Universal Institute, INC. 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.

1. Our Legal Duties

We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information and to provide individuals with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with regard to protected health information.

We are also required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information. We will let you know promptly if a breach of your unsecured protected health information occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your protected health information.

We will follow the duties and privacy practices set forth in this notice and provide you with a copy of it.

We will not sue of share you protected heath information other than described herein unless you tell us that we can do so in writing. If you tell us, you may change your mind at any time by letting us know in writing.

We must follow these privacy practices that are described in this Notice while it is in effect. This Notice takes effect February 15, 2016 and supersedes all prior Notices of its kind and will remain in effect until we replace it.

As permitted by law, we reserve the right to amend or modify our privacy policies and practices. These changes in our policies and practices may be required by changes in federal and state laws and regulations. We will provide you with the most recently revised Notice during regular business hours when you visit the office, or we may fax or email it to you if you have agreed to receive electronic communications of this kind. Any changes to our privacy practices will apply to all information we have about you.

2. Uses and Disclosures of Health Information

We typically use or share your health information in the following ways:

Treatment: Your health information may be used by our workforce members and/or disclosed to other health care professionals for the purpose of evaluating your health, diagnosing medical conditions, and providing treatment.

For example, results of laboratory tests and procedures will be available in your mdical record to all health professionals who may provide treatment or who may be consulted by workforce members.

Bill And Receive Payment For Services: Your health information may be used to seek or obtain payment from your health plan, from other sources of insurance coverage such as an automobile insurer, or from credit card companies that you may use to pay for services.

For example, your health plan may request and receive information regarding dates of service, the services provided, and the medical condition being treated.

Health Care Operations: Your health information may be used as necessary to support the day-to-day activities and management of Hudson Health Services, Associates, P.A.This would include but is not limited to running our practice, improving your care and for contacting you when necessary.

For example, information on the services you received may be used to support quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing the competence or qualifications of healthcare professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation, certification, licensing, credentialing activities, budgeting and financial reporting, and other activities to evaluate and promote quality.

Business Associates: There are some services provided in our organization through contracts with business associates. Examples may include medical transcription services and a copy service we may use when making copies of your health record. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your health information to our business associates so they can perform the jobs we have asked them to do and bill you or your third-party payer for services rendered. To protect your health information, however, we require the business associate to agree in writing to safeguard your information appropriately.

We are also allowed or required to share your information in other ways, usually which promote the public good such as public health and research. We may have to meet certain conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes which include:

To You, Your Family and Friends: We must disclose your health information to you as described in this Notice. We may also disclose your health information to a family member, friend or other person to the extent it is necessary to do so to assist with your healthcare needs or with payment for your healthcare, but only if you agree that we may do so. If there are individuals to whom you want to give us permission to share such health information with, please let us know by requesting and filling out the necessary form.

Appointment Reminders: We may use or disclose your health information to provide you with appointment reminders (such as voice mail messages, postcards or letters) unless you direct us not to do so.

To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety: We may use or disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or other person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.

Comply with the Law: We will share information about you if local, state, or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to ensure that we are complying with federal privacy law.  In addition, we may also share information about you with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in the form of the identities of individuals who are subject to a Federal ‘‘mental health prohibitor,’’ which disqualifies them from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm.

Military Personnel: If you are a member of the armed forces, active or reserve, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.

Law Enforcement: Your health information may be disclosed to law enforcement agencies to support government audits and inspections, to facilitate law-enforcement investigations, and to comply with government mandated reporting.For example, we may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:

  • In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons, or similar process;
  • To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
  • About the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement;
  • About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
  • About criminal conduct at the facility; and In emergency circumstances to report a crime, the location of the crime

Public Health Risks: We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:

  • To prevent or control disease, injury, or disability;
  • To report child abuse or neglect;
  • To report reactions to medications or problems with products;
  • To notify people of recalls of products they may be using and to provide your social security number and/or other required information to medical device companies and similar organizations regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (for example, biologic supply companies and donor banks) so that such organizations may locate you should there be a need to do so;
  • To notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease, or who may be a risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition; and
  • To notify the appropriate government or law enforcement authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law

Organ and Tissue Donation Requests
If you are an organ donor, we may release medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye, or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.

Work With a Medical Examiner or Funeral Director
We may release medical information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release medical information about you as a patient of the facility to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.

