

To find out what disclosures have been made. You have the right to get a list of the PHI we have disclosed and to whom and for what purpose we have made such disclosures. This does not apply to disclosures to family and friends and for charitable purposes if you have not objected to such disclosures. This also does not apply to PHI for treatment, payment and operations purposes, to disclosures you have authorized, to disclosures made to law enforcement officials or correctional facilities, disclosures for national security purposes or disclosures made before April 2003. You can obtain disclosures going back as far as 6 years. We will respond to your request within 60 days. We will not charge you for such lists unless you order more than one each year in which case we may make a reasonable charge for the added lists.

To choose how we contact you. You have a right to ask that we send you information at an alternative address or by alternative means.

7. MINORS

Minors have the same privacy rights as adults under this Notice as to information related to reproductive health care. In cases where a parent provides consent to an abortion, the parent has the rights provided under this Notice with respect to information about the abortion. If a judicial bypass is obtained for the abortion, the parent or guardian has no rights as to such information.

8. HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PRIVACY PRACTICES

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may contact us to file a complaint. We can be reached by telephone Monday through Friday during business hours at (330) 535-2674. You may also file a written complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at Privacy Complaints, P.O. Box 8050, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850. Planned Parenthood of Geater Ohio will not employ any form of retaliation against you as a result of your complaint.

This notice is effective April 14, 2003.

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