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HIPAA Policy

INTRODUCTION:
This Joint Notice is being provided to you on behalf of Enzo Clinical Labs, Inc. and the practitioners that work at the Laboratory. We understand that your medical information is private and confidential. Further, we are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information ("PHI"). "PHI" includes any individually identifiable information that we obtain from you or others that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health, the health care you have received, or payment for your health care. We will share PHI with one another, as necessary, to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations relating to the services to be rendered at the Laboratory.

As required by law, this notice provides you with information about your rights and our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to the privacy of PHI. This notice also discusses the uses and disclosures we will make of your PHI. We must comply with the provisions of this notice as currently in effect, although we reserve the right to change the terms of this notice from time to time and to make the revised notice effective for all PHI we maintain. You can always request a written copy of our most current privacy notice from the Privacy Officer at the Laboratory or you can access it on our website at www.enzo.com.

PERMITTED USES AND DISCLOSURES:

We can use or disclose your PHI for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations. For each of these categories, we have provided a description and an example below. However, not every particular use or disclosure in every category will be listed.

  • Treatment means the provision, coordination or management of your health care, including referrals for health care from one health care provider to another. For example, a doctor treating you may need to your lab results.
  • Payment means the activities we undertake to obtain reimbursement for the health care provided to you, including billing, collections, claims management, determinations of eligibility and other utilization review activities. For example, we may need to provide PHI to your Third Party Payor to receive payment for our services.
  • Health care operations means the support functions of the Laboratory, related to treatment and payment, such as quality assurance activities, responding to patient complaints, compliance programs, audits, management and administrative activities. For example, we may use your PHI to evaluate the performance of our staff. We may also combine PHI to decide what additional services we should offer and whether certain new treatments are effective. In addition, we may remove information that identifies you so that others can use the de-identified information to study health care and health care delivery without learning who you are.

OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION:

We may also use your PHI in the following ways:

  • To tell you about or recommend possible treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services.
  • To your family or friends or any other individual identified by you if they are involved in your care or the payment for your care. If you are available, we will give you an opportunity to object to these disclosures. If you are not available, we will determine whether such disclosure is in your best interest based upon our professional judgment.
  • for research purposes, subject to the requirements of applicable law. For example, a research project may involve comparisons of patients who received a particular medication. All research projects are subject to a special approval process. When required, we will obtain a written authorization from you prior to using your health information for research.
  • We will use or disclose PHI about you when required to do so by applicable law.
  • In accordance with applicable law, we may disclose your PHI to your employer if we are retained to conduct an evaluation relating to medical surveillance or to evaluate a work-related illness or injury. You will be notified of these disclosures by your employer or the Laboratory as required by applicable law.

Note: incidental disclosures of PHI sometimes occur and are not considered to be a violation of your rights. Incidental disclosures are by-products of otherwise permitted disclosures which are limited in nature and cannot be reasonably prevented.


SPECIAL SITUATIONS:

Subject to the requirements of applicable law, we will make the following uses and disclosures of your PHI:

  • If you are an organ donor, we may release PHI to organizations that handle organ procurement or transplantation to facilitate organ donation and transplantation.
  • If you are a member of the Armed Forces (foreign or national) we may release PHI about you as required by military command authorities.
  • We may release PHI about you for programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses.
  • If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose PHI subject to certain limitations.
  • We may disclose PHI to federal or state agencies that oversee our activities (e.g., providing health care, seeking payment, and civil rights).
  • We may release PHI to a coroner, medical examiner or funeral director as necessary to carry out their duties.
  • We may disclose PHI about you for public health activities, including disclosures:
    • to prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
    • to report births and deaths;
    • to report child abuse or neglect;
    • to persons subject to the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for activities related to FDA-regulated products or services and to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
    • to notify a person who may have been exposed to, or be at risk for contracting or spreading, a disease;
    • to notify the appropriate government authority if we believe that an adult patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if the patient agrees or when required or authorized by law.
  • We may release PHI if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
    • In response to a court order, warrant, summons or similar process;
    • To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
    • About the victim of a crime under certain limited circumstances;
    • About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
    • About criminal conduct on our premises; or
    • In emergency circumstances, to report a crime, the location of the crime or the victims, or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
  • If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release PHI about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary (1) to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
  • As permitted by applicable law and standards of ethical conduct, we may use and disclose PHI if we, in good faith, 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 or is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.

