Notice of Privacy Practices
Your personal privacy is important to us. To better protect your privacy, this policy explains how we collect and use your personal information.
Collection and use of personal information
This website may provide you with the opportunity to voluntarily submit forms to request additional information about AlphaCare. In the course of these transactions, you may provide us with personal demographic information or possibly detailed medical information. AlphaCare will use the information you provide solely to help us respond to your request. As part of researching or fulfilling your request, your information may be shared with other AlphaCare employees or third parties including without limitation AlphaCare's customers and subcontractors.
Except as noted above, AlphaCare will not release individualized information obtained through this website to another party unless required to do so by government authorities, legal processes, or otherwise required by law.
Any personally-identifiable information collected through this website is not stored on the website, but will go to back office systems in the same manner that information from paper forms, submissions and phone calls to customer service is currently handled. The information is used as defined herein. As a standard practice, as described below, we collect general statistical information on the content viewed, which is used to help us provide better service to you.
Collection and use of other information:
When you visit our website, we collect certain information that does not identify you personally, but provides us with aggregate "usage data". This information is used to measure the number of visitors to the different sections of our site and to help us make our site more useful to our visitors. This information is retained and periodically deleted from the site. If you visit one of the AlphaCare websites where you are required to sign-in, additional information may be collected, including without limitation personally identifiable information and personal health information. Such information is collected to provide appropriate information or services to you and may be shared with third parties in providing such information or services to you.
AlphaCare's website does employ "cookies" to provide visitors with information that is specific to them. A "cookie" is a packet of information sent by a website to a user's computer, which is then sent back by the computer each time it accesses that website. These cookies do not contain any personally identifiable information, and they cannot be accessed or "read" by any website other than AlphaCare's website, and most web browsers provide a simple procedure that enables you to control whether or not you want to receive cookies or notifies you when a website is about to deposit a cookie file.
If you choose, you may block or delete our cookies from your hard drive; however, blocking or deleting cookies may cause some of AlphaCare's website features and functionality to work incorrectly.
Log files are pieces of information that let us know how people are accessing AlphaCare websites. Each time you go to a page in our website, our server shows this page on your computer. When the page displays, we create a log file that tells us that someone visited the page. We do not collect any personally identifiable information about you in the log files. AlphaCare uses log files to create aggregate reports of site activity. This means we take the information about our visitors and add it together to report on all pages of the site visited. We do share the reports of aggregate usage of our sites with our customers. In order to service you, if you sign-in to an AlphaCare secure website, AlphaCare may collect, track and securely transmit certain website data and activity to AlphaCare's back office systems, in order to allow you to securely access your personally identifiable information.
Please note that individualized information transmitted via email correspondence between you and AlphaCare -- as opposed to transmission over AlphaCare's website -- is not encrypted. As a result, like most, if not all, non-encrypted Internet email communications, such email correspondence may be accessed and viewed by other Internet users without your knowledge and permission while in transit. For that reason, to protect your privacy, if you have concerns about treatment, or questions that would involve the communication of confidential/personal health information, please call your physician or other healthcare professional, AlphaCare representative provided in your plan "Welcome Package" (or supervisor where applicable). All users of secure sign-in websites are required to use a user ID and password to further protect privacy. It is very important not to share with or give your user ID or password to anyone, and also give thought to any person(s) who may have access to your account.
You agree that any comments, suggestions or other information sent to AlphaCare by way of this site is provided without restriction or obligation on AlphaCare and AlphaCare will be free to use such information on an unrestricted basis. You also agree
- That information submitted is at your own risk,
- AlphaCare has no liability with respect to any unauthorized access by third parties,
- You are responsible for whatever material you submit, and
- You, not AlphaCare, have full responsibility for any submitted message, including its legality, reliability, appropriateness, originality, and copyright.
Electronic or hard copies of the information captured through this website system may be achieved or retained in AlphaCare files or systems. Information from emails may be transcribed into other AlphaCare systems such as a calls database.
Where sign-in is required to access a website, email addresses are collected as part of the registration process for the website. Email addresses are used to notify users of online activity related to the security and privacy of their accounts, such as requests to change a password or request to change an address. These email communications are necessary to protect the privacy and security of your account. AlphaCaredoes not sell, rent, lease or give away user email addresses. AlphaCare does not share your email information with third parties other than for providing service to you.
A range of security features protects the privacy of any individualized information you provide over a secure sign-in to the AlphaCare website. During transmission over a secure sign-in website, your privacy is protected by 128-bit encryption security. Other security safeguards are also in place. Once you have entered the secure sign-in website, you can confirm the page you are viewing is secure by the padlock symbol located on the bottom-right of your web browser. If the lock shows as closed, security is active.
