THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION AND OTHER PRIVATE INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), you have the right to privacy regarding your Protected Health Information (PHI). PHI is health information about you that can be used to identify you. This information relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition, related health care services, and payment. These laws protect your right to privacy regarding your PHI, however these laws also allow Olmsted County to share information with others when permitted or required by law. Under HIPAA, we must keep your PHI private and give you a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices to protect your health information. We will make reasonable efforts to limit the use and disclosure of PHI to the minimum necessary. Protected Health Information is health information about you, which can be used to identify you, and relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health condition(s), related health care services, and payment. Olmsted County is required to obey the notice currently in effect.
We reserve the right to change the privacy practices described in this notice according to the law. Changes to our privacy practices apply to all health information we receive and keep. If Olmsted County changes its privacy practices, we will post an updated notice at each Olmsted County site and facility and provide it as required by law. You may ask for a copy of the current notice anytime you visit an Olmsted County facility.
This Notice describes the ways we can and cannot share your PHI and applies to the covered health care components of Olmsted County, including: Community Services; Family Support and Assistance (except for the Child Support Unit); Public Health (except for Immunizations and Disease Control); the Civil Division of the County Attorney's Office; the Multi-Systemic Therapy, Community Reintegration Services and Mental Health programs of Community Corrections; Financial Services; Information Technology; and Community Services Administration.
This Notice will be interpreted for you in other languages, if requested.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule states that Olmsted County may use and disclose your Protected Health Information without your authorization for the reasons listed below. However, if other Minnesota or federal laws provide you with more privacy protection than HIPAA, you will receive that added protection.
- For Treatment. Olmsted County may use or disclose your health information with health care providers such as doctors, nurses, therapists and social workers who are involved in your health care. For example, information may be shared with our staff or providers outside our system to create or carry out a plan for your treatment.
- For Payment. Olmsted County may use or disclose your health information to receive payment for or to pay for your health care services. For example, Olmsted County may provide PHI in order to bill your health plan for health care provided to you.
- For Health Care Operations. Olmsted County may use or disclose your health information in order to manage its programs and activities. For example, Olmsted County may use your PHI to review the quality of the services you receive, to train employees, or to call you by name in the waiting area when Olmsted County staff is ready to meet with you.
- For Appointments and other Health Information. Unless you have instructed us not to, Olmsted County may send you reminders for medical care or checkups. Olmsted County may send you information about health services that may be of interest to you.
- For Health Oversight Activities. Olmsted County may use or disclose your health information to staff at Olmsted County or to authorities outside Olmsted County to inspect or investigate health care providers or the Medicaid program.
- For Public Health Activities. Olmsted County may use or disclose health information about you for public health activities required or permitted by law. This may include reporting contagious diseases, immunizations, or birth and death information. We may disclose PHI to the appropriate government authority if we believe someone is the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
- For Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. We may disclose health information about you in response to a court order or as otherwise authorized by law. For example, a court order or law may require Olmsted County staff to share PHI with the lawyers in a family court case.
- For Law Enforcement. We may disclose your PHI to law enforcement in response to legal proceedings, in medical emergencies, or to identify or apprehend someone.
- For Government Programs. Olmsted County may use and disclose PHI for public benefits under other government programs as authorized by law.
- For Reports to Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors. Olmsted County may disclose PHI to coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors as authorized by law; for example, to identify a person or determine a cause of death.
- For Research. Olmsted County may use and disclose your PHI for research as authorized by law.
- For Health and Safety Concerns. Olmsted County may disclose your PHI if we believe it is necessary to prevent or lessen an imminent threat to someone's health and safety.
- For Workers Compensation. Olmsted County may disclose information about a work related injury to Workers' Compensation or similar programs.
- For Specialized Government Functions. Olmsted County may disclose your PHI to specialized government agencies, for instance, to national security agencies when they or the military are investigating something to protect our country, the President and/or other government workers.
- For Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. When allowed by Minnesota law, Olmsted County may disclose your PHI to family or other persons you identify as directly involved in your health care. You may object to the sharing of this information.
- For Inmates. Olmsted County may disclose PHI as authorized by law to a jail or prison having legal custody of you in order for the institution to give you health care; for the health and safety of you or others; or for the safety and security of the institution.
- When Required by Law. Olmsted County may use or disclose PHI when required by federal or state law.
Olmsted County may not disclose your PHI without your written authorization in the following instances:
- For Marketing. Olmsted County may let you know about products or services relating to your case management, treatment, or care coordination. However, we must have your permission before using your PHI to send you marketing materials.
- Other Laws that Protect Health Information. Other laws may require your written authorization to disclose certain health information relating to mental health, alcohol and drug abuse treatment, and HIV/AIDS testing or treatment.
You have the following Privacy Rights regarding your PHI:
- You have the right to see and copy your records unless the records are psychotherapy notes, or the information has been compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or for use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding. You must ask in writing. You will be charged a fee for copying costs.
- You have the right to ask that we change the health information we keep in your medical or billing record. Your request must be in writing and we may deny your request in certain circumstances.
- You have the right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to ask for a list of disclosures of your PHI made after April 14, 2003. You must make the request in writing. This list will not include the disclosures made for treatment, payment or health care operations. This list will not include information given directly to you or your family. The list will not include information that was sent with your written approval. If you ask for a list more than once during a year, we may charge you a fee for each additional request.
- You have the right to request limits on the uses or disclosures of PHI. You have the right to ask that Olmsted County limit how your PHI is used or disclosed. You must make the request in writing and tell Olmsted County what information you want to limit and to whom you want the limits to apply. Olmsted County is not required to agree to the restriction. You can request, verbally or in writing, that the restrictions be terminated.
- You have the right to cancel your authorization to release PHI. If you are asked to sign an authorization to use or disclose PHI, you can cancel it at any time. You must ask in writing. This cancellation will not affect information that has already been shared.
- You have the right to choose how Olmsted County communicates with you. You have the right to ask in writing that Olmsted County share information with you in a certain way or in a certain place. For example, you may ask Olmsted County to send information to your work address instead of your home address.
- You have the right to file a complaint. You have the right to file a complaint if you do not agree with how Olmsted County has used or disclosed PHI about you.
- You have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice at any time.
You may contact Olmsted County to review, correct, or limit your PHI.
You may contact the Olmsted County Privacy Official at the address listed below to:
- Ask to look at or copy your records.
- Ask to limit how information about you is used or disclosed.
- Ask to cancel your authorization.
- Ask to correct or change your records.
- Ask for a list of disclosures of your PHI.
Olmsted County may deny your request to look at, copy or change your records. If Olmsted County denies your request, we will send you a letter that tells you why your request is being denied and how you can ask for a review of the denial or file a complaint.
How to file a complaint or report a problem.
If you want to file a complaint or report a problem with how Olmsted County has used or disclosed information about you, you may contact the Olmsted County HIPAA Privacy Official at the address listed below, or the Office of Civil Rights, Medical Privacy Complaint Division, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and additional details about the procedure to file a complaint with DHS can be found at www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/index.html. Your benefits will not be affected by any complaints you make. Olmsted County cannot retaliate against you for filing a complaint, cooperating in an investigation, or refusing to agree to something that you believe to be against the law.
If you have any questions about this notice or need more information, please contact the Olmsted County Privacy Official:
Attn: HIPAA Privacy Official – Human Resources
151 4 Street SE
Rochester, MN 55904
Phone: 507 328-7700