HIPPA PRIVACY NOTICE

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.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR PRIVACY

PERMITTED USES AND DISCLOSURES

We can use or disclose your PHI for purposes of treatment, payment, and health care operations. For each of these categories of uses and disclosures, we have provided a description and an example below. However, not every particular use or disclosure in every category will be listed.

Treatment means providing services as ordered by your physician. Treatment also includes coordination and consultations with other health care providers relating to your care and referrals for health care from one health care provider to another. We may also disclose PHI to outside entities performing other services related to your treatment such as hospitals, diagnostic labs, home health or hospice agencies, etc.

Payment means the activities we undertake to obtain reimbursement for the health care provided to you, including billing, collections, claims management, prior approval, determinations of eligibility and coverage and other utilization review activities. Federal or state law may require us to obtain a written release from you prior to disclosing certain specially protected PHI for payment purposes, and we will ask you to sign a release, when necessary, under applicable law.

Health care operations means the support functions of the company, related to treatment and payment, such as quality assurance activities, case management, receiving and responding to patient comments and complaints, physician reviews, compliance programs, audits, business planning, development, management, and administrative activities. We may use your PHI to evaluate the performance of our staff when caring for you. We may also combine PHI about many patients to decide what additional services we should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose PHI for review and learning purposes. In addition, we may remove information that identifies you so that others can use the de-identified information to study health care and health care delivery without learning who you are.

OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION 

We may also use your PHI in the following ways:

It is our duty to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of your protected health information (PHI). We will create records regarding your and the treatment and service we provide to you. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your PHI, which includes any individually identifiable information that we obtain from you or others that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health, the health care you have received, or payment for your health care. We will share protected health information with one another, as necessary, to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations relating to the services to be rendered at the company.

As required by law, this notice provides you with information about your rights and our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to the privacy of PHI. This notice also discusses the uses and disclosures we will make of your PHI. We must comply with the provisions of this notice as currently in effect, although we reserve the right to change the terms of this notice from time to time and to make the revised notice effective for all PHI we maintain. You can always request a written copy of our most current privacy notice from our Privacy Officer.

When permitted by law, we may coordinate our uses and disclosures of PHI with public or private entities authorized by law or by charter to assist in disaster relief efforts.

We will allow your family and friends to act on your behalf to pick up filled prescriptions, medical supplies, X-rays, and similar forms of PHI, when we determine, in our professional judgment that it is in your best interest to make such disclosures.

We may contact you as part of our fundraising and marketing efforts as permitted by law. You have the right to opt out of receiving such fundraising communications.

We may use or disclose your PHI for research purposes, subject to the requirements of applicable law. For example, a research project may involve comparisons of the health and recovery of all patients who received a particular medication. All research projects are subject to a special approval process which balances research needs with a patient's need for privacy. When required, we will obtain a written authorization from you prior to using your health information for research.

We will use or disclose PHI about you when required to do so by applicable law.

In accordance with applicable law, we may disclose your PHI to your employer if we are retained to conduct an evaluation relating to medical surveillance of your workplace or to evaluate whether you have a work-related illness or injury. You will be notified of these disclosures by your employer or the company as required by applicable law.

Note: incidental uses and disclosures of PHI sometimes occur and are not considered to be a violation of your rights. Incidental uses and disclosures are by-products of otherwise permitted uses or disclosures which are limited in nature and cannot be reasonably prevented.

SPECIAL SITUATIONS

SPECIAL 
SITUATIONS

Subject to the requirements of applicable law, we will make the following uses and disclosures of your PHI:

HEALTH OVERSIGHT ACTIVITIES

We may disclose PHI to federal or state agencies that oversee our activities (e.g., providing health care, seeking payment, and civil rights).

LAWSUITS AND DISPUTES

If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose PHI subject to certain limitations.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

We may release PHI if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:

CORONERS, MEDICAL EXAMINERS, AND FUNERAL DIRECTORS

We may release PHI to a coroner or medical examiner. We may also release PHI about patients to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.

NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES

We may release PHI about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, other national security activities authorized by law or to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President or foreign heads of state.

INMATES

If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release PHI about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary (1) to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.

SERIOUS THREATS

As permitted by applicable law and standards of ethical conduct, we may use and disclose PHI if we, in good faith, 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 or is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.

Note: HIV-related information, genetic information, alcohol and/or substance abuse records, mental health records and other specially protected health information may enjoy certain special confidentiality protections under applicable state and federal law. Any disclosures of these types of records will be subject to these special protections.

OTHER USES OF YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION

Certain uses and disclosures of PHI will be made only with your written authorization, including uses and/or disclosures: (a) of psychotherapy notes (where appropriate); (b) for marketing purposes; and (c) that constitute a sale of PHI under the Privacy Rule. Other uses and disclosures of PHI not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. You have the right to revoke that authorization at any time, provided that the revocation is in writing, except to the extent that we already have taken action in reliance on your authorization.

YOUR RIGHTS

You have the right to request restrictions on our uses and disclosures of PHI for treatment, payment, and health care operations. However, we are not required to agree to your request unless the disclosure is to a health plan in order to receive payment, the PHI pertains solely to your health care items or services for which you have paid the bill in full, and the disclosure is not otherwise required by law. To request a restriction, you may make your request in writing to the Privacy Officer.

You have the right to reasonably request to receive confidential communications of your PHI by alternative means or at alternative locations. To make such a request, you may submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer.

You have the right to inspect and copy the PHI contained in our company records, except:

In order to inspect or obtain a copy of your PHI, you may submit your request in writing to the Medical Records Custodian. If you request a copy, we may charge you a fee for the costs of copying and mailing your records, as well as other costs associated with your request.

We may also deny a request for access to PHI under certain circumstances if there is a potential for harm to yourself or others. If we deny a request for access for this purpose, you have the right to have our denial reviewed in accordance with the requirements of applicable law.

You have the right to request an amendment to your PHI, but we may deny your request for amendment, if we determine that the PHI or record that is the subject of the request:

In any event, any agreed upon amendment will be included as an addition to, and not a replacement of, already existing records. In order to request an amendment to your PHI, you must submit your request in writing to Medical Record Custodian at our company, along with a description of the reason for your request.

You have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of PHI made by us to individuals or entities other than to you for the six years prior to your request, except for disclosures:

To request an accounting of disclosures of your PHI, you must submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer at our company. Your request must state a specific time period for the accounting (e.g., the past three months). The first accounting you request within a twelve (12) month period will be free. For additional accountings, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the costs involved, and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.

You have the right to receive a notification, in the event that there is a breach of your unsecured PHI, which requires notification under the Privacy Rule.

COMPLAINTS

If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you should immediately contact the company's Privacy Officer. We will not take action against you for filing a complaint. You also may file a complaint with the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington DC, 20201.