AlphaCare uses physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect any personally identifiable data stored on its computers. Only authorized employees and third parties have access to the information you provide to AlphaCare for providing service to you.
AlphaCare's website has links to various other websites that we think might be useful or of interest to you. AlphaCare, however, cannot be responsible for and does not endorse the privacy practices or the content of its linked websites. AlphaCare urges you to review the privacy policies of any websites you visit once you leave AlphaCare's website. Links to various non-AlphaCare websites do not constitute or imply endorsement by AlphaCare of these websites, any products or services described on these sites, or of any other material contained in them.
HIPAA is the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA").
HIPAA outlines strict guidelines to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of your PHI (personal health information, such as your name or medical information). These guidelines require that your PHI be used for purposes of treatment, payment and health plan operations, and not for purposes unrelated to health care.
Policy is subject to change.
Notice of Privacy Practices
AlphaCare respects the confidentiality of your health information and will protect your information in a responsible and professional manner. We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information. We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information. This notice explains the process we use to maintain the privacy of your health information. We are required by law to provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices, and to abide by its terms. We will not use or share your information other than as described in this Notice, unless you provide us with written authorization to do so. If you provide us with such authorization, you may still change your mind at any time, but must notify us in writing.
We have the right to change the terms of this Notice at any time, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new Notice will be available upon request, on our web site, and mailed to you, as appropriate.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact AlphaCare's Privacy Officer by phone at 855-652-5742 or email at email@example.com.
As a member of AlphaCare, you have the right to:
- Obtain a copy of your health and claims records
- You may inspect and obtain a copy of certain health information that we maintain. We will usually respond to your request within 30 days of your request and, when providing copies, may charge a reasonable fee. In limited circumstances, we may deny your request. If we deny your request, we will notify you in writing of the reason for the denial and, if applicable, the right to have the denial reviewed.
- Ask us to amend health and claims records
- If you feel that the health information we maintain about you is incomplete or inaccurate, you may ask us to amend the information. In certain circumstances we may deny your request. If we deny the request, we will explain your right to file a written statement of disagreement. If we approve your request, we will include the change in your health information and tell others that need to know about your changes.
- Request confidential communications
- You may ask us to communicate with you in a specific way or at a specific location. We will require the reason for the request, but will accommodate all reasonable requests, and must agree to your request if you tell us you would be in danger if we do not.
- Ask us to limit what we use or share
- You may request that we restrict or limit the use of certain health information for treatment, payment, or health care operations. Although we will try to honor your request, we are not legally required to agree to restrictions or limitations, unless the request is to restrict disclosure of health information to a health plan, the disclosure is for the purpose of carrying out payment or health care operations, is not otherwise required by law, and pertains solely to a health care item or service for which the individual or person other than the health plan on behalf of the individual, has paid in full. If we agree, we will comply with your request or limitations except in emergency situations.
- Obtain a list of with whom we have shared your information
- You have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information that we made during the 6 years prior to the date of the request. In compiling this list, we will not include disclosures that were necessary to carry out treatment, payment, or health care operations, or disclosures made in certain other situations, such as disclosures you requested that we make.
- Elect to have someone act on your behalf
- You have the right and choice to tell us to share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in payment for your care. If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may share your information if we believe it is in your best interest.
- Obtain a copy of this notice
- You may request a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will promptly provide you with a paper copy upon request.
- File a complaint if you believe your rights are violated
- You may complain to the AlphaCare Privacy Officer if you feel that we have violated your rights. The Privacy Officer may be reached by phone at 855-652-5742 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting the HHS website. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
How We Use or Disclose Your Health Information
As a member, you agree to let AlphaCare share information about you for treatment, payment, and health care operations. The following are ways we may use or disclose your health information:
- Help manage the treatment you receive
- We may share your health information with a physician or other health care provider in order for them to provide you with treatment or in order to arrange additional services.
- To pay for your health services
- We may use and disclose your health information to coordinate payments for treatment that you have received, collect premium payments, determine benefit coverage, or to provide payment to health care providers who render treatment on your behalf.
- For health care operations
- We may use or disclose your health information for health care operations that are necessary to enable us to arrange for the provision of health benefits, the payment of health claims, and to ensure that our members receive quality service. For example, we may use and disclose your health information to conduct quality assessment and improvement activities, case management and care coordination, licensing, credentialing, underwriting, premium rating, fraud and abuse detection, medical review and legal services. To the extent that we disclose health information for underwriting purposes, we are not permitted to, and will not, use or disclose your genetic information.
