HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices
EFFECTIVE: February 1, 2023
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.
vitaCare Prescription Services, Inc. (“VPS” or “we”) is required to provide you with this HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices (“Notice”), which explains our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information (“PHI”). We must act in accordance with this Notice. We are also required, as described below, to maintain the privacy of your PHI, abide by the terms of this Notice (as currently in effect), and notify you following a breach of unsecured PHI.
This Notice describes, in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule, how VPS may use and disclose your PHI and your rights with respect to your PHI.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI for Treatment, Payment and Health Care Operations Purposes
We are permitted to make certain types of uses and disclosures of your PHI, without your authorization, for treatment, payment, and health care operations purposes.
- Treatment. We may use and disclose your PHI to treat you. For example, we may receive written, verbal, facsimile or electronic health information and prescription orders for you and will use PHI to have prescription medications dispensed to you. We may also disclose your information to other health care providers to coordinate your treatment and provide you with prescriptions, lab work or other health care. We may contact you to provide treatment-related services, such as refill reminders, treatment alternatives, and other health related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
- Payment. We may use and disclose your PHI to obtain payment for products and services. For example, we may use your PHI to determine responsibility for coverage and benefits, assist in making eligibility and coverage determinations, or for utilization review activities.
- Operations. We may use and disclose your PHI to carry out health care operations. For example, we may use your PHI to conduct quality assessment and improvement activities, provide training, conduct medical reviews and auditing functions, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs, and engage in business planning and development.
Other Uses and Disclosures that are Permitted or Required by the HIPAA Privacy Rule
In addition, we may use or disclose your PHI without your authorization as required or permitted by federal or state law, including uses and disclosures that are:
- required by law, provided the use or disclosure complies with and is limited to the relevant requirements of such law;
- for public health activities such as disease prevention or control or to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
- to an appropriate government authority regarding victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence;
- to a health oversight agency for oversight activities authorized by law including, for example, audits, investigations, inspections and licensure necessary for oversight of government programs utilizing health information;
- in connection with judicial and administrative proceedings provided efforts have been made to notify you of the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested;
- to a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes provided certain conditions are met;
- to a coroner, medical examiner or funeral director for specific purposes;
- to cadaveric organ, eye or tissue donation programs to facilitate donations;
- for research purposes, as long as certain privacy-related standards are satisfied;
- to avert a serious threat to health or safety;
- for specialized government functions (e.g., military and veterans activities, national security and intelligence, federal protective services, medical suitability determinations, correctional institutions and other law enforcement custodial situations); and
- for workers’ compensation or other similar programs established by law that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness without regard to fault.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI with Your Written Authorization
Certain uses and disclosures of PHI require your authorization, such as any use or disclosure of psychotherapy notes, the use or disclosure of PHI for marketing purposes, and the sale of PHI. Such uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization, and you may revoke your authorization in writing at any time. Upon receipt of the written revocation, we will stop using or disclosing PHI about you, except to the extent that we have already taken action in reliance on the authorization.
In the below cases, to the extent applicable, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
- Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
- Share information in a disaster relief situation
- Include your information in a hospital directory
- Contact you for fundraising efforts
If we contact you for fundraising, you can tell us not to contact you again.
If you are not able to tell us your preference, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.
More Stringent Laws
We also may be subject to state health information privacy laws that are more stringent than the federal requirements. If your state has a more stringent law, we are required to follow that law, and will do so.
You have the following rights with respect to your PHI:
- Request a Restriction. You have the right to request that we restrict uses and disclosures of your PHI to carry out treatment, payment, or health care operations. . While you are permitted to make this request, we are not required to agree to such requests, with one exception. Specifically, if you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer, unless we are required by law to share that information.
- Confidential Communications. You have the right to request, in writing, that you receive communications of PHI by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests;
- Access PHI. You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of your PHI. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for the labor and supplies associated with making the copy, whether on paper or in electronic form;
- Amend PHI. You have the right to request to amend and correct inaccurate PHI;
- Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to receive a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your PHI. We will include all disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We will provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months; and
- Electronic Copy. You have the right to receive a paper copy of this Notice upon request, even if you agreed to receive the Notice electronically.
Updates to this Notice
We reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all PHI we maintain. When we make changes to this Notice, such revised Notice will be available upon request and on our website.
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you may submit a complaint to us in writing (using the contact information set forth below) or to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights at the appropriate regional address or at their website at:https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/smartscreen/main.jsf. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
How to Contact Us
If you would like to exercise your rights described in this Notice or if you have questions or would like additional information about our privacy practices, please email our Compliance Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll-free at 1-800-350-3819, option 6, Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 8 PM ET or Saturday between 9 AM and 5 PM ET.
You may also contact us at the following address:
vitaCare Prescription Services, Inc.
Attn: Privacy Department
951 Yamato Road, Suite 160
Boca Raton, FL 33431