SASH Notice of Privacy Practices
SASH is bound by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996) – the same privacy and confidentiality rules that apply to all health care providers – and takes this responsibility seriously. You can read full details about your rights under this law at the HIPAA website.
Here is a summary of your rights under HIPAA, how medical information about you as a SASH participant may be used and disclosed, and how you can obtain access to this information.
A. Your Health-Information Rights
You have the right to:
- Receive a copy and an explanation of these privacy practices.
- Understand how we intend to use and share your information with others.
- Look at and/or receive a copy of your health record (subject to some restrictions).
- Request that your health record be changed if you believe the information is incomplete or incorrect (subject to some restrictions).
- Receive a list of the people with whom we shared your information for reasons other than treatment, payment or day-to-day operations.
- Request restrictions on the sharing of your health information.*
- Request communications by alternative means or location.*
- File a complaint if you believe your rights under this agreement have been violated.
- Revoke any authorization that you give for use and disclosure of your health information.
(* While SASH is not required by law to agree to such requests, we will make every effort to accommodate your request whenever possible.)
B. Our Responsibilities
As required by law, the SASH partners accept their responsibility to maintain the privacy of any health information you share with us, to follow the terms of these privacy practices, and to promptly notify you in writing if there are any major changes to any of these practices. You also will be notified if there is ever an unauthorized use or disclosure of your health information.
We will not use or share your health information without authorization except as described in these privacy practices.
C. Routine Uses & Disclosures
With your authorization, the SASH partners will use and/or share your health information to:
- Coordinate care and support for you with the members of the SASH team.
- Facilitate transitions home for you from hospital and nursing home stays.
- Schedule or remind you about appointments.
- Let you know about services that may be of interest to you.
- Conduct operations such as quality assurance, performance improvement, staff education, accreditation and compliance reviews, or business planning.
- Record your health and wellness information on site in a secure paper or electronic record.
- Collaborate with your health insurer if it participates in SASH to guide and inform health programs and services.
- Electronic Exchange of Your Health Information. In some instances, we may transfer health information about you electronically to other health care providers who are providing you treatment or to the insurance plan providing payment for your treatment. Your health information may also be made available through the Vermont Health Information Exchange (“VHIE”). The VHIE is operated by Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) and your treating health care providers and others, as permitted by State and federal law, including public health authorities, may have access to your health information through the VHIE unless you have chosen to opt-out and are not in need of emergency treatment. For information about the VHIE, see: www.vitl.net
D. Legally Required Disclosures
Whether or not we have your authorization, the SASH partners may use and/or disclose protected health information when required by federal, state, or local law to:
- Report risks to public health.
- Prevent or lessen serious and imminent threats to health and safety.
- Report abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
- Respond to inquiries from law enforcement officials, medical review boards, and health agencies.
- Respond to subpoenas for a judicial and administrative proceeding.
- Respond to requests to government agencies responsible for national security.
- Provide information to coroners, medical examiners, or funeral directors
- Assist employers with workers’ compensation claims.
E. Other Uses and Disclosures
The SASH partners will not sell or release your name, address or other protected health information to another person for the purposes of marketing or fundraising efforts. In the unlikely event that we were to change this policy, we would sell or release your information only upon receiving your written authorization to do so.
Other uses and disclosures of your information will be made only with your written authorization, and you may revoke such authorization in writing at any time.
F. For More Information and/or a Copy of Your Health Record:
Please contact your SASH coordinator.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the Privacy Officer at the housing organization hosting your SASH program or with the Secretary of Health & Human Services, 200 Independence Ave., Washington D.C. 20201.