This Privacy Program describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed by Carter BloodCare (CBC) and how you may get access to this information. Please review this notice carefully.
We provide this Notice to you as required by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). We are obligated to make this Notice available to you upon request. If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact us at:
Attention: Privacy Officer
2205 Highway 121
Bedford, TX 76021
Our primary goal at CBC is to offer services that help save and enhance patients’ lives. To perform these services, we must create, collect, utilize and disclose information about you. We understand that your health information is personal. Federal and state law require us to keep all of your protected health information (“PHI”) private and we are committed to upholding this requirement. PHI is any information, existing in any format, whether oral, written, electronic, or any other form, that:
- relates to an individual’s past, present, or future physical or mental health condition, the provision of care to an individual, or the past, present, or future payment for health care services provided to an individual;
- is created or received by a health care provider, health plan, or health care clearinghouse; and
- is individually identifiable.
What makes the information individually identifiable is the inclusion of any information that identifies the individual, such as demographic information, or that establishes a reasonable basis for believing that the information can be utilized to identify the individual, such as an email address.
Changes to this Notice
We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice as it exists currently and in accordance with any revisions made to it once in effect. We reserve the right to revise this Notice in whatever ways the law permits. Any changes made to this Notice will be applicable to all medical information we maintain. Should we change this Notice, you will be able to access the revised Notice through one of the following options: (1) by contacting the privacy officer; or (2) in person at any of our donor centers located throughout the State of Texas.
Who Follows This Notice
The practices provided in this Notice regarding the use of your PHI will be followed by CBC and:
- Any of our staff members authorized to enter information into your medical record;
- All employees, staff, students and volunteers at any of our facilities who may need access to your information;
- All of our departments and units, including each of our donor locations and laboratories;
- Any member of a volunteer group we allow to help you while you are in one of our locations;
- Any business associate of ours with whom or with which we share health information and who or which agrees to follow this Notice.
This Notice applies to all records concerning your health care that are maintained by all entities, sites and locations of CBC, regardless of whether such records are generated or received by CBC’s staff or, alternatively, by your own treating physician. Please be aware, however, that your treating physician or the organization that employs him or her may follow separate policies and notices regarding the use and disclosure of medical information kept in his or her private medical office or utilized by the health care organization that employs him or her.
How We May Use and Disclose Your Medical Information
Use and disclosure of your PHI to appropriate individuals and agencies as permitted by federal and state law may be performed with or without your written permission for the reasons described in this Notice.
Treatment. We may use and disclose PHI about you to provide you with medical treatment or services such as blood donor services and therapeutic services. We may disclose PHI about you to doctors, residents and students in health care training programs, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, or other staff members within and outside of CBC who are involved in taking care of you. For example, a doctor treating you for an adverse donation reaction will need to know if you reported any medical conditions in your interview that would be helpful in treating you. In addition, the doctor may need to tell the person who will provide continuing care for you the details of your treatment in order to assist follow-up care. Different health care professionals may also share PHI about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions and lab work.
Payment. We may use and disclose PHI about you to obtain or provide reimbursement for the provision any health care service we provide. For example, your insurance company may need to know about therapy you received so that they will pay us or reimburse you for that therapy.
Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose PHI about you to assist us with our health care operations. One reason for this is to help with the business aspects of running CBC. For example, we may use or disclose PHI when we conduct a quality assessment or cost management analysis or when we utilize an outside company that assists us in running our facilities. This is necessary to make sure all of our clients receive the best care possible. We may also disclose PHI to other health care professionals or covered entities that have assisted in your treatment so that they or it may increase quality, improve cost or gain assistance in operational purposes.
As Permitted or Required By Law. We may disclose PHI about you without your permission only as allowed by federal, state or local law.
- Emergency and Public Health. The law permits, and in some instances requires, us to release your PHI in particular circumstances such as in emergency situations and situations that relate to public health. For example, we are required by law to disclose PHI in order to help control or prevent a communicable disease, injury or disability. We must also report product defects and concerning information to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as death information.
- National Security. We may disclose PHI about you to authorized federal officials for national security activities allowable by law, for intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, for providing protection to the President, and to facilitate special investigations.
- Abuse and Neglect. We may also disclose PHI about you to the appropriate government agency required or allowed by law, or otherwise with your permission, if you have been a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
- Health Care Oversight Activities. We may release PHI about you to a health care oversight agency or authority for oversight activities permitted by law, such as licensing, inspections, audits, and investigation. Such activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government activities, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Reminders, Treatment Alternatives and Health-Related Benefits and Services. We may use your PHI to contact you regarding an appointment, such as for blood donation, treatment or medical care, or to follow up on services that were provided to you. We may also use your PHI to contact you to recommend possible treatment options or alternatives or to tell you about other health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
Donor Referral List or Recruitment List. We may include particular limited information about you in the Donor Referral List or Recruitment List while you are a donor or client with our organization. This information may include your name, location, general condition, health history or deferral status.
