Effective as of April 14, 2003
Revised July 24, 2008
Revised April 11, 2011
Revised May 29, 2013

Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania Joint Notice of Privacy Practices

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 following organization uses health information about you for treatment, to obtain payment for treatment, for administrative purposes, and to evaluate the quality of care that you receive.

Health Care Components of the Hybrid Entity Covered by Joint Notice

Departments providing service to individuals funded, directly or indirectly, by:
           Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs
           Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
           Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
           Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare – Bureau of Employment and Training Programs
           West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, Division of Rehabilitation Services
           All staff, supervisors and volunteers of covered Departments include:
                       Disability Services – Pittsburgh
                       Disability Services and Workforce Development – Fayette
                       Disability Services Home and Community Habilitation - Fayette
                       Disability Services and Workforce Development – NC West Virginia
                       Disability Services – Community-based
                       Placement Services – Pittsburgh
                       Business Services - Pittsburgh
                       Housekeeping-Pittsburgh
                       Health Center – Pittsburgh
                       Elderberry Junction – Pittsburgh
                       Education, Training and Assessment Department
                       Accounting Department
                       Risk Management Department
                       Central Tracking Office
                       Information Technology Department
                       Admission & Intake

How We May Use or Disclose Your Health Information

For Treatment. We may use your health information to provide you with medical treatment or services. For example, information obtained by a health care provider, such as a physician, nurse, or other person providing health services to you, will record information in your record that is related to your treatment. This information is necessary for health care providers to determine what treatment you should receive. Health care providers will also record actions taken by them in the course of your treatment and note how you respond to the actions.

For Payment. We may use and disclose your health information to others for purposes of receiving payment for treatment and services that you receive. For example, a bill may be sent to you or a third-party payer, such as an insurance company or health plan. The information on the bill may contain information that identifies you, your diagnosis, and treatment or supplies used in the course of treatment.

For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose health information about you for operational purposes. For example, your health information may be disclosed to members of the medical staff, risk or quality improvement personnel, and others to:

  • evaluate the performance of our staff:
  • assess the quality of care and outcomes in your cases and similar cases;
  • learn how to improve our facilities and services; and
  • determine how to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the health care we provide.

Appointments. We may use your information to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to the individual.

Required by law. We may use and disclose information about you as required by law. For example, Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania may disclose information for the following purposes:

  • for judicial and administrative proceedings pursuant to legal authority;
  • to report information related to victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence; and
  • to assist law enforcement officials in their law enforcement duties;

Public Health. Your health information may be used or disclosed for public health activities such as assisting public health authorities or other legal authorities to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability, or for other health oversight activities.

Descendants. Health information may be disclosed to funeral directors or coroners to enable them to carry out their lawful duties.

Organ/Tissue Donation. Your health information may be used or disclosed for cadaver organ, eye or tissue donation purposes.

Research. We may use your health information for research purposes when an institutional review board or privacy board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information, has approved the research.

Health and Safety. Your health information may be disclosed to avert a serious threat to the health or safety of you or any other person pursuant to applicable law.

Government Functions. Your health information may be disclosed for specialized government functions such as protection of public officials or reporting to various branches of the armed services.

Workers’ Compensation. Your health information may be used or disclosed in order to comply with laws and regulations related to Workers’ Compensation.

Other uses. Other uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization and you may revoke the authorization except to the extent Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania has taken action in reliance on such.

Your Health Information Rights

You have the right to:

  • request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information as provided by 45 C.F.R. §164.522; however, the organizations noted above are not required to agree to a requested restriction;
  • obtain a paper copy of the notice of information practices upon request;
  • inspect and obtain a copy of your health records as provided for in 45 C.F.R. §164.526
  • request communications of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations;
  • receive an accounting of disclosures made of your health information as provided by 45 C.F.R. §164.528
  • opt out of receiving fundraising communications
  • pay out-of-pocket for a service and you may require that Goodwill SWPA not submit PHI to your health plan.

Complaints

You may complain to the organization’s privacy officer listed below and to the Department of Health and Human Services, if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.

Our Obligations Under This Joint Notice

We are required by law to:
·        maintain the privacy of protected health information;
·        provide you with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information;
·        abide by the terms of this notice;
·        notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction on how your information is used or disclosed;
·        accommodate reasonable requests you may make to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations; and
·        notify affected individuals following a breach of unsecured PHI.

We reserve the right to change our information practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. The revised notice will be made available to you in person via Goodwill staff or by mail.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or complaints, please contact:

Ella Holsinger, Privacy Officer
Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania
Robert S. Foltz Building
118 52nd Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
412-632-1925

Individuals may file written complaints with the Office for Civil Rights, HHS by mail, fax, or email at the address listed below.

Barbara Holland, Regional Manager
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
150 S. Independence Mall West
Suite 372, Public Ledger Building
Philadelphia, PA 19106-9111
Main Line (800) 368-1019
FAX (215) 861-4431
TDD (800) 537-7697

Email : OCRComplaint@hhs.gov

Or mail:

Leon Rodriguez, Director
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Room 509F HHH Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20201