As a recipient of Federal financial assistance, Community Healthcare of Texas does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, or age in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by Community Healthcare of Texas directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which Community Healthcare of Texas arranges to carry out its programs and activities.
Community Healthcare of Texas believes that the information we gather about you is of a very private nature and we are dedicated to keeping this information confidential. Click here to view our 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.
Use and Disclosure of Health Information
Community Healthcare of Texas (“CHOT”) is required by law to protect the privacy of your health information. We are required to provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices to describe our legal duties and your rights with respect to your protected health information. We are also required to abide by the terms of this Notice which is currently in effect, and to notify you in the event of a breach of your unsecured health information. CHOT may use your health information for purposes of providing you treatment, obtaining payment for your care and conducting health care operations. Your health information may be used or disclosed only after CHOT has obtained your written consent. CHOT has established a policy to guard against unnecessary disclosure of your health information.
THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AND PURPOSES FOR WHICH YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AFTER YOU HAVE PROVIDED YOUR WRITTEN CONSENT:
To Provide Treatment. CHOT may use your health information to coordinate care within the organization and with others involved in your care, such as your attending physician, members of the interdisciplinary team and other health care professionals who have agreed to assist CHOT in coordinating care. For example, physicians involved in your care will need information about your symptoms in order to prescribe appropriate medications.
To Obtain Payment. CHOT may include your health information in invoices to collect payment from third parties for the care you may receive from CHOT. For example, CHOT may be required by your health insurer to provide information regarding your health care status so that the insurer will reimburse you or CHOT. CHOT also may need to obtain prior approval from your insurer and may need to explain to the insurer your need for the care and services that will be provided to you.
To Conduct Health Care Operations. CHOT may use and disclose health care information for its own operations in order to facilitate the function of CHOT and as necessary to provide quality care to all of the CHOT’s patients. Health care operations includes such activities as:
- Quality assessment and improvement activities.
- Activities designed to improve health or reduce health care costs.
- Protocol development, case management and care coordination.
- Contacting health care providers and patients with information about treatment alternatives and other related functions that do not include treatment.
- Professional review and performance evaluation.
- Training programs including those in which students, trainees or practitioners in health care learn under supervision.
- Training of non-health care professionals.
- Accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.
- Review and auditing, including compliance reviews, medical reviews, legal services and compliance programs.
- Business planning and development including cost management and planning related analyses and formula development.
- Business management and general administrative activities of CHOT.
For example, CHOT may use your health information to evaluate its staff performance, combine your health information with other patients in evaluating how to more effectively serve all patients, disclose your health information to staff and contracted personnel for training purposes, or use your health information to contact you as a reminder regarding a visit to you.
When Legally Required. CHOT will disclose your health information when it is required to do so by any federal, state or local law.
When there are Risks to Public Health. CHOT may disclose your health information for public activities and purposes in order to:
- Prevent or control disease, injury or disability, report disease, injury, vital events such as birth or death and the conduct of public health surveillance, investigations and interventions.
- To report adverse events, product defects, to track products or enable product recalls, repairs and replacements and to conduct post-marketing surveillance and compliance with requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.
- To notify a person who has been exposed to a communicable disease or who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease.
- To an employer about an individual who is a member of the workforce as legally required.
To Report Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence. CHOT is allowed to notify government authorities if CHOT believes a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. CHOT will make this disclosure only when specifically required or authorized by law or when the patient agrees to the disclosure.
To Conduct Health Oversight Activities. CHOT may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities including audits, civil administrative or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure or disciplinary action. The Hospice, however, may not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information is not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.
In Connection with Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. CHOT may disclose your health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal as expressly authorized by such order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process, but only when CHOT makes reasonable efforts to either notify you about the request or to obtain an order protecting your health information.
For Law Enforcement Purposes. CHOT may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes as follows:
- As required by law for reporting of certain types of wounds or other physical injuries pursuant to the court order, warrant, subpoena or summons or similar process.
