1.16.03 Patient Privacy
1.16.03 Patient Privacy (Revised 10/2020)
Protected Health Information is health information that identifies a patient. It can be found in many forms such as paper, oral, written, faxed, or in databases including medical records, or information used for payment or billing. The information can only be used for Treatment, Payment, or health care operations or (“TPO”). If the information is to be used in another matter, Patient Authorization must be obtained.
Patients are given the Notice of Privacy Practice (NOPP), which basically details how his/her PHI can be used or disclosed, such as the legal requirements to report neglect to certain child protective agencies. Likewise, it informs patients about their other rights as to how they can obtain a copy of their PHI, see their PHI as well as request/ amend their PHI. They may also ask for a list of people who have been given their medical information. Lastly it tells patients how they may file a complaint if they feel their medical information is not handled properly.
Patients trust is vital to our mission, so out of respect for them we must ensure their PHI remains private and is only used in accordance to HIPAA. If Amerimed needs to use patient medical information in a way that is not listed in the Notice of Privacy Practice we will obtain a patient authorization. This is because there are civil monetary penalties, as well as criminal penalties for knowingly using, selling, and/or disclosing patients protected health information. Therefore the
following policies and procedures establishes how Amerimed associates will handle patient medical information.
Policies and Procedures
Patients are to be given the Notice of Privacy Practice at the completion of every transport.
No Amerimed employee will release PHI.
No Amerimed employee will discuss patient information when it can be overheard by people not directly involved in the care of the patient. See 1.3.5 Confidentiality, Section A.
No Amerimed employee will discuss patient information in a public place.
If an employee is unsure if the information is going to be used in a way not detailed in the NOPP, they must contact their supervisor or manager.
No Amerimed employee will take pictures or videos (to include any devise; camcorder, camera, cell phone, etc.) of patients or a patient’s injuries regardless of the inability to see the patients face.
No Amerimed employee will take pictures or videos (to include any devise; camcorder, camera, cell phone, etc.) of any accident scene or vehicle damage even if in public view, except supervisors or management investigating a company owned vehicle involved accident.
No Amerimed employee will discard patients PHI in the regular trash even if torn. All PHI MUST be shredded in the appropriate receptacles before being discarded. Approved receptacles are located in Patient Accounting and Administrative Services offices, as well as the Media Room.
Employees violating any of these policies may be subject to counseling, a written warning, and/or termination of employment. See 1.9.2 Intolerable Violations, Section A
Additional rules and regulations are covered under HIPAA Laws and violations can result in fines up to $250,000 and/or incarceration.
1.3.8 Continuous Quality Improvement Program
Amerimed maintains a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Program with oversight by the Medical Directors and/or Senior Leadership.
All service aspects of Amerimed’s operations, including Communications, Field Operations, and Patient Accounting and Documentation have well defined guidelines and expectations in order to ensure all involved associates understand their responsibilities in these areas.
Patient Care Reports (PCRs), Daily Unit Checklists, and other documentation may be reviewed by Shift Commander, Division Managers, Operations Managers, the Compliance Officer and/or the Amerimed Medical Director. Program operations will focus on analysis of data, creation of improvement projects, associate education specific to areas in need of improvement, monitoring of changes, and reporting of outcomes to Amerimed Management and/or Medical Direction.