- For health-related benefits and services
- We may use or disclose your health information to tell you about alternative medical treatments and programs or about health related products and services that may be of interest to you.
- For plan administration
- We may disclose limited information to your health plan sponsor for plan administration purposes. This may occur if your employer contracts with us to provide coverage, and we need to provide your employer with certain statistics to explain the premiums we charge.
- To a Business Associate
- We may disclose your health information to other companies that perform certain functions on our behalf. These companies are called "Business Associates." These Business Associates must agree in writing to protect your privacy and follow the same rules we do.
- To a Third Party Representative
- We may disclose to a Third Party Representative (family member, relative, friend, etc.) health information that is directly relevant to that person's involvement with your care or payment for care if we can reasonably infer that the person is involved in your care or payment for care and that you would not object.
Under certain circumstances, AlphaCare may be allowed or required to share your information in other ways - generally in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research - even if you have not provided authorization. Some circumstances include:
- Uses and disclosures required by law
- We may use and disclose health information about you when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law.
- In the interest of public health
- We may disclose your health information for public health activities. These activities include preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability; reporting births or deaths; or reporting reactions to medications or problems with medical products or to notify people of recalls of products they have been using.
- To health oversight agencies
- We may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency that monitors the health care system and government programs for designated oversight activities.
- During legal proceedings
- We may disclose your health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized) and, in certain situations, in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.
- To law enforcement
- We may disclose your health information, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes.
- In cases of suspected abuse or neglect
- We may disclose your health information to a public health authority, or other government authority authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse, neglect or domestic violence consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.
- For coroners, funeral directors and organ donation
- We may disclose your health information to a coroner or medical examiner to identify a deceased person, determine a cause of death or as authorized by law. We may also disclose your health information to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties. If you are an organ donor, we may release your health information for procurement, banking or transplantation.
- For research purposes
- In certain circumstances, we may use and disclose your health information for research purposes.
- To prevent criminal activity
- We may disclose your health information when necessary to prevent or lessen serious and imminent threat to the health and safety of a person or the public.
- For military activity
- We may disclose your health information to authorized federal officials if you are a member of the military (or a veteran of the military).
- To protect national security
- We may disclose your health information to authorize federal officials for national security, intelligence activities and to enable them to provide protective services for the President and others.
- In accordance with workers' compensation laws
- We may disclose your health information as authorized to comply with workers' compensation laws and other similar legally-established programs.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, we may always use or disclose your health information if you have provided authorization to do so. Except for the scenarios described in this notice, federal laws and regulations prohibit disclosure of your health information without first obtaining your authorization. Unless you provide us with a written authorization, we will not use or disclose your health information in any manner not covered by this notice.
Unless you have provided authorization, psychotherapy notes may not be used or disclosed for any reason other than: (i) by the originator of the notes, for purposes of treatment; (ii) by a Covered Entity for the purpose of a training program where students, trainees, or practitioners in mental health learn under supervision to practice or improve their skills in group, joint, family, or individual counseling; (iii) by the Covered Entity in order to defend itself in a legal action brought by you; (iv) to the individual, when required by law; (v) to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine AlphaCare's compliance with federal law; (vi) when required by law; (vii) to a health oversight agency for oversight activities authorized by law, with respect to the oversight of the originator of the psychotherapy notes; (viii) to a coroner or medical examiner to perform duties authorized by law; or (ix) to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public.
AlphaCare will not release any information regarding HIV/AIDS or alcohol/drug use treatment without obtaining special written authorization from you.
AlphaCare shall also not use or disclose your health information to engage in marketing, other than face to face communications or offering of a promotional gift, unless you have authorized such use or disclosure. Similarly, at no time will AlphaCare sell your health information, unless you have provided express authorization.
We can always accept an authorization form to disclose certain information, if you would like us to share your health information with someone for a reason we have not stated above. Using this form, you can designate whom you would like us to share information with, what information you would like us to share, and how long you want us to be able to share your information with that individual. A copy of this form is available by calling 1-855-652-5742 or logging on to our website at www.alphacare.com. You must complete this form and send it to the address or fax it to the fax number on the form. You can cancel this authorization at any time in writing and per the requirements on the form. If you revoke your authorization, AlphaCare will no longer use or disclose your protected health information for the reasons covered by your written authorization. We will be unable, however, to take back any disclosures already made with your authorization.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Privacy Officer by phone at 855-652-5742 or email at email@example.com.
Updated December 2, 2014