Others Involved in Care and Payment. We may disclose PHI about you to your family members, friends or others whom you indicate are involved in helping with your medical care. If you are able and available to agree or object to such uses and disclosures, we will give you the opportunity to do so; however, if you are not, we will use our professional judgment in deciding whether it is in your best interest under the circumstances to disclose PHI about you. In addition, we may disclose PHI about you to an entity assisting in an emergency or disaster relief effort so that your family may be notified about your condition, status and location.
Research. Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose PHI about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another for the same condition. However, all research projects are subject to a special review and approval process designed, among other things, to ensure the privacy of your medical information. We may also disclose PHI about you to people preparing to conduct a research project. One example of this would be if the people preparing to conduct a research project need to search for donors or patients with specific medical needs. We will almost always ask for your specific permission if the researcher will be involved in your care or will otherwise have access to your name, address or other information for research purposes. Our commitment to your treatment and care will not be affected by whether your PHI is used in a research project.
Fundraising. We will never use PHI about you in an effort to raise money for CBC and its operations.
Organ and Tissue Donation. If you are an organ donor, we may release PHI about you to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
Military and Veterans. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release PHI about you as required by military command authorities only upon the written request of a Federal or State government agency legally authorized to receive such material.
Workers’ Compensation. We may release PHI about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Lawsuits and Disputes. We may disclose PHI about you in the course of certain legal proceedings, such as in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful order from a court.
Law Enforcement. We may release PHI about you if a law enforcement official asks us to do so as part of law enforcement activities such as investigations of criminal conduct or of victims of crime, in emergency circumstances, or if the law requires us to do so.
Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors. We may disclose PHI about you to a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director if it is necessary for him or her to carry out his or her duties.
Inmates. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release PHI about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official if necessary for the institution to provide you with health care or to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others or the correctional institution.
Other. All other uses and disclosures of PHI about you not described in this Notice or otherwise required by law will only be made with your written consent which you may revoke at any time. If we receive a written revocation of consent from you, we will no longer use or disclose PHI about you in the instances covered by your revocation. You understand, however, that we are not able to take back any uses or disclosures of your PHI that we already made in accordance with your consent, prior to our receipt of your written revocation.
Your Rights Regarding Your Protected Health Information
Inspect and Copy. You have the right to inspect and copy PHI that may be used to make decisions about your care. Your right usually encompasses access to medical and billing records. To inspect and copy PHI that may be used to make decisions about your care, you must submit your request in writing to our Privacy Officer at the address above. We may charge a reasonable and necessary fee for the cost of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with filling your request. We may deny your request in certain very limited circumstances. If so, you may request that the denial be reviewed, at which time another licensed health care professional chosen by CBC will review your request and the denial. We will comply with the outcome of the review.
Amendment. You have the right to request an amendment to your PHI we have about you for as long as we have it if you feel it is incorrect or incomplete. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to our Privacy Officer along with a reason why your PHI should be changed. If your request is not in writing or does not include a reason that supports your request, we may deny it. We may also deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
- was not created by us;
- is not part of the PHI kept by CBC;
- is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
- is accurate and complete.
Request a List of Disclosures. You have the right to request a list of tracked disclosures we made of PHI about you. Disclosures that do not have to be tracked are those that:
- are made directly to you;
- are authorized by you;
- are composed of data that is not individually identifiable; or
- are incidental disclosures.
To make a request, you must submit it in writing to our Privacy Officer at the address above along with a specific period of time that you are inquiring about that may not be longer than six years. In addition, your request should indicate the form in which you want the list, such as electronically or on paper. We will provide the first list you request within a 12-month period for free, although we may charge you the reasonable and necessary costs of providing additional lists. We will notify you of these costs and allow you to choose to withdraw or modify your request before any costs are incurred.
Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the PHI we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the PHI we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, such as a family member or friend. All requests must be submitted in writing to our Privacy Officer at the address above. In most circumstances, we are not legally required to abide by your requests but will do what we can to meet them. If we cannot meet your request, we will let you know.
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 at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to our Privacy Officer at the address above and must specify how or where you wish to be contacted. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Receive a Paper Copy of This Notice. You have the right to a paper copy of this Notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive this Notice electronically. To do so, please submit a written request to our Privacy Officer at the address above or pick one up from one of our donor centers.
My Page Registration
When registering for My Page, you will be prompted to enter the your name, birthdate and email address. We ask for this information because we know how important your privacy is. When you donate, you provide us with these two pieces of information. Using them to match the “online you” to the “donation site you” is the best way to keep your medical information from being viewed by others.
If you choose not to provide that information, you can still use My Page and the rest of CarterBloodCare.org. If you choose to register with it, you will be able to track your donation history and health statistics online. They will still be stored securely and will still require identity verification for access.
How we use “cookies”
Right to File a Complaint
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with CBC or the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with CBC contact our Privacy Officer at the address and phone number above. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.