A new way to access your health data

Providence Health Assurance is now giving members a safe way to obtain and share health information. This is done through a third party application (app) of their choosing.

Providence Health Assurance has created an easy way to get your health data electronically with a third party app of your choosing.

This new easy way will let you to get your claims information including cost, clinical or case management data. You will also be able to get your plan’s drug list and provider directory.

It is important for you to take an active role in protecting your own health data when choosing a third party app.

You should look for an easy-to-read privacy policy that clearly explains how the app will use your data. If the privacy policy does not clearly answer the questions below, you should have another look at using the app to access your health information. Health information is very sensitive information. It is important to choose an app with strong privacy and security standards to protect your health data.



What you should consider when choosing a third-party app:

  • What health data will this app collect?
  • Will this app collect non-health data from my device, such as my location?
  • Will my data be stored in a de-identified or anonymous way?
  • How will this app use my data?
  • Will this app release my data to third parties?
    • Will this app sell my data for any reason, such as advertising or research?
    • Will this app share my data for any reason? If so, with whom? For what purpose?

  • How can I limit this app’s use and release of my data?
  • What security methods does this app have to protect my data?
  • What impact could sharing my data with this app have on others, such as my family members?
  • How can I access my data and correct mistakes in data collected by this app?
  • Does this app have a way to gather and reply to complaints?
  • If I do not want to use this app anymore, or if I do not want this app to have access to my health information anymore, how do I stop the app’s access to my data?
    • What is the app’s policy for deleting my data once I stop access?
    • Do I have to do more than just delete the app from my device?

  • How does this app inform users of changes that could affect its privacy practices?


Understanding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and your rights

What are a patient’s rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and who must follow HIPAA?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules, and the Patient Safety Act and Rule. You can find more information about patient rights under HIPAA and who has to follow HIPAA here: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-individuals/guidance-materials-for-consumers/index.html

Additionally you can find HIPAA FAQs for Individuals here: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-individuals/faq/index.html



Are third-party apps covered by HIPAA?

Most third-party apps will not be covered by HIPAA. Most third-party apps will instead fall under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the protections provided by the FTC Act. The FTC Act, among other things, protects against dishonest acts (e.g., if an app shares personal data without permission, even with having a privacy policy that says it will not do so).

The FTC provides information about mobile app privacy and security for consumers here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0018-understanding-mobile-apps



What should a member do if they think their data has been breached by a third-party app or has used their data incorrectly?

You may report your concern to Providence Health Assurance by calling the Privacy Program at: 503-574-7770



Contacting support outside of Providence Health Assurance

You may tell the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. We will not take any action against you for filing a complaint.

You may file the complaint at the Office for Civil Rights at:

Office for Civil Rights

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201

OCR Hotline-Voice: 1-800-368-1019

E-mail: OCRComplaint@hhs.gov

Website: Office for Civil Rights www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/


To learn more about filing a complaint with OCR under HIPAA, visit: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/filing-a-complaint/index.html


Individuals can file a complaint with OCR using the OCR complaint portal:
https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/smartscreen/main.jsf


Individuals can file a complaint with the FTC using the FTC complaint assistant:
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

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