Privacy Statement

Provider 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.

Uses & Disclosures of Health Information
We use health information about you for treatment, to obtain payment for treatment, and for other allowable healthcare purposes. Continuity of care is part of treatment and your records may be shared with other providers to whom you are referred. Information may be shared by paper mail, electronic mail, fax, or other methods. We may use or disclose identifiable health information about you without your authorization for several reasons.

Subject to certain requirements, we may give out health information without your authorization for public health purposes, for auditing purposes, for research studies, and for emergencies. We provide information when otherwise required by law, such as for law enforcement in specific circumstances. In any other situation, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing any identifiable health information about you. If you choose to sign an authorization to disclose information, you can later revoke that authorization to stop any future uses and disclosures.

We may change our policies at any time. Before we make a significant change in our policies, we will change our notice and post the new notice in the MICU. You can also request a copy of our notice at any time. For more information about our privacy practices, contact the person listed below.

Individual Rights
In most cases, you have the right to look at or get a copy of health information about you that we use to make decisions about you. If you request copies we will charge you, the patient, normal photocopy fees. All authorized or by law requests made by others will be charged for production of medical records per the department’s schedule of charges. You also have the right to receive a list of instances where we have disclosed health information about you for reasons other than treatment, payment, healthcare operations, related administrative purposes, and when you explicitly authorized it.

If you believe that information in your record is incorrect or if important information is missing, you have the right to request that we correct the existing information or add the missing information. You have the right to request that we restrict the use and disclosure of you health information above what is required by law.

If we accept your request for restricted use and disclosure then we must abide by the request and may only reverse the position after you have been appropriately notified. You have the right to request an alternative means of communications with us. You are not required to explain why you want the alternative means of communication.

Complaints
If you are concerned that we have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your records, you may contact the person listed below. You also may send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The person listed below can provide you with the appropriate address upon request.

Our Legal Duty
We are required by law to protect the privacy of your information, provide this notice about our information practices, follow the information practices that are described in this notice, and obtain your acknowledgement of receipt of this notice.

Second Layer
For further details about your rights and the federal Privacy Rule, refer to the second layer of this policy. You can ask the attendant for the second layer, contact the below individual, or visit our web site at www.cityofmesquite.com. If you have any questions or complaints, please contact:
Mesquite Fire Department
EMS Coordinator
PO Box 850137
Mesquite, TX 75185-0137
(972) 216-6267

HIPAA Layer 2
Provider Notice of Privacy Practices
Layer 2

1. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
Following are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health care information that the provider is permitted to make. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but to describe the types of uses and disclosures.

Treatment: We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. This includes the coordination or management of your health care with a third party that has already obtained your permission to have access to your protected health information. For example, we would disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to the hospital that provides care to you. We will also disclose protected health information to other providers who may be treating you when we have the necessary permission from you to disclose your protected health information. For example, your protected health information may be provided to a provider to whom you have been referred to ensure that the provider has the
necessary information to diagnose or treat you. In addition, we may disclose your protected health information from time-to-time to another provider (e.g., a specialist or laboratory) who, at the request of your provider, becomes involved in your care by providing assistance with your health care diagnosis or treatment.

Payment: Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. This may include certain activities that your health insurance plan may undertake before it approves or pays for the health care services we recommend for you such as; making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you for medical necessity, and undertaking utilization review activities. For example, obtaining approval for ambulance treatment and transportation may require that your relevant protected health information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the service.

Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose, as-needed, your protected health information in order to support our business activities. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training of EMS and medical students, licensing, marketing and fundraising activities, and conducting or arranging for other business activities.

Business Associates: We will share your protected health information with third party business associates that perform various activities (e.g., billing, transcription services). Whenever an arrangement between a business associate and us involves the use or disclosure of your protected health information, we will have a written contract that contains terms that will protect the privacy of your protected health information.

Marketing: We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. We may also use and disclose your protected health information for other marketing-like activities. For example, your name and address may be used to send you a newsletter about the services we offer. We may also send you information about products or services that we believe may be beneficial to you. You may contact us to request that these materials not be sent to you. We may use or disclose your demographic information and the dates that you received treatment from your provider, as necessary, in order to contact you for fundraising activities supported by our Department. If you do not want to receive these materials, please contact us and request that these fundraising materials not be sent to you.

Uses & Disclosures of Protected Health Information Based upon your Written Authorization
Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information will be made only with your written authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law as described below. You may revoke this authorization, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that your provider has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.

Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures that may be made with your Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use and disclose your protected health information in the following instances. You have the opportunity to agree or object to the use or disclosure of all or part of your protected health information. If you are not present or able to agree or object to the use or disclosure of the protected health information, then your provider may, using professional judgment, determine whether the disclosure is in your best interest. In this case, only the protected health information that is relevant to your health care will be disclosed.

Others Involved in Your Healthcare: Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your protected health information that directly relates to that person’ s involvement in your health care. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment. We may use or disclose protected health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care of your location, general condition or death. Finally, we may use or disclose your protected health information to an authorized public or private entity to assist in disaster relief efforts and to coordinate uses and disclosures to family or other individuals involved in your health care.

Emergencies: We may use or disclose your protected health information in an emergency treatment situation. If this happens, your provider shall try to provide you a Notice of Privacy Practices as soon as reasonably practicable after the delivery of treatment.

Communication Barriers: We may use and disclose your protected health information if your provider attempts to obtain acknowledgement from you of the Notice of Privacy Practices but is unable to do so due to substantial communication barriers and the provider determines, using professional judgment, that you would agree.

Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made Without Your Authorization or
Opportunity to Object

We may use or disclose your protected health information in the following situations without your authorization. These situations include:

Required by Law: We may use or disclose your protected health information as required by law and limited to the relevant requirements of the law. You will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.

Public Health: We may disclose your protected health information for public health purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury, or disability.

Communicable Diseases: We may disclose your protected health information, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.

Health Oversight: We may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws.

Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your protected health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, we may disclose your protected health information, if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the governmental entity or agency authorized to receive such information. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.

Food and Drug Administration: We may disclose your protected health information to a person or company required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product problems, or track products; to enable product recalls; to make repairs or replacements; or to conduct post marketing surveillance, as required.

Legal Proceedings: We may disclose protected health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized), in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process.

Law Enforcement: We may disclose protected health information, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes. These law enforcement purposes include legal processes, limited information requests for identification and location purposes, pertaining to victims of a crime, and suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct.

Coroners, Funeral Directors, and Organ Donation: We may disclose protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, determining cause of death or for the coroner or medical examiner to perform other duties authorized by law. We may also disclose protected health information to a funeral director, as authorized by law, in order to permit the funeral director to perform his or her duties. We may disclose such information in reasonable anticipation of death. Protected health information may be used and disclosed for cadaveric organ, eye, or tissue donation purposes.

Research: We may disclose your protected health information to researchers when their research has been approved by an Institutional Review Board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your protected health information.

Criminal Activity: Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, we may disclose your protected health information, if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. We may also disclose protected health information, if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.

Military Activity and National Security: When the appropriate conditions apply, we may use or disclose protected
health information of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits, or (3) to foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military. We may also disclose your protected health information to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities.

Workers Compensation: We may disclose your protected health information as authorized to comply with workers compensation laws and other similar legally established programs.

Inmates: We may use or disclose your protected health information, if you are an inmate of a correctional facility and your provider created or received your protected health information in the course of providing care to you.

Required Uses and Disclosures: Under the law, we must make disclosures when required by the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate our compliance.

2. Your Rights
Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your protected health information and a brief description of how you may exercise these rights.

You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information. This means you may inspect and obtain a copy of protected health information about you that is contained in a designated record set for as long as we maintain the protected health information. A designated record set contains medical and billing records and any other records that your provider uses for making decisions about you.

Under federal law you may not inspect or copy the following records; psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, and protected health information that is subject to law that prohibits access to protected health information. Depending on the circumstances, a decision to deny access may be reviewable. In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed. Please contact our Privacy Contact if you have questions about access to your medical record.

You have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply.

We are not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. If we believe it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your protected health information, your protected health information will not be restricted. If we do agree to the requested restriction, we may not use or disclose your protected health information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment. With this in mind, please discuss any restriction you wish to request with us. You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests. We may also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request.

You may have the right to have your provider amend your protected health information. This means you may request in writing an amendment of protected health information about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement in writing with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. All requests for amendment and filed statements will be limited to one 81/2 X 11in page, single sided, single spaced, with no smaller than an 8 font type. Please contact us, if you have questions about amending your medical record.

You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your protected health information. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. It excludes disclosures we may have made to you, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes. You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations.

You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us, upon request, even if you have agreed to accept this notice electronically. If you have any questions or complaints, please contact:
Mesquite Fire Department
EMS Coordinator
PO Box 850137
Mesquite, TX 75185-0137
(972) 216-6267
END of Second and Final Layer of Notice of Privacy Practices

Effective Date: 04-14-2003