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 it carefully.
Effective Date: September 23, 2013
What information about you is protected?
Medical information is personal information that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental condition, the care provided or payment for your healthcare.
Who will follow this notice?
- All staff, students and volunteers at PRS, Inc.
- All companies that have a Business Associates Agreement with PRS, Inc.
How we may use and disclose medical information about you
- Treatment We may use and disclose medical information about you to provide you treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to healthcare providers involved in your care. For example, if you have diabetes we will want to make sure that your psychiatrist is aware so as to prescribe the proper medications. Information may also be shared among your healthcare providers to coordinate the services that you need.
- Payment We may use and disclose medical information about you so we can collect payment for the services provided by PRS, Inc. Payment may be collected from you, your insurance company or another third party, such as the Community Services Board. For example, we may need to provide your insurance company information about your treatment so they pay for service provided or authorize future service.
- Health Care Operations We may use and disclose information about you so that PRS, Inc. continues to operate efficiently and effectively and to make sure that all clients receive quality care. This information is used to evaluate services, identify staff training needs and set corrects reimbursement rates. We may also share information with other individuals and organizations that help us with our business activities. This includes any other business and consultants hired to help us improve the quality of our business practices. For example, if we contract with a business or individual to assess the quality of our medical records. If we share your medical information with other organizations for this purpose, they must also agree to protect your privacy as required by law.
- Research Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes only when steps are in place to protect your privacy. In all research, a review board will approve the project making sure that privacy is protected. All research will require your approval prior to participation.
- Contact You Your medical information may be used to contact you before, during and after you have received services at PRS, Inc. This contact may be for the purpose of informing you of alternative treatments or services related to your condition or to inquire about your satisfaction with services received.
- Public Health and Safety We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities include:
To prevent or control disease, injury or disability
To report vital statistics such as births or deaths
To report suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence
To report reactions to medications or problems with products
To notify employers about work-related illness or injury
To notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition
- Other Permitted Uses and Disclosures We may also use and disclose your medical information to protect client safety, ensure that our facilities and staff comply with government and accreditation standards, and when otherwise allowed by law. Some examples of this type of disclosure include:
As required by federal, state or local laws
To appropriate agencies or persons when we believe it necessary to avoid a serious threat to health, safety or to prevent serious harm
To health oversight agencies for audits, investigations, inspections and licensure to ensure compliance with health care laws
To coroners or medical examiners in cases of death
In response to a court order, subpoena, discovery request or other lawful purpose
To law enforcement when required or allowed by law
To worker’s compensation or similar programs to process a claim
To government officials when required for national security activities as authorized by law
- Armed Forces If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities.
Uses and Disclosures Where You Have a Right to Object
- Lists and Rosters Your name may be included on lists and rosters within the program. Displays in the program may include a photo or likeness of you along with your first name and last initial. If you do not want your name, photo or likeness displayed in the program you may ask staff to remove it. Your name is also included in rosters that you use to sign in and out of the program. These rosters are not available to anyone outside of PRS, Inc., except when permitted above.
- Fundraising Activities Certain information may be released to our Department of Resource Development so that it may contact you to give you the opportunity to make donations that further the mission of PRS, Inc. The information released can be your name, address, phone number, date of birth, age, gender, insurance status, the dates you received services from us and outcome of treatment. You may contact the Privacy Officer if you do not want to be contacted for this purpose.
- Disclosure to Family, Friends or Others Unless you object, PRS, Inc. staff will use his or her professional judgment to provide relevant medical information to your family member, friend or other person. This person would be someone that you indicate has an active interest in your care or the payment for your healthcare or who may need to notify others about your location and general condition.
- Disaster Relief Purposes We may disclose your location and general condition to a public or private entity (such as FEMA or the Red Cross) authorized by law to assist in disaster relief efforts so that your family can be notified.
Uses and Disclosures Not Permitted Without Your Authorization
- Psychotherapy Notes We may not disclose psychotherapy notes without your written authorization.
- Marketing We may not use or disclose your medical information for marketing purposes or for disclosures that constitute a sale of medical information without your written authorization
- Specially Protected Information Special state and federal laws apply to certain classes of medical information. For example, additional protections may apply to information about sexually transmitted diseases, drug and alcohol abuse treatment records, mental health records and HIV/AIDS information. When required by law, we will obtain your authorization before releasing this type of information.
PRS, Inc. is required by law to:
- Maintain the privacy of your medical information
- Notify you following a breach of unsecured medical information
- Provide you with a notice of its legal duties and privacy practices
- Provide you access to your electronic health record or to provide you a paper copy of your record
- Provide you a copy of this notice upon your request
- Abide by the terms of the privacy notice that is currently in effect
- If we change any of the terms of this notice we will post the change in each location and on the website www.prsinc.org
Note: You may exercise any of the rights described below, or ask questions about these rights, by contacting the Privacy Officer at (703) 536-9000.
You have the right to:
- Request restrictionsby asking that we limit the way we use or disclose your medical information for treatment, payment or health care operations. You may also ask that we limit the information we give to someone who is involved in your care, such as a family member or friend. We will ask that you make this request in writing. We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will honor your restriction unless it is an emergency.
- Restrict disclosure to a health plan if your service is paid in full by you or someone on your behalf. We are required to agree to your request and ask that you make this request in writing.
- Ask that we communicate withyouby another means to preserve confidentiality. For example, if you want us to communicate with you at a different address or telephone number we can usually accommodate your request if it is reasonable. We will ask that you make the request in writing.
- Request access to or a copy of your medical information in electronic or paper format. We ask that you make your request specific and in writing. We may charge a reasonable fee for the cost of producing and mailing the copies. In certain instances we may deny your request and will tell you why we are denying it. In such cases you have the right to ask for a review of our denial.
- Ask us to amend your medical information in our records that you believe is incorrect or incomplete. Your request for amendment must be in writing and you must provide the reason for your request. In certain cases, we may deny your request. If so, we will notify you in writing. You may respond by filing a written statement of disagreement with us and ask that the statement be included with your medical information.
- Request an accounting of disclosures by asking us in writing for a list of the disclosures we have made of your medical information except for disclosures for treatment, payment, healthcare operations, information provided to you, facility directory listings and certain government functions. You may request up to the last six years and you may receive one list per year at no charge. If you request another list during the same year, we may charge you a reasonable fee.
- Receive a paper copy of this notice at any time. We will offer you a copy of this notice the first time you present for treatment or health care services at PRS, Inc. We will also have this notice posted at each of our service sites. You may also obtain a copy of the latest revision of this notice at our website, www.prsinc.org
Other Uses of Medical Information
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will only be made with your written permission, or authorization. If you provide us with an authorization to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that authorization, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission prior to you revoking your authorization. Additionally, any authorized use of your photo or other information for the purpose of marketing and fundraising will be only used for the purpose authorized. Any additional use of the photo or other information will require a new authorization from you. You may also revoke your authorization in writing but we cannot recall materials that contain your information or photo. For example, you give us permission to use your photo and a statement in a brochure. Later, you choose to revoke this authorization. We will not recall brochures that have been printed and may have been distributed but we will not print new brochures using your photo and statement after the revocation. Likewise, if you give us authorization to use your photo in a brochure, we may not use it in a flyer or slideshow without a new authorization.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may contact the Privacy Officer at (703) 536-9000 or submit your complaint in writing to Privacy Officer, PRS, Inc., 1761 Old Meadow Road, Suite 100, McLean, VA 22102. If we cannot resolve your concern, you may contact the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.