Press Releases

Date
04-08-2003

Name
Kelly CusackDirector, Public Relations and Marketing

Phone
708.229.5049

Fax
708.229.6733

Email
kcusack@lcmh.org

Little Company of Mary Notice of Privacy Practices

This notice is to inform you that the following entities shall operate as one single affiliated covered entity for HIPAA purposes only, and shall be collectively referred to as "Little Company of Mary":

  • Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers, 2800 W. 95th Street, Evergreen Park, IL
  • Little Company of Mary Home Care, 9800 S. Southwest Highway, Oak Lawn, IL
    • Little Company of Mary Hospice
    • Little Company of Mary Mobile Medicine and its Physicians
  • Little Company of Mary Behavioral Health, 2800 W. 95th Street, Evergreen Park, IL
  • Little Company of Mary Home Health Equipment Center, 5610 W. 95th Street, Oak Lawn, IL
  • Little Company of Mary Affiliated Services, Inc., 2850 W. 95th Street, Evergreen Park, IL, 4901 W. 79th Street, Burbank, IL, 5660 W. 95th Street, Oak Lawn, IL
  • Little Company of Mary Affiliated Physicians 12450 S. Harlem Avenue, Palos Heights, IL, 2850 W. 95th Street, Evergreen Park, IL
  • Little Company of Mary Diagnostic Center, 12432 S. Harlem Avenue, Palos Heights, IL
  • Little Company of Mary Care Station Physicians, 5660 W. 95th Street, Oak Lawn, IL

This notice describes the uses and disclosures of protected health information by Little Company of Mary and informs patients of their rights with respect to protected health information.


Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers shall operate as an Organized Health Care Arrangement (OHCA) for HIPAA purposes only, with all physicians who are credentialed and members of the Hospital's medical staff. This Joint Privacy Notice describes the uses and disclosures of protected health information by all who participate in this aforementioned OHCA.


The use of a Joint Notice and Acknowledgement Form, as part of an OHCA, is being done only for patient convenience and to improve access to the delivery of health care services. The physician(s) providing services through the aforementioned OHCA are independent contractors and not agents of Little Company of Mary and are solely responsible for their judgment and conduct in providing treatment and for their compliance with state and federal law.


THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU MAY ACCESS THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY.


How Little Company Of Mary May Use Or Disclose Your Health Information

Federal law requires Little Company of Mary to maintain the privacy of individually identifiable, protected health information (PHI) and to provide you with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to such information. Little Company of Mary must abide by the terms and conditions of this Privacy Notice, and Little Company of Mary may revise this Privacy Notice.


A. Uses Or Disclosures of Health Information for Treatment, Payment & Health Care Operations

Little Company of Mary may use your individually identifiable health information for treatment, payment and health care operations. Examples of treatment, payment and health care operations include:


"Treatment" includes sharing your information with any provider who is providing you with health services. This includes coordinating your care with other providers and providing referrals to other providers. The type of health information that Little Company of Mary could use or disclose includes, but is not limited to, such health conditions as blood type, diagnosis of your condition or pregnancy status. Little Company of Mary may use or disclose your individually identifiable health information for its own provision of treatment or may disclose such information for the treatment activities of another health care provider.


"Payment" includes Little Company of Mary's efforts to obtain reimbursement from you or a responsible third party for services that Little Company of Mary has provided you. Little Company of Mary may use or disclose your individually identifiable information for its own payment or for the payment and activities of another health care provider or health plan or health care clearinghouse.


"Health care operations" includes using your medical information to support and ensure quality health services are provided to you at Little Company of Mary. Some of the activities that would be part of our operations are quality assessment and improvement activities, employee review, licensure and accreditation, and audits of the process of billing you or a third party for health care services Little Company of Mary provides you. As part of Little Company of Mary's treatment of you and its operation of a heath care organization, Little Company of Mary may contact you, by phone or by mail, to provide appointment reminders or to provide information about treatment alternatives or other health-related services that may be of interest to you. Little Company of Mary also may contact you for fund-raising purposes. Little Company of Mary may use or disclose your individually identifiable health information for its own health care operation or for limited health care operations of a health plan, health care clearinghouse, or health care provider that is subject to certain federal health information privacy laws. The entity that receives this information must have or have had a treatment relationship with you and the information we disclose must pertain to that relationship.


