Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

For NORTHERN PROSTHETICS & ORTHOPEDIC, INC.

1. OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION

The privacy of your medical information is important to us. We understand that your medical information is personal and we are committed to protecting it. We create a record for the care and services you receive at our organization. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice will tell you about the ways we may use and share medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain duties we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.

2. OUR LEGAL DUTY

Law requires us to: Keep your medical information private, give you this notice describing our legal duties, privacy practices and your rights regarding your medical information and follow the terms of the current notice.

We have the right to: Change our privacy practices and the terms of this notice at any time, provided that the changes are permitted by law. The changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our notice effective for all medical information that we keep, including information previously created or received before the changes.

Notice of change to Privacy Practices: Before we make an important change in our privacy practices, we will change this notice and make the new notice available upon request.

3. USE AND DISCLOUSRE OF YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION

The following section describes the different ways we use and disclose medical information. Not every use or disclosure will be listed. However, we have listed all of the different ways we are permitted to use and disclose medical information. We will not use or disclose your medical information for any purpose not listed below, without your specific written authorization. Any specific written authorization you provide may be revoked at any time by writing to us.

Treatment: We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students or other people who are taking care of you. We may also share medical information about you to your other health care providers to assist them in treating you.

Payment: We may use and disclose your medical information for payment purposes. A bill may be sent to you or a third-party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include your medical information.

Healthcare Operations: We may use and disclose your medical information for our health care operations. This might include measuring and improving quality, evaluating the performance of employees, conducting training programs and getting the accreditation, certificates, licenses and credentials we need to serve you.

Treatment Alternatives: We may use or disclose your protected health information as necessary; to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.

Appointments: We may use or disclosure your protected health information, as necessary, to contact you regarding appointments. We will be calling you by name in the waiting room when your Orthotist, Prosthetist or Pedorthist is ready to see you.

Sales of the Practice: If we decide to sell this practice, merge or combine with another practice we may share your protected health information with the new owners.

Others involved in Your Healthcare: Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, relative, close friend or any other person you identify either orally or in writing, your protected health information that directly relates to that person’s involvement in your healthcare. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgement. We may use or disclose your protected health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care or general condition.

Public Health: We may use or disclose your protected health information for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability. A disclosure under this exception would only be made to somebody in a position to help prevent the threat to public health.

Communicable Diseases: We may use or disclose your protected health information, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.

Health Oversight: We may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law such as audits investigations and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the healthcare system, government programs and civil rights laws.

Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your protected health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, we may disclose your protected health information if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the governmental entity or agency authorized to receive such information. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.

Military and Veterans: If you are a member of the military we may release protected health information about you as required by military command authorities.

Legal Proceedings: We may disclose your protected health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized) in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.

Law Enforcement: We may also disclose your protected health information, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes.

Workers Compensation: We may disclose your protected health information as authorized to comply with workers compensation laws and other similar legally established programs that provide benefits for work related illnesses and injuries.

Inmates: We may disclose your protected health information if you are an inmate of a correctional facility and your Orthotist, Prosthetist or Pedorthist created or received your protected health information in the course of providing care to you.

Required Uses and Disclosures: Under the law, we must make disclosures to you and when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of the final rule on Stands for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information.

4. YOUR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS

1. You have the to look at or get copies of certain parts of your medical information. You may request that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies. We will use the format you request unless it is not practical for us to do so. You must make your request in writing. There may be charges for copying and for postage if you want the copies mailed to you.
2. Receive a list of all the times we or our business associates shared your medical information for purposes other than treatment, payment and health care operations and other specified exceptions.
3. Request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your medical information. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in the case of an emergency).
4. Request that we communicate with you about your medical information by different means or to different locations. Your request that we communicate your medical information to you by different means or at different locations must be made in writing to our office.
5. Request that we change certain parts of your medical information. We may deny your request if we did not create the information you want changed or for certain other reasons. If we deny your request, we will provide you with a written explanation. You may respond with a statement of disagreement that will be added to the information you wanted changed. If we accept your request to change the information, we will make reasonable efforts to tell others, including people you name, of the change and to include the change in any future sharing of that information.

5. QUESTIONS OR COMPLAINTS

If you have any questions about this notice, please ask the receptionists to speak to our Privacy Office.

