Notice of Privacy Practices

The First Tennessee Development District/First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging & Disability is committed to protecting our consumer’s privacy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) contains requirements for:

  • Privacy of “Protected Health Information” (PHI – any information that could relate a client to any medical information), including requirements for use and disclosure of PHI, client access to PHI, amendment of PHI, and handling of complaints,
  • Security of electronically stored PHI,
  • Electronic Transmission of PHI, including claims, claims payments, and other types of transactions.

All First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging & Disability staff will follow the Policies and Procedures manual as given by the Tennessee Commission on Aging & Disability for the handling of consumer’s protected health information. The Policies and Procedures manual is located at the First Tennessee Development District/First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging & Disability office, 3211 North Roan Street, Johnson City TN 37601. A copy of the full version of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability policies and procedures manual may be obtained upon request. Reasonable costs associated with copying of the manual will be assessed. This notice is a simplified, easy to understand version of our policies and describes how information about our consumers may be used and disclosed, and how they can obtain access to that information.

If you have any questions or complaints about our Privacy Practices, you may contact the First Tennessee Development District/First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging & Disability Privacy Officer at:

Dale Condon, Privacy Officer
First Tennessee Development District 3211 North Roan St.
Johnson City, TN 37601
(423) 928-0224

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

Uses and disclosures of health information

We use health and other information about you to deliver services, to obtain payment for services delivered, for administrative purposes, and to evaluate the quality of the services you receive. Continuity of care is part of providing services and your records may be shared with other providers to whom you are referred.  Information may be shared by paper mail, electronic mail, fax, or other methods.

We may use or disclose identifiable health information about you without your authorization for several reasons. Subject to certain requirements, we may give out health information without your authorization for public health purposes, for auditing purposes, for research studies, and for emergencies.  We provide information when otherwise required by law, such as for law enforcement in specific circumstances.  In any other situation, we will ask you for your written authorization before using or disclosing any identifiable health information about you.  If you choose not to sign an authorization to disclose information, you can later revoke that authorization to stop any future uses and disclosures.

We may change our policies at any time. Before we make a significant change in our policies, we will change our notice and have the updated notice available at our office at 3211 North Roan Street.  You can also request a copy of our notice at anytime.  For more information about our privacy practices you can contact the person below.

Complaints

If you are concerned that we have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your records, you may contact the person listed below.

Our legal duty

We are required by law to protect the privacy of your information, provide this notice about our information practices, follow the information practices that are described in this notice, and obtain acknowledgement of receipt of this notice.

If you have any questions or complaints, please contact:

Director: Kathy Whitaker
Or Privacy Officer:
Dale Condon
Address: 3211 North Roan St. Johnson City, TN 37601
Phone:    423-928-0224

Access Right

We give consumers access to their health information whether we or our business associates hold that information and whether or not we were the source of the information. Exceptions to this access occur rarely, such as when the information is deemed dangerous.  If we feel we need to deny access, we provide an explanation. Sometimes the consumer can contest this denial, and then we will have a third party review the situation.

The consumer may request access in writing. We typically have 30 days in which to provide the information.  We will charge the consumer reasonable costs for the copies of their records.

Amendment Right

The consumer may request in writing that we amend our records about the consumer. We will log the consumers request and reply within 60 days.  We may deny the consumer’s request, if we were not the originators of the information or if we believe the information is accurate.

Account and Restrictions

The consumer has a right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures of the consumer’s protected health information that we made in the six years prior to the date of the consumer’s request. The consumer’s request may occur in writing.  We have 60 days to respond.  Our accounting to the consumer will:

  • Be in writing,
  • Include the dates of the disclosure and to whom the information was sent,
  • Describe what information was sent, and
  • State the purpose of the disclosure.

In any given 12-month period, we will provide one accounting at no cost. Disclosures for authorizations to provide services, payment, or other disclosures which are part of standard operations are not included in this accounting; nor are those made with consumer authorization.

Restrictions on Use and Disclosure

The consumer may request restrictions on our use or disclosure of the consumer’s protected health information beyond those restrictions already imposed by the government. We may elect to accept the restriction or not.  However, if we accept the request, then we must abide by it and could only reverse our position after notifying the consumer appropriately first.