B. Uses or Disclosures Little Company Of Mary May Make Without Your Authorization

In addition to treatment, payment and health care operations, and unless this Privacy Notice recites a more stringent restriction in Section C, the law permits or requires Little Company of Mary to make, use and/or disclose individually identifiable health information without your written authorization: (1) for certain public health activities and purposes, including reporting of adverse product events to the Food and Drug Administration, (2) to report suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence, (3) to assist an organ procurement organization or organ bank in facilitating organ or tissue donation and transplantation, (4) to further research, provided that Little Company of Mary complies with federal requirements, (5) to avert a serious and imminent threat to public health safety, (6) for specialized government functions, including activities related to the military, veterans, or national security, (7) to comply with workers' compensation or similar laws. Little Company of Mary will make the above uses and/or disclosures of information in accordance with applicable law.


In addition, Little Company of Mary may use and/or disclose your individually identifiable health information as follows:


Business associates: There are some services provided in Little Company of Mary through contracts with business associates, which are vendors, professionals and others who perform some treatment, payment or health care operation function on behalf of Little Company of Mary, or who otherwise provide services and have access to or use your protected health information. We may disclose your health information to our business associates so they can perform the job we have asked them to do and bill you or your third-party payer for services rendered. To protect your health information, however, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information by requiring they enter into an appropriate agreement with Little Company of Mary.


Directory: Unless you object, we will use your name, location in the facility, general condition, and religious affiliation for directory purposes. This information may be provided to members of the clergy and, except for religious affiliation, to other people who ask for you by name. If you are unable to object, we may use and disclose this information consistent with your prior expressed preference, if known, and the health professional's judgment.


Notification: Unless you object, health professionals, using their best judgment, may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or any person responsible for your care, your location, and general condition. If you are unable to object, we may exercise our professional judgment to determine if a disclosure is in your best interest and disclose only information that is directly relevant to the person's involvement with your health care.


Communication with family: Unless you object, health professionals, using their best judgment, may use or disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify, health information relevant to that person's involvement in your care or payment related to your care. If you are unable to object, we may exercise our professional judgment to determine if a disclosure is in your best interest and disclose only information that is directly relevant to the person's involvement with your health care.


Disaster Relief: We may use or disclose information for disaster relief purposes.


Incidental Uses and Disclosures: We are permitted to use and disclose information incident to another use or disclosure of your protected health information permitted or required under law.? 


Limited Data Sets: We may use or disclose a limited data set (i.e., in which certain identifying information has been removed) of your protected health information for purposes of research, public health or health care operations. Any recipient of that limited data set must agree to appropriately safeguard your information.


C. More Stringent Protection For Your Health Information

In certain cases, Illinois law provides more stringent privacy protections of your health information than this Privacy Notice lists above. For example, in some cases, Illinois requires that you provide permission for the use or disclosure of your individually identifiable health information. In those cases, Little Company of Mary must follow the state law even though certain federal health information privacy laws may not require permission. State law provides more stringent protection in the following areas of your PHI subset that: (1) is maintained in psychotherapy notes; (2) is about mental health and developmental disabilities services; (3) is about alcohol and drug abuse prevention, treatment and referral; (4) is about HIV/AIDS testing, diagnosis or treatment; (5) is about venereal disease(s); (6) is about genetic testing; (7) is about child abuse or neglect; (8) is about domestic abuse of an adult with a disability; or (9) is about sexual assault. For us to use or disclose your highly confidential information for a purpose other than those required by law, we must obtain your written authorization.


D. Marketing

We will need your written authorization to use and disclose your PHI for defined marketing purposes, except if the marketing is a face-to-face communication or if it involves a promotional gift of nominal value.