Note: HIV related information, genetic information, and alcohol and/or substance abuse records and other specially protected health information may enjoy additional protections under applicable state and federal law.

OTHER USES OF YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION:
Certain uses and disclosures of PHI will be made only with your written authorization, including uses and/or disclosures: (a) for marketing purposes; and (b) that constitute a sale of PHI under the Privacy Rule. Other uses and disclosures of PHI not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. You have the right to revoke that authorization at any time, provided that the revocation is in writing, except to the extent that we already have taken action in reliance on your authorization.

YOUR RIGHTS:
  1. You have the right to request restrictions on our uses and disclosures of PHI for treatment, payment and health care operations. However, we are not required to agree to your request. We are, however, required to comply with your request if it relates to a disclosure to your health plan regarding health care items or services for which you have paid the bill in full. To request a restriction, you may make your request in writing to the Privacy Officer.
  2. You have the right to reasonably request to receive confidential communications of your PHI by alternative means or at alternative locations. To make such a request, you may submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer.
  3. You have the right to inspect and copy the PHI contained in our Laboratory records, except:
    • for information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or for use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding;
    • for PHI involving laboratory tests when your access is restricted by law;
    • if you are a prison inmate, and access would jeopardize your health, safety, security, custody, or rehabilitation or that of other inmates, any officer, employee, or other person at the correctional institution or person responsible for transporting you;
    • if we obtained or created PHI as part of a research study, your access to the PHI may be restricted for as long as the research is in progress, provided that you agreed to the temporary denial of access when consenting to participate in the research;
    • for PHI contained in records kept by a federal agency or contractor when your access is restricted by law; and
    In order to inspect or obtain a copy your PHI, you may submit your request in writing to the Medical Records Custodian. If you request a copy, we may charge you a fee for the costs of copying and mailing your records, as well as other costs associated with your request. We may also deny a request for access to PHI under certain circumstances if there is a potential for harm to yourself or others. If we deny a request for access for this purpose, you have the right to have our denial reviewed in accordance with the requirements of applicable law.

  4. You have the right to request an amendment to your PHI but we may deny your request for amendment, if we determine that the PHI or record that is the subject of the request:
    • was not created by us, unless you provide a reasonable basis to believe that the originator of PHI is no longer available to act on the requested amendment;
    • is not part of your medical or billing records or other records used to make decisions about you;
    • is not available for inspection as set forth above; or
    • is accurate and complete.
    In any event, any agreed upon amendment will be included as an addition to, and not a replacement of, already existing records. In order to request an amendment to your PHI, you must submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer.

  5. You have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of PHI made by us to individuals or entities other than to you for the six years prior to your request, except for disclosures:
    • to carry out treatment, payment and health care operations as provided above;
    • pursuant to your written authorization;
    • for national security or intelligence purposes as provided by law;
    • to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials as provided by law;
    • as part of a limited data set as provided by law.
    To request an accounting of disclosures of your PHI, you must submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer. Your request must state a specific time period for the accounting (e.g., the past three months). The first accounting you request within a twelve (12) month period will be free. For additional accountings, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the costs involved, and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.

  6. You have the right to receive a notification, in the event that there is a breach of your unsecured PHI, which requires notification under the Privacy Rule.
COMPLAINTS:
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated or you wish to contact someone, you should immediately contact the Privacy Officer at 800 522 5052, ext. 202. We will not take action against you for filing a complaint. You also may file a complaint with the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This notice is effective as of September 12, 2013