Notice of Privacy Practices
Your Information. Your Rights. Our Responsibilities.
The following Notice of Privacy Practices applies to All Care VNA, All Care Hospice, and All Care Resources, collectively referred to as All Care. It describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
You can feel confident that your privacy is a top priority in all that we do. All Care understands that your medical information is personal and we are committed to protecting your privacy.
Uses and Disclosures for Treatment, Payment and Health Care Operations
All Care may use and disclose your protected health information in order to provide your care or treatment, obtain payment for services provided to you and in order to conduct our health care operations as detailed below.
Treatment and Care Management
We may use and disclose health information about you to aid in your treatment or the coordination of your care. For example, we may discuss your health condition with your doctor to plan the clinical services you receive at home. We may disclose medical information about you to people (family members, friends, clergy, and other support agencies) involved in maintaining your health or well-being to ensure that everyone caring for you has the information they need. We may also leave protected health information in your home for the purpose of keeping other caregivers informed of needed information.
We may use and disclose health information about you for purposes of determining your eligibility for benefits and obtaining payment from insurers that may be responsible for providing coverage to you, including federal and state entities. For example, we may tell your health insurer about treatment you are going to receive in order to get prior approval or to verify if your plan will cover the treatment.
Health Care Operations
We may use and disclose health information about you to support functions of All Care, which include, without limitation, care management, quality improvement activities, evaluating our own performance and resolving any complaints or grievances you may have. We may also use and disclose your health information to assist other health care providers in performing their health care operations.
Uses and Disclosures Without Your Consent or Authorization
All Care may use and disclose your health information without your specific written authorization for the following purposes:
- As required by law. We may use and disclose your health information as required by state, federal and local law.
- Public health activities. We may disclose your health information to public authorities or other agencies conducting public health activities, such as preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability, reporting births, deaths, child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, potential problems with products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or communicable diseases.
- Victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We may disclose your health information to an appropriate government agency if we believe you are a victim of abuse, neglect, domestic violence and you agree to the disclosure or the disclosure is required or permitted by law. We will let you know if we disclose your health information for this purpose unless we believe that advising you or your caregiver would place you or another person at risk of serious harm.
- Health oversight activities. We may disclose your health information to federal or state health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law such as audits, investigations, inspections and licensing surveys.
- Judicial and administrative proceedings. We may disclose your health information in the course of judicial or administrative proceeding in response to an appropriate order of a court or administrative body.
- Law enforcement purposes. We may disclose your health information to a law enforcement agency to respond to a court order, warrant, summons or similar process, to help identify or locate a suspect or missing person, to provide information about a victim of a crime, a death that may be the result of criminal activity, or criminal conduct on our premises, or, in emergency situations, to report a crime, the location of the crime or the victims, or the identity, location or description of the person who committed the crime.
- Deceased individuals. We may disclose your health information to a coroner, medical examiner or a funeral director as necessary and as authorized by law.
- Organ or tissue donations. We may disclose your health information to organ procurement organizations and similar entities for the purpose of assisting them in organ or tissue procurement, banking or transplantation.
- For research. We may use or disclose your health information for research purposes. We will use or disclose your health information for research purposes only with the approval of an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information. When required, we will obtain a written authorization from you prior to using your health information for research.
- Health or safety. We may use or disclose your health information to prevent or lessen a threat to the health or safety of you or the general public. We may also disclose your health information to public or private disaster relief organizations such as the Red Cross or other organizations participating in bio-terrorism countermeasures.
- Specialized government functions. We may use or disclose your health information to provide assistance for certain types of government activities. If you are a member of the armed forces of the United States or a foreign country, we may disclose your health information to appropriate military authority as is deemed necessary. We may also disclose your health information to federal officials for lawful intelligence or national security activities.
- Workers’ compensation. We may use or disclose your health information as permitted by the laws governing the workers’ compensation program or similar programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses.
- Individuals involved in your care. We may disclose your health information to a family member, other relative or close personal friend assisting you in receiving health care services. If you are available, we will give you an opportunity to object to these disclosures, and we will not make these disclosures if you object. If you are not available, we will determine whether a disclosure to your family or friends is in your best interest, taking into account the circumstances and based upon our professional judgment.
