Unicare Health Services Notice of Privacy Practices
This notice describes how health information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to your identifiable health information. Please review this notice carefully.
Our commitment to your privacy
Unicare Health Services is dedicated to maintaining the privacy and security of your identifiable health information. In conducting our business, we will create records regarding you and the treatment and services we provide to you. We are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of health information that identifies you. We are also required by law to provide you with this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices concerning your identifiable health information. By law, we must follow the terms of the notice of privacy practices that we have in effect at the time. To summarize, this notice provides you with the following important information:
- How we may use and disclose your identifiable health information.
- Your privacy rights in your identifiable health information
- Our obligations concerning the use and disclosure of your identifiable health information.
The terms of this notice apply to all records containing your identifiable health information that are created or retained by Unicare Health Services. We reserve the right to revise or amend our notice of privacy practices. Any revision or amendment to this notice will be effective for all of your records our company has created or maintained in the past, and for any of your records we may create or maintain in the future. Our organization will post a copy of our current notice in our offices in a prominent location, and you may request a copy of our most current notice during any office visit.
If you have questions about this notice, please contact:
3271 Grande Vista Drive
Newbury Park, CA 91320
We may use and disclose your health information in the following ways
The following categories describe the different ways in which we may use and disclose your identifiable health information.
- Treatment. Unicare Health Services may use your identifiable health information to treat you. For example, we may request results laboratory tests (such as sleep studies) to set the proper pressures when setting up a CPAP. Many of the people who work for our organization may use or disclose your identifiable health information to others who may assist in your care, such as your physician, therapists, spouse, children or parents.
- Payment. Unicare Health Services may use and disclose your identifiable health information in order to bill and collect payment for the services and items you may receive from us. For example, we may contact your health insurer to certify that you are eligible for benefits (and for what range of benefits), and we may provide your insurer with details regarding your treatment to determine if your insurer will cover, or pay for, your treatment. We also may use and disclose your identifiable health information to obtain payment from third parties that may be responsible for such costs, such as family members. We may also use your health information to obtain payment on delinquent accounts thru contracted collection agencies. Also, we may use your identifiable health information to bill you directly for services and items.
- Health Care Operations. Unicare Health Services may use and disclose your identifiable health information to operate our business. As examples of the ways in which we may use and disclose your information for our operations, our organization may use your health information to evaluate the quality of care you received from our company, or to conduct cost-management and business planning activities for our organization. This includes banking institutions and any contractors employed by such. Daily operations of our business may allow the visibility of identifiable health information by contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, cleaning services, and other services required for maintenance of our facility.
- Appointment Reminders. Unicare Health Services may use and disclose your identifiable health information to contact you and remind you of visits/deliveries.
- Health-Related Benefits and Services. Unicare Health Services may use and disclose your identifiable health information to inform you of health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you. This may include informing you of new products and updates related to your diagnosis and condition.
- Release of Information to Family/Friends. Unicare Health Services may release your identifiable health information to a friend or family member that is helping you pay for your health care, or who assists in taking care of you.
- Disclosures Required By Law. Unicare Health Services will use and disclose your identifiable information when we are required to do so by federal, state, or local law.
Use and disclosure of your identifiable health information in certain special circumstances
The following categories describe unique scenarios in which we may use or disclose your identifiable health information:
- Public Health Risks. Unicare Health Services may disclose your identifiable health information to public health authorities that are authorized by law to collect information for the purpose of:
- Maintaining vital records, such as births and deaths.
- Reporting child abuse or neglect
- Preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.
- Notifying a person regarding potential exposure to a communicable disease
- Reporting adverse reactions to products or problems with products or devices.
- Notifying individuals if a product or device they may be using has been recalled.
- Notifying appropriate government agencies and authorities regarding the potential abuse or neglect of an adult patient (including domestic violence); however, we will only disclose this information if the patient agrees or we are required or authorized by law to disclose this information.
- Notifying your employer under limited circumstances related primarily to workplace injury or illness or medical surveillance.
- Health Oversight Activities. Our organization may disclose your identifiable health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. Oversight activities can include, for example investigations, inspections, audits, surveys, licensure and disciplinary actions; civil, administrative, criminal procedures or actions; or other activities necessary for the government to monitor government programs, compliance with civil rights laws and the health care system in general.
