HIPAA Privacy Notice
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.
Purpose of this Notice: Air Medical Group Holdings, Inc. and its operating subsidiaries, including Air Evac EMS, Inc. d/b/a Air Evac Lifeteam (“Air Evac”), EagleMed LLC (“EagleMed”), and Med-Trans Corporation including all of its separately named programs (“Med-Trans”), REACH Air Medical Services, LLC (REACH), Cal-ORE Life Flight LLC, (“Cal-Ore”), Lifeguard Ambulance Service, LLC (“Lifeguard”), AirMed International, LLC (“AirMed”), CALSTAR LLC (“CALSTAR”), and Guardian Flight LLC including all of its separately named programs (“Guardian”) herein after referred to as “AMGH”, are required by law to maintain the privacy of certain confidential health care information, known as Protected Health Information or “PHI”, and to provide you with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI. This notice describes your legal rights, advises you of our privacy practices, and lets you know how AMGH is permitted to use and disclose PHI about you.
AMGH also is required to abide by the terms of the version of this notice currently in effect. In most situations, we may use this information as described in this Notice without your permission. However, there are some situations where we may use it only after we obtain your written authorization, if we are required by law to do so.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI: AMGH may use PHI for the purposes of treatment, payment, and health care operations, in most cases without your written permission. Examples of our use of your PHI:
For Treatment: This includes such things as verbal and written information that we obtain about you and use pertaining to your medical condition and treatment provided to you by us and other medical personnel (including doctors, nurses, first responders, and others allowed by applicable law who order our services to provide medical care to you). It also includes information we give to other health care personnel to whom we transfer your care and treatment, and includes transfer of PHI via radio or telephone to the hospital or dispatch center as well as providing the hospital with a copy of the written record we create in the course of providing you with treatment and transport.
For Payment: This includes any activities we must undertake in order to get reimbursed for the services we provide to you, including such things as organizing your PHI and submitting bills to insurance companies (either directly or through a third party billing company), management of billed claims for services rendered, medical necessity determinations and reviews, utilization review, and collection of outstanding accounts.
For Health Care Operations: This includes quality assurance activities, licensing, and training programs to ensure that our personnel meet our standards of care and follow established policies and procedures, obtaining legal and financial services, conducting business planning, processing grievances and complaints, creating reports that do not individually identify you for data collection purposes, fundraising, and certain marketing activities.
Fundraising: We may contact you when we are in the process of raising funds for AMGH. We may use certain information (name, address, telephone number or e-mail information, age, date of birth, gender, health insurance status, dates of service, department of service information, treating physician information or outcome information) to contact you for the purpose of raising money for and you will have the right to opt out of receiving such communications with each solicitation. For the same purpose, we may provide your name to our institutionally related foundation. The money raised will be used to expand and improve the services and programs we provide the community. You are free to opt out of fundraising solicitation, and your decision will have no impact on your treatment or payment for services.
Reminders for Scheduled Transports and Information on Other Services: We also may contact you to provide you with a reminder of any scheduled appointments for non-emergency ambulance and medical transportation, or for other information about alternative services we provide or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. We also may contact you to provide you with information about our annual membership program.
Use and Disclosure of PHI without your Authorization: AMGH is permitted to use PHI without your written authorization, or opportunity to object in certain situations, including:
- For AMGH use in treating you or in obtaining payment for services provided to you or in other health care operations.
- For the treatment, activities of another health care provider.
- To another health care provider or entity for the payment activities of the provider or entity that receives the information (such as your hospital or insurance company).
- To another health care provider (such as the hospital to which you are transported) for the health care operations activities of the entity that receives the information as long as the entity receiving the information has or has had a relationship with you and the PHI pertains to that relationship.
- For disclosures required by international, federal, state, or local law.
- For health care fraud and abuse detection or for activities related to compliance with the law.
- To a family member, other relative, or close personal friend or other individual involved in your care if we obtain your verbal agreement to do so or if we give you an opportunity to object to such a disclosure and you do not raise an objection. We may also disclose health information to your family, relatives, or friends if we infer from the circumstances that you would not object. For example, we may assume you agree to our disclosure of your personal health information to your spouse when your spouse has called the ambulance for you. In situations where you are not capable of objecting (because you are not present or due to your incapacity or medical emergency), we may, in our professional judgment, determine that a disclosure to your family member, relative, or friend is in your best interest. In that situation, we will disclose only health information relevant to that person’s involvement in your care.
- To a public health authority in certain situations such as reporting a birth death or disease as required by law, as part of a public health investigation, to report child or adult abuse or neglect or domestic violence, to report adverse events such as product defects, or to notify a person about exposure to a possible communicable disease as required by law.
- For health oversight activities including audits or government investigations, inspections, disciplinary proceedings, and other administrative or judicial actions undertaken by the government (or their contractors) by law to oversee the health care system.
- For judicial and administrative proceedings as required by a court or administrative order, or in some cases in response to a subpoena or other legal process.
- For law enforcement activities in limited situations, such as when there is a warrant for the request, or when the information is needed to locate a suspect or stop a crime.
- For military, national defense and security and other special government functions. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release PHI as required by military command authorities including foreign military authorities.
- To avert a serious threat to the health and safety of a person or the public at large.
- For workers’ compensation purposes, and in compliance with workers’ compensation laws.
- To coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors for identifying a deceased person, determining cause of death, or carrying on their duties as authorized by law.
