Privacy

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

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. 

This notice describes the practices of Southern Berkshire Ambulance Service (SBAS) including:   

♦ Any healthcare professional authorized to enter information into your Prehospital Care Report (PCR);
♦ All employees involved in your care;
Any member of a volunteer group we allow to help you while you are in a SBAS.
Any employee of an organization that we have contracted with to provide care to you. 

OUR PLEDGE REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION 

We understand that information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting your health information. We create a record of the care and services you receive while transported by SBAS. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with local protocols and legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by SBAS. The receiving hospital, attending physician, or personal doctor may have different policies or notices regarding the use and disclosure of your health information. This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose health information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of health information.

We are required by law to: 

♦ Make sure that health information that identifies you is kept private
♦ Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to health information about you
♦ Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect

HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose health information. For each category of uses or disclosures, we will explain what we mean and give examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories. 

For Treatment 

♦ We may use health information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services.
♦ We may disclose health information about you to doctors, nurses, technologists, therapists, medical students, or other hospital personnel who are involved in taking care of you. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process.
We also may disclose health information about you to people who may be involved in your medical care once you enter the hospital, such as family members, clergy, or others we use to provide services that are part of your care.

For Payment 

♦ We may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive in transit may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company, or another party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about services you received in the ambulance so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the transport.
♦ We may also tell your health plan about transport requirements you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the transport. 

For Prehospital Healthcare Operations 

♦ We may use and disclose health information about you for ambulance operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the ambulance service and make sure that all of our patients receive quality prehospital care.For example, we may use health information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. 

♦ We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technologists, therapists, medical students, and other hospital personnel for review and learning purposes. 

♦ We may remove information that identifies you from this set of health information so others may use it to study prehospital health care and prehospital healthcare delivery without learning who the specific patients are.