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.
We, at Regence, know you value your privacy. That is why we are committed to the confidentiality and security of your personal information. We maintain physical, administrative and technical safeguards to protect against unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of your personal information.
We collect personal information, such as your name, contact information, and health information, from you, your health care providers, and other insurers that provide you coverage. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of this information and to explain our legal duties and privacy practices. We provide the protections and apply the practices described in this notice to all personal information that we maintain, including to personal information of former members who are no longer covered by us. We hope this notice will clarify our responsibilities to you and give you an understanding of your rights. We abide by the notice that is currently in effect. This notice is in effect as of April 1, 2006.
Inspection and Copies. You have the right to request an inspection or copies of protected health information that we maintain about you in a "designated record set" except psychotherapy notes and information that we compiled in anticipation of, or for use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding. A "designated record set" is a group of records that is used to administer your health benefits, including enrollment information and claims. We may limit the information that you can inspect or copy if we have reason to believe that is necessary to protect you or another person from harm. If we limit your right to inspect or copy, you can ask for a review of that decision.
Amendment. If you believe that protected health information we maintain about you in a designated record set is inaccurate or incomplete, you have the right to request an amendment to correct or complete the information. You must submit your request in writing and explain the reason for the amendment. If the amendment is made, we will make reasonable efforts to inform others, including people you identify, that the information has been amended and we will use our best efforts to include the amendment with any future disclosure. We may decline to amend information under certain circumstances. This is likely to occur if we did not create the original record. If we decline to amend the information, you have the right to submit a statement of disagreement. You should know that we are allowed to attach a rebuttal statement in response to your statement of disagreement.
Notice. You have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice upon request.
Accounting. You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures of protected health information. The list will not include disclosures made for treatment, payment, or health care operations. It also will not include disclosures made pursuant to an authorization, made prior to six years before the date of the request, incidental disclosures, disclosures made for national security or intelligence, disclosures made to a correctional facility or disclosures made prior to April 14, 2003. The list will include the date of any accountable disclosure, to whom that disclosure was made, a brief description of the information disclosed, and the purpose for that disclosure (provided this information is known to us). We will supply this list free of charge once a year at your request. If you request an accounting more than once in a 12-month period, we may charge a reasonable fee.
Special Handling. You have the right to request restrictions on our use or disclosure of protected health information in addition to the restrictions imposed by law. We are not required to agree to your request and we may be unable to do so. If we do agree, we will comply with your request except in the case of emergency. You also have the right to request that we communicate with you in confidence. We will make every effort to accommodate your request if it is reasonable and you provide an alternate means to communicate. You should know that redirecting communication may not prevent others on your policy from discovering that you sought medical care. Accumulated deductibles and co-payment information may reveal that you obtained services. In addition, historic claims reports may include services which were obtained during the time communications were redirected.
Complaints. You have the right to submit a complaint if you believe we have violated your privacy rights. To submit a complaint, write to: The Regence Group, Privacy Office, P.O. Box 1071, Mailstop E12B, Portland, OR 97207 or call our Customer Service department at the phone number provided at the end of this notice. You also have the right to submit a complaint to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Public Health & Human Services. Be assured that we will not retaliate against you for submitting a complaint.
Permitted Uses and Disclosures
To administer health benefits, we collect, use and disclose protected health information for a variety of purposes:
Treatment. We may disclose protected health information to a health care provider in order for the provider to treat you. We may also use or disclose protected health information in an effort to provide preventive health, early detection, and case management programs.
Payment. We may use or disclose protected health information for payment purposes, including to adjudicate claims, issue Explanation of Benefits, or coordinate benefits with other entities responsible for paying your claims.
Health Care Operations. We may use or disclose protected health information to facilitate operations, including underwriting, customer service, and detection or prevention of fraud or abuse.
Business Associates. Occasionally, we contract with business associates to perform insurance-related functions on our behalf. We may disclose protected health information to these business associates in order to allow them to perform these functions. They also may collect, use or disclose protected health information on our behalf. We contractually obligate our business associates to provide the same privacy protections that we provide.
Plan Sponsors and Group Health Plans. If you are enrolled in a group health plan, we may disclose protected health information to the group health plan or plan sponsor to facilitate administration of the plan. For example, we supply enrollment lists so that premiums can be paid appropriately.
As Permitted or Required by Law. We use or disclose protected health information as permitted or required by law. For example, some laws require that we disclose protected health information to your personal representatives or to certain government agencies.
Public Health Activities. We may disclose protected health information for public health activities. These activities include prevention and control of disease, activities performed by coroners, activities performed by organ or tissue donation and transplantation services, activities performed by the Food and Drug Administration, medical research, research intended to improve the health care system, activities necessary to avert a serious threat to the health or safety of a person, and activities relating to workers' compensation benefits.
Health Oversight. We may disclose protected health information to health oversight agencies. These agencies are authorized by law to conduct audits; perform inspections and investigations; license health care providers, insurers and facilities; and to enforce regulatory requirements. These agencies include: State Commissioner of Insurance, State Board of Medicine, and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Health Related Services. We may use protected health information to provide information about treatment alternatives or other health related benefits or services that may be of interest to you. This may include enhancements to your health plan and health related products or services available only to health plan members that add value to, but are not a part of, your benefit plan.
Legal Proceedings. We may disclose protected health information in the course of a judicial or administrative proceeding, and in response to a court order, subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process.
Law Enforcement. We may disclose protected health information to law enforcement officials in response to an administrative subpoena, a warrant, or an administrative request intended to identify or locate a suspect, victim, or witness. We also may disclose protected health information for the purpose of reporting a crime on our premises.
Military and National Security. We may disclose protected health information to armed forces personnel for military activities and to authorized federal officials for national security and intelligence activities.
Correctional Institution. If you are an inmate, we may disclose protected health information to your correctional institution for treatment purposes or to ensure the safety of yourself and others.
Marketing. We do not use or disclose protected health information for marketing purposes without your authorization. However, we may communicate with you face-to-face about products or services that may interest you or we may send you a promotional gift of nominal value.
Others Involved in Your Health Care.We may disclose protected health information to personal representatives such as appointed guardians, executors, conservators, and in many cases parents of minor children, as well as to attorneys in fact when a valid power of attorney exists. In addition, if you give us verbal permission or if your permission can be implied (for example, while you are unconscious during an emergency), we may disclose protected health information to family members or others who call on your behalf. This permission is valid only for a limited time. If you want to authorize on-going disclosures to family members or friends, you must submit written authorization.
Authorizations. You may give us written authorization to use protected health information or disclose protected health information about yourself to anyone for any purpose. An authorization remains valid for two years unless the authorization states otherwise or you revoke it. You may revoke an authorization at any time by submitting a written revocation, but a revocation will not affect any use or disclosure permitted by the authorization while it was in effect. An authorization is required for us to use or disclose your protected health information for purposes other than those described in this notice.
We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and this notice at any time without advance notice. If we make a material change to our privacy practices, we will send a new, updated notice. The new notice will apply to all protected health information in our possession, including any information created or received before the revised notice became effective.
You may contact our Customer Service. For more information about this notice or to file a written privacy-related complaint, you may write to: Privacy Official, Cambia, P.O. Box 1271, Portland, OR 97207.