Privacy Rights & Notices

HOW YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO IT.

Purpose of this Notice: OTFR maintains the privacy of certain confidential health care information, known as Protected Health Information or PHI, and provides you with this notice of our practices with respect to your PHI. This Notice describes your legal rights, advises you of our privacy practices, and lets you know how OTFR is permitted to use and disclose your PHI.  OTFR complies with the terms of the Notice currently in effect.

Uses and Disclosures of PHI: OTFR may use PHI for the purposes of treatment, payment, and health care operations, in most cases without your written permission.  Examples of our use of your PHI: 

For treatment: Verbal and written information obtained pertaining to your medical condition and treatment provided by us and other medical personnel. It includes information we give to other health care personnel to whom we transfer your care or receive treatment direction from. It includes PHI via radio or telephone to the hospital or dispatch center and written treatment documentation. 

For payment: Reimbursement activities for your services, including organizing your PHI and submitting bills to insurance companies through a third party billing company, management of billed claims for services rendered, medical necessity reviews and determinations, utilization review, and collections.

For health care operations: Quality assurance activities, licensing and training programs, legal and financial services, business planning, complaints and reports not individually identify you for data .

Use and Disclosure of PHI Without Your Authorization.  OTFR is permitted to use your PHI to or for
  • OTFR use in treating you or obtaining payment for services.
  • Your treatment activities by another health care provider;
  • The payment activities of the receiving hospital or involved insurance company.
  • Healths care fraud and abuse detection or for activities related to compliance with the law.
  • A family member or other individual involved in your care with your verbal agreement or given the opportunity to object, you did not object.  We may disclose PHI with family, relatives, or friends if we infer from the circumstances that you would not object. For example, we may assume you agree to PHI disclosure to your spouse when your spouse called the ambulance.  In situations where you are not capable of objecting  (because you are not present or due to your incapacity or medical emergency), we may, in our professional judgment, determine that a disclosure to your family member, relative, or friend is in your best interest. In that situation, we will disclose only PHI relevant to that person's involvement in your care. For example, we may inform the person who accompanied you in the ambulance. 
  • Public health authority as required by law, as part of a public health investigation, to report child or adult abuse or neglect or domestic violence, to report adverse events such as product defects, or to notify a person about exposure to a possible communicable disease.
  • Health oversight activities including audits or government investigations, inspections, disciplinary proceedings, and other governmental administrative or judicial actions.
  • Judicial and administrative proceedings as required by a court or administrative order.
  • Law enforcement activities in limited situations, such as when there is a warrant for the request, or when the information is needed to locate a suspect or stop a crime;
  • Military, national defense and security and other special government functions;
  • Avert a serious threat to the health and safety of a person or the public at large;
  • Workers’ compensation purposes, and in compliance with workers’ compensation laws;
  • Coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors carrying on their lawful duties.  
  • If an organ donor, to organ procurement as necessary to facilitate organ donation.
  • For research projects subject to strict oversight and with only minimal risk to your privacy.
  • We may use or disclose health information about you that does not reveal who you are.
Use and Disclosure of PHI With Your Authorization;  Any other PHI use is only with your written authorization which must  specifically identify the PHI we seek and how and when we seek to use or disclose it. You may revoke your authorization at any time, in writing, except to the extent that we have already used or disclosed medical information in reliance on that authorization.   

Patient Rights:  As a patient, you have a number of rights with respect to PHI protection including:

The right to access copy or inspect your PHI. that we maintain.  We will normally provide access within 30 days of your request.  We will charge you a reasonable fee for a copy of any PHI that you have the right to access.  Access request forms are available. Should access be denied we provide a written response and let you know your appeal rights.

The right to amend your PHI.  We will generally amend your information within 60 days of your request and will notify you when we have amended the information.  We are permitted by law to deny you’re amendment request only in certain circumstances such as when we believe the information you have asked us to amend is correct.

The right to request an accounting of your PHI use made in the last six years prior to the request date. We are not required to account for PHI we are allowed to release as noted above; nor for PHI use which you have already given us written authorization.  If you wish to request an accounting of the PHI that we have used or disclosed that is not exempted, you should contact the officer listed at the end of this Notice.

The right to request the restricted use and disclosure of your PHI. You may request that we restrict how we use and disclose your PHI for treatment, payment or health care operations, or to restrict the information that is provided to family, friends and other individuals involved in your health care unless that PHI is needed for your emergency treatment.  OTFR is not required to agree to any restrictions you request, but any restrictions agreed to by OTFR are binding on OTFR. 

Internet, Electronic Mail, and the Right to Obtain Copy of Paper Notice on Request. The current notice will be posted and available electronically through the web site.

Revisions to the Notice: OTFR reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice at any time. The changes are effective immediately and apply to all maintained PHI. The current Notice will be posted. 

Your Legal Rights and Complaints:  You have the right to complain to us, or to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint with us or to the government.
If you have any questions or if you wish to file a complaint or exercise any rights listed in this Notice, please contact:

Old Town Fire Rescue
150 Brunswick St                  
Old Town ME 04468
207-827-3400


 
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