THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
(the "Plan") is required by law to take reasonable steps to ensure the privacy of your personally identifiable health information and to inform you about:
The term "Protected Health Information" (PHI) includes all individually identifiable health information transmitted or maintained by the Plan, regardless of form (oral, written, electronic).
Section 1. Notice of PHI Uses and Disclosures
Required PHI Uses and Disclosures
Upon your request, the Plan is required to give you access to certain PHI in order to inspect and copy it.
Use and disclosure of your PHI may be required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine the Plan's compliance with the privacy regulations.
Uses and disclosures to carry out treatment, payment and health care operations
The Plan and its business associates will use PHI without your consent, authorization or opportunity to agree or object to carry out treatment, payment and health care operations. The Plan also will disclose PHI to the Plan Sponsor for purposes related to treatment, payment and health care operations. The Plan Sponsor has amended its plan documents to protect your PHI as required by federal law.
Treatment is the provision, coordination or management of health care and related services. It also includes but is not limited to consultations and referrals between on or more of your providers.
For example, the Plan may disclose to a treating orthodontist the name of your treating dentist so that the orthodontist may ask for your dental X-rays from the treating dentist.
Payment includes but is not limited to actions to make coverage determinations and payment (including billing, claims management, subrogation, plan reimbursement, reviews for medical necessity and appropriateness of care and utilization review and preauthorization's).
For example, the Plan may tell a doctor whether you are eligible for coverage or what percentage of the bill will be paid by the Plan.
Health care Operations include but are not limited to quality assessment and improvement, reviewing competence or qualifications of health care professionals, underwriting, premium rating and other insurance contracts. It also includes disease management, case management, conducting or arranging for medical review, legal services and auditing functions including fraud and abuse compliance programs, business planning and development, business management and general administrative activities.
For example, the Plan may use information about your claims to refer you to a disease management program, project future benefit costs or audit the accuracy of its claims processing functions.
Uses and disclosures that require your written authorization
Your written authorization generally will be obtained before the Plan will use or disclose psychotherapy notes about you from your psychotherapist. Psychotherapy notes are separately filed notes about your conversations with your mental health professional during a counseling session. They do not include summary information about your mental health treatment. The Plan may use and disclose such notes when needed by the Plan to defend against litigation filed by you.
Uses and Disclosures that require that you be given an opportunity to agree or disagree prior to the use or release
Disclosure of your PHI to family members, other relatives and your close personal friends is allowed if:
Uses and disclosures for which consent, authorization or opportunity to object is not required
Use and disclosure of your PHI is allowed without your consent, authorization or request under the following circumstances:
Except as otherwise indicated in this notice, uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization subject to your right to revoke such authorization.
Section 2. Rights of Individuals
Right to Request Restrictions on PHI Uses and Disclosures
You may request the Plan to restrict uses and disclosures of your PHI to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations, or to restrict uses and disclosures to family members, relatives, friends or other persons identified by you who are involved in your care or payment for your care. However, the plan is not required to agree to your request.
The Plan will accommodate reasonable requests to receive communications of PHI by alternative means or at alternative locations.
You or your personal representative will be required to complete a form to request restrictions on uses and disclosures of your PHI.
Such requests should be made to the following: Coastal Administrative Services, Inc., 325 E George Hopper Rd., Suite #101, Burlington WA, 98233
Right to Inspect and Copy PHI
You have a right to inspect and obtain a copy of your PHI contained in a "designated record set," for as long as the Plan maintains the PHI.
"Protected Health Information" (PHI) includes all individually identifiable health information transmitted or maintained by the Plan, regardless of form.
"Designated Record Set" includes the medical records and billing records about individuals maintained by or for a covered health care provider; enrollment, payment, billing, claims adjudication and case or medical management record systems maintained by or for a health plan; or other information used in whole or in part by or for the covered entity to make decisions about the individuals. Information used for quality control or peer review analyses and not used to make decisions about individuals is not in the designated record set.
The requested information will be provided within 30 days if the information is maintained on site or within 60 days if the information is maintained offsite. A single 30-day extension is allowed if the Plan is unable to comply with the deadline.
You or your personal representative will be required to complete a form to request access to the PHI in your designated record set. Requests for access to PHI should be made to the following: Coastal Administrative Services, Inc., 3966 Byron Ave. #106 Bellingham WA 98229 , (360) 715-9488.
