This Notice of Privacy Practices applies to Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings and all of its subsidiaries and business units (collectively referred to as "DVC Stem" in this Notice), except to the extent that a subsidiary, division, or business unit of DVC Stem performs occupational screening, forensic tests, paternity/identity tests, clinical trials tests or other services that do not involve standard electronic transactions for which the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") has adopted standards.
DVC Stem's Protection of Protected Health Information (PHI)
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), DVC Stem is required by law to maintain the privacy of health information that identifies you, called protected health information (PHI), and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices regarding PHI. DVC Stem is committed to the protection of your PHI and will make reasonable efforts to ensure the confidentiality of your PHI, as required by statute and regulation. We take this commitment seriously and will work with you to comply with your right to receive certain information under HIPAA.
DVC Stem's Use and Disclosure of PHI
As permitted under HIPAA, the following categories explain the types of uses and disclosures of PHI that DVC Stem may make.
- For treatment — DVC Stem may use or disclose PHI for treatment purposes, including disclosure to physicians, nurses, medical students, pharmacies, and other health care professionals who provide you with health care services and/or are involved in the coordination of your care, such as providing your physician with your laboratory test results.
- For payment — DVC Stem may use or disclose PHI to bill and collect payment for services we provide. For example, DVC Stem may provide PHI to your health plan to receive payment for the health care services provided to you.
- For health care operations — DVC Stem may use or disclose PHI for health care operations purposes. These uses and disclosures are necessary, for example, to evaluate the quality of our laboratory testing, the accuracy of results, accreditation functions, and for DVC Stem's operation and management purposes. DVC Stem may also disclose PHI to other health care providers or health plans involved in your care for their health care operations. For example, DVC Stem may provide PHI to manage disease, or to coordinate health care.
- Appointment reminders and health-related benefits and services — DVC Stem may use and disclose PHI to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment with us and may use and disclose PHI to tell you about health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
- Disclosure of PHI to you — DVC Stem may disclose PHI to you or as directed by you to a third party. Your right to see and receive a copy of your PHI is listed below under patient rights regarding PHI.
- Emergency circumstances and notifications — If you are present and capable, DVC Stem will obtain your agreement to use and/or disclose PHI about you during an emergency event to notify, or assist in the notification of a family member, your personal representative, or another person responsible for your care regarding your location, general condition, or death. Otherwise, DVC Stem may exercise its professional judgment based on the circumstances and use and disclose PHI for your safety.
- Individuals involved in your care or payment for your care — DVC Stem may disclose PHI to a person involved in your care or helps pay for your care, such as a family member or friend. We also may notify your family about your location or general condition or disclose such information to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort.
- Business associates — DVC Stem may disclose PHI to its business associates to perform certain business functions or provide certain business services to DVC Stem. For example, we may use another company to perform client services on our behalf. All of our business associates are required to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of your PHI. In addition, at the request of your health care providers or health plan, DVC Stem may disclose PHI to their business associates to perform certain business functions or health care services on their behalf. For example, we may disclose PHI to a business associate to complete the required pre-treatment material
- Disclosure for judicial and administrative proceedings — Under certain circumstances, DVC Stem may disclose your PHI during a judicial or administrative proceeding, including in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, or another lawful process.
- As required by law — DVC Stem must disclose your PHI if required to do so by federal, state, or local law.
- Personal Representative — DVC Stem may disclose PHI to your representative, as established under applicable law, or to an administrator, executor, or other authorized individual associated with your estate.
- Correctional institution — DVC Stem may disclose an inmate's or other individual's PHI when requested by a correctional institution or law enforcement official for health, safety, and security purposes.
- Serious threat to health or safety — DVC Stem is allowed to disclose PHI when it has a good faith belief that the disclosure (1) is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and/or imminent threat to the health or safety of the patient or others and (2) is to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat.
- Research — DVC Stem may use and disclose PHI for research purposes. Researchers may view limited data or records to identify patients who may qualify for their research project or other similar purposes, so long as the researchers do not remove or copy any of the PHI. Before we use or disclose PHI for any other research activity, one of the following will happen: 1) a special committee will determine that the research activity poses minimal risk to privacy and that there is an adequate plan to safeguard PHI; 2) if the PHI relates to deceased individuals, the researchers give us assurances that the PHI is necessary for the research and will be used only as part of the research; or 3) the researcher will be provided only with information that does not identify you directly.
