Skip all navigation Skip to page navigation

DHHS Home | Assistance | Divisions | About DHHS | DHHS Contacts

NC Department of Health and Human Services
State Laboratory of Public Health
N.C. Public Health Home
 
 

Notice of Privacy Practices

Effective Date: October 6, 2016

This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and about how you can get access to this information. Please review carefully.

Privacy Responsibilities of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, State Laboratory of Public Health

The North Carolina Division of Public Health, State Laboratory of Public Health is required to protect the privacy of your health information that may identify you. This health information includes health care services that are provided to you, payment for those health care services, or other health care operations provided on your behalf.

This agency is required by law to inform you of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information through this Notice of Privacy Practices. This notice describes the ways we may share your past, present and future health information, ensuring that we use and/or disclose this information only as we have described in this notice. We are required to abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect. We do, however, reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this notice, and to make the new notice provisions effective for all health information that we maintain. Any changes to this notice will be posted on this website. Copies of any revised notice will be available to you upon request.

If at any time, you have questions or concerns about the information in this notice or about our agency’s privacy policies, procedures and practices, you may contact our agency Privacy Official. Please see contact information later in this notice.

The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health is authorized under North Carolina General Statue 130, Article 3 (N.C. G.S. 130A-88), to “make examinations, and provide consultation and technical assistance as the public health may require.” It is the only public health reference laboratory in North Carolina. Specimens for laboratory testing and analysis are received from local health departments, health clinics, doctor’s offices, hospitals, other laboratories, and other health care providers to aid in the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of individual, community, or environmental health problems.

Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) for Payment, Treatment and Healthcare Operations

Payment: The NC State Laboratory of Public Health may submit Protected Health Information (PHI), such as name, address, birth date, social security number and/or Medicaid number, and laboratory services performed to the Medicaid office for payment of laboratory testing performed for an individual.

Treatment: Laboratory test results are returned to the healthcare providers who submitted test specimens to determine diagnoses and treatment diseases and conditions.

Healthcare Operations: The NC State Laboratory of Public Health may use PHI in the following healthcare operations:

  1. Review and evaluate the skills, qualifications and performance of laboratory staff by review of laboratory records.
  2. Provide training programs for students, trainees, and professional staff.
  3. Provide required documentation to certifying and licensing agencies.

Use and Disclosure of PHI Where Authorization is Not Required

Disclosures may be made by the NC State Laboratory of Public Health without patient authorization for the following:

  1. Required by law
  2. Required for public health activities (example: reporting positive test results for communicable diseases);
  3. For judicial and administrative proceedings such as court orders to appear in court;
  4. Related to specialized government activities, such as national security
  5. For medical research, when research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information.
  6. Regarding abuse, neglect or domestic violence victims;
  7. For health oversight activities conducted by state or federal agencies;
  8. For law enforcement purposes unless otherwise prohibited by state or federal law;
  9. Related to the donation of organ(s), eye(s) or tissue;
  10. To avert a serious threat to the health or safety of a person or the public;
  11. For Worker’s Compensation matters.

Copies of laboratory test results may be furnished to the Division of Public Health program sections for follow-up or tracking of communicable diseases or conditions according to applicable laws and public health program rules (North Carolina Administrative Code, 10A NCAC 42A .0105.).

Specimens submitted to the NC State Laboratory of Public Health that require additional analysis and confirmation may be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (for example, for monitoring of influenza).

Other uses or disclosures of your protected health information not covered in this notice will be made only with your written authorization and you may revoke this authorization as provided by ยง164.508(b)(5).

Your Rights Regarding Your Health Information

You have the following rights regarding your health information as created and maintained by this agency:

  1. You have a right to request and receive a paper copy of this privacy notice.
  2. You, or your designated personal representative, have a right to request access to and receive a copy of your completed laboratory test results. To protect your privacy, the laboratory will require proof of identity prior to issuing the test results. You must make your request in writing on a request form available at: http://slph.ncpublichealth.com/

    Or you can call 919-733-3937 for more information about requesting your completed test results.

  3. You have the right to request and receive a written list of certain disclosures of your health information, made after April 14, 2003. You may ask for disclosures we made up to six years before your request. This listing will include the date of the disclosure, the name (and address, if available) of the person or organization receiving the information, a brief description of the information disclosed and the purpose of the disclosure. All requests for an accounting of disclosure must be made in writing. Please contact the NC Division of Public Health as described below to receive a form to request an accounting of disclosures from the NC State Laboratory.
  4. You have a right to be notified when a breach of your unsecured protected health information has occurred.
     
    Contact
    Privacy Official
    North Carolina Division of Public Health
    1931 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1931
    by E-email at:
    HIPAA.DPH@dhhs.nc.gov
    by phone at:
    (919) 707-5179

The NC State Laboratory of Public Health is not required to include on the list disclosures made for the following:

  • For your treatment;
  • For billing and collection of payment for your treatment;
  • For our health care operations.

Your first request for a listing of disclosures will be provided to you free of charge. However, if you request a listing of disclosures more than once in a 12 month period, you may be charged a reasonable fee. We will inform you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time, before any costs are incurred.

Complaints

  1. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated or if you want to complain about the division privacy policies, you may contact the division privacy official.
     
    Contact
    Privacy Official
    North Carolina Division of Public Health
    1931 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1931
    by E-email at:
    HIPAA.DPH@dhhs.nc.gov
    by phone at:
    (919) 707-5179

  2. You may also send a written complaint to the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services at:
     
    Contact
    Office of Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 3B70
    61 Forsyth Street, SW
    Atlanta, GA 30303-8909
    Voice Phone (404) 562-7886
    Fax (404) 562-7881
    TDD (404) 331-2867

If you file a complaint, we will not take any action against you or change our treatment of you in any way.