Restrictions on Communication Method

We will accommodate a request that we communicate with the consumer by alternative means, if we can practically implement such an alternative. The consumer is not required to explain why he or she wants such an alternative means of communication.  Our agreement with the consumer for an alternative communication channel will be documented and included in the consumer’s record.

Confidentiality and Records

Area Agency on Aging & Disability staff will keep consumer files locked during non-working hours. During working hours, files may be unlocked if staff is present in the area.  If staff is going to be out of the office for long periods the files will be locked. The Area Agency on Aging & Disability will use consumer records for the purposes of the program and for the coordination of other related services only. Any disclosure of information in a consumers file for purposes of coordinating related services shall be limited to the information that is directly relevant to and required by the other related services.

Email Policy

Use of electronic mail is a part of the First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging & Disability business process. All e-mail originating within or received into the First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging & Disability is the property of the First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging & Disability.

Confidentiality of Electronic Mail

When e-mail is used for communication of individually identifiable health information:

  • A notation referring to the confidential nature of the information will be made in the message.
  • The information is to be distributed only to those with a legitimate need to know.

Retention of Electronic Mail

Often, e-mail messages are non-vital and may be discarded routinely. However, some e-mail may be considered a formal record and will be retained.  If necessary, it will be printed and placed in the consumer’s record.  For instance, all clinically relevant e-mail messages, including full text of the consumer’s query, as well as the reply, will be stored in the consumer’s record.

Provider/Consumer Use of E-mail

No one can guarantee the privacy of e-mail messages. Employers generally have the right to access any e-mail received or sent by a person at work.

Fax Policy

All facsimiles sent will include a confidentiality notice and the cover letter will specify the addressee and sender. Personnel will make reasonable efforts to ensure that they send the facsimile to the correct destination. Personnel will limit the information sent to include only what is necessary to meet the requester’s needs.

 

CONSUMER RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

[Please read this carefully and ask for an explanation or discussion with your Service Coordinator about anything you do not understand about your care or of what is expected of you.]

you have the right:

  1. To reasonable access to non-medical services in your home without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability or ability to pay.
  2. To receive a list of instances where we have disclosed health information about you for reasons other than treatment, payment or related administrative purposes, and other than when you have explicitly authorized it.
  3. To receive considerate, respectful, compassionate care in a safe setting, to be free from abuse or harassment, and to be able to file grievances when this does not happen without the fear of discrimination or retaliation.
  4. To be informed in all aspects of your care and to be involved in your care planning, including education about self-care.
  5. To be informed of your rights and responsibilities in advance concerning care, including any changes, the frequency of care, and by whom the services will be provided.
  6. To be informed in a reasonable time of anticipated termination and/or transfer of service.
  7. To receive information about your care in language and terms that you can reasonably be expected to understand and, when possible, to receive assistance in doing this through the provision of special devices, interpreters, or other aids to facilitate communication.
  8. To view the information contained in your record and to obtain a copy of your file after reasonable notice and for a reasonable charge. If information in your record is incorrect or is missing, you have the right to request that we correct the existing information or add the missing information.
  9. To voice complaints about your care and to have those complaints reviewed and, when possible, resolved to your satisfaction.
  10. To expect that we will handle your care records confidentially in accordance with legal requirements and to anticipate that we will only release information about you when we have your written authorization or as otherwise required by law.
  11. To know about your provider’s capabilities and limits in providing non-medical services and to expect to receive services from care providers who are properly screened, trained, bonded and insured.
  12. To be informed of the extent to which payment for the home care services may be expected from Medicare, Medicaid or any other payer and to be informed of charges for which you may be responsible or for any payment(s) that you may have to make.
  13. To refuse all or part of your care to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the expected consequences of your actions.

As a consumer of services you have the responsibility:

  1. To report any changes in your health or living conditions to your care provider agency or your service coordinator.
  2. To participate in and follow your plan of care.
  3. To treat your care provider staff with respect and consideration. A mutual spirit of respect and cooperation allows us to serve you best.
  4. To cooperate with care provider staff and to ask questions if you do not understand instructions or information given to you about your plan of care.
  5. To provide a safe environment for care to be given to you.
  6. To accept personal responsibility for refusing care that is planned for you.
  7. To inform your care provider agency, service coordinator or supervisory personnel of any problems or dissatisfaction with services provided you.
  8. To accept any financial obligations associated with your care.
  9. To advise your service provider agency and service coordinator about any changes in your address, telephone number, or caretaker relationships.