Notice of Privacy Practices
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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.
This notice applies to the privacy practices of Aspirus Health Ventures, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Aspirus Health Plan, Inc. and Aspirus Health Plan of Michigan, Inc. (collectively, “AHP”). AHP is required by law to maintain the privacy of your Protected Health Information (“PHI”), and to give you this notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your PHI.
This notice takes effect Sept. 15, 2020, and we must follow its terms until we replace it. AHP reserves the right to amend this notice at any time and may make the revised notice provisions effective for PHI we already have about you, as well as for any such information we may later receive. We will promptly revise and distribute this notice whenever material changes are made to its terms. You may request a copy of this notice at any time.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
The following are examples of permitted uses and disclosures of your PHI by AHP. This list of examples is not exhaustive.
Treatment. We may disclose your PHI to a health care provider for you to receive medical care from the provider.
Payment. We may use and disclose your PHI to pay for your covered benefits. For example, we may review PHI to pay for your claims from physicians, hospitals, and other providers for services delivered to you that are covered by your health plan, to determine your eligibility for benefits, to coordinate benefits, to examine medical necessity, and to obtain premiums.
Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose your PHI in connection with our health care operations, including such activities as:
- Quality assessment and improvement activities;
- Reviewing the competence or qualifications of health care professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation, certification, licensing, or credentialing activities;
- Underwriting, premium rating, or other activities relating to the creation, renewal, or replacement of a contract of health insurance or health benefits. We will not use or disclose genetic information for underwriting purposes;
- Conducting or arranging for medical review, legal services, and auditing, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance;
- Business planning and development; and
- Business management and general administrative activities, including management activities relating to privacy, customer service, resolution of internal grievances, and creating de-identified medical information or a limited data set.
In addition, AHP participates in one or more Organized Health Care Arrangements. Members of an Organized Health Care Arrangement may share information with each other for treatment, payment, or health care operation purposes described in this notice.
Business Associates. We may disclose your PHI to business associates of AHP to provide necessary services to AHP, if such business associates have agreed in writing to protect the confidentiality of your PHI.
Plan Sponsors. If you are covered under a group health plan, we may disclose your eligibility, enrollment, and disenrollment information to the plan sponsor. We may disclose your PHI to the plan sponsor to permit the plan sponsor to perform certain administrative functions on behalf of the plan, but only if the plan sponsor agrees in writing to use the PHI appropriately and to protect it as required by law.
Persons Involved With Your Care. We may disclose your relevant PHI to family members, friends, or others that you identify as being involved with your health care or with payment for your health care. Before doing so, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to such uses or disclosures. If you are not present, or in the event of your incapacity or an emergency, we will disclose your PHI based on our professional judgment of whether the disclosure would be in your best interest.
Disasters and Medical Emergencies. We may use or disclose your PHI to a public or private entity authorized by law or by its charter to assist in disaster relief efforts. We may use or disclose your name, location, and general condition or death to notify, or assist in the notification of (including identifying or locating), a person involved in your care.
Health-Related Benefits and Services. We may use and disclose your PHI to contact you with information about treatment alternatives, appointment reminders, or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
Required Disclosures. We are required to disclose your PHI to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if necessary for an investigation being conducted by the Secretary; and upon request, to you or to individuals authorized by you, such as your personal representative.
Other Uses or Disclosures Permitted or Required by Law. We may use or disclose your PHI as permitted or required by law for the following purposes:
- As required by law;
- For public health activities, including disease and vital statistic reporting, child abuse reporting, FDA oversight, and to employers regarding work-related illness or injury;
- To report adult abuse, neglect, or domestic violence;
- To health oversight agencies;
- In response to court and administrative orders and other lawful processes;
- To law enforcement officials pursuant to subpoenas and other lawful processes, concerning crime victims, suspicious deaths, crimes on our premises, reporting crimes in emergencies, and for purposes of identifying or locating a suspect or other person;
- To coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors;
- To organ procurement organizations;
- To avert a serious threat to health or safety;
- In connection with certain research activities;
- To the military and to federal officials for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and national security activities;
- To correctional institutions regarding inmates; and
- As authorized by state workers’ compensation laws.
Written Authorization. Unless you give us your written authorization, we will not use or disclose your PHI for purposes other than those described in this notice. We will not sell your PHI, or use or disclose your PHI for marketing purposes, or use or disclose your psychotherapy notes, except as permitted by law, unless we have received your written authorization. If you give us written authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any uses or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it was in effect.
Inspect and Copy. With certain exceptions, you have the right to inspect or copy the PHI that we maintain on you. You must make a request in writing to obtain access to your PHI. You may obtain a form to request access by using the contact information listed at the end of this notice. You may also request access by sending us a letter to the address at the end of this notice. If you request copies, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for staff time to locate and copy your PHI, and postage if you want the copies mailed to you. If we deny your request to access and inspect your information, you may request a review of the denial.
