Effective Date: 8/1/2016
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
This Notice of Privacy describes how we may use and disclose your Protected Health Information (PHI) to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations (TPO) and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control your PHI. “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 condition and related health care services.
We are required by federal law 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. You may obtain revisions to our Notice of Privacy Practices 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.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
By applying to be treated in our office, you are implying consent to the use and disclosure of your protected health information by your doctor, our office staff and others outside of our office that are involved in your care and treatment for the purpose of providing health care services to you. Your protected health information may also be used and disclosed to bill for your health care and to support the operation of the practice.
- Treatment: We may use and disclose your personal information to provide you with treatment or services. For example, we may use your health information to prescribe a course of treatment or make a referral. We will record your current healthcare information in a record so, in the future, we can see your medical history to help in diagnosing and treatment, or to determine how well you are responding to treatment. We may provide your health information to other health providers, such as referring or specialist physicians, to assist in your treatment. Should you ever be hospitalized, we may provide the hospital or its staff with the health information it requires to provide you with effective treatment.
- Payment: We may use and disclose your health information so that we may bill and collect payment for the services that we provided to you. For example, we may contact your health insurer to verify your eligibility for benefits, and may need to disclose to it some details of your medical condition or expected course of treatment. We may use or disclose your information so that a bill may be sent to you, your health insurer, or a family member. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you and your diagnosis, as well as services rendered, any procedures performed, and supplies used. Also, we may provide health information to another health care provider, such as an ambulance company that transported you to our office, to assist in their billing and collection efforts.
- Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose your health information to assist in the operation of our practice. For example, members of our staff may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it as part of a continuous effort to improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and services we provide. We may use and disclose your health information to conduct cost–management and business planning activities for our practice. We may also provide such information to other health care entities for their health care operations. For example, we may provide information to your health insurer for its quality review purposes. We may disclose your protected health information to chiropractic interns or precepts that see patients at our office. In addition, we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name and indicate your doctor. Communications between you and the doctor or his assistants may be recorded to assist us in accurately capturing your responses; we may also call you by name in the reception area when your doctor is ready to see you.
- Appointment Reminders: We may use and disclose Information in your medical record to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment at Spine and Strength – The Wellness Clinic, PLLC. We usually will call you at home the day before your appointment and leave a message for you on your answering machine or with an individual who responds to our telephone call. However, you may request that we provide such reminders only in a certain way or only at a certain place. We will endeavor to accommodate all reasonable requests.
- Newsletters and Other Communications: We may use your personal information in order to communicate to you via newsletters, mailings, or other means regarding treatment options, health related information, disease management programs, wellness programs, or other community based initiatives or activities in which our practice is participating.
- Release to Family/Friends: Our health professionals, using their professional judgment, may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify, your health information to the extent it is relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care. We will provide you with an opportunity to object to such a disclosure whenever we practicably can do so. We may disclose the health information of minor children to their parents or guardians unless such disclosure is otherwise prohibited by law.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information That May Be Made Only With Your Written Authorization
Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information will be made only with your written authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law as described below.
- Disclosures of psychotherapy notes
- Uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information for marketing purposes
- Disclosures that constitute a sale of Protected Health Information
- Other uses and disclosures not described in the Notice of Privacy Practices will be made only with authorization from the individual
You may revoke any of these authorizations, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that your doctor or the practice has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosure will be made only with your consent, authorization or opportunity to object unless required by law. You may revoke the authorization, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that your physician or the physician’s practice has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and, Disclosures That May Be Made Without Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use or disclose your protected health information in the following situations without your consent or authorization. These situations include:
- Required By Law: We may use or disclose your protected health information to the extent that the use or disclosure is required by law. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law. You will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.
- Public Health: We may disclose your protected health information for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability. We may also disclose your protected health information, if directed by the public health authority, to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority.
- Communicable Diseases: We may disclose your protected health information, 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.
- Health Oversight: We may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws.
- Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your protected health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, we may disclose your protected health information 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. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.
