Austin-Travis County EMS 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.
Austin Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) is required by law to maintain the privacy of confidential health care information, known as Protected Health Information or PHI, and to provide you with a notice of privacy practices with respect to your PHI. This Notice describes your legal rights, advises you of our privacy practices, and lets you know how ATCEMS is permitted to use and disclose your PHI.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI: ATCEMS may use PHI for the purposes of treatment, payment, and health care operations, in most cases without your written permission. For treatment. Information obtained in the course of providing you medical services, including information from or to other medical personnel (including doctors, nurses, and other medical staff). For payment. This includes any activities concerning reimbursed for the services we provide to you. Including submitting bills to insurance companies, medical necessity determinations and reviews, and collection of outstanding accounts. For health care operations. This includes quality assurance activities, licensing, and training programs to ensure that our personnel meet our standards of care and follow established policies and procedures.
ATCEMS is permitted to use PHI without your written authorization, or opportunity to object in certain situations, including: Health care fraud and abuse detection or for activities related to compliance with the law; To a public health authority in certain situations as required by law, as part of a public health investigation or to notify a person about an exposure to a possible communicable disease; To report child or adult abuse or neglect or domestic violence: For Health oversight activities including audits or government investigations, inspections, disciplinary proceedings, and other administrative or judicial actions undertaken by the government by law to oversee the health care system; For judicial and administrative proceedings as required by a court or administrative order, or in some cases in response to a subpoena or other legal processes; For law enforcement activities in limited situations, such as when the information is needed to locate a suspect or stop a crime; Military, national defense and security and other special government functions; To avert a serious threat to the health and safety of a person or the public at large; For Workers’ compensation purposes in compliance with workers’ compensation laws; To Medical examiners, and funeral directors for identifying a deceased person, determining cause of death, or carrying on their duties as authorized by law; For Organ donation, we may release PHI to organizations such as an organ donation/tissue banks, as necessary to facilitate organ donation and transplantation; For Research projects, with strict oversight and will be released only when there is a minimal risk to your privacy and adequate safeguards are in place in accordance with the law; Photographs, videotapes, digital, or other images may be recorded to document care, ATCEMS will retain the ownership rights to these photographs, videotapes, digital, or other images, but that you will be allowed access to view them or obtain copies. These images will be stored in a secure manner that will protect your privacy and that they will be kept for the time period required by law or outlined in ATCEMS Department’s policy. Images that identify the patient will only be released and/or used outside the department upon written authorization from the patient or a legal representative.
Any other use or disclosure of PHI, other than those listed above, will only be made with your written authorization, (the authorization must specifically identify the information we seek to use or disclose, as well as when and how we seek to use or disclose it). You may revoke your authorization at any time, in writing, except to the extent that we have already used or disclosed medical information.
Patient Rights: The right to access, copy or inspect your PHI. ATCEMS will provide you with access to this information within 15 days of your request. We may also charge you a reasonable copying fee for any medical information that you have the right to access. The right to amend your PHI. You have the right to ask us to amend your medical information and will amend your information within 60 days of your request. You must provide ATCEMS a written amendment that will be added to the current records we have concerning your service. If you wish to amend your medical information you should contact the Compliance officer listed at the end of this Notice. The right to request an accounting of our use and disclosure of your PHI: You may request an accounting from ATCEMS of uses and disclosures of your medical information that we have made in the last seven years prior to the date of your request. ATCEMS will provide you the dates of any and all disclosures and whom the disclosures were made including disclosures for the purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations, business associates, or a destination hospital. If you wish to request an accounting of the medical information, you should contact the Compliance officer listed at the end of this Notice.
The right to request that we restrict the uses and disclosures of your PHI. But, if you request a restriction and the information you asked us to restrict is needed to provide you with emergency treatment, then we may use the PHI or disclose the PHI to another health care provider who is providing you with emergency treatment. Internet, Electronic Mail, and the Right to Obtain Paper or Electronic copy of the Privacy Notice on Request.
Revisions to the Notice: ATCEMS reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice at any time, and the changes will be effective immediately and will apply to all protected health information that we maintain. Any material changes to the Notice will be promptly posted web site. ATCEMS is also required to abide by the terms of the version of this Notice currently in effect
Your Legal Rights and Complaints: You also have the right to complain to us, or to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint with us or to the government. Should you have any questions, comments or complaints you may direct all inquiries to the ATCEMS Compliance Officer:
ATCEMS COMPLIANCE OFFICER – Austin Travis County EMS Phone # 512-972-7200