Valley Drug Store Pharmacy Privacy Policies (HIPAA) Notice of Privacy Practices Valley Drug Store is committed to compliance with all federal and state laws that pertain to any aspect of the clinical practices or the business procedures of this pharmacy. In particular, privacy and security rules relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), along with the related state laws, are integral to matters of privacy, pharmacy records, the confidentiality of communications and other topics addressed in this notice. The HIPAA Privacy Rule applies to all protected health information (PHI) in this pharmacy, including information stored and transmitted electronically, paper records and oral communications. PHI includes any information as it relates to the past, present or future physical or mental health condition of any of our customers; any prescriptions they have received; and payment information. 1. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Based Upon Your Written Consent You will be asked by your pharmacist to sign a consent form. Once you have consented to use and disclosure of your protected health information for treatment, payment and health care operations by signing the consent form, your pharmacist will use or disclose your protected health information as described in this Section 1. Your protected health information may be used and disclosed by your pharmacist, our pharmacy staff and others outside of our pharmacy that are involved in your care and treatment for the purpose of providing health care services to you. Following are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health care information that the pharmacy is permitted to make once you have signed our consent form. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but to describe the types of uses and disclosures that may be made by our pharmacy once you have provided consent. Treatment: We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. For example, we may disclose protected health information to physicians who may be treating you when we have to obtain a new or refill prescription. Your protected health information may also be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred to ensure that the physician has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you. In addition, we may disclose your protected health information from time-to-time to another pharmacy or health care provider (e.g., a specialist or laboratory) who, at the request of your physician, becomes involved in your care by providing assistance with your health care diagnosis or treatment to your physician. Payment: Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. This may include certain activities that your health insurance plan may undertake before it approves or pays for health care services, such as, making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you for medical necessity, and undertaking utilization review activities. For example, obtaining approval for a prescription may require that your relevant protected health information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the prescription. Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose, as-needed, your protected health information in order to support the business activities of Valley Drug Store. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training activities, licensing, marketing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities. For example, we may ask your name and your physician’s name when you deliver a prescription to be filled. We may also call you by name when your prescription is ready, and if necessary ask other information such as, but not limited to, address, date of birth or phone number, to make certain that you have the correct prescription. We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to contact you to remind you it is time to refill a prescription or that it is time for a follow up appointment. We may also contact you to remind you of any prescription that has not been picked up, any medication that is owed to you, any special order, to respond to a request made by you, or for any other reason that we feel necessary to provide you with continued quality care. If we are unable to speak with you directly, we may leave a message for you either on your answering machine or with a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify. Communications or disclosures of your protected health information may be in the form of verbal communications or electronic data transmissions (internet, facsimile, or e-mail). All legal measures will be taken to insure and protect the security of your protected health information. We will share your protected health information with third party “business associates” that perform various activities (e.g., billing services) for the pharmacy. Whenever an arrangement between our pharmacy and a business associate involves the use or disclosure of your protected health information, we will have a written contract that contains terms that will protect the privacy of your protected health information. We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. We may also use and disclose your protected health information for other marketing activities. For example, your name and address may be used to send you a newsletter about our pharmacy and the services we offer. We may also send you information about products or services that we believe may be beneficial to you. You may contact our Privacy Contact to request that these materials not be sent to you. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Based upon Your Written Authorization Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information will be made only with your written authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law as described below. You may revoke this authorization, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that your pharmacist or the pharmacy has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization. Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made With Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object We may use and disclose your protected health information in the following instances. You have the opportunity to agree or object to the use or disclosure of all or part of your protected health information. If you are not present or able to agree or object to the use or disclosure of the protected health information, then your pharmacist may, using professional judgment, determine whether the disclosure is in your best interest. In this case, only the protected health information that is relevant to your health care will be disclosed. Others Involved In Your Healthcare: Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your protected health information that directly relates to that person’s involvement in your health care. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment. We may use or disclose your protected health information to an authorized public or private entity to assist in disaster relief efforts and to coordinate uses and disclosures to family or other individuals involved in your health care. Emergencies: We may use or disclose your protected health information in an emergency treatment situation. If this happens, your pharmacist shall try to obtain your consent as soon as reasonably practicable after the delivery of treatment. If your pharmacist is required by law to treat you and has attempted to obtain your consent but is unable to obtain your consent, he or she may still use or disclose your protected health information to treat you. Communication Barriers: We may use or disclose your protected health information if your pharmacist attempts to obtain consent from you but it unable to do so due to substantial communication barriers and the pharmacist determines, using professional judgment, that you intend to consent to use or disclosure under the circumstances. Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made Without Your Consent, Authorization, or Opportunity to Object We may use or disclose your protected health information in the following situations without your consent or authorization. These situations include: Required By Law: We may use or disclose your protected health information to the extent that the use or disclosure is required by law. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law. You will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures. Public Health: We may disclose your protected health information for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability. We may also disclose your protected health information, if directed by the public health authority, to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority. Health Oversight: We may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audit, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws. Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your protected health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, we may disclose your protected health information if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the governmental entity or agency authorized to receive such information. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws. Food and Drug Administration: We may disclose your protected health information to a person or company required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product defects or problems, biologic product deviations, track products; to enable product recalls; to make repairs or replacements, or to conduct post marketing surveillance, as required. Legal Proceedings: We may disclose protected health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized), in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process. Law Enforcement: We may also disclose protected health information, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes. These law enforcement purposes include (1) legal processes and otherwise required by law, (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes, (3) pertaining to victims of a crime, (4) suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct, (5) in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of the pharmacy and (6) medical emergency (not on the pharmacy’s premises) and it is likely that a crime has occurred. Criminal Activity: Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, we may disclose your protected health information, if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. We may also disclose protected health information if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual. Military Activity and National Security: When the appropriate conditions apply, we may use or disclose protected health information of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits, or (3) to foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military services. We may also disclose your protected health information to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities, including for the provision of protective services to the President or others legally authorized. Workers’ Compensation: Your protected health information may be disclosed by us as authorized to comply with workers’ compensation laws and other similar legally established programs. Inmates: We may use or disclose your protected health information if you are an inmate of a correctional facility and your pharmacy created or received your protected health information in the course of providing care to you. Required Uses and Disclosures: Under the law, we must make disclosures to you and when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of Section 164.500 et. seq. 2. Your Rights Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your protected health information and a brief description of how you may exercise these rights. You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information. This means you may inspect and obtain a copy of protected health information about you that is contained in a designated record set for as long as we maintain the protected health information. A “designated record set” contains prescription and billing records and any other records that your pharmacy uses for making decisions about you. Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records: information complied in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, and protected health information that is subject to law that prohibits access to protected health information. Depending on the circumstances, a decision to deny access may be reviewable. In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed. Please contact our Privacy Contact if you have questions about access to your medical record. You have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. However, if this restriction impedes the payment process, you are responsible for paying for the service in full at the time the services are rendered. You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. Your pharmacist is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. If the pharmacist believes it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your protected health information, your protected health information will not be restricted. If your pharmacist does agree to the requested restriction, we may not use or disclose your protected health information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment. With this in mind, please discuss any restriction you wish to request with your pharmacist. To request a restriction, submit in writing: (a) The information to be restricted, (b) what kind of restriction you are requesting (i.e. on the use of information, disclosure of information or both), and (c) to whom the limits apply. Please send the request to our Privacy Contact. You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests. We may also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request. Please make this request in writing to our Privacy Contact. You have the right to have your pharmacist amend your protected health information. This means you may request an amendment of protected health information about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. Please contact our Privacy Contact to determine if you have questions about amending your medical record. You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your protected health information. This right applies to disclosure for purposes other than treatment, payment, or healthcare operations as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. It excludes disclosures we may have made to you, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes. You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures that occurred after October 1, 2004. You may request a shorter timeframe. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations. Please submit any request for an accounting to our Contact Person. Your first accounting of disclosures (within a 12 month period) will be free. For additional requests within that period we are permitted to charge for the cost of providing the list. If there is a charge we will notify you and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request before any costs are incurred. You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us. 3. Complaints You may complain to us or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us. You may file a complaint with us by notifying our Privacy Contact of your complaint. You may contact our Privacy Contact, Linda Grimm at (712) 642-2747 or the pharmacy manager of this pharmacy for further information about the complaint process. To Report a Problem or File a Complaint: If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint in writing with Valley Drug Store or the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Valley Drug Store Linda Grimm 318 East Erie Missouri Valley, IA 51555 (or) The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S. W. Washington, D. C. 20201 We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. Revisions to this Notice of Privacy Practices We reserve the right to change and / or revise this Notice and make the new provisions effective for all plan member PHI we maintain. The revised Notice will be available, upon request, to all individuals. Our Promise to You We are required by law and regulation to protect the privacy of your medical information, to provide you with this notice of our privacy practices with respect to protected health information, and to abide by the terms of the notice of privacy practices in effect. Questions and Contact Person for Requests If you have any questions or want to make a request pursuant to the rights described above, please contact: Linda Grimm 318 East Erie Missouri Valley, IA 51555 Phone (712) 642-2747 or Fax (712) 642-4627 This notice was published and becomes effective on October 1, 2008. 1
GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR. Valley Drug Store has been part of the local community since 1912, serving residents of Missouri Valley and the surrounding area. As an independently owned and operated Good Neighbor Pharmacy, we believe in providing personalized attention, along with a comfortable environment and competitive prices. We take care of our patients and our community. Let us take care of you.