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.
If you have any questions about this Notice please contact our Privacy Officer.
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" 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 are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We may change the terms of our notice, at any time. The new notice will be effective for all protected health information that we maintain at that time. Upon your request, we will provide you with any revised Notice of Privacy Practices by calling the office and requesting that a revised copy be sent to you in the mail or asking for one at the time of your next appointment.
Understanding Your Health Record/Information
Each time you visit a healthcare provider, 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 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 by health care professionals
- source of data for medical research
- source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of the nation
- source of data for facility planning and marketing
- a tool with which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render and the 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
- make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others
Your Health Information Rights
Although your health record is the physical property of the healthcare practitioner or facility that compiled it, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:
- request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information
- obtain a paper copy of the notice of information practices upon request
- inspect and obtain a paper or electronic copy via encrypted email of your health record
- any requests for your health records must be in writing, signed by the requesting individual; identifying to whom and where information is to be sent
- amend your health record
- obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information
- revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken
This organization is required to:
- maintain the privacy of your health information
- provide you with a notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to any changes
- keep a record of 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
- accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations
- Privacy rule protections expire for persons deceased for more than 50 years
We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with our Privacy Contact or with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint. You may contact our Privacy Contact, Jane Albrecht, at 800-367-6963 for further information about the complaint process.
We will use your health information for treatment, to obtain payment and for regular healthcare operations.
Data Breach Rule: Unauthorized acquisition, access, use, or disclosure of PHI is presumed to be a data breach and must be reported to the affected individuals, HHS and in some cases the press. A risk assessment must be done to address details of the breach.
Business associates: There are some services provided in our organization through contacts with business associates. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your health information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we've asked them to do. They and their subcontractors will be directly liable for violations for impermissible uses and disclosures of PHI and failure to report breaches to their covered entity customers.
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 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.
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 transplantation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.
Marketing: We may contact you to provide appointment reminders. Individual authorizations are needed for treatment and healthcare operations for which financial remuneration is received from a third party whose services are being promoted.
Fundraising: Type of information to include the department of service, the treating physician and outcome information
Research: Researchers may obtain authorization that PHI could be used for future studies.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclose to the FDA health 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 charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.
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.
This notice was published and becomes effective on September 23, 2013.