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.
The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires all healthcare records and other individually identifiable health information used or disclosed to us in any form, whether electronically, on paper, or orally, be kept confidential. This federal law gives you, the patient, significant new rights to understand and control how your health information is used. HIPAA provides penalties for covered entities that misuse personal health information. As required by HIPAA, we have prepared this explanation of how we are required to maintain the privacy of your health information and how we may use and disclose your health information.
Without specific written authorization, we are permitted to use and disclose your healthcare records for the purposes of treatment, payment, and healthcare operations.
- Treatment means providing, coordinating, or managing healthcare and related services by one or more healthcare providers. For example, we may need to share information with other providers or specialists involved in the continuation of your care.
- Payment means such activities as obtaining reimbursement for services, confirming coverage, billing or collection activities, and utilization review. For example, treatment information is disclosed when billing a dental plan for your dental services.
- Healthcare operations include the business aspects of running our practice. For example, patient information may be reviewed periodically for training purposes or quality assessment.
Unless you request otherwise, we may use or disclose health information to a family member, friend, or another personal representative to the extent necessary to help with your health care or with payment for your health care. In addition, we may use your confidential information to remind you of appointments or to pre-medicate by sending reminder postcards and/or leaving recorded messages at home and/or work. We may also disclose protected health information for any lawful purpose as required in the HIPAA regulations. Any other uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization. You may revoke such authorization in writing, and we are required to honor and abide by that written request, except to the extent that we have already taken actions relying on your authorization.
You have certain rights regarding your protected health information, which you can exercise by presenting a written request to our privacy officer at the practice address listed below:
- The right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information, including those related to disclosures to family members, other relatives, close personal friends, or any other person identified by you. We are, however, not required to agree to a requested restriction. If we do agree to a restriction, we must abide by it unless you agree in writing to remove it.
- The right to request to receive confidential communications of protected health information from us by alternative means or at alternative locations.
- The right to access, inspect, and copy your protected health information. The right to request an amendment to your protected health information.
- The right to receive an accounting of disclosures of protected health information outside of treatment, payment, and healthcare operations.
- The right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us upon request.
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information.
This notice is effective as of January 1, 2018, and we are required to abide by the terms of the Notice of Privacy Practices currently in effect. We reserve the right to change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices and to make the new notice provisions effective for all protected health information that we maintain. Revisions to our Notice of Privacy Practices will be posted on the effective date, and you may request a written copy of the Revised Notice from this office.
You have the right to file a formal, written complaint with us at the address below or with the Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Civil Rights in the event you feel your privacy rights have been violated. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.