- For the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person.
- Under certain limited circumstances, when you are the victim of a crime.
- To a law enforcement official if CHOT has a suspicion that your death was the result of criminal conduct including criminal conduct at CHOT.
- In an emergency in order to report a crime.
To Coroners and Medical Examiners. CHOT may disclose your health information to coroners and medical examiners for purposes of determining your cause of death or for other duties, as authorized by law.
To Funeral Directors. CHOT may disclose your health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law and, if necessary, to carry out their duties with respect to your funeral arrangements. If necessary to carry out their duties, CHOT may disclose your health information prior to and in reasonable anticipation, of your death.
For Organ, Eye or Tissue Donation. CHOT may use or disclose your health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking or transplantation of organs, eyes or tissue for the purpose of facilitating the donation and transplantation.
For Research Purposes. CHOT may, under very select circumstances, use your health information for research. Before CHOT discloses any of your health information for such research purposes, the project will be subject to an extensive approval process. The Hospice will ask your permission if any researcher will be granted access to your individually identifiable health information.
Limited Data Set. CHOT may use or disclose a limited data set of your health information; that is, a subset of your health information for which all identify information has been removed, for purposes of research, public health, or health care operations. Prior to our release, any recipient of that limited data set must agree to appropriately safeguard our health information
In the Event of a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. CHOT may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, disclose your health information if CHOT, in good faith, believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public.
For Specified Government Functions. In certain circumstances, if federal regulations authorize CHOT to use or disclose your health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military and veterans, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the president and others, medical suitability determinations and inmates and law enforcement custody.
For Worker’s Compensation. CHOT may release your health information for worker’s compensation or similar programs.
AUTHORIZATION TO USE OR DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION
Other than as stated above, CHOT will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. If you or your representative authorize the Hospice to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time.
YOUR RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION TO WHICH YOU MAY AGREE OR OBJECT
Facility Directory. CHOT may disclose certain information about you including your name, your general health status, your religious affiliation and where you are in the facility in a CHOT directory while you are in the CHOT inpatient facility. CHOT may disclose this information to people who ask for you by name. Please inform us if you do not want your information to be included in the directory.
Persons Involved in Your Care. When appropriate, we may share your health information with a family member, other relative or any other person you identify if that person is involved in your care and the information is relevant to your care or the payment of your care. We may notify your family about your location or general condition or disclose such information to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort.
You may ask us at any time not to disclose your health information to any person(s) involved in your care. We will agree to your request unless circumstances constitute an emergency or if the patient is a minor.
Fundraising Activities. Our CHOT Foundation or our business associate may use information about you, including your name, address, telephone number and dates you received care, in order to contact you for fundraising purposes. You have the right to opt out of receiving these communications from us. If you do not want us to contact you for fundraising purposes, notify Heather Young at 1-800 226-0373 and indicate that you do not wish to receive fundraising communications.
AUTHORIZATIONS TO USE OR DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION
Other than the permitted uses and disclosures described above, CHOT will not use or disclose your health information without an authorization signed by you or your personal representative. If you or your representative signed a written authorization allowing us to use or disclose your health information, you may cancel the authorization (in writing) at any time. If you cancel your authorization, we will follow your instructions except to the extent that we have already relied upon your authorization and taken action.
The following uses and disclosures for your health information will be made only with your signed authorization:
- Uses and disclosures for marketing purposes
- Uses and disclosures that constitute a sale of health information
- Most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes, if we maintain psychotherapy notes
- Any other uses and disclosures not described in this Notice
You have the following rights regarding your health information that the Hospice maintains:
- Right to request restrictions. You may request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. You have the right to request a limit on CHOT’s disclosure of your health information to someone who is involved in your care or the payment of your care. However, CHOT is not required to agree to your request, unless your request is for a restriction on a disclosure to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations (and is not for purposes of treatment) and the medical information you are requesting to be restricted from disclosure pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid out of pocket in full. If you wish to make a request for restrictions, please contact the Compliance Officer at 1-800-226-0373. We will not request that you provide any reasons for confidential communications.
