This Notice of Privacy Practices 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 protected health information. “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 or condition and related health care services.
Your protected health information may be used and disclosed by your physician, 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, to pay your health care bills, to support the operation of the physician’s and any other use required by law.
We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any
related services. This includes the coordination or management of your health care with a third party. For example, we would disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to a home health agency that provides care to you. For example, your protected health information may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred to ensure that the physician has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you.
Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. For example, obtaining approval for hospital stay may require that your relevant protected health information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the hospital admission.
We may use or disclose, as needed, your protected health information in order to support the business activities of your physician’s practice. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training of medical students, licensing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities. For example, we may disclose your protected health information to medical students that see patients at our office for learning purposes.
We are permitted or required by law to make certain other uses and disclosures of your personal health information without your consent or authorization. Subject to conditions specified by law:
The confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records, HIV-related information, and mental health records maintained by us is specifically protected by state and/or Federal law and regulations. Generally, we may not disclose such information unless you consent in writing, the disclosure is allowed by a court order, or in limited and regulated other circumstances.
Other permitted and required uses and disclosures will be made with your consent, authorization or opportunity to object unless required by law. You may revoke this 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.
Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your protected health information:
Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records: psychotherapy notes, information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, and protected health information that is subject to law that prohibits access to protected health information. We will charge you for a copy of your medical records in accordance with a schedule of fees established by applicable state law. To request a copy of your records, submit your request in writing to Little Flower Family Medicine. You have a right to receive a copy within 30 days of your written request.
This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. Your physician is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. If your physician believes it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your protected health information, your protected health information will not be restricted. You then have the right to use another Healthcare Professional.
You have the right to request that personal health information that we maintain about you be amended or corrected. We are not obligated to make all requested amendments but will give each request careful consideration. All amendment requests, in order to be considered by us, must be in writing, signed by you or your representative, and must state the reasons for the amendment/correction request. If an amendment or correction you request is made by us, we may also notify others who work with us and have copies of the uncorrected record if we believe that such notification is necessary. Please note that even if we accept your request, we may not delete any information already documented in your medical record. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal.
We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice and will inform you by mail or patient portal of any charges. You then have the right to object or withdraw as provided in this notice.
You may complain to us or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us. We will not retaliate against you for filling a complaint.
This notice was published and becomes effective on/or before February 11th, 2013.
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 protected health information. Please contact the office if you have any questions.