E. No Other Uses Or Disclosures Without Your Written Authorization

Little Company of Mary may not make any other uses and disclosures of your individually identifiable health information without your written authorization. You may revoke your authorization at any time if you provide written notice to Little Company of Mary.


F. Your Rights

Federal and state law protect your right to keep your individually identifiable health information private.


Your Right to Receive Confidential Communications and to Request Restrictions.

You may request that you receive communication from Little Company of Mary regarding individually identifiable health information by alternative means or at alternative locations. You must make your request for confidential communications in writing and must submit this request to a Little Company of Mary facility. Little Company of Mary reserves the right to condition your request on the receipt of information regarding how you desire Little Company of Mary to handle payment and/or on the availability of an alternative address or method of contact that you may request. You may request other restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations; however, the law does not require Little Company of Mary to agree to the requested restrictions unless the restriction request is a reasonable restriction on communication.


Your Right to Inspect and Copy 

You generally have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of any protected health information in your medical record, with the exception of psychotherapy notes, information compiled in anticipation of use in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding and certain other health information that the law restricts Little Company of Mary from disseminating. However, if you are a patient of certain types of providers or facilities, you may have a right to access your patient records or information on an unqualified basis. Specifically, the following:

  • If you are a patient at a facility that performs mammograms, you have the right to access your original mammograms and copies of your patient reports on an unqualified basis.
  • If you are a patient of a naprapath, acupuncturist or hospital, you have the right to access your patient records on an unqualified basis, upon written request.
  • If you are a patient of a physician, you have the right to access your medical data on an unqualified basis upon request.
  • If you are a recipient of mental health or developmental disabilities services and if you are age 12 or older, you have an unqualified right to inspect and copy your records. The following persons also have this right: (1) your guardian if you are age 18 or older; (2) an appointed agent under a power of attorney for health care that authorizes record access; (3) your parent or guardian if you are under age 12; (4) your parent or guardian if you are at least age 12 but under 18 and if certain conditions are satisfied; and (5) a guardian ad litem representing you in any judicial or administrative proceeding if you are age 12 or older.

Your Right to Amend 

You also have the right to amend your individually identifiable health information, unless Little Company of Mary did not create such information or unless Little Company of Mary determines that your medical record is accurate and complete in its existing form. Your Right to an Accounting You have the right to request and receive an accounting of disclosures of your individually identifiable health information that Little Company of Mary has made in either the six (6) years prior to the request date, or during the period between the request date and the date that federal law required Little Company of Mary to comply with federal privacy regulations, whichever is more recent. Such an accounting may not include disclosures made to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations, to create an accurate patient directory or notify persons involved in your care, to ensure national security, to comply with the authorized request of law enforcement, to inform you of the content of your medical records, or those disclosures which you have previously authorized pursuant to a validly executed authorization form.


If you would like more information on how to exercise these rights, please contact Little Company of Mary's Privacy Officer at 708-229-6397.


G. The Right To Get This Notice By E-Mail

You have the right to get a copy of this notice by e-mail. Even if you have agreed to receive notice via e-mail, you also have the right to request a paper copy of this notice.


H. Grievances Or Further Inquiries

If you believe that Little Company of Mary has violated your privacy rights with respect to individually identifiable health information, you may file a complaint with Little Company of Mary and the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with Little Company of Mary, please contact the Privacy Officer at 708-229-6397. Little Company of Mary will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. You also may contact the above office for a copy of this Privacy Notice or for further information regarding its contents.


I. Amendments

Little Company of Mary reserves the right to amend the terms of this Privacy Notice at any time and to apply the revised Privacy Notice to all individually identifiable health information that it maintains. If Little Company of Mary amends this Privacy Notice, you will be provided with a revised copy at your next visit to Little Company of Mary, or upon your request. 


This Privacy Notice is effective on April 14, 2003.


Rev. 1 -- 4/1/03

 



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