Ending Poverty, Homelessness, and Abuse

Privacy Policy

Effective Date: April 14, 2003


PER THE HIPAA ACT OF 1996, WE HAVE A LEGAL DUTY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION. We will protect the privacy of the health information that we maintain that identifies you, whether it deals with the provision of or payment of your health care. We must provide you with this Notice about our privacy practices. It explains how, when, and why we may use and disclose your health information. With some exceptions, we will avoid using or disclosing any more of your health information than is necessary to accomplish the purpose of the use of disclosure. We are legally required to follow the privacy practices that are described in this Notice, which is currently in effect.

However, we reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and our privacy practices at any time. Any changes will apply to any of your health information that we already have. Before we make an important change to our policies, we will promptly change this Notice and post a new Notice in your location of service. You may also request, at any time, a copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices that is in effect at any given time, from our complaint officer, who can be reached at (610) 543-5022. [You may view and obtain an electronic copy of this Notice on our web site atwww.pathwayspa.org].

Examples of Protected Health Information.

Your name
Your address
Your social security number
Your age
Your health insurance number
Information about your present, past or future health condition
We would like to take this opportunity to answer some common questions concerning our privacy practices:

QUESTION: How will this organization use and disclose my protected health information? 

ANSWER: We use and disclose health information for many different reasons. For some of these uses or disclosures, we need your specific authorization. Below, we describe the different categories of our uses and disclosures and give you some examples of each.

A) Uses and Disclosures Relating to Treatment, Payment, or Healthcare Operations. We may, by federal law, use and disclose your health information for the following reasons:

B) Certain Other Uses and Disclosures are permitted by Federal Law. We may use and disclose your health information without your authorization for the following reasons:

C) Certain Uses and Disclosures Require You to Have the Opportunity to Object.

D) Other Uses and Disclosures Require Your Prior Written Authorization. In situations other than those categories of uses and disclosures mentioned above, or those disclosures permitted under federal law, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing any of your protected health information.

QUESTION: What rights do I have concerning my protected health information? 

ANSWER: You have the following rights with respect to your protected health information:

A) The Right to Request Limits on Uses and Disclosures of Your Health Information. You have the right to ask us to limit how we use and disclose your health information. We will certainly consider your request, but you should know that we are not required to agree to it. If we do agree to your request, we will put the limits in writing and will abide by them, except in the case of an emergency. Please note that you are not permitted to limit the uses and disclosures that we are required or allowed by law to make.

B) The Right to Choose How We Send Health Information to You or How We Contact You. You have the right to ask that we contact you at an alternate address or telephone number (for example, sending information to your work address instead of your home address) or by alternate means. We must agree to your request so long as we can easily do so.

C) The Right to See or to Get a Copy of Your Protected Health Information. In most cases, you have the right to look at or get a copy of your health information that we have, but you must make the request in writing. A request form is available at your location of service. We will respond to you within 30 days after receiving your written request. If we do not have the health information that you are requesting, but we know who does, we will tell you how to get it. In certain situations, we may deny your request. If we do, we will tell you, in writing, our reasons for the denial. In certain circumstances, you may have a right to appeal the decision. At this time, there is no charge for these copies.

D) The Right to Receive a List of Certain Disclosures of Your Health Information That We Have Made. You have the right to get a list of certain types of disclosures that we have made of your health information. This list would not include uses or disclosures for treatment, payment or healthcare operations, disclosures to you or with your written authorization, or disclosures to your family for notification purposes or due to their involvement in your care. This list also would not include any disclosures made for national security purposes, disclosures to corrections or law enforcement authorities if you were in custody at the time, or disclosures made prior to April 14, 2003. You may not request an accounting for more than a six (6) year period.

E) The Right to Ask to Correct or Update Your Health Information. If you believe that there is a mistake in your health information or that a piece of important information is missing, you have a right to ask that we make an appropriate change to your information. You must make the request in writing, with the reason for your request, on a request form that is available at your location of service.

QUESTION: How do I complain or ask questions about this organization’s privacy practices? 

ANSWER: If you have any questions about anything discussed in this Notice or about any of our privacy practices, or if you have any concerns or complaints, please contact your worker, who will direct you to the appropriate person. You also have the right to file a written complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We cannot take any retaliatory action against you if you lodge any type of complaint.

QUESTION: When does this notice take effect? 

ANSWER: This Notice takes effect on April 14, 2003.