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Your privacy is a high priority for us

Privacy Policy
Your privacy will be treated with the highest degree of confidentiality. To read our privacy Practices, please see below.

The Provider will give residents access to protected health information concerning themselves in accordance with applicable laws. This Policy and Procedure sets forth the conditions under which it will do so.

Procedure
1. Person Granted Access
If competent, the resident will have access to his or her own protected health information. Otherwise, access will be by the resident’s personal representative. If the resident is incompetent, this is an individual who has legal authority to act on the resident’s behalf. This consists of a conservator of the resident’s person or an agent under power of attorney for healthcare. In addition, where the resident is receiving care in a skilled nursing facility, it includes any next of kin. If the resident is deceased, it consists of the resident’s estate or any beneficiary who will inherit the property from the resident. [45 C.F.R. §§164.524(a) & 164.502(g)(2), (4); Cal. Health and Safety Code §123105(c). (e)].

a. Right of Access
The right of access consists of the right of either to inspect or to obtain copies of the protected health information. [45 C.F.R. §164.524(a)(1); Cal. Health & Safety Code §123110(a),(b)].
b. Right to Inspect
A resident or personal representative who desires to inspect protected health information will submit a written request to the Provider [45 C.F.R. §164.524(b)(1); Cal. Health & Safety Code §123110(a)]. The Provider will impose no charge [45 C.F.R. §164.524(c)(4); no application of Cal. Health & Safety §123110(a) allowing charging of "reasonable clerical costs incurred in locating and making information available"]. The Provider will allow inspection in a timely manner, but in no event more than five working days after receiving the written request [45 C.F.R. §164.524(c)(3); Cal. Health and Safety Code §123110(a)]. Inspection will occur during normal business hours in the area where the protected health information is retained, unless the Provider decides to proceed in another manner for good reason [45 C.F.R. §164.524(c)(3); Cal. Health and Safety Code §123110(a)]. The resident or personal representative carrying out the inspection may be accompanied by one other person of his or her own choosing [Cal. Health &Safety Code §123110(a)].

2. Right to Receive Copies
A resident or personal representative who desires to obtain a copy of protected health information about the resident will submit a written request to the Provider [45 C.F.R. §164.524(b)(1); Cal. Health & Safety Code §123110(b)]. The Provider may charge a reasonable fee based on the cost of making the copies available, including the cost of labor, the cost of photocopying machine and supplies, and the cost of postage. The cost charged in any event shall not exceed twenty-five cents per page or fifty cents per page for records that are copied from microfilm [45 C.F.R. §164.524(c)(4); Cal. Health &Safety Code §123110(b)]. The Provider will make the photocopies available in a timely manner and in any event will transmit the copies within fifteen calendar days after receiving the written request [45 C.F.R. §164.524(c)(3); Cal. Health & Safety Code §123110(b)]. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Provider may withhold the photocopies if the resident or personal representative fails to pay the charges that are due. In this case, the Provider will give the resident or personal representative written notice as to the reason for not making the protected health information available. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Provider will provide the copies free of charge if they are being requested to support an appeal by or on behalf of the resident regarding eligibility for a public benefit program [Cal. Health & Safety Code §123110(d),(e),(f)].

3. Exceptions
The Provider may refuse to grant a resident or personal representative access to protected health information in any of the circumstances set forth below.

a. Protected Health Information Given in Confidence by Another Person
The Provider will not allow access to a resident or personal representative to protected health information about the resident that was given in confidence by someone else other than another provider [45 C.F.R. §164.524(a)(2)(v); Cal. Health & Safety Code §123105(d)].
b. Information Concerning Other Persons
The Provider will refuse to allow access to resident protected health information about other individuals, such as family members, if a licensed health care professional determines, in the exercise of his or her professional judgment, that access by the resident or personal representative is reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the other person. In that case, the resident or personal representative may request review of the denial of access [45 C.F.R. §164.524(a)(3)(i); Cal. Health & Safety Code §123105(d)(definition of "patient records" excludes records pertaining to persons other than the patient)].
c. Limitation on Access by Personal Representatives
The provider may deny access to the resident’s personal representative if it believes, in the exercise of professional judgment, that access is reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the resident or to another person [45 C.F.R. §164.524(a)(3)(iii)]. In that case, the resident or personal representative may request review of the denial of access.
d. Mental Health Information
The provider will refuse a resident access to mental health information where it determines that access would bring a substantial risk of adverse consequences to the resident. This does not apply to requests for access by the resident’s personal representative. When it refuses access, the Provider will note the date of the request and the reason for the denial and will inform the resident of his or right to have a physician, clinical psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or family therapist review the record on the resident’s behalf. Any professional so chosen may not permit the resident himself or herself to inspect or receive a copy of the information [Cal. Health & Safety Code §123115(b); no application of 45 C.F.R. §164.524(a)(1)(i)].

4. Summary of Information
If the resident or personal representative agrees, the Provider may provide the summary of health information requested in lieu of providing access to the actual information. In that case, the Provider may charge reasonable fees, based on the actual time and cost of preparing the summary, provided that the resident or personal representative agrees to them beforehand. The Provider will furnish the summary in a timely manner provided that it does so within ten working days of receiving the written request for access. The time period may be extended to thirty calendar days if the information being summarized is lengthy or if the information concerns care given within the previous ten calendar days. [45 C.F.R. §164.524(c)(2)(ii),(3)(4)(iii)].

5. Grant of Access
If it grants access to protected health information, the Provider will provide the resident or personal representative with written notice.

6. Denial of Access
a. Notice of Denial
If it is disposed to deny access to protected health information, the Provider will inform the resident or personal representative in writing in a timely manner, but in no event later than the maximum time periods set forth in this Policy and Procedure for granting access. The written notification will include the reason for the denial, any review rights that the resident has under this Policy and Procedure, and a description of how the resident or personal representative may file a complaint with the provider under the Provider’s general complaint procedures concerning the use and disclosure of protected health information {45 C.F.R. §164.524(d)(2)]
b. Request for Review of Denial
The resident or personal representative may request a review of a denial made under Section 3.b, 3.c, or 3.d. The resident or personal representative will do so by presenting the Provider with a written notice.
c. Review of Denial
If the resident or personal representative requests a review of a denial under Section 3.a or 3.c of this Policy and Procedure, the Provider will designate a licensed health care professional who was not directly involved in the denial to review the decision to deny access. The reviewer will determine, within a reasonable period of time, whether or not the decision to deny access was based on the proper standards in this Policy and Procedure. The Provider will promptly provide written notice to the resident or personal representative of the reviewer’s decision and will take any further action necessary to carry out the reviewer’s decision [45 C.F.R. §164.524(d)(4)]

7. Documentation
The Provider will retain documentation of the following [45 C.F.R. §164.524(e)]:
The types of protected health information that are subject to access under this Policy and Procedure; and
The titles of the person’s in the Provider’s workforce who are responsible for receiving and processing requests for access.

 
 
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