- Legal Proceedings: We may disclose protected health information 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), in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.
- Law Enforcement: We may also disclose protected health information, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes. These law enforcement purposes include (I) legal process and otherwise required by law, (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes, (3) pertaining to victims of a crime, (4) suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct, (5) in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of the Practice, and (6) medical emergency (not on the Practice’s premises) and it is likely that a crime has occurred.
- Workers’ Compensation: We may disclose your protected health information, as authorized, to comply with workers’ compensation laws and other similar legally-established programs.
- Required Uses and Disclosures: Under the law, we must make disclosures to you and when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of Section 164.500 et. seq.
YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION RIGHTS
The following are statements of your rights with respect to your protected health information.
Right to Obtain a Paper Copy of This Notice: You have the right to a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy.
Right to Inspect and Copy: You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes. You have a right to information that is stored electronically that is not in EHR software, including information stored in MS Word, Excel, PDF, plain text and other electronic formats. To inspect and copy medical information, you must submit a written request to our privacy officer. We will supply you with a form for such a request. If you request a copy of your medical information, we may charge a reasonable fee for the costs of labor, postage, and supplies associated with your request. We may not charge you a fee if you require your medical information for a claim for benefits under the Social Security Act or any other state or federal needs–based benefit program. If your medical information is maintained in an electronic health record, you also have the right to request that an electronic copy of your record be sent to you or to another individual or entity. We may charge you a reasonable cost based fee limited to the labor costs associated with transmitting the electronic health record. You have a right to have this information with-in 30 days of receipt of your request.
Right to Amend: If you feel that medical information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as we retain the information. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to our privacy officer. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
- was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
- is not part of the medical information kept by or for Spine and Strength – The Wellness Clinic, PLLC;
- is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
- is accurate and complete.
If we deny your request for amendment, you may submit a statement of disagreement. We may reasonably limit the length of this statement. Your letter of disagreement will be included in your medical record, but we may also include a rebuttal statement.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by us. In your accounting, we are not required to list certain disclosures, including:
- disclosures made for treatment, payment, and health care operations purposes or disclosures made incidental to treatment, payment, and health care operations, however, if the disclosures were made through an electronic health record, you have the right to request an accounting for such disclosures that were made during the previous 3 years;
- disclosures made pursuant to your authorization;
- disclosures made to create a limited data set;
- disclosures made directly to you.
To request an accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to our privacy officer. Your request must state a time period which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you would like the accounting of disclosures (for example, on paper or electronically by email). The first accounting of disclosures you request within any 12 month period will be free. For additional requests within the same period, we may charge you for the reasonable costs of providing the accounting of disclosures. 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. Under limited circumstances mandated by federal and state law, we may temporarily deny your request for an accounting of disclosures.
Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we communicate about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care. You have a right to restrict certain disclosures of Protected Health Information to a health plan where you have paid out of pocket in full for the healthcare item or service. As noted above, we are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the restricted information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to our privacy officer. In your request, you must tell us what information you want to limit, whether you want to limit our use, disclosure, or both and to whom you want the limits to apply.
Right to Request Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by e–mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to our privacy officer. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Right to Receive Notice of a Breach: We are required to notify you by first class mail or by email (if you have indicated a preference to receive information by e–mail), of any breaches of Unsecured Protected Health Information as soon as possible, but in any event, no later than 60 days following the discovery of the breach. “Unsecured Protected Health Information” is information that is not secured through the use of a technology or methodology identified by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to render the Protected Health Information unusable, unreadable, and undecipherable to unauthorized users.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. To file a complaint with us, contact our privacy officer at the address listed above. All complaints must be submitted in writing and should be submitted within 180 days of when you knew or should have known that the alleged violation occurred.
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of, and provide individuals with, this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protect health information. We are also to abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect. If you have any questions in reference to this form, please ask to speak with our HIPAA Compliance Officer (Dr. Emily Lo) in person or by phone at our main phone number.