Privacy Policy

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.

GENERAL – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses respects your confidentiality and privacy. We keep anything we learn about you confidential, and we have policies and procedures in place that protect your personal health information.

COLLECTION & USE OF PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
To provide services to you, we must collect information about you and your health care needs from you and from others (e.g., insurance companies, hospitals, physicians, family members, other caregivers). We may also share information about you and your health care needs with the members of our health care team, as well as physicians, hospitals, other healthcare providers, people involved directly in your care, insurance companies, and so forth. Here are some examples of how we may use your personal health information:

  • To communicate with your physician about your care to ensure that your care plan is kept up-to-date and your needs are met.
  • To share information about your care with your insurer or health plan in order to receive payment and authorization for your care.
  • For review and learning purposes within our company to help ensure we are providing quality care.

For other disclosures not related to your treatment, payment to Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses, or our general health care operations, we must have your signature on a specific authorization form. There are a few situations in which we may release information about your care without seeking your permission. These are all clearly defined in laws and government regulations, which we must follow. For example:

  • When a law enforcement official presents us with a subpoena, warrant or court order to see your records.
  • When an accrediting body (like the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations or the Community Health Accreditation Program) asks to see your records to ensure that we are providing quality healthcare.
  • When a government regulatory agency or oversight board asks to see your records to ensure that we are conforming to laws and regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA).

YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS
You have the right:

  • To know and see the information about your care in our files and to request copies of your medical chart. You must give us reasonable time to prepare for your visit to our office to see the records or to make copies of your information. If you cannot see the records personally, you may designate someone to do so on your behalf.
  • To request that certain people NOT have access to your personal health information. We ask that you provide this information to our staff.

VISUAL IMAGES
Photographs, videotapes, and digital or other images may need to be recorded to document your care. Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses retains ownership rights to these photographs, videotapes, and digital or other images. We will store them in a secure manner in order to protect your privacy. You have the right to view these images.

E-MAIL

  • Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses may occasionally communicate information about your care via e-mail. There are a number of risks associated with e-mail.
  • E-mail can be circulated, forwarded and stored electronically.
  • E-mail message can be printed.
  • E-mail senders can misaddress an e-mail.
  • E-mail is easier to falsify than handwritten or signed documents.
  • Backup copies of e-mail exist even after the sender of the recipient has deleted the message.
  • E-mail can be intercepted, altered, forwarded or used without authorization and often without detection.
  • E-mail can contain viruses, which may be introduced into computer systems.

Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses uses reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of e-mail information that is sent and received. However, because of the risks outlined above, Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of the information.

We take the following precautions with e-mail containing confidential information.

  • We will, where possible, remove any detailed identifying information (e.g., refer to you by first name and last initial or by our internal client number, instead of by your full name).
  • We will print all e-mails about your health care treatment or payment and make them part of your record.
  • We will only send e-mails from Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses computer system, which are password-protected to help guard against unauthorized access and use.
  • Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses employees who receive e-mail regarding your treatment and payment may forward messages internally to other Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses employees. However, e-mail will not be forwarded to independent third parties without your written authorization unless required by law.

Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses does not use e-mail to communicate sensitive medical information regarding sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV, mental health, developmental disabilities or substance abuse. If there are other types of information you do not wish to be transmitted via e-mail, please notify us as soon as possible.

Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses’ employees endeavor to read and respond to e-mails promptly. However, we recommend that you avoid e-mail for emergencies or time-sensitive matters.

CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
On occasion we may need to update or change this Privacy Notice. Changes will be posted on our web site.