privacy policy

POLICY

Home health care staff and interdisciplinary team members provide confidentiality for client’s health history and clinical records.

PURPOSE

1. To protect the client’s right to privacy. To provide assurance to clients with infectious diseases such as HIV, absolute confidentiality.

2. To protect client clinical records from loss, alteration, unauthorized use or damage.

PROCEDURE

1. All requests for client information are reviewed to determine whether or not the individual requesting the information will be allowed access to the information

2. Access to client information is determined in the light of the requesting individual’s or agency’s involvement with the client’s clinical care and the nature of the client’s health insurance program:

a) Involvement with client clinical care:

1. Professional personnel directly involved with the client’s care, for example; the attending physician, social worker, physical and occupational therapists are permitted access to the client’s clinical record.
2. Telephone requests for access to client clinical information by professional personnel directly involved with the client’s clinical care are referred to the Director of Nursing.
3. Professional personnel not directly involved with the client’s clinical care are not permitted access to the client’s clinical record without a completed and signed Client Consent form allowing such access.

b) The nature of the client’s health insurance program:

1. Governmental and private agencies and individuals are permitted access to client information regarding health insurance claims in the light of current rules and regulations of the Social Security Administration regarding the disclosure of such information.
2. Disclosure of such client information regarding a health insurance claim according to Social Security rules and regulations requires a completed and signed Client Consent form.
3. Requests for information about a Medicare beneficiary, a Medicare claim, or other related information that may not be disclosed are referred to the Administrator of Home Health Care.
4. Individuals not directly involved with the client’s clinical care are not permitted access to the client’s clinical record without a completed and signed Client Consent form permitting such access.

3. A completed and signed Client Consent form must:

a) Specify the client’s name
b) Be signed and dated by the client or by someone authorized to act in the client’s behalf:

1. If the client is a minor, the consent form is signed by the client’s parent or guardian.
2. If the client has a legally appointed guardian, the consent form is signed by the guardian.
3. If the client is unable to sign the consent form but uses some other means to indicate approval, such means must be witnessed or notarized.
4. If the validity of a signature is questioned, the home health care agency may require a notarized signature.
5. If the client is deceased, signed consent is given by the person representing the client’s estate.

c) Specify that the home health care agency is authorized to disclose the client information.
d) Specify the information that the client is authorizing the home health care agency disclose the client information.
e) Specify the individual and/or agency to whom the information is being released.
f) Specify the purpose for which the information is being released.
g) Specify an expiration date for the consent that will not exceed two years from the date the consent form was signed.
h) Specify that the consent form may be revoked at any time.

4. Additional release of client information is dependent of further client consent.
5. Completed and signed consent forms and released client information are protected against their unauthorized use.
6. The original client clinical record is filed and locked in the home health care agency office.
7. Appropriate copies of client clinical records may whenever necessary be taken by home health care staff members to the client’s home in order to assist the staff members in providing home health care to the client.
8. The entire original client clinical record must not be removed from the home health care agency office except under subpoena for courts cases when the courts does not accept certified Xerox copies.
9. Original Client clinical records are filed and locked in the home health care agency office for 7 years after the month the cost report to which the clinical records pertain is filed with the intermediary.

 

 

Dignity Plus, Inc.
Licensed Home Health Care
675 S. Main Street
P.O. Box 173
Central Square, NY 13036
315-668-9381
315-668-2924 (fax)
e-mail: info@dignityplus.com

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