- Lawsuits and Similar Proceedings. Unicare Health Services may use and disclose your identifiable health information in response to a court or administrative order, if you are involved in a lawsuit or similar proceeding. We also may disclose your identifiable health information in response to a discovery request, subpoena, or other lawful process by another party involved in the dispute, but only if we have made an effort to inform you of the request or to obtain an order protecting the information the party has requested.
- Law Enforcement. We may release identifiable health information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
- Regarding a crime victim in certain situations, if we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement.
- Concerning a death we believe might have resulted from criminal conduct.
- Regarding criminal conduct at our offices
- In response to a warrant, summons, court order, subpoena, or similar legal process
- To identify/locate a suspect, material witness, fugitive or missing person
- In an emergency; to report a crime ;(including the location or victim(s) of the crime, or the description, identity, or location of the perpetrator)
- Serious Threats to Health or Safety. Unicare Health Services may use and disclose your identifiable health information when necessary to reduce or prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of another individual or the public. Under these circumstances, we will only make disclosures to a person or organization able to help prevent the threat.
- Military. We may disclose your identifiable health information if you are a member of U.S. or foreign military forces (including veterans) and if required by the appropriate military command authorities.
- National Security. Unicare Health Services may disclose your identifiable health information to federal officials for intelligence and national security activities authorized by law. We also may disclose your identifiable health information to federal officials in order to protect the President, other officials or foreign heads of state, or to conduct investigations.
- Inmates. Unicare Health Services may disclose your health information to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials if you are an inmate or under the custody of a law enforcements official. Disclosure for these purposes would be necessary: (a) for the institution to provide health care services to you, (b) for the safety and security of the institution, and/or (c) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of other individuals.
- Workers Compensation. Our organization may release your identifiable health information for workers’ compensation and similar programs.
Your rights regarding your identifiable health information
You have the following rights regarding the identifiable health information that we maintain about you:
- Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that our organization communicate with you about your health and related issues in a particular manner or at a certain location. For instance, you may ask that we contact you at home, rather than work. In order to request a type of confidential communication, you must make a written request to Darren Friedman, CEO, 3271 Grande Vista Drive, Newbury Park,CA 91320 (805) 975-0033 specifying the requested method of contact, or the location where you wish to be contacted. Unicare Health Services will accommodate reasonable requests. You do not need to give a reason for your request.
- Requesting Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction in our use or disclosure of your identifiable health information for treatment, payment, or health care operations. Additionally, you have the right to request that we limit our disclosure of your identifiable health information to individuals involved in your care or the payment for your care, such as family members and friends. We are not required to agree to your request; if we do agree; we are bound by our agreement except when otherwise required by law, in emergencies, or when the information is necessary to treat you. In order to request a restriction in our use or disclosure of your identifiable health information, you must make your request in writing to Darren Friedman, CEO, 3271 Grande Vista Drive, Newbury Park,CA 91320 (805) 975-0033 Your request must describe in a clear and concise fashion: (a) the information you wish restricted; (b) whether you are requesting to limit our company’s use, disclosure or both; and (c) to whom you want the limits to apply.
- Inspection and Copies. You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the identifiable health information that may be used to make decisions about you, including patient medical records and billing records. You must submit your request in writing to Darren Friedman, CEO, 3271 Grande Vista Drive, Newbury Park,CA 91320 (805) 975-0033 in order to inspect and/or obtain a copy of your identifiable health information. Unicare Health Services may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, labor and supplies associated with your request. We may deny your request to inspect and/or copy in certain limited circumstances; however you may request a review of our denial. Reviews will be conducted by another health care professional chosen by us.
- Amendment. You may ask us to amend your health information if you believe it is incorrect or incomplete, and you may request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by our organization. To request an amendment, your request must be done in writing and submitted to Darren Friedman, CEO, 3271 Grande Vista Drive, Newbury Park,CA 91320 (805) 975-0033. You must provide us with a reason that supports your request for amendment. Unicare Health Services will deny your request if you fail to submit your request (and the supporting reason) in writing. Also, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that is (a) accurate and complete; (b) not part of the identifiable health information kept by our organization; (c) not part of the identifiable health information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or (d) not created by our organization, unless the individual or entity that created the information is not available to amend the information.
- Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice. You are entitled to receive a paper copy of our notice of privacy practices. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. To obtain a paper copy of this notice, contact Darren Friedman, CEO, 3271 Grande Vista Drive, Newbury Park,CA 91320 (805) 975-0033.
