NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU (AS A PATIENT OF THIS PRACTICE) MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED, AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO YOUR INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION.
A. OUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR PRIVACY
Our practice is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your individually identifiable health information (IIHI). In conducting our business, we will create records regarding you and the treatment and services we provide to you. We are required to maintain the confidentiality of health information that identifies you. We also are required to provide you with this notice of our legal duties and the privacy practices that we maintain in our practice concerning your IIHI. We must follow the terms of the notice of privacy practices that we have in effect at the time.
We realize that these regulations are complicated, but we must provide you with the following important information:
– How we may use and disclose your IIHI
– Your privacy rights in your IIHI
– Our obligations concerning the use and disclosure of your IIHI
B. WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION (IIHI) IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS
The following categories describe the different ways in which we may use and disclose your IIHI.
Treatment: Our practice may use your IIHI to treat you. For example, we may ask you to have laboratory tests (such as blood or urine tests), and we may use the results to help us reach a diagnosis. We might use your IIHI in order to write a prescription for you, or we might disclose your IIHI to a pharmacy when we order a prescription for you. Many of the people who work for our practice – including, but not limited to, our doctors and nurses – may use or disclose your IIHI in order to treat you or to assist others in your treatment. Additionally, we may disclose your IIHI to others who may assist in your care, such as your spouse. Finally, we may also disclose your IIHI to other health care providers for purposes related to your treatment.
Payment: We are a fee-for-service medical practice and as such we are not obligated to operate under the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. We do not accept insurance; however we can assist you in submitting your claims. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI to your insurance provider in order for you to collect payment for the services and items you may receive from us.
Health Care Operations: Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI to operate our business. As examples of the ways in which we may use and disclose your information for our operations, our practice may use your IIHI to evaluate the quality of care you received from us, or to conduct cost-management and business planning activities for our practice. We may disclose your IIHI to other health care providers and entities that have a relationship with you to assist in their health care operations.
Disclosures Required By Law: Our practice will use and disclose your IIHI when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law.
C. USE AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR IIHI IN CERTAIN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
The following categories describe unique scenarios in which we may use or disclose your identifiable health information:
Public Health Risks: Our practice may disclose your IIHI to public health authorities that are authorized by law to collect information for the purpose of: maintaining vital records, such as births and deaths, reporting child abuse or neglect, preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability, notifying a person regarding potential exposure to a communicable disease, notifying a person regarding a potential risk for spreading or contracting a disease or condition, reporting reactions to drugs or problems with products or devices, notifying individuals if a product or device they may be using has been recalled, notifying appropriate government agency(ies) and authority(ies) regarding the, potential abuse or neglect of an adult patient (including domestic violence); however, we will only disclose this information if the patient agrees or we are required or authorized by law to disclose this information.
Health Oversight Activities: Our practice may disclose your IIHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. Oversight activities can include, for example, investigations, inspections, audits, surveys, licensure and disciplinary actions; civil, administrative, and criminal procedures or actions; or other activities necessary for the government to monitor government programs, compliance with civil rights laws and the health care system in general.
Lawsuits and Similar Proceedings: Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI in response to a court or administrative order, if you are involved in a lawsuit or similar proceeding. We also may disclose your IIHI in response to a discovery request, subpoena, or other lawful process by another party involved in the dispute, but only if we have made an effort to inform you of the request or to obtain an order protecting the information the party has requested.
Law Enforcement: We may release IIHI if asked to do so by a law enforcement official: Regarding a crime victim in certain situations, if we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement, concerning a death we believe has resulted from criminal conduct, regarding criminal conduct at our offices, in response to a warrant, summons, court order, subpoena or similar legal process, to identify/locate a suspect, material witness, fugitive or missing person, in an emergency, to report a crime (including the location or victim(s) of the crime, or the description, identity or location of the perpetrator)
Serious Threats to Health or Safety: Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI when necessary to reduce or prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of another individual or the public. Under these circumstances, we will only make disclosures to a person or organization able to help prevent the threat.
Specialized government functions: We may disclose your health information for military or national security purposes or to correctional institutions or law enforcement officers that have you in their lawful custody.
Change of Ownership: In the event that this medical practice is sold or merged with another organization, your health information/record will become the property of the new owner, although you will maintain the right to request that copies of your health information be transferred to another physician or medical group.
Research: In the event that we wish to use (or allow anyone else to use) information from your medical record for the purpose of research, all identifying data that could link the record to you will be removed.
D. YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR IIHI
You have the following rights regarding the IIHI that we maintain about you:
Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that our practice communicate with you about your health and related issues in a particular manner or at a certain location. For instance, you may ask that we contact you at home, rather than work. In order to request a type of confidential communication, you must make a written request specifying the requested method of contact, or the location where you wish to be contacted. Our practice will accommodate reasonable requests. You do not need to give a reason for your request.
Requesting Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction in our use or disclosure of your IIHI for treatment, payment or health care operations. Additionally, you have the right to request that we restrict our disclosure of your IIHI to only certain individuals involved in your care such as family members and friends. We are not required to agree to your request if it relates to your treatment; however, if we do agree, we are bound by our agreement except when otherwise required by law, in emergencies, or when the information is necessary to treat you. Your request must describe in a clear and concise fashion: (a) the information you wish restricted; (b) whether you are requesting to limit our practice’s use, disclosure or both; and (c) to whom you want the limits to apply.
Inspection and Copies: You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the IIHI that may be used to make decisions about you, including patient medical records. Our practice may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, labor and supplies associated with your request. Our practice may deny your request to inspect and/or copy in certain limited circumstances; however, you may request a review of our denial. Another licensed health care professional chosen by us will conduct reviews.
Amendment: You may ask us to amend your health information if you believe it is incorrect or incomplete, and you may request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for our practice. You must provide us with a reason that supports your request for amendment. Our practice will deny your request if you fail to submit your request (and the reason supporting your request) in writing. Also, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that is in our opinion: (a) accurate and complete; (b) not part of the IIHI kept by or for the practice; (c) not part of the IIHI which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or (d) not created by our practice, unless the individual or entity that created the information is not available to amend the information.
Accounting of Disclosures: You have a right to receive an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by this medical practice, except that this medical practice does not have to account for the disclosures provided to you or pursuant to your written authorization, or as described in Section B (treatment), (payment), (health care operations), and described in Section C, (specialized government functions) and Section D, (confidential communications) of this Notice of Privacy Practices or disclosures for purposes of research or public health which exclude direct patient identifiers, or which are incidental to a use or disclosure otherwise permitted or authorized by law, or the disclosures to a health oversight agency or law enforcement official to the extent this medical practice has received notice from that agency or official that providing this accounting would be reasonably likely to impede their activities.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice: You are entitled to receive a paper copy of our notice of privacy practices.
Right to File a Complaint: If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our Practice Manager, Pamela Seifried at Pam@GoIVF.com.
Changes to this Notice: We reserve the right to change this notice and make the new notice apply to Health Information we already have as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of our current notice at our office and on our website www.GoIVF.com.