Notice of Privacy Practices for Protected Health Information [45 CFR 164.520]
The HIPAA Privacy Rule gives individuals a fundamental new right to be informed of the privacy practices of their health plans and of most of their health care providers, as well as to be informed of their privacy rights with respect to their personal health information. Health plans and covered health care providers are required to develop and distribute a notice that provides a clear explanation of these rights and practices. The notice is intended to focus individuals on privacy issues and concerns, and to prompt them to have discussions with their health plans and health care providers and exercise their rights.
How the Rule Works
General Rule. The Privacy Rule provides that an individual has a right to adequate notice of how a covered entity may use and disclose protected health information about the individual, as well as his or her rights and the covered entity’s obligations with respect to that information. Most covered entities must develop and provide individuals with this notice of their privacy practices.
The Privacy Rule does not require the following covered entities to develop a notice:
- Health care clearinghouses, if the only protected health information they create or receive is as a business associate of another covered entity. See 45 CFR 164.500(b)(1).
- A correctional institution that is a covered entity (e.g., that has a covered health care provider component).
- A group health plan that provides benefits only through one or more contracts of insurance with health insurance issuers or HMOs, and that does not create or receive protected health information other than summary health information or enrollment or disenrollment information.
See 45 CFR 164.520(a).
Content of the Notice. Covered entities are required to provide a notice in plain language that describes:
- How the covered entity may use and disclose protected health information about an individual.
- The individual’s rights with respect to the information and how the individual may exercise these rights, including how the individual may complain to the covered entity.
- The covered entity’s legal duties with respect to the information, including a statement that the covered entity is required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information.
- Whom individuals can contact for further information about the covered entity’s privacy policies.
The notice must include an effective date. See 45 CFR 164.520(b) for the specific requirements for developing the content of the notice.
A covered entity is required to promptly revise and distribute its notice whenever it makes material changes to any of its privacy practices. See 45 CFR 164.520(b)(3), 164.520(c)(1)(i)(C) for health plans, and 164.520(c)(2)(iv) for covered health care providers with direct treatment relationships with individuals.
Providing the Notice.
A covered entity must make its notice available to any person who asks for it.
A covered entity must prominently post and make available its notice on any web site it maintains that provides information about its customer services or benefits.
Health Plans must also:
- Provide the notice to individuals then covered by the plan no later than April 14, 2003 (April 14, 2004, for small health plans) and to new enrollees at the time of enrollment.
- Provide a revised notice to individuals then covered by the plan within 60 days of a material revision.
- Notify individuals then covered by the plan of the availability of and how to obtain the notice at least once every three years.
Covered Direct Treatment Providers must also:
- Provide the notice to the individual no later than the date of first service delivery (after the April 14, 2003 compliance date of the Privacy Rule) and, except in an emergency treatment situation, make a good faith effort to obtain the individual’s written acknowledgment of receipt of the notice. If an acknowledgment cannot be obtained, the provider must document his or her efforts to obtain the acknowledgment and the reason why it was not obtained.
- When first service delivery to an individual is provided over the Internet, through e-mail, or otherwise electronically, the provider must send an electronic notice automatically and contemporaneously in response to the individual’s first request for service. The provider must make a good faith effort to obtain a return receipt or other transmission from the individual in response to receiving the notice.
- In an emergency treatment situation, provide the notice as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so after the emergency situation has ended. In these situations, providers are not required to make a good faith effort to obtain a written acknowledgment from individuals.
- Make the latest notice (i.e., the one that reflects any changes in privacy policies) available at the provider’s office or facility for individuals to request to take with them, and post it in a clear and prominent location at the facility.
C A covered entity may e-mail the notice to an individual if the individual agrees to receive an electronic notice.
See 45 CFR 164.520(c) for the specific requirements for providing the notice.
- Any covered entity, including a hybrid entity or an affiliated covered entity, may choose to develop more than one notice, such as when an entity performs different types of covered functions (i.e., the functions that make it a health plan, a health care provider, or a health care clearinghouse) and there are variations in its privacy practices among these covered functions. Covered entities are encouraged to provide individuals with the most specific notice possible.
- Covered entities that participate in an organized health care arrangement may choose to produce a single, joint notice if certain requirements are met. For example, the joint notice must describe the covered entities and the service delivery sites to which it applies. If any one of the participating covered entities provides the joint notice to an individual, the notice distribution requirement with respect to that individual is met for all of the covered entities. See 45 CFR 164.520(d).
Frequently Asked Questions
To see Privacy Rule FAQs, click the desired link below:
(You can also go to http://answers.hhs.gov/cgi-bin/hhs.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php, then select “Privacy of Health Information/HIPAA” from the Category drop down list and click the Search button.)
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The following terminology applies to these Terms and Conditions, Privacy Statement and Disclaimer Notice and any or all Agreements: “Client”, “You” and “Your” refers to you, the person accessing this website and accepting YoloCare’s terms and conditions. “The Company”, “Ourselves”, “We” and “Us”, refers to YoloCare. “Party”, “Parties”, or “Us”, refers to both the Client and ourselves, or either the Client or ourselves. All terms refer to the offer, acceptance and consideration of payment necessary to undertake the process of our assistance to the Client in the most appropriate manner, whether by formal meetings of a fixed duration, or any other means, for the express purpose of meeting the Client’s needs in respect of provision of YoloCare stated services, in accordance with and subject to, prevailing United States Law. Any use of the above terminology or other words in the singular, plural, capitalization and/or he/she or they, are taken as interchangeable and therefore as referring to same.
Exclusions and Limitations
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Links to this website
If you choose to create a link to a page of this website you do so at your own risk and the exclusions and limitations set out above will apply to your use of this website by linking to it.
Links from this website
We do not monitor or review the content of other party’s websites which are linked to from this website. Opinions expressed or materials appearing on such websites are not necessarily shared or endorsed by us and should not be regarded as the publisher of such opinions or material. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices, or content, of these sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these sites. You should evaluate the security and trustworthiness of any other site connected to this site or accessed through this site yourself, before disclosing any personal information to them. YoloCare will not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage in whatever manner, howsoever caused, resulting from your disclosure to third parties of personal information.
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Notification of Changes
These terms and conditions form part of the Agreement between the Client and YoloCare. The fact that you are accessing this website and/or undertaking of a booking or Agreement indicates your understanding, agreement to and acceptance, of the Disclaimer Notice and the full Terms and Conditions contained herein.