- To our business associates that perform functions on our behalf or provide us with services if the information is necessary for such functions or services. All of our business associates are obligated to protect the privacy of your PHI and are not allowed to use or disclose any information other than as specified in our contract.
- To a correctional institution if you are an inmate or law enforcement official if you are under custody if necessary.
- If you are an organ donor, we may release health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ donation and transplantation.
- To disaster relief organizations, if you do not object, that seeks your PHI to coordinate your care, or notify family and friends of your location or condition in a disaster.
- For research projects, but this will be subject to strict oversight and approvals and health information will be released only when there is a minimal risk to your privacy and adequate safeguards are in place in accordance with the law.
- We may use or disclose health information about you in a way that does not personally identify you or reveal who you are.
Use and Disclosures Requiring Your Authorization:
- Uses and disclosures for marketing purposes
- Uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes
- Disclosures that constitute a sale of your PHI
Any other use or disclosure of PHI, not covered by this Notice will only be made with your written authorization, (the authorization must specifically identify the information we seek to use or disclose, as well as when and how we seek to use or disclose it). You may revoke your authorization at any time, in writing to our Privacy Office, except to the extent that we have already used or disclosed medical information in reliance on that authorization.
Patient Rights: As a patient, you have a number of rights with respect to the protection of your PHI, including:
- The Right to Access, Copy or Inspect Your PHI: This means you may come to our offices, inspect, and copy most of the medical information about you that we maintain. You must make your request in writing. We will normally provide you with access to this information within 30 days of your request or the timeframe required under state law. We also may charge you a reasonable fee for you to copy any medical information that you have the right to access. In limited circumstances, we may deny you access to your medical information, and you may appeal certain types of denials. We have available forms to request access to your PHI and we will provide a written response if we deny you access and let you know your appeal rights. If you wish to inspect and copy your medical information, you should contact the Privacy Officer listed at the end of this Notice.
If your PHI is maintained in an electronic format (known as an electronic medical record or an electronic health record), you have the right to request that an electronic copy of your record be given to you or transmitted to another individual or entity. We will make every effort to provide access to your PHI in the form or format you request, if it is readily producible in such form or format. If the PHI is not readily producible in the form or format you request your record will be provided in either our standard electronic format or if you do not want this form or format, a readable hard copy form. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for the labor associated with transmitting the electronic medical record.
- The Right to Amend Your PHI: You have the right to ask us to amend written medical information that we may have about you. We will generally amend your information within 60 days of your request and will notify you when we have amended the information. We are permitted by law to deny your request to amend your medical information only in certain circumstances; such as we believe the information you have asked us to amend is correct. If you wish to request that we amend the medical information that we have about you, you should contact the Privacy Officer listed at the end of this Notice.
- The Right to Request an Accounting of Our Use and Disclosure of Your PHI: You may request an accounting from us of certain disclosures of your medical information that we have made in the last six years before the date of your request. We are not required to give you an accounting of information we have used or disclosed for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations, or when we share your health information with our business associates, such as our billing company or a medical facility from/to which we have transported you.
We also are not required to give you an accounting of our uses of protected health information for which you have already given us written authorization. If you wish to request an accounting of the medical information about you that we have used or disclosed that is not exempted from the accounting requirement, you should contact the Privacy Officer listed at the end of this Notice.
- The right to request that we restrict the uses and disclosures of your PHI: You have the right to request that we restrict how we use and disclose your medical information that we have about you for treatment, payment or health care operations, or to restrict the information that is provided to family, friends and other individuals involved in your health care. But if you request a restriction and the information you asked us to restrict is needed to provide you with emergency treatment, then we may use the PHI or disclose the PHI to a health care provider to provide you with emergency treatment. AMGH is not required to agree to any restrictions you request, but any restrictions agreed to by AMGH are binding on AMGH.
- Right to request Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you by mail or at work. To request confidential communications, you must make your request; you should contact the Privacy Officer listed at the end of this Notice. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted. We will accommodate reasonable requests.
- Right to Get Notice of a Breach: You have the right to be notified upon a breach of any of your unsecured Protected Health Information.
- Out-of-pocket-payments. If you paid out-of-pocket (or in other words, you have requested that we not bill your health plan) in full for a specific item or service, you have the right to ask that your PHI with respect to that item or service not be disclosed to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations, and we will honor that request.
- Internet, Electronic Mail, and the Right to Obtain Copy of Paper Notice on Request: If we maintain a web site, we will prominently post a copy of this Notice on our web site and make the Notice available electronically through the web site. If you allow us, we will forward you this Notice by electronic mail instead of on paper and you may always request a paper copy of the Notice.
- Revisions to the Notice: AMGH reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice at any time, and the changes will be effective immediately and will apply to all Protected Health Information that we maintain. Any material changes to the Notice will be promptly posted in our facilities and posted to our web site, if we maintain one. You can get a copy of the latest version of this Notice by contacting the Privacy Officer identified below.
- Your Legal Rights and Complaints: You also have the right to complain to us, or to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. Should you have any questions, comments or complaints you may direct all inquiries to the Privacy Officer listed at the end of this Notice. Individuals will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
If you have any questions or if you wish to file a complaint or exercise any rights listed in this Notice, please contact:
Attention: Privacy Officer
Air Medical Group Holdings, Inc.
1001 Boardwalk Springs Place, Ste. 250
O’Fallon, MO 63368