Notice of Privacy Practices

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

This notice describes how health information about you or your child may be used and disclosed and how you can obtain access to this information. Please review it carefully. The privacy of your health information is important to us.

OUR LEGAL DUTY

We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of your 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 (04/14/2003), 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 the 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.

You may request a copy of our Notice at any time. For more information about our privacy practices, or for additional copies of this Notice, please contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice.

USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION

We use and disclose health information about you for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. For example:

Treatment:  We may use and disclose your health information for your treatment. For example, we may disclose your health information to a specialist providing treatment to you.

Payment: We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services we provide to you. We may do this with insurance forms filed for you electronically or through the mail.

Healthcare Operations: 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 professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.

Appointment Reminders: We may use of disclose your health information to provide you with appointment reminders such as voicemail messages, postcards or letters.

To Your Family and Friends: We must disclose your health information to you, as described in the Patient Rights section of this Notice. We may disclose your health information to a family member, friend or other person to the extent necessary to help with your healthcare or with payment for your healthcare, but only if you agree that we may do so.

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 judgment 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 State or Federal law.

Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible 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.

National Security: We may disclose to military authorities the health information of Armed Forces personnel under certain circumstances. We may disclose to authorized federal officials health information required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities. We may disclose to correctional institution or law enforcement official having lawful custody of protected health information of inmate or patient under certain circumstances.

Your Authorization: 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 was 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.

PATIENT RIGHTS

Access to Records:

You have the right to look at copies of your health information, with limited exceptions. You may request photocopies and copies of x-rays. We will use the format you request, unless we are unable to practically do so. You must make your request to access health information in writing to our practice. We can provide you with a form to do this, or you may do it by writing a letter specifying exactly what you want to view. If we provide photocopies, we will charge you a set amount for each page copied. If you wish to receive x-ray duplicates, we will charge you a set fee per film copied. Check with the office for the current fee schedule. If you request and alternate format we will charge you per the expenses we incur to satisfy your request. You may prefer to ask for a summary rather than receive all of the pages in your file. We can prepare a summary depending on what you are seeking to obtain. The fee for summation will vary depending on time to compile. The hourly rate for summation is also on our current fee schedule.

We have up to 30 days (and sometimes longer) to respond, depending on what is required to meet your request. Specifics will be provided upon request.

List of Disclosures:

You have the right to receive a list of instances in which we, or our business associates, disclosed your health information for purposes other than treatment, payment healthcare operations and few other activities as specified by law, for the last six years, but not before April 14, 2003. If you request this list more than once in a 12 month period we will charge you a reasonable cost based fee for responding to the additional requests. Fees will be disclosed prior to action being taken.

Restrictions:

You have the right to place additional restrictions on our use of your health information. We are not required to agree to these restrictions, however, if we do agree, we will abide by our agreement, except in certain emergency situations.

Communications to You:

You may request we communicate with you about your health information by alternative means or to alternative locations, when you make the request in writing. You must specify the alternative means or location and provide satisfactory explanation how payments will be made under the alternative means or location.

Amendment of Your Records:

You have the right to request we amend your health information when requested in writing. We may deny your request, however, we will note in your records your request to amend and reason. We cannot delete anything from the formal record but we can add addendums to the record that may be able to meet you amendment request.

Electronic Notice of this Information:

If you received this information electronically, you are entitled to receive this in written hard copy form.

Notice of Privacy Practices