10347 Cross Creek Blvd., Suite H
Tampa, FL 33647
Phone: 813-994-6688 Fax: 866-643-9605
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Effective: September 1, 2013
Who Will Follow this Notice
This joint notice applies to the staff, volunteers, business associates, and physicians who provide services on behalf of any Solarus Medical durable medical equipment (DME) service. Solarus Medical entities are located throughout Florida, Texas, and Missouri. This joint notice describes how we will use and share your information, how we are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your protected health information (PHI). PHI is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and
that relates to your health or condition and related health care services. We will tell you if your PHI has been breached. We are required to abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect. If you have questions about any part of this notice or if you want more information about our privacy practices, contact our Privacy Department at 813-994-6688.
How We May Use or Share Your Health Information
We are committed to protecting the privacy of your health information. The law permits us to use or share your health information for the following purposes:
- Treatment: We may use or share your PHI with physicians, nurses, students, and other health care personnel to provide you treatment or services. For example, your PHI may be provided to a
physician to whom you have been referred to ensure that the physician has the necessary information to diagnose and treat you.
- Payment: We may use or share your PHI to obtain payment for your health care services, including with a collection agency or credit bureau. We may also share your PHI with other providers so
they may obtain payment for services. We may also use or share your PHI so that we may locate you for collection purposes, including using services with the change of address information to ensure
your statements are mailed to the most current address on file with the postal service. For example, obtaining approval for payment of services from your health plan may require that your PHI be
shared with your health plan. We may also provide your PHI to our business associates or other providers’ business associates, such as billing companies, transcriptionists, collection agencies, and
vendors who mail billing statements.
- Health Care Operations: We may use or share your PHI or a limited data set to operate our facilities. Solarus Medical entities and providers have an organized health care arrangement and may
use or share your PHI for the operations of the organized health care arrangement. For example, we may use your PHI to evaluate the quality of health care services that you received, to evaluate
the performance of the health care professionals who provided health care services to you, for medical review purposes or auditing. In addition, the hospitals report traumas, birth defects and
cancer cases (Florida Cancer Registry) to the Departments of Health for quality improvement and licensing purposes and quarterly data to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) as
required for licensing. We may also provide your PHI to accountants, attorneys, consultants, accrediting agencies, outside funding sources and others to make sure we’re complying with the laws
that affect us.
- Notification and Communication with Family: Unless you object, we may release to a relative, close friend or any other person you identify, information that directly relates to that person’s
involvement in your health care or who helps pay for your care.
- Required by Law, Court or Law Enforcement: We may release PHI when a law requires that we report information to government agencies and law enforcement personnel about victims of abuse,
neglect or domestic violence, when dealing with crime or when ordered by a court.
- Public Health: As required or permitted by law, we may release PHI or a limited data set to public health authorities for purposes related to preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability,
reporting to the Food and Drug Administration problems with products and reactions to medications and reporting disease or infection exposure. Our hospitals are required to report all births and
deaths to the Office of Vital Statistics for certificate purposes.
- Health Oversight Activities: We may release PHI to health agencies for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include audits, investigations, and inspections, as necessary for our
licensure and for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs and compliance with civil rights laws. For example, we may release PHI to the Secretary of the
Department of Health & Human Services so they can determine our compliance with privacy laws.
- Public Safety: We may release your health information to appropriate persons to prevent or lessen a serious and near threat to the health or safety of a particular person or the general public.
- Specific Government Functions: We may share your health information for military or national security purposes or in certain cases if you are in law enforcement custody.
- Workers’ Compensation: We may share your health information as necessary to comply with workers’ compensation laws. We report any injuries referred to us from an employer to the Department
of Workers’ Compensation and any work-related deaths to OSHA. All employers are given health information regarding work-related injuries they have referred to us.
- We will not sell your PHI or use or disclose it for marketing purposes without your specific permission.
- Florida State-Specific Requirements: When Florida’s laws are stricter than federal privacy laws, we are required to follow the state law.
- Texas State-Specific Requirements: When Texas’s laws are stricter than federal privacy laws, we are required to follow the state law.
- Missouri State-Specific Requirements: When Missouri’s laws are stricter than federal privacy laws, we are required to follow the state law.
- Affiliated Covered Entity: PHI will be made available to staff at local affiliated entities as necessary to carry out treatment, payment and health care operations. Caregivers at other facilities may
have access to PHI at their locations to assist in reviewing past treatment information as it may affect treatment at this time. You may contact the Privacy Department for more information on
specific sites included in this affiliated covered entity.
- Treatment of Sensitive Information: Psychotherapy notes and diagnostic and therapeutic information regarding mental health, drug/alcohol abuse or sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV
status) will not be disclosed without your specific permission unless required or permitted by law.
Your Health Information Rights
- You have the right to request a limit on certain uses and releases of your health information. We will consider your request but are not required to accept it unless you do not want
information about an item or service sent to your health plan and you have paid for the item or service in full. These requests must be in writing and submitted to our Privacy Department.
- You have the right to choose how you receive your health information. You have the right to ask that we send information to you at an alternative address or by other means (for example,
telephone instead of mail, post office box instead of home address). We must agree to your request as long as we can easily provide it in the format you requested. These requests must be in
- You have the right to see and get copies of your health information, in most cases. These requests must be in writing. You may request copies of your records from your provider. If your
records are maintained in an electronic format, you have the right to obtain an electronic copy of your records. Florida law may restrict access to behavioral health patients.
- You have a right to request that we correct or update information that is incorrect or incomplete. We are not required to change your health information. If we deny your request, we will
provide you with information about our denial and how you can disagree with the denial. These requests must be in writing.
- You have a right to receive a list of disclosures we have made. We do not have to account for the disclosures described under treatment, payment, health care operations, information provided
to you, information released incident to an allowed disclosure (see Incidental Disclosures section in this notice), information released based on your written authorization, directory listings,
information released for certain government functions, disclosures of a limited data set (which may only include date information and limited address information) and disclosures to correctional
institutions or law enforcement in custodial situations. These requests must be in writing and must state a time period, which may not be longer than six years.
- You have a right to get a paper copy of this notice. You may request a copy of this notice at any time.
Changes to this Notice
We reserve the right to change this notice at any time in the future. We reserve the right to make the changed notice effective for health information we already have about you, as well as any we receive in the
future. We will post a current copy of the notice. Upon request, you may obtain a copy of the current notice by contacting our Privacy Department at 813-994-6688.
When We May Not Use or Disclose Your Health Information
Except as described in this notice, we will not use or disclose your health information without your written authorization. If you do authorize us to use or disclose your health information for another purpose, you
may revoke your authorization in writing at any time. We will be unable to apply your request to revoke your authorization to information disclosed prior to the request.
We make reasonable efforts to avoid incidental disclosures of your PHI. An example of an incidental disclosure is conversations that may be overheard between you and our team members at a Solarus Medical
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our Chief Privacy Officer or with the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services. To file a complaint with our Privacy Department, call 1-888-994-6688 or Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring at 1-800-994-6610. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.