HIPAA Privacy Notice
Osceola County is required by federal and state laws to maintain the privacy of your Protected Health Information. The law also requires us to give you a Notice telling you about the law, your rights, and our privacy practices. This Notice applies ONLY to those departments, divisions, or units that support your health care needs. They are:
Human Resources/Benefit Services Unit Corrections Department/Inmate Medical Fire Rescue/EMS
HOW WE MAY USE OR DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION:
As a part of our day-to-day activities, Osceola County may need to create, receive, or keep medical information about you. To provide treatment, to handle billing and payment activities, and to manage our services, we may use and disclose (share) your protected health care information without first getting your written approval.
Examples of how we might use or disclose your information include the following activities:
For Treatment: We may use Health Information about you to provide you with treatment-related health care services. We may use your medical information to arrange transportation and to coordinate the delivery of appropriate care through contracted providers. We might use your information to contract with Health Care Providers and Plans for medical treatment for members of Employee Benefit Plans. Your information may also be shared with the County’s Business Associates in connection with treatment.
For Payment: We may use and disclose Health Information about you so that we or others may bill and receive payment from you, an insurance company or a third party for the treatment and services you received.
For Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose Health Information for health care operations purposes. These uses and disclosures are necessary to make sure that you receive quality care, to verify that you are actually receiving the services that are scheduled and develop better ways to provide care. We may also disclose your health information to health plans that provide you insurance coverage and other health care providers that care for you. We may also use or disclose your information as necessary for legal, auditing, and management purposes.
OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES OR SPECIAL SITUATIONS:
As Required by Law: We may disclose Health Information when required to do so by international, federal, state, or local law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety: We may use and disclose Health Information when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.
To Business Associates: We may disclose Health Information to our business associates that perform functions on our behalf or provide us with services if the information is necessary for such functions or services. For example, we may use another company to perform billing services on our behalf. All of our business associates are obligated to protect the privacy of your information and are not allowed to use or disclose any information other than as permitted by the terms of an applicable Business Associate Agreement.
For Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose Health Information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
USES AND DISCLOSURES THAT REQUIRE US TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT AND OPT OUT:
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care: Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your Health Information that directly relates to that person’s involvement in your health care. For example, if a family member calls us with prior knowledge of a claim, we may confirm whether or not the claim has been received and paid. If you are unable to communicate, such as in an emergency, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment.
Disaster Relief: We may disclose Health Information to disaster relief organizations that seek your Health Information to coordinate your care, or notify family and friends of your location or condition in a disaster. We will provide you with an opportunity to agree or object to such a disclosure whenever we practically can do so.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU:
Right to Inspect and Copy: You have a right to inspect and copy Health Information that may be used to make decisions about your care or payment for your care. This includes medical and billing records about you, or enrollment, payment, claims adjudication, and case or medical management systems, as applicable. You have the right to access in order to inspect and obtain a copy of your Health Information contained in your designated record set, except for (1) psychotherapy notes; (2) information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or for use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding; and (3) Health Information maintained by us to the extent to which the provision of access to you would be prohibited by law. To inspect and copy this Health Information, you must make your request, in writing, to the address listed at the end of this notice. We have up to 30 days to make your Health Information available to you and we may charge you a reasonable fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. We may deny your request under certain limited circumstances. If we do deny your request, you have the right to have the denial reviewed by a licensed healthcare professional who was not directly involved in the denial of your request, and we will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to an Electronic Copy of Electronic Medical Records: If your Health Information is maintained in an electronic format (known as an electronic medical record or an electronic health record), you have the right to request that an electronic copy of your record be given to you or transmitted to another individual or entity. We will make every effort to provide access to your Health Information in the form or format you request, if it is readily producible in such form or format. If the Health Information is not readily producible in the form or format you request your record will be provided in either our standard electronic format or if you do not want this form or format, a readable hard copy form. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for the labor associated with transmitting the electronic medical record.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures we made of Health Information for purposes other than treatment, payment and health care operations or for which you did not provide a written authorization. The first accounting of disclosures in any 12 month period will be free. Any additional requests within that same time period may be charged a reasonable cost-based fee. To request an accounting of disclosures, you must make your request, in writing, to the address listed at the end of this notice.
Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the Health Information we use or disclose for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the Health Information we disclose to someone involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not share information about a particular medication with your spouse. To request a restriction, you must make your request, in writing and describe the specific restriction, to the address listed at the end of this notice. We are not required to agree to your request unless you are asking us to restrict the use and disclosure of your Health Information to a health plan for payment or health care operation purposes and such information you wish to restrict pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid us “out-of-pocket” in full. If we agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment or otherwise required by law.
Right to Request Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location if you state that the disclosure of information could endanger you. For example, you can ask that we only contact you by mail or at work. To request confidential communications, you must make your request, in writing, to the address listed at the end of this notice. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted. We will accommodate reasonable requests.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE:
We reserve the right to change this notice and make the new notice apply to Health Information we already have as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of our current notice at our locations and website.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our office or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with our office, contact:
Osceola County Human Resources Department
1 Courthouse Square, Suite 4200
Kissimmee, Florida 34741