- Appointments, information and services. We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related services that may be of interest to you.
- Fundraising. As a not-for-profit health care organization, All Care may identify you as a patient for purposes of fundraising. You have the right to opt out of receiving such communications by contacting us at the address or phone number on the fundraising communication.
- Incidental uses and disclosures. Incidental uses and disclosures of your health information sometimes occur and are not considered to be a violation of your rights. Incidental uses and disclosures are by-products of otherwise permitted uses or disclosures which are limited in nature and cannot be reasonably prevented.
Special Treatment of Certain Records. HIV related information, genetic information, alcohol and/or substance abuse records, mental health records and other specially protected health information may enjoy certain special confidentiality protections under applicable state and federal law. Any disclosures of these types of records will be subject to these special protections.
Obtaining Your Authorization for Other Uses and Disclosures
Certain uses and disclosures of your health information will be made only with your written authorization, including uses and/or disclosures: (a) of psychotherapy notes (where appropriate); (b) for marketing purposes; and (c) that constitute a sale of health information under the Privacy Rule. All Care will not use or disclose your health information for any purpose not specified in this Notice of Privacy Practices unless we obtain your express written authorization or the authorization of your legally appointed representative. If you give us your authorization, you may revoke it at any time, in which case we will no longer use or disclose your health information for the purpose you authorized, except to the extent we have relied on your authorization to provide your care.
Your Rights Regarding your Health Information
You have the following rights regarding your health information:
- Inspect and copy. You have the right to inspect or request a copy of health information about you that we maintain. Your request should describe the information you want to review and the format in which you wish to review it. We may refuse to allow you to inspect or obtain copies of this information in certain limited cases. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee. We may also deny a request for access to health information under certain circumstances if there is a potential for harm to yourself or others. If we deny a request for access for this purpose, you have the right to have our denial reviewed in accordance with the requirements of applicable law.
- Request amendments. You have the right to request changes to any of your health information we maintain if you state a reason why this information is incorrect or incomplete. We may not agree to make the changes you request. If we do not agree with the requested changes we will notify you in writing and inform you how to have your objection included in our records.
- Accounting of disclosures. You have the right to receive a list of the disclosures of your health information. The list will not include disclosures made for certain purposes including, without limitation, disclosures for treatment, payment or health care operations or disclosures you authorized in writing. Your request should specify the time period covered by your request, which cannot exceed six (6) years. We have 60 days to respond to your request. The first time you request a list of disclosures in any 12-month period, it will be provided at no cost. If you request additional lists within the 12-month period, we may charge you the cost of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
- Request restrictions. You have the right to request restrictions on the ways which we use and disclose your health information for treatment, payment and health care operations, or disclose this information to disaster relief organizations or individuals who are involved in your care. All Care may not agree to the restrictions you request. We are, however, required to comply with your request if it relates to a disclosure to your health plan regarding health care items or services for which you have paid the bill in full.
- Request confidential communications. You have the right to ask us to send health information to you in a different way or at a different location. Your request for an alternate form of communication should also specify where and/or how we should contact you.
- Receive notification of breach. You have the right to receive a notification in the event of a breach of your health information which requires notification under the Privacy Rule.
- Choose someone to act for you. You have the right to choose a person to act on your behalf. If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian or designated representative, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information. We will ensure the person has the authority and can act for you before we honor any requests.
- Receive a paper copy of the notice. You have the right to receive a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices. You may obtain a paper copy of this Notice by writing to All Care.
To make a request as described in any of the above, please submit a request by mail to All Care, Attn: Privacy Officer, 210 Market Street, Lynn, Massachusetts, 01901 or by calling (781) 598-2454.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated you may file a complaint with the All Care Privacy Officer by calling (781) 598-2454. You may 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, calling (877) 696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/complaints. You will not be penalized or retaliated against for filing a complaint.
All Care may change the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. If the terms of the Notice are changed, the new terms will apply to all of your health information.
This notice is effective as of January 2022.