If you think that we may have violated your privacy rights, you may speak to our Privacy Officer or submit a written complaint. To take either action, please inform the receptionist that you wish to contact the Privacy Officer or request a complaint form. You may submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; we will provide you with the address to file your complaint. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint.

 

MEDICARE STANDARDS

  • A supplier must be in compliance with all applicable Federal and State Licensure and regulatory requirements.
  • A supplier must provide complete and accurate information on the DMEPOS supplier application. Any changes to this information must be reported to the National Supplier Clearinghouse within 30 days.
  • An authorized individual (one whose signature is binding) must sign the application for billing privileges.
  • A supplier must fill orders from its own inventory or must contract with other companies for the purchase of items necessary to fill the order. A supplier may not contract with any entity that is currently excluded from the Medicare program, any State health care programs or from any other Federal procurement or nonprocurement programs.
  • A supplier must advise beneficiaries that they may rent or purchase inexpensive or routinely purchased durable medical equipment and of the purchase option for capped rental equipment.
  • A supplier must notify beneficiaries of warranty coverage and honor all warranties under applicable State law and repair or replace free of charge Medicare covered items that are under warranty.
  • A supplier must maintain a physical facility on an appropriate site.
  • A supplier must permit HCFA or it’s agents to conduct on-site inspections to ascertain the supplier’s compliance with these standards. The supplier location must be accessible to beneficiaries during reasonable business hours and must maintain a visible sign and posted hours of operation.
  • A supplier must maintain a primary business telephone listed under the name of the business in a local directory or a toll free number available through directory assistance. The exclusive use of a beeper, answering machine or cell phone is prohibited.
  • A supplier must have comprehensive liability insurance in the amount of at least $300,000 that covers both the supplier’s place of business and all customers and employees of the supplier. If the supplier manufactures its own items this insurance must also cover product liability and completed operations.
  • A supplier must agree not to initiate telephone contact with beneficiaries, with a few exceptions allowed. This standard prohibits suppliers from calling beneficiaries in order to solicit new business.
  • A supplier is responsible for delivery and must instruct beneficiaries on use of Medicare covered items and maintain proof of delivery.
  • A supplier must answer questions and respond to complaints of beneficiaries and maintain documentation of such contacts.
  • A supplier must maintain and replace at no charge or repair directly, or through a service contract with another company, Medicare covered items it has rented to beneficiaries.
  • A supplier must accept returns of substandard (less than full quality for the particular item) or unsuitable items (inappropriate for the beneficiary at the time it was fitted and rented or sold) from beneficiaries.
  • A supplier must disclose these supplier standards to each beneficiary to whom it supplies a Medicare covered item.
  • A supplier must disclose to the government any person having ownership, financial or control interest in the supplier.
  • A supplier must not convey or reassign a supplier number; i.e., the supplier may not sell or allow another entity to use its Medicare billing number.
  • A supplier must have a complaint resolution protocol established to address beneficiary complaints that relate to these standards. A record of these complaints must be maintained at the physical facility.
  • Complaint records must include: the name, address, telephone number and health insurance claim number of the beneficiary, a summary of the complaint and any actions taken to resolve it.
  • A supplier must agree to furnish HCFA any information required by the Medicare statute and implementing regulations.
  • All suppliers must be accredited by a CMS-approved accreditation organization in order to receive and retain a supplier billing number. The accreditation must indicate the specific products and services, for which the supplier is accredited in order for the supplier to receive payment of those specific products and services (except for certain exempt pharmaceuticals).
  • All suppliers must notify their accreditation organization when a new DMEPOS location is opened.
  • All supplier locations, whether owned or subcontracted, must meet the DMEPOS quality standards and be separately accredited in order to bill Medicare.
  • All suppliers must disclose upon enrollment all products and services, including the addition of new product lines for which they are seeing accreditation.
  • Must meet the surety bond requirements specified in 42 C.F.R. 424.57(c).
  • A supplier must obtain oxygen from a state licensed oxygen supplier.
  • A supplier must maintain ordering and referring documentation consistent with provisions found in 42 C.F.R. 424.516(f).
  • DMEPOS suppliers are prohibited from sharing a practice location with certain other Medicare providers and suppliers.
  • DMEPOS supplier must remain open to the public for a minimum of 30 hours per week with certain exceptions.