If access is denied, you or your personal representative will be provided with a written denial setting forth the basis for the denial, a description of how you may exercise those review rights and a description of how you may complain to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Right to Amend PHI
You have the right to request the Plan to amend your PHI or a record about you in a designated record set for as long as the PHI is maintained in the designated record set.
The Plan has 60 days after the request is made to act on the request. A single 30-day extension is allowed if the Plan is unable to comply with the deadline. If the request is denied in whole or part, the Plan must provide you with a written denial that explains the basis for the denial. You or your personal representatives may then submit a written statement disagreeing with the denial and have that statement included with any future disclosures of your PHI.
Requests for amendment of PHI in a designated record set should be made to the following: Coastal Administrative Services, Inc., 325 E George Hopper Rd., Suite #101, Burlington WA, 98233.
You or your personal representatives will be required to complete a form to request amendment of the PHI in your designated record set.
The Right to Receive an Accounting of PHI Disclosures
At your request, the Plan will also provide you with an accounting of disclosures by the Plan of your PHI during the six years prior to the date of your request. However, such accounting need not include PHI disclosures made: (1) to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations; (2) to individuals about their own PHI; (3) prior to the compliance date; or (4) based on your written authorization.
If the accounting cannot be provided within 60 days, an additional 30 days is allowed if the individual is given a written statement of the reasons for the delay and the date by which the accounting will be provided.
If you request more than one accounting within a 12-month period, the Plan will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for each subsequent accounting.
The Right to Receive a Paper Copy of This Notice
Upon Request To obtain a paper copy of this Notice contact the following: Coastal Administrative Services, Inc., 3966 Byron Ave #106 Bellingham WA 98229 , (360) 715-9488.
A Note About Personal Representatives
You may exercise your rights through a personal representative. Your personal representative will be required to produce evidence of his/her authority to act on your behalf before that person will be given access to your PHI or allowed to take any action for you. Proof of such authority may take one of the following forms:
The Plan retains discretion to deny access to your PHI to a personal representative to provide protection to those vulnerable people who depend on others to exercise their rights under these rules and who may be subject to abuse or neglect. This also applies to personal representatives of minors.
Section 3. The Plan's Duties
The Plan is required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide individuals (participants and beneficiaries) with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices.
Plan is required to comply with the terms of this notice. However, the Plan reserves the right to change its privacy practices and to apply the changes to any PHI received or maintained by the Plan prior to that date. If a privacy practice is changed, a revised version of this notice will be provided for whom the Plan still maintains PHI.
Any revised version of this notice will be distributed within 60 days of the effective date of any material change to the uses or disclosures, the individuals rights, the duties of the Plan or other privacy practices stated in this notice.
Minimum Necessary Standard
When using or disclosing PHI or when requesting PHI from another covered entity, the Plan will make reasonable efforts not to use, disclose or request more then the minimum amount of PHI necessary to accomplish the intended purpose of the use, disclosure or request, taking into consideration practical and technological limitations.
However, the minimum necessary standard will not apply in the following situations:
Plan's compliance with legal regulations
This notice does not apply to information that has been de-identified. De-identified information is information that does not identify an individual and with respect to which there is no reasonable basis to believe that the information can be used to identify an individual is not individually identifiable health information.
In addition, the Plan may use or disclose "summary health information" to the plan sponsor for obtaining premium bids or modifying, amending or terminating the group health plan, which summarizes the claims history, claims expenses or type of claims experienced by individuals for whom a plan sponsor has provided health benefits under a group health plan; and from which identifying information has been deleted in accordance with HIPAA.
Section 4. Your Right to File a Complaint
With the Plan or the HHS Secretary If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you may complain to the Plan in care of the following: Coastal Administrative Services, Inc., 325 E George Hopper Rd., Suite #101, Burlington WA, 98233.
You may file a complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201.
The Plan will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
Section 5. Whom to Contact at the Plan for More Information
If you have any questions regarding this notice or the subjects addressed in it, you may contact the following: Coastal Administrative Services, Inc., 325 E George Hopper Rd., Suite #101, Burlington WA, 98233.
PHI use and disclosure by the Plan is regulated by a federal law known as HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). You may find these rules at 45 Code of Federal Regulations parts 160 and 164. This notice attempts to summarize the regulations. The regulations will supersede any discrepancy between the information in this notice and the regulations.