THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY. THE PRIVACY OF YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT TO US.
We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of our health information. We are also required to give you this Notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties and your rights concerning your health information. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this Notice while it is in effect. This Notice takes effect September 25, 2018 and will remain in effect until we replace it.
We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time, provided such changes are permitted by applicable law. We reserve the right to make changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our Notice effective for all health information that we maintain, including health information we created or received before we made the changes. Before we make a significant change in our privacy practices, we will change this Notice and make the new Notice available upon request. For more information about our privacy practices or additional copies of this Notice, please contact us.
We use and disclose health information about you for treatment payment and healthcare operations. For example:
We may use or disclose your health information to a physician or other healthcare provider providing treatment to you.
We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services we provide you.
We may use and disclose your health information in connection with our healthcare operations. Healthcare operations include quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing the competence or qualifications of healthcare professions, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation certification, licensing or credentialing activities.
In addition to our use of your health information for treatment, payment or healthcare operations, you may give us written authorization to use your health information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it is in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your health information for any reason except those described in this Notice.
To Your Family and Friends:
We must disclose your health information to you, as described in the Patient Rights section of this Notice. You have the right to request restrictions on disclosure to family members, other relatives, close personal friends or any other person identified by you.
Persons Involved in Care:
We may use or disclose health information to notify or assist in the notification of (including identifying or locating) a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care, of your location, your general condition, or death. If you are present, then prior to use or disclosure of your health information, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to such uses or disclosures. In the event of your incapacity or emergency circumstances, we will disclose health information based on a determination using our professional judgment disclosing only health information that is directly relevant to the person’s involvement in your healthcare. We will also use our professional judgement and our experience with common practice to make reasonable inferences of your best interest in allowing a person to pick up filled prescriptions, medical supplies, X-rays, or other similar forms of health information.
Marketing Health-Related Services:
We will not use your health information for marketing communications without your written authorization.
Required by Law:
We may use or disclose your health information when we are required to do so by law.
Abuse or Neglect:
We may disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we believe that you are a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence or the possible victim of other crimes. We may disclose your health information to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of others.
We may disclose to military authorities the health information of Armed Forces personnel under certain circumstances. We may disclose health information to authorized federal officials when required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities. We may disclose to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials having lawful custody of protected health information of inmates or patients under certain circumstances.
We may contact you to provide you with appointment reminders via email, voicemail, postcards, or letters.
You have the right to look at or get copies of your health information with limited exceptions. You may request that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies. We will use the format you request unless we cannot practicably do so. You must make a request in writing to obtain access to your health information. You may obtain a form to request access by contacting our office. We will charge you a reasonable cost-based fee for expenses such as copies and staff time. You may also request access by sending us a letter. If you request copies, there may be a charge for time spent. If you request an alternate format, we will charge a cost-based fee for providing your health information in that format. If you prefer, we will prepare a summary or an explanation of your health information for a fee. Contact us for a full explanation of our fee structure.
You have a right to receive a list of instances in which we disclosed your health information for purposes other than treatment, payment, healthcare operations and certain other activities for a period of up to five (5) years prior to your request. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12-month period, we may charge you a reasonable cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests.
You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your health information. We are required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in emergency).
We have the right to request that we communicate with you about your health information by alternative means or to alternative locations. (You must make your request in writing.) Your request must specify the alternative means or location and provide satisfactory explanation how payments will be handled under the alternative means or location you request.
You have the right to request that we amend your health information. (Your request must be in writing and it must explain why the information should be amended.) We may deny your request under certain circumstances.
Questions and Complaints:
If you want more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, please contact us.
If you are concerned that we may have violated your privacy right, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your health information or in response to a request you made to amend or restrict the use or disclosure of your health information or to have us communicate with you by alternative means or at alternative locations, you may send a written complaint to our office or to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.