NOTICE OF PRIVACY POLICIES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.
PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Notice of Privacy Policies Number 041403
This Notice of Privacy Practices describes the personal information we collect, and how and when we use or disclose that information. It also describes your rights as they relate to you protected health information. This Notice is effective April 14, 2003, and applies to all protected health information as defined by federal regulations.
Understanding Your Health Record Information
Each time you visit the doctor, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your health information or medical record, serves as a:
- Basis for planning your care and treatment,
- Means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care,
- Legal document describing the care you received,
- Means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided,
- A tool in educating other health care professionals,
- A source of data for medical research,
- A source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of this state and the nation,
- A source of data for planning and marketing,
- A tool with which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render and outcomes we achieve,
Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to: ensure its accuracy, better understand who, what, when, where, and why others may access your health information, and make more informed decisions when authoring disclosure to others.
Please understand that medical information is used for treatment, for payment and health operations.
Your Health Information Rights
Although your health record is physical property of the practice, the information belongs. You have the right to:
- Obtain a paper copy of this notice of information practices upon request,
- Inspect and copy your health record as provided for in 45 CFR 164.524,
- Amend your health record as provided 45 CFR 164.528
- Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information as provided in 45 CFR 164.528
- Request communications of your health information by alternative means or alternative locations,
- Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information as provided by 45 CFR 164.522, and
- Revoke your authorization to use or disclosure health information except to the extent that action has already been taken.
We are required to:
- Maintain the privacy of health information,
- Provide you with this notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you,
- Abide by the terms of this notice,
- Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction, and
- Accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations.
We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain.
We will not use or disclosure your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice. We will also discontinue to use or disclosure your health information after we have received a written revocation of the authorization according to the procedures included in the authorization.
For More Information or to Report a Problem
If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact the practice’s Privacy Officer.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the practice’s Privacy Officer, or with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint with either the Privacy Officer or the Office for Civil Rights. We will provide you with necessary information to do so.
Examples of Disclosures for Treatment, Payment and Health Operations
The following describes different ways that we use and disclose medical information. Not every use or disclosure will be listed. However, we have listed most of the different ways we are permitted to use and disclosure medical information.
We will use your health information for treatment
We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students or other people who are taking care of you.
We will also provide your physician or a subsequent health care provider with copies of various reports that should assist him or her in treating you.
We will use your health information for payment.
We may use and disclosure your medical information for payment purposes. A bill may be sent to you or a third-party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, procedures, and supplies used.
We will use your health information for regular health operations.
We may use and disclose your medical information for our healthcare operations. This might include measuring and improving quality, evaluating the performance of employees, conducting training programs, and getting accreditation, certificates, licenses, and credentials we need to serve you.
Members of the medical staff, the risk or quality improvement manager, or members of the quality improvement team may use information in your health record to assess the care the outcomes in your case and others like it. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and service we provide.
Business associates: There are some services provided in our organization through contacts with business associates. When these services are contracted, we may disclosure your health information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we’ve asked them to do and bill you or your third-party payer for services rendered. To protect your health information, however, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
Directory: Unless you notify us that you object, we will use your name, location in the facility, general condition, and for general operations purposes. This information may be provided to members of the staff and to other people who ask for you by name.
Notification: We may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, your location, and general condition.
Communication with family: Health care professionals, using their best judgment, may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify, health information relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care.
Research: We may disclose information for research purposes regarding medications, treatment protocols, and the like. All research projects are subject to an approval process. This process
establishes protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information.
Funeral Directors: We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties.
Organ procurement organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transportation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.
Marketing: We may contact you to provide information about treatment alternatives or other health –related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
Appointment and Patient Reminders: We may use or disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder. This contact may be by phone, in writing, e-mail, or otherwise and may be involve leaving a message on an answering machine or any other device available.
Fundraising: We may contact you as a part of a fund-raising effort.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclosehealth information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects, or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.
Workers compensation: We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.
Public health: As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities.
Correctional institution: Should you be an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution or agents thereof health information necessary for your health and the health and safety of other individuals.
Law enforcement: We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena.
Federal law makes provision for your health information to be released to an appropriate health oversight agency, public health authority or attorney, provided that a work force member or business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or have otherwise violated professional or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more patients, workers or the public.