Complaints – If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with Brookdale in writing at the address below. You may also file a complaint in writing with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., within 180 days of a suspected violation of your rights. Brookdale will not initiate any retaliation for filing a complaint.
Your Rights Under the Federal Privacy Standard
Although your health records are the physical property of the healthcare provider who completed it, you have certain rights with regard to the information contained therein.
You have the right to:
- Request restriction on uses and disclosures of your health information for treatment, payment, and health care operations. “Health care operations” consist of activities that are necessary to carry out the operations of the provider, such as quality improvement and peer review. The right to request restriction does not extend to uses or disclosures permitted or required under §§ 164.502(a)(2)(i) (disclosures to you), 164.510(a) (for facility directories, but note that you have the right to object to such uses), or 164.512 (uses and disclosures not requiring a consent or an authorization). The latter uses and disclosures include, for example, those required by law, like mandatory communicable disease reporting. In those cases, you do not have a right to request restriction. Even in those cases in which you do have the right to request restrictions, we do not have to agree to the restrictions. If we do, however, we will adhere to it unless you request otherwise or we give you advance notice.
- Request for Confidential Communications – You have the right to request that communications regarding your PHI be made by alternative means or at alternative locations. For example, you may request that messages not be left on voice mail or sent to a particular address. We are required to accommodate reasonable requests. Requests for confidential communications must be in writing, signed by you and sent to Brookdale at the address below.
- Receive and keep a copy of this Notice of Information Practices. Although we have posted a copy in prominent locations throughout the facility, you have a right to a hard copy upon request.
- Inspect and copy your health information upon request. Again, this right is not absolute. In certain situations, such as if access would cause harm, we can deny access.
You do not have a right of access to the following:
- Psychotherapy notes. Such notes comprise those that are recorded in any medium by a healthcare provider who is a mental health professional documenting or analyzing a conversation during a private counseling session or a group, joint, or family counseling session.
- Information compiled in reasonable anticipation of or for use in civil, criminal, or administrative actions or proceedings.
- Any of you PHI that is subject to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (“CLIA”), 42 U.S.C. § 263a, to the extent that the provision of access to the individual would be prohibited by law.
- Information was obtained from someone other than Brookdale under a promise of confidentiality and the access requested would be reasonably likely to reveal the source of the information.
In other situations, Brookdale may deny you access but, if it does, we will provide you with a review of the decision denying access. These “reviewable” grounds for denial include:
- Licensed healthcare professional has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that the access is reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the individual or another person.
- PHI makes reference to another person (other than a healthcare provider) and a Brookdale Representative has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that the access is reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to such other person.
- The request is made by the individual’s personal representative and a Brookdale Representative has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that the provision of access to such personal representative is reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the individual or another person.
For these reviewable grounds, within 30 days another Brookdale professional will review the decision of denying access. If we deny you access, we will explain why and what your rights are, including how to seek review.
If we grant access, we will tell you what, if anything, you must do to get access. We reserve the right to charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for making copies.
You have the right to request amendment/correction of your health information. Amendments to Your PHI:
You have the right to request that PHI that we maintain about you be amended or corrected. We are not obligated to make all requested amendments but will give each request careful consideration. To be considered, your amendment request must be in writing, must be signed by you and must state the reasons for the amendment and/or correction request.
We do not have to grant the request if:
- We did not create the record. If, as in the case of a consultation report from another provider, we did not create the record, we cannot know whether it is accurate or not. Thus, in such cases, you must seek amendment/correction from the party creating the record. If they amend or correct the record, we will put the corrected record in our records.
- The records are not available to you as discussed immediately above.
- The record is accurate and complete.
If we deny your request for amendment/correction, we will notify you why, how you can attach a statement of disagreement to your records (which we may rebut), and how you can complain. If we grant the request, we will make the correction and distribute the correction to those who need it and those you identify to us that you want to receive the corrected information.
Obtain an accounting of “non-routine” uses and disclosures.
This applies to uses and disclosures other than for treatment, payment, and health care operations or of protected health information about them. We must provide the accounting within 60 days.
We do not need to provide an accounting for:
- Disclosure to you.
- Disclosures authorized by you.
- Disclosures of limited data sets (partially de-identified data used for research, public health, or health care operations.
- The facility directory or to persons involved in the individual’s care or other notification purposes as provided in § 164.510 (uses and disclosures requiring an opportunity for the individual to agree or to object, including notification to family members, personal representatives, or other persons responsible for the care of the individual, of the individual’s location, general condition, or death).
- National security or intelligence purposes under § 164.512(k)(2) (disclosures not requiring consent, authorization, or an opportunity to object, see chapter 16).
- Correctional institutions or law enforcement officials under § 164.512(k)(5) (disclosures not requiring consent, authorization, or an opportunity to object).
- PHI that occurred before the effective date of this Notice.
The accounting must include:
- Date of each disclosure.
- Name and address of the organization or person who received the protected health information.
- Brief description of the information disclosed.
- Brief statement of the purpose of the disclosure that reasonably informs you of the basis for the disclosure or, in lieu of such statement, a copy of your written authorization, or a copy of the written request for disclosure.
The first accounting in any 12-month period is free. Thereafter, we reserve the right to charge a reasonable, cost-based fee.