NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control your protected health information. “Protected health information” (PHI) is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services. We may change the terms of our notice at any time. Please call our office or access our website for the latest version.
1. USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION (PHI)
Your PHI may be used and disclosed by your physician, our office staff and others outside of our office who are involved in your care and treatment for the purpose of providing health care services to you. Your PHI may also be used and disclosed to pay your health care bills and to support the operation of your physician’s practice. These are some examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your PHI that we may make. This list is not exhaustive.
Treatment: We will use and disclose your PHI with other health care providers to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services.
Business Operations: We may use or disclose your PHI in order to support routine business activities such as obtaining payment for your health care services, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training of medical students, licensing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities.
Required By Law: We may use or disclose your PHI to the extent that the use or disclosure is required by law.
Public Health & Health Oversight: We may disclose your PHI for to a public health authority or oversight agency that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information, or if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.
Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your PHI to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, we may disclose your PHI if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the governmental entity or agency authorized to receive such information.
Food and Drug Administration: We may disclose your PHI to a person or company required by the Food and Drug Administration for the purpose of quality, safety, or effectiveness of FDA-regulated products or activities including, to report adverse events, product defects or problems, biologic product deviations, to track products; to enable product recalls; to make repairs or replacements, or to conduct post marketing surveillance, as required.
Legal Proceedings: We may disclose PHI in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized), or in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.
Coroners, Funeral Directors, and Organ Donation: We may disclose PHI to a coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, determining cause of death or for the coroner or medical examiner to perform other duties. We may also disclose PHI to a funeral director in order to permit the funeral director to carry out their duties. PHI may be used and disclosed for cadaveric organ, eye or tissue donation purposes.
Research: We may disclose your PHI to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your PHI.
Law Enforcement: We may also disclose PHI, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes, or if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. We may also use or disclose your PHI if you are an inmate of a correctional facility.
Military Activity and National Security: When the appropriate conditions apply, we may use or disclose PHI of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits, or (3) to foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military services. We may also disclose your PHI to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities.
Workers’ Compensation: We may disclose your PHI as authorized to comply with workers’ compensation laws and other similar legally-established programs.
Others Involved in Your Health Care: If you direct us to do so, we will disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your PHI that directly relates to that person’s involvement in your health care. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment.
2. YOUR RIGHTS
Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your PHI.
You have the right to inspect and copy your PHI. This means you may inspect and obtain a copy of PHI about you for so long as we maintain the PHI. We may charge you a reasonable copy fee for a copy of your records. Under law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records: psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding; and laboratory results that are subject to law that prohibits access to PHI.
You have the right to request a restriction of your PHI. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your PHI for the purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations. You may also request that any part of your PHI not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. Your request must be in writing, and state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. We are not required to comply to a restriction that you may request. With this in mind, please discuss any restriction you wish to request with your physician.
You may have the right to have your physician amend your PHI. This means you may request an amendment of PHI about you in a designated record set for so long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. Please contact our office if you have questions about amending your medical record.
You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your PHI. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or health care operations as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. It excludes disclosures we may have made to you if you authorized us to make the disclosure, for a facility directory, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes, for national security or intelligence, to law enforcement (as provided in the privacy rule) or correctional facilities, as part of a limited data set disclosure. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations.
You may complain to us or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.