By Emilie DiChristina, MBA for PracticeFirst
Notice of Privacy Practices
As covered entities, provider practices must have an updated Notice of Privacy Practice posted in their facilities, and must be offering and receiving signatures for any new patient (new after 9/23/2103) on their receipt of the new NPP.
Not only are you, as covered entities required to post and give the new version of the NPP, the notice must be provided in a clear, user-friendly fashion. As healthcare providers, we become used to acronyms and “special” language, but many of our patients and their families are only able to read and comprehend at somewhere between a 3rd. and 7th. grade reading level.
Further, if your practice has a significant number of patients who have a primary language other than English, you must also provide the NPP in that language or Languages as well.
You also have to be sure that your updated Notice of Privacy Practices is on your website, posted in your waiting areas and available for distribution
The Notice of Privacy Practices must also list all regulatory changes and your wording must provide that information to the patient.
Obviously, the NPP must still provide information to the patient on how you will use and disclose the patient information as well as the responsibility you have to protect the information gathered and used.
Uses and Responsibilities of the Practice: We have the right and approval to use information to:
- Run our business
- Treat and bill for your treatment
- To do research
- For designated public safety, emergency and legal disclosures
- When required for response to organ and tissue donation requests
- At the request of a medical examiner or funeral director
- When required by workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
- When required to respond to lawsuits and legal actions
- Our practice is required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
- Our practice will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
- Our practice must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of the notice.
- Our practice will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time by notifying us in writing.
The most significant changes are in the Patient Rights and Patient Choices.
Patient Rights (You have the right to…):
- Get a copy of your medical record whether it is in paper or electronic format
- Correct your paper or electronic medical record
- Request confidential communication (in other words request that notices, bills, or PHI be sent to an address other than that listed in the medical record
- Request limits on the information we share
- Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared your information (a disclosure record)
- Receive a copy of this privacy notice (and any updates or revisions to it)
- Designate someone to act for you in regard to your records
- File a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated
- Patients have choices in the way that information is shared and used:
- Tell family and friends about your condition
- Provide disaster relief
- Include you in a hospital directory
- Provide mental health care
- Market our services and sell your information
- Raise funds