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Free Notice of Privacy Practices Essay Sample

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Part I

Facility Choice #1: USA Childrens & Womens Hospital

10 Elements

Is the Element Present? (Yes or No)

In your own words, what does the element say?

Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record

 

Yes

The facility needs a written request for that purpose. Having received such a request, the facility will provide a patient with an electronic copy of the record.

Ask us to correct your medical record

 

Yes

Upon request of a patient, amendment of the record information will be provided. In case of denial, the facility will provide a written explanation concerning the reasons to do so.

Request confidential communications

 

Yes

All the reasonable requests are met by the facility upon a patient’s request. This right expands on means of communication and location issues.

Ask us to limit what we use or share

 

Yes

This point relates to information for payment, treatment, and health care operations. As a rule, the facility is not obliged to agree on such limitations, yet it may be possible under particular circumstances that are listed in the NPP of the given facility.

Get a copy of this privacy notice

 

Yes

The patients of the given facility have a right to receive this privacy note as a paper copy, even in case a patient has agreed to receive an electronic version only.

Choose someone to act for you

No

Although it is not formulated as a separate right in the NPP, the given right becomes clear when reading the whole document. Hence, the given right is implied in the NPP, but not stated transparently and directly.

Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information

Yes

The facility provides the patients with accounting of disclosures upon request. The first request issues during the first 12 months will be free, whereas the next one(s) will require relevant payment. The list of disclosures will include the ones made during six years prior to the date of the request.

How do we typically use or share your health information?

Yes

The basic terms and conditions of use and disclosing of a patient’s information are provided in the NPP.

What are the facilities responsibilities required by law?

Yes

There is a no separate clause featuring the issue of all the responsibilities, yet they are concisely presented in all the parts of the NPP.

For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share.  What are those cases?

Yes

There is a separate paragraph dedicated to the given matter. According to it, patient’s preferences concerning sharing of the data may be maintained in the following cases: 1) the request not to disclose information from the record to a patient’s health plan; 2) the aim of sharing the information has no connection to the course of treatment; 3) the out-of-pocket payment in full has been made for all the services provided by the facility and related to the information requested for disclosing. The obligatory terms is that all of these conditions apply.

Facility Choice #2:  Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital

10 Elements

Is the Element Present? (Yes or No)

In your own words, what does the element say?

Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record

Yes

The right to see and get a copy of health data available in the hospital is acclaimed. In case of refusal, the facility is obliged to provide explanations. No particular form of the copy is mentioned as obligatory or solely possible one. The right is granted, yet when it comes to paper copy, the fee may be charged covering all the expenses the facility has faced when providing the requested paper copy.

Ask us to correct your medical record

Yes

Patients are welcome to contact the hospital in case any changes are necessary. The request is expected to be in a written form. Yet, the facility can refuse the request with subsequent explanatory note.

Request confidential communications

Yes

The hospital is willing to cooperate with patients in terms of confidentiality of communication. The conditions of place, time, and means of communication are included in the list.

Ask us to limit what we use or share

Yes

This option is available in the facility, but the hospital does not guarantee maintenance of the request.

Get a copy of this privacy notice

Yes

The facility does not mention it, but invites to check more details on their web site or at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/

Choose someone to act for you

No

There is no direct reference or separate clause on this issue. Yet, the matter of involving friends and family is mentioned.

Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information

Yes

The facility is ready to provide the list of people with whom the information has been shared. Exceptions to this rule are cases of actual treatment, receiving the payment, and needs related to running the hospital.

How do we typically use or share your health information?

Yes

There is no a separate clause on this matter, but the basic information is briefly referred to. 

What are the facilities responsibilities required by law?

Yes

There is no separate clause for this point, but the NPP clarifies it in details within the whole document.

For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share.  What are those cases?

Yes

The note on privacy provision acclaimed by the hospital has numerous details on particular cases in terms of use and sharing of patients’ health data.

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Part II

Similarities & Differences – Provide a minimum of 5 similarities and differences 

Similarities

Differences

Both NPPs cover the prevailing majority of the outlined elements.