- De-identified Information and Limited Data Sets — DVC Stem may use and disclose health information that has been "de-identified" by removing certain identifiers, making it unlikely that you could be identified. DVC Stem also may disclose limited health information contained in a "limited data set." The limited data set does not contain any information that can directly identify you. For example, a limited data set may include your city, county, and zip code but not your name or street address.
Other Uses and Disclosures of PHI
For purposes not described above, including uses and disclosures of PHI for marketing purposes and disclosures that would constitute a sale of PHI, DVC Stem will ask for patient authorization before using or disclosing PHI. If you signed an authorization form, you may revoke it, in writing, at any time, except to the extent that action has been taken in reliance on the authorization.
Additional Safeguards and Protections
DVC Stem employs additional safeguards for PHI that are subject to protection under other federal and state laws, such as mental health, HIV/AIDS, and genetic testing. As applicable, DVC Stem will obtain your permission before disclosing the information to other healthcare providers who are not involved in your treatment program or care.
Information Breach Notification
DVC Stem must provide patient notification if it discovers a breach of unsecured PHI unless there is a demonstration, based on a risk assessment, that there is a low probability that the PHI has been compromised. You will be notified without unreasonable delay and no later than 60 days after the discovery of the breach. Such notification will include information about what happened and what can be done to mitigate any harm.
Patient Rights Regarding PHI
Subject to certain exceptions, HIPAA establishes the following patient rights with respect to PHI:
- Right to Receive a Copy of the DVC Stem Notice of Privacy Practices — You have a right to receive a copy of the DVC Stem Notice of Privacy Practices at any time by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Right to Request Limits on Uses and Disclosures of your PHI — You have the right to request that we limit: 1) how we use and disclose your PHI for treatment, payment, and health care operations activities; or 2) our disclosure of PHI to individuals involved in your care or payment for your care. DVC Stem will consider your request, but is not required to agree to it unless the requested restriction involves a disclosure that is not required by law to a health plan for payment or health care operations purposes and not for treatment, and you have paid for the service in full out of pocket. If we agree to a restriction on other types of disclosures, we will state the agreed restrictions in writing and will abide by them, except in emergency situations when the disclosure is for purposes of treatment.
- Right to See and Receive Copies of Your PHI — You and your personal representative have the right to access PHI consisting of your laboratory test results or reports ordered by your physician. Within 30 days after our receipt of your request, you will receive a copy of the completed laboratory report from DVC Stem unless an exception applies. Exceptions include a determination by a licensed health care professional that the access requested is reasonably likely to endanger the life or safety of you or another person, and our inability to provide access to the PHI within 30 days, in which case we may extend the response time for an additional 30 days if we provide you with a written statement of the reasons for the delay and the date by which access will be provided. You have the right to access and receive your PHI in an electronic format if it is readily producible in such a format. You also have the right to direct DVC Stem to transmit a copy to another person you designate, provided such request is in writing, signed by you, and identifies the designated person and where to send the copy of your PHI. To request a copy of your PHI:
- Contact the Privacy Officer at email@example.com
- Right to Receive an Accounting of Disclosures — You have a right to receive a list of specific instances in which DVC Stem disclosed your PHI. This list will not include certain disclosures of PHI, such as (but not limited to) those made based on your written authorization or those made before the date on which DVC Stem was required to comply. Suppose you request an accounting of disclosures of PHI that were made for purposes other than treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. In that case, the list will include disclosures made in the past six years, unless you request a shorter period of disclosures. If you request an accounting of disclosures of PHI that were made for purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations, the list will include only those disclosures made in the past three years for which an accounting is required by law, unless you request a shorter period of disclosures.
- Right to Correct or Update your PHI — If you believe that your PHI contains a mistake, you may request, in writing, that DVC Stem correct the information. If your request is denied, we will explain the reasoning for our denial.
How to Exercise Your Rights
To exercise any of your rights described in this notice, you must send a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Changes to the DVC Stem Notice of Privacy Practices
DVC Stem reserves the right to change this notice and our privacy policies from time to time. Changes adopted will apply to any PHI we maintain about you. DVC Stem must abide by the terms of our notice currently in effect. We will promptly update this notice when changes are made and post the information on the DVC Stem website at www.dvcstem.com. Please review this site periodically to ensure you are aware of any such updates.
Effective Date of Notice: April 16, 2019
Revised: Nov 28, 2022
DVC Stem works diligently to provide exceptional, quality service to all of its clients and is committed to implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The following information is provided to assist clients in contacting the appropriate DVC Stem office with questions regarding HIPAA.