Westfall Occupational Therapy Services
WOTS is owned and operated by Hitomi A. Westfall, OTR/L
PO Box 3506
Livermore, CA 94551
Protecting The Privacy of Patients’ Health Information:
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was developed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and includes “provisions designed to encourage electronic transactions and also required new safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of health information. The final regulation covers health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers who conduct certain financial and administrative transactions (e.g., enrollment, billing and eligibility verification) electronically.”
More information about the rule, with explanations and descriptions about key elements, is available at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa.
“The new privacy regulations ensure a national floor of privacy protections for patients by limiting the ways that health plans, pharmacies, hospitals and other covered entities can use patients’ personal medical information. The regulations protect medical records and other individually identifiable health information, whether it is on paper, in computers or communicated orally. Key provisions of these new standards include:”
• Access to medical records.
WOTS provides written reports (evaluation, progress, discharge) to clients’ parent/legal guardian only and they are asked to identify any errors or mistakes so that corrections can be made. Reports or documents usually included in client charts are provided to WOTS directly by or at the request of the parent/legal guardian, generated by the treating therapist, or provided by RCEB case managers or administrators with parent/legal guardian consent. Parent/legal guardian is notified of other miscellaneous communications provided to WOTS in the course of providing OT services and the parent/legal guardian may request copies of those documents and other medical records on file. Information is not shared by WOTS to other persons, agencies or entities without written authorization, consent or request by the parent/legal guardian. All files/documents are stored in locked cabinets, which has no unsupervised access by others. No routine electronic transmission of client files, reports, or medical information is done. If a parent/legal guardian requests or authorizes a specific electronic transfer of information it may be done with only those individuals, professionals, or entities specifically identified by the parent/guardian, and who have direct impact on client’s functional status, progress, abilities, as it relates to OT services provided by WOTS.
• Notice of privacy practices.
The information on this page provides clients’ parent/legal guardian of the WOTS policies designed to protect client information. A copy of this document is provided to parent/legal guardian, another copy, accompanied by parent/legal guardian signature acknowledging receipt of this information is included in each client’s file and another copy is posted in the reception room of WOTS.
• Limits on use of personal medical information.
No client file, personal, protected, or medical information, in any form (written, oral, electronic) is exchanged or shared without written request or consent of parent/legal guardian. A written authorization from the parent/legal guardian must be on file in order to communicate/consult with other professionals regarding the client’s functional status, progress or other issues regarding OT services with WOTS. Because WOTS does not accept insurance payments or payments from 3rd parties, no information (health, private, protected, or billing) is shared with such agencies in any form. Billing information is provided directly to parent/legal guardian only. In the case of RCEB vendor services, RCEB contacts WOTS directly and provides information in writing to WOTS in order to establish a Purchase of Service and for billing purposes. Parent/legal guardian is notified and is provided the same information or reports whenever information or progress reports are sent from WOTS to RCEB. No client information is routinely shared via electronic transmission and never without parent/legal guardian consent, authorization, or request.
• Prohibition on marketing.
WOTS does not, has not, and will not, share any client’s personal or health information for marketing purposes.
• Stronger State laws.
If any of the privacy rules of California are stronger than the corresponding HIPAA rules, the stronger state rule applies.
• Confidential communications.
Clients’ parent/legal guardian may “request that doctors, health plans and other covered entities take reasonable steps to ensure that their communications with the patient are confidential.” WOTS makes all reasonable efforts to communicate with parent/legal guardian in a manner that honors the client’s right to privacy. Only treating therapist and billing personnel have access to the information contained in the client file stored only in locked cabinets contained in locked, private office at WOTS’ place of business.
“Consumers may file a formal complaint regarding the privacy practices of a covered health plan or provider. Such complaints can be made directly to the covered provider or health plan or to HHS’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which is charged with investigating complaints and enforcing the privacy regulation. Information about filing complaints should be included in each covered entity’s notice of privacy practices.” More information about filing a complaint is available by calling (866) 627-7748, or at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa.
PO Box 3506, Livermore, CA 94551
© 2005-2016 Westfall Occupational Therapy Services. All right reserved.