The style and tone of these NPPs differ considerably: while the NPP of Children’s and Women’s Hospital is official, neutral and concise, the NPP of Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital is rather unofficial, sometimes even friendly and resembling a blog entry, not an official statement of the facility.

Both NPPs lack maximally effective structure of statements.

The structure differs: Children’s and Women’s Hospital provides brevity of statements and thus the document does not require much time to read or to find a matter of interest due to proper highlighting of each clause. On the other hand, the NPP of Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital has poor structure and offers less comfort for the readers. Nevertheless, there is one advantage of the given note: it includes a range of questions that are evidently often asked in hospital staff. Actually, these questions and responses seem to be out of rank of an official document, but at the same time they do serve a useful function, namely, provide consultation and, in such a way, eliminate waste of time of personnel.

Both NPPs lack details for elements concerning designation of other individuals for acting on the behalf of patients and proper explication of responsibilities the facility has in terms of law (as a separate and well-structured clause).

Children’s and Women’s Hospital offers a ready for print file as NPP as well as an offer for getting a copy, whereas Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital provides all the elements of NPP on a web page without any suggestion of ready for print file or paper copy.  

The terms of regulation of requests for amendment of the record are similar: no guarantees, but possible to acquire under particular terms.

While Children’s and Women’s Hospital provides the form for acknowledgment of the note via data and signature, the NPP of Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital fails to provide it on their official web site.

Both facilities are ready to meet all the requirements from patients for provision of confidential communication (in terms of place, time, and means) as well as to provide copy of the record and a list of those with whom the data has been shared (the terms for provision of the latter file differs, though).

The NPP of Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital provides examples and responses to controversial cases from daily practice, whereas Children’s and Women’s Hospital offers only official guidelines and rules.

Both NPPs provide information on some points only indirectly, via implications and brief remarks.

Click or tap here to enter text.

Part III

Based on your research and knowledge from the course, determine if the facilities included all the required elements. 

a) If the facility did not include all the required elements, indicate what elements are missing and how the facility should correct the issue. 

Children’s and Women’s Hospital has all the basic information required, but the structure of the NPP should be improved. The NPP is concise and to the point, but some clauses need better organization and will benefit from further specification. Nevertheless, there is no need to provide examples or long explanations – brief and matter-of-fact additions to paragraphs about acting on a patient’s behalf (under which circumstances, what papers are needed, and what exceptions exist); precise classification of use and disclosing of patients’ data; and issues related to the breach of patients’ privacy. These enhancements will serve as strengthening factor in terms of patients’ credit, trust, and respect of the facility. On the other hand, the NPP of Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital will benefit from adding the aforementioned points to their note, while making long explanations more concise and maximally relevant. Furthermore, their note apparently lacks direct contact data in case of complaint and smarter structure of the elements. Finally, use of more official and neutral tone will serve effectively since it is an official document with legal aspects. Nonetheless, there is no need to  make it rather complex for understanding of average people.

b) If the facility did include all the required elements, explain why you feel all the elements are present.

Basically, all the crucial information has been presented in both NPPs. The one of Children’s and Women’s Hospital is more concise, better structured, and official. Nevertheless, both notes should be improved according to the aforementioned recommendations.

Part IV

If a patient feels his/her rights were violated, according to the NPPs you located, who may the patient contact to file a complaint and what are the ways a patient may file a complaint? 

Facility #1 Children’s and Women’s Hospital   

In case of filing a complaint concerning violation of patient’s privacy rights, there are two major options: 1) filing a complaint directly with the facility, or with the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. No retaliation will occur consequently. The contact data necessary to guide patients in filing a complaint is provided. 

Facility #2 Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital

There is a sufficiently detailed explanation of violation cases in the last paragraph of the note and a reference to the official source about HIPAA violations and enforcements. There is a brief information in the beginning of the note that in case of violations, patients can complain directly to Privacy Officer of the facility. Nevertheless, no direct references are provided.

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