- Right to receive confidential communications. You have the right to request that CHOT communicate with you in a certain way. For example, you may ask that CHOT only conduct communications pertaining to your health information with you privately with no other family members present. If you wish to receive confidential communications, please contact the Compliance Officer at 1-800-226-0373. CHOT will not request that you provide any reasons for your request and will attempt to honor your reasonable requests for confidential communications.
- Right to inspect and copy your health information. You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, including billing records. A request to inspect and copy records containing your health information may be made to the Compliance Officer at 1-800-226-0373. If you request a copy of your health information, CHOT may charge a reasonable fee for copying and assembling costs associated with your request.
You have the right to request that we provide you, an entity or a designated individual with an electronic copy of your electronic health record containing your health information. We may require you to pay the labor costs incurred in responding to your request.
- Right to amend health care information. If you or your representative believes that your health information records are incorrect or incomplete, you may request that CHOT amend the records. That request may be made as long as the information is maintained by us. A request for an amendment of records must be made in writing to the Compliance Officer at 1-800-226-0373. CHOT may deny the request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason for the amendment. The request also may be denied if your health information records were not created by CHOT, if the records you are requesting are not part of the Hospice’s records, if the health information you wish to amend is not part of the health information you or your representative are permitted to inspect and copy, or if, in the opinion of CHOT, the records containing your health information are accurate and complete.
- Right to an accounting. You or your representative have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by CHOT. The request for an accounting must be made in writing to the Compliance Officer at Community Healthcare of Texas, 600 Western Place Suite 105, Ft. Worth, TX 76107. Request should specify the time period for the accounting starting on April 14, 2003. Accounting requests may not be made for periods of time in excess of six years. CHOT would provide the first accounting you request during any 12-month period without charge. Subsequent accounting requests may be subject to a reasonable, cost-based fee.
- Right to opt out of fundraising. You or your representative have the right to opt out of receiving fundraising communications. Instructions for how to opt out are included in each fundraising solicitations you receive.
- Right to receive notification of a breach. You or your representative have the right to receive notification of a breach of your unsecured health information. If you have questions regarding what constitutes a breach or your rights with respect to breach notification, please contact the Compliance Officer at 1-800-226-0373
- Right to a paper copy of this notice. You or your representative have a right to a separate paper copy of this Notice at any time even if you or your representative have received this Notice previously. To obtain a separate paper copy, please contact the Compliance Officer at. 1-800-226-0373 The patient or a representative may also obtain a copy of the current version of the Notice of Privacy Practices at its website, www.chot.org.
DUTIES OF COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE OF TEXAS
CHOT is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide to you and your representative this Notice of its duties and privacy practices. CHOT is required to abide by terms of this Notice as may be amended from time to time. CHOT reserves the right to change the terms of its Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all health information that it maintains. If CHOT changes its Notice, CHOT will provide a copy of the revised Notice to you or your appointed representative at your request. CHOT will post a copy of the current Notice in a clear and prominent location and on the CHOT website (CHOT.org) to which you have access. The Notice contains, at the end of this document, the effective date.
You or your personal representative have the right to express complaints to CHOT and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you or your representative believe that your privacy rights have been violated. Any complaints to CHOT should be made in writing to the Compliance Officer. We encourage you to express any concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information. You will not be penalized in any way for filing a complaint.
The CHOT contact person for all issues regarding patient privacy and your rights under the federal privacy standards is The Compliance Officer, Community Healthcare of Texas, 6100 Western Place, Suite 105, Ft. Worth, Texas 76107, 1-800-226-0373.
This Notice is effective January 1, 2020.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS NOTICE, PLEASE CONTACT:
Kristy Johnke, Compliance Officer, Community Healthcare of Texas
6100 Western Place, Suite 105, Ft. Worth, Texas 76107