Address Workers’ Compensation,
We can use or share health information about you for workers’ compensation claims

Respond to Lawsuits and Legal Actions
We can share health information about you in response to a court or or administrative order. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.

Directories: We may use information about you to create or manage a hospital directory

Fundraising: We may use your health information for fundraising communications, however will not do so if you contact us in writing at the address indicated below.

Marketing Health-Related Services: We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.

Research: We can use or share your information for health research.

National Security and Intelligence Activities: We may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.

Protective Services for the President and Others: We may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons, and foreign heads of state or to conduct special investigations.

Other Uses and Disclosures Require Your Prior Written Authorization: Any other disclosure of your health information or its use for any purposes other than those listed above requires your specific written authorization in most cases. If you change your mind after authorizing a use or disclosure of your information, you may submit a written revocation of the authorization. However, your decision to revoke the authorization will not affect or undo any use or disclosure of information that occurred before you notified us of your decision to revoke your authorization. If you revoke your authorization, 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 authorization, and that we are required by state law to retain our records of the care that we provide to you.

Without your authorization, we are expressly prohibited to use or disclose your protected health information for marketing purposes when financial remuneration is involved or for marketing other than face-to-face communication or provision of promotional gifts of nominal value. We may not sell your protected health information without your authorization. We may not use or disclose most psychotherapy notes contained in your protected health information without an authorization.   We will not use or disclose any of your protected health information that contains genetic information that will be used for underwriting purposes.

3. Individual Rights

You have certain rights under the federal privacy standards. These include rights to:

Request an Electronic or Paper Copy of Your Medical Record: You can ask to see or get a copy of an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you, with limited exceptions. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes. All such requests must be in writing. You may obtain a form to request access by using the contact information listed on this Notice.

You may request that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies. We will use the format you request unless we cannot practicably do so. In connection with such requests, we may impose reasonable, cost-based fees. The fee may include only the cost of copying (including supplies and labor) and postage, if the individual requests that the copy be mailed. If you request a summary or explanation of their protected health information, the covered entity may also charge a fee for preparation of the summary or explanation. The fee shall not include costs associated with searching for and retrieving the requested information.

If you request a format other than photocopies, we will charge a cost based fee for providing your health information in that format. For example, costs may include the cost of a flash drive, if that is how you request a copy of your information be produced.

If you prefer, we will prepare a summary and or explanation of your health information, also for a fee. Contact us by using the information listed on this Notice for a full explanation of our fees in this regard

Ask Us to Correct Your Medical Record: You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete This request must be in writing, and it must explain why the information should be amended. We may deny your request under certain circumstances, in which case we will provide a written explanation within 60 days.

Request and Receive Confidential Communications: You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send you mail at a different address. We will honor all reasonable requests in this regard.

Ask Us to Limit What We Use or Share: You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment or health care operations. We are not required to honor your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care. Also, if you pay for a service or health care item out of your own pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will honor such requests unless a law requires us to share that information.

Get a List of Those With Whom We Have Shared Information: You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we have shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why. We will include in this list all disclosures except for those about treatment, payment and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make or those made to you).

To request an accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to the address provided in this notice. Your request must state a time period, which may not be longer than six (6) years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the costs involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.

Get a Copy of this Privacy Notice: You can ask for a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices at any time, even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically. Upon request we will provide you with a paper copy promptly.

Choose Someone to Act For You: If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information. We will verify that this person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.

File a Complaint if You Believe Your Rights Have Been Violated: You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us as indicated below. You can also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington D.C., 20201 or calling 1-877-696-6755. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

4. State Law

Some states have enacted privacy laws or other laws respecting the confidentiality of medical information that have requirements different from, and in some cases more stringent than, those described herein. To the extent that an applicable state privacy law imposes requirements that are more restrictive than federal privacy law, the state law will preempt the federal law.

5. Complaints

If you would like to submit a comment or complaint about our privacy practices, or request further information regarding our privacy practices, you can do so by sending a letter outlining your concerns to:

UNIVERSAL INSTITUTE, INC.
Michael Scudillo, OTR, CHC
Privacy Officer
15-17 Microlab Rd.
Suite 101
Livingston, NJ 07039

If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you should contact us immediately. You will not be penalized or otherwise retaliated against for filing a complaint.

Effective Date

This notice is effective as of February 15, 2016