- Right to File a Complaint. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our organization or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with our organization, contact to Darren Friedman, CEO, 3271 Grande Vista Drive, Newbury Park,CA 91320 (805) 975-0033. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
- Right to Provide an Authorization for Other Uses and Disclosures. Unicare Health Services ill obtain a written authorization for uses and disclosures that are not identified by this notice or permitted by applicable law. Any authorization you provide to us regarding the use and disclosure of your identifiable health information may be revoked at any time in writing. After you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose your identifiable health information for the reasons described in the authorization. Please note; we are required to retain records of your care.
Email Privacy Notice
- Risk of Using Email. Unicare Health Services offers patients the opportunity to communicate by email. Transmitting patient information by email, however, has a number of risks that patients should consider before using email. These include, but are not limited to, the following risks:
- Email can be circulated, forwarded, and stored in numerous paper and electronic files.
- Email can be immediately broadcast worldwide and be received by many intended and unintended recipients.
- Email senders can easily misaddress an email.
- Email is easier to falsify than handwritten or signed documents.
- Backup copies of email may exist even after the sender or the recipient has deleted his or her copy.
- Employers and on-line services have a right to archive and inspect emails transmitted through their systems.
- Email can be intercepted, altered, forwarded, or used without authorization or detection.
- Email can be used to introduce viruses into computer systems.
- Email can be used as evidence in court.
- Conditions for the Use of Email. Unicare Health Services will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of email information sent and received. However, because of the risks outlined above, Reliable Medical Supply cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of email communication and will not be liable for improper disclosure of confidential information that is not caused by Unicare Health Services intentional misconduct. Thus, patients must permit the use of email for patient information. Permitting the use of email includes agreement with the following conditions:
- All emails to or from the patient concerning diagnosis or treatment can be printed out and made part of the patient’s medical record. Because they are a part of the medical record, other individuals authorized to access the medical record, such as staff and billing personnel, will have access to those emails.
- Unicare Health Services may forward emails internally to Unicare Health Services staff and agents as necessary for diagnosis, treatment, reimbursement, and other handling. Reliable Medical Supply will not, however, forward emails to independent third parties without the patient’s prior written permission, except as authorized or required by law.
- Although Unicare Health Services will endeavor to read and respond promptly to an email from the patient, Unicare Health Services guarantee that any particular email will be read and responded to within any particular period of time. Thus, the patient shall not use email for medical emergencies or other time-sensitive matters.
- If the patient’s email requires or invites a response from Unicare Health Services the patient has not received a response within a reasonable time period, it is the patient’s responsibility to follow up to determine whether the intended recipient received the email and when the recipient will respond.
- The patient should not use email for communication regarding sensitive medical information, such as information regarding sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV, mental health, developmental disability, or substance abuse.
- The patient is responsible for informing Unicare Health Services of any types of information the patient does not want to be sent by email, in addition to those set out in 2e above.
- The patient is responsible for protecting his/her password or other means of access to email. Unicare Health Services is not liable for breaches of confidentiality caused by the patient or any third party.
- Unicare Health Services shall not engage in email communication that is unlawful, such as unlawfully practicing medicine across state lines.
- It is the patient’s responsibility to follow up and/or schedule an appointment if warranted.
- Instructions. To communicate by email, the patient shall:
- Limit or avoid use of his/her employer’s computer.
- Inform Unicare Health Services of changes in her/her email address.
- Put the patient’s name in the body of the email.
- Include the category of the communication in the email’s subject line, for routing purposes (e.g., billing question).
- Review the email to make sure it is clear and that all relevant information is provided before sending to Unicare Health Services.
- Inform Reliable Medical Supply that the patient received an email from Unicare Health Services.
- Take precautions to preserve the confidentiality of emails, such as using screen savers and safeguarding his/her computer password.
- Withdraw permission only by email or written communication to Unicare Health Services.
- Patient Acknowledgement & Agreement. By submitting information through this website, the user acknowledge that they have read and fully understand the information provided. The user understands the risks associated with the communication of email between Unicare Health Services and the user, and agrees to the conditions outlined herein. In addition, the user agrees to the instructions outlined herein, as well as any other instructions that Unicare Health Services may impose to communicate with patients by email. Any questions the user may have were answered.