Your Health Information Rights

Although your health record is the physical property of Harper County, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:

Inspect & Copy Your Records

You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of certain health information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes, information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, civil, criminal, or administrative actions or proceedings, information that is subject to special laws or other information not contained in the medical or billing records.

To Make a Request

To inspect and obtain a copy of your protected health information maintained in the designated record set by Harper County, you must submit your request in writing. This request should include name, address, description of records to be copied, and phone number, if necessary for contact or follow up. Information should include personal identification for requester and that of the client whose protected health information is being requested.

Personal identifiers include social security number and date of birth. A written request must be completed prior to Harper County providing the requested information. You must submit your request in writing to a Harper County Privacy Officer. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a reasonable fee for copying, including labor, supplies, and the cost of postage.

Denial of Request

Harper County may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances. Certain reasons for the denial are not reviewable and some are reviewable. If you are denied access to health information, you will be told in writing. In certain circumstances, however, you may request that the denial be reviewed.

If the original denial of access to the medical records was made by a licensed health care provider as allowed by law, another licensed healthcare professional chosen by Harper County will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request. Harper County will comply with the outcome of the review. You will be advised in writing of this reviewing official's decision.

Request an Amendment of Your Records

If you feel that health information Harper County has about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to correct or supplement the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for Harper County. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to a Harper County Privacy Officer. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request.

Denial of Request

Harper County may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. If your request for an amendment is denied, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement that will be included with any future disclosures of your health information. Harper County may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:

  • Was not created by Harper County, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment
  • Is not part of the health information kept by or for Harper County
  • Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy, or is accurate and complete

Accounting of Disclosures

You have the right to request, in certain circumstances, an accounting of disclosures. An accounting is a list of the disclosures Harper County has regarding your health information. An accounting will not include:

  • Internal uses of information for treatment, payment, or operations
  • Disclosures made to you or made at your request
  • Disclosures made to family members or friends in the course of providing care

To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to a Harper County Privacy Officer. Your request must state a time period (which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003). Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (e.g., on paper or electronically).

Harper County may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the costs involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.

Right to Request Restrictions

You have the right to request a restriction on the health information that Harper County uses or discloses about you for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information Harper County discloses about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care (i.e., a family member or friend). For example, you could ask that:

  • Harper County not use or disclose information about a procedure you had done
  • Harper County not share specific information with certain people

Harper County is not required to agree to your request. Only the privacy officer can agree to your request. If the privacy officer does agree, Harper County will notify you in writing and comply with your request. If Harper County agrees to a restriction we may:

  • Terminate any restriction with or without your agreement
  • Inform you that Harper County is terminating our agreement to the restriction

You may also terminate any restriction.

How to Make a Request

To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to a Harper County Privacy Officer. In your request, you must tell us:

  • What information you want to limit
  • Whether you want to limit our use, disclosure, or both
  • To whom you want the limits to apply (e.g., disclosures to your spouse)

Request Confidential Communications

You have the right to request that Harper County communicates with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that Harper County only contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to a Harper County Privacy Officer.

Harper County will not ask you the reason for your request. Harper County may ask you for clarification so we can understand your request. You are not required to give an explanation. Harper County will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.

A Paper Copy of This Notice

You have the right to a paper copy of this Notice. You may ask Harper County to give you a copy of this Notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this Notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this Notice. To obtain a paper copy of this Notice you may contact a Harper County Privacy Officer.