Amendment. You have the right to request that we amend the PHI that we maintain on you. Your request must be in writing and must provide a reason to support the requested amendment. We may deny your request to amend PHI if we did not create it and the originator remains available; if it is accurate and complete; if it is not part of the information that we maintain; or if it is not part of the information that you would be permitted to inspect and copy. If we deny your request, we will provide you with a written explanation. You may respond with a statement of disagreement to be appended to the information you wanted amended.
Confidential Communications. You have the right to request to receive communications of your PHI from us by alternative means or at alternative locations. We must accommodate your request if it is reasonable; if it specifies the alternative means or location; if it clearly states that the disclosure of all or part of the information could endanger you; and if it continues to permit us to collect premiums and pay claims under your health plan, including issuance of explanations of benefits to the contract holder of the health plan in which you participate. An explanation of benefits issued to the contract holder for health care that you received for which you did not request confidential communications may contain sufficient information to reveal that you obtained health care for which we paid, even though you requested that we communicate with you about that health care in confidence.
Request Restrictions. You have the right to request restrictions on how we use or disclose PHI about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations, or that we disclose to someone who may be involved in your care or payment for your care, like a family member or friend. We are not required to agree to these restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in an emergency). Your restriction request must be made to us in writing. A person authorized to make such an agreement on our behalf must sign any agreement to restrictions. We will not agree to restrictions on uses or disclosures that are legally required, or which are necessary for us to administer our business.
Disclosure Accounting. You have a right to receive an accounting of the disclosures we have made of your PHI. This accounting will not include disclosures made for treatment, payment, health care operations, to law enforcement or corrections personnel, pursuant to your authorization, directly to you, or for certain other activities. Your request for an accounting must be made in writing to us and must state the time period, which may not be longer than six years, from which you would like to receive the accounting. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12-month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests.
Breach Notification. You have the right to be notified by us if there is a breach of your unsecured PHI.
Copy of Notice. You are entitled to receive this notice in written form, even if you have received it on our website or by electronic mail (email). Please contact us using the information listed at the end of this notice to obtain a written copy of the notice.
Protection of PHI. AHP is committed to ensuring that your PHI is protected from unauthorized use or disclosure. We have implemented strong security measures and processes to keep oral, written, and electronic PHI secure across our organization. For example, an employee or contractor who accesses your PHI must comply with all of our information security requirements including, but not limited to, signing confidentiality agreements, completing annual information security training, and using encryption when transmitting data to an external party.
Questions and Complaints
If you believe that AHP may have violated your privacy rights, or if you disagree with a decision we made regarding one of the individual rights provided to you under this notice, you may submit a complaint to us using the contact information provided at the end of this notice. You may also submit a written complaint to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will not retaliate against you in any way if you choose to file a complaint regarding our privacy practices with us or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Nonpublic Personal Information Privacy Practices
Information We May Collect. AHP may collect and use nonpublic personal information about you from the following sources:
- Information we receive from you on applications and other forms that are provided to us, such as your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, marital status, dependent information, employment information, and medical history;
- Information about your transactions with us, our affiliates, and others, such as health care claims, medical history, eligibility information, payment information, service request, and appeal and grievance information; and
- Information we receive from consumer reporting agencies, employers, and insurance companies, such as credit history, creditworthiness, and information verifying employment history or insurance coverage.
Information We May Disclose. AHP does not disclose any nonpublic personal information about our customers or former customers to anyone, except as permitted by law. We share nonpublic personal information only to the extent necessary for us to take care of our customers’ claims and other transactions involving our products and services.
When necessary, we share a customer’s nonpublic personal information with our affiliates and disclose it to health care providers, other insurers, third- party administrators, payors, vendors, consultants, government authorities, and their respective agents. These parties are required to keep nonpublic personal information confidential as required by law.
AHP does not share nonpublic personal information with other companies for their own marketing purposes. AHP may disclose such information to companies, which must keep it confidential as required by law, that perform marketing services on our behalf or to other companies with which we have joint marketing agreements.
Confidentiality and Security. At AHP, we restrict access to nonpublic personal information to those employees who need to know that information to provide products or services to you. We maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect nonpublic personal information against unauthorized access and use. These safeguards comply with federal regulations on the protection of nonpublic personal information.
AHP will amend this notice as necessary and appropriate to protect nonpublic personal information about our customers.
Further Information. For additional information regarding this notice or our privacy practices in general, please call the AHP Privacy Officer at 715-843-1391, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or write to us at:
Aspirus Health Plan
3000 Westhill Drive,
Wausau, WI 54401