Your Information/Your Rights/Our Responsibilities

This notice describes how medical information about our patients may be used and disclosed and how our patients and their caregivers can get access to this information.

Please review it carefully.

The Health Insurance Portability and & Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) is a Federal Program that requires that all medical records and other individually identifiable health information used or disclosed by us in any form, whether electronically, on paper, or orally are kept properly confidential. This Act, gives our patients, the right to understand and control how protected health information (“PHI”) is used. As required by HIPAA we have prepared this explanation of how we are to maintain the privacy of patient health care information and how we may disclose PHI. As used in this notice the terms “you” and “your” refer to our patient and in the case of a minor patient, the minor’s parent, guardian, or legally recognized caregiver.

Your Rights

When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.

Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record

  • You can ask to see or get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. As us how to do this.
  • We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable fee, cost-based fee

Ask us to correct your medical record

  • You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incomplete. Ask us how to do this.
  • We may say “no” to your request but we will tell you why in writing within 60 days.

Request confidential communications

  • You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address.
  • We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.

Ask us to limit what we use or share

  • You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our operations.
    • We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care.
  • If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer.
    • We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.

Get a list of those with whom we have shared information

  • You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we have shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why.
  • We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We will provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.

Get a copy of this privacy notice

  • You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.

Choose someone to act for you

  • If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
  • We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.

File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated

  • You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us using the information on page 1.
  • You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/.
  • We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

Your Choices

For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.

In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:

  • Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
  • Share information in a disaster relief situation
  • Include your information in a hospital directory

If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.

In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:

  • Marketing purposes
  • Sale of your information
  • Most sharing of psychotherapy notes
  • Although a parent or legal guardian can typically inspect and/or copy a minor’s medical records, certain disclosures of a minor’s personal health information are protected from disclosure. For example, psychotherapy notes and information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding are not subject to disclosure.

In the case of fundraising:

  • We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.

Our Uses and Disclosures

How do we typically use or share your health information? We typically use or share your health information in the following ways.

Treat you

  • We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.
    • Example: A doctor or non-physician provider (i.e. physical therapist, nutritional counselor, etc.) treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.
    • Example: Medical facilities (i.e., hospitals, outpatient centers, laboratories for the purpose of running medical tests, other health care providers such as pharmacies, durable medical equipment suppliers, and ambulance services)

Run our organization

  • We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.
    • Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services (i.e. internal quality assessment activities, contacting other health care providers regarding treatment alternatives, evaluating provider performance, training providers of care, legal and medical review of care provided, business planning and management, customer service, resolutions of internal grievances and the provision of legal and auditing services.

Bill for your services

  • We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities.
    • Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.

How else can we use or share your health information? We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways — usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.

Help with public health and safety issues

  • We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:
    • Preventing disease
    • Helping with product recalls
    • Reporting adverse reactions to medications
    • Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
    • Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety

Do research

  • We can use or share your information for health research

Comply with the law

  • We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we are complying with federal privacy law.

Respond to organ and tissue donation requests

  • We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations.

Work with a medical examiner or funeral director

  • We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.

Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests

  • We can use or share health information about you:
    • For workers’ compensation claims
    • For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official
    • With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law
    • For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services

Respond to lawsuits and legal actions

  • We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.

We do not market or sell your personal health information

Our Responsibilities

  • We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information. We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
  • We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.
  • We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html.

Effective Date This notice is effective as of 8/14/2015, and it is our intention to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices and HIPAA Regulations currently in effect. Changes to the Terms of this Notice We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our web site. Privacy Official Feel free to contact our privacy compliance officer, Michelle Fritsch, Pharm.D., [michelle@medsmash.com, 410-472-5078] in person or in writing for more information.