Notice of Privacy Practices
This notice describes how health information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.
PLEASE REVIEW THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY.
The privacy of your health information is important.
We are required by 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 April 14, 2003 and will remain in effect until we replace it.
You may request a copy of our Privacy Practice Notice at any time. For more information or additional copies of this Notice, please contact us at the telephone number listed in the Company Information section at the top of this Notice. If and when permitted by applicable, we have the right to change our privacy practices; if we do so, we will notify you in writing of these changes
Use and Disclosures of Health Information
We are permitted, by law, to use and disclose health information about you for reasons concerning treatment, payment and healthcare operations. Examples:
Family and Friends: We may disclose your health information to a family member, relative or a friend that has been identified by you while you are present. If you are not present, professional judgment will be utilized to determine whether a disclosure is required or in your best interest. We will only disclose information that is believed to be relevant to the person's involvement with your health care or payment related to your health care. We may also disclose your health information in order to notify such persons of your location, general condition or death.
Your Rights To Your Personal Health Information
Access to Record: You may have access to your health information, with limited exceptions. REQUEST MUST BE MADE IN WRITING. We may charge a reasonable fee to compensate for time and materials.
Restriction of Information: You may request that we place restrictions on our use or disclosure of your health information. YOU MUST MAKE YOUR REQUEST IN WRITING BY SENDING A LETTER THAT SPECIFIES THE TYPE OF INFORMATION TO BE RESTRICTED AND TO WHOM THE INFORMATION IS TO BE RESTRICTED FROM. Requests should be sent directly to the address listed in the heading of this Notice. We will consider all requests; however are not required to agree to the request. We will respond to all such requests in writing.
Privacy and Your Health Information
Your Privacy Is Important to All of Us.
Most of us feel that our health and medical information is private and should be protected, and we want to know who has this information.
Now, Federal law:
- Gives you rights over your health information
- Sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information
The Law Gives You Rights Over Your Health Information Providers and health insurers who are required to follow this law must comply with your right to:
- Ask to see and get a copy of your health records
- Have corrections added to your health information
- Receive a notice that tells you how your health information may be used and shared
- Decide if you want to give your permission before your health information can be used or shared for certain purposes, such as for marketing
- If you believe your rights are being denied or your health information isn't being protected, you can:
- File a complaint with your provider or health insurer
- File a complaint with the U.S. Government
You should get to know these important rights, which help you protect your health information. You can ask your provider or health insurer questions about your rights. You also can learn more about your rights, including how to file a complaint, from the website at www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/.
Your Health Information Is Protected By Federal Law.
Who must follow this law?
- Most doctors, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and many other health care providers
- Health insurance companies, HMOs, most employer group health plans
- Certain government programs that pay for health care, such as Medicare and Medicaid
What information is protected?
- Information your doctors, nurses, and other health care providers put in your medical record
- Conversations your doctor has about your care or treatment with nurses and others
- Information about you in your health insurer's computer system
- Billing information about you at your clinic
- Most other health information about you held by those who must follow this law
The Law Sets Rules and Limits on Who Can Look At and Receive Your Information. To make sure that your information is protected in a way that does not interfere with your healthcare our information can be used and shared:
- For your treatment and care coordination
- To pay doctors and hospitals for your health care and help run their businesses
- With your family, relatives, friends or others you identify who are involved with your health care or your health care bills, unless you object
- To make sure doctors give good care and nursing homes are clean and safe
- To protect the public's health, such as by reporting when the flu is in your area
- To make required reports to the police, such as reporting gunshot wounds
Your health information cannot be used or shared without your written permission unless this law allows it. For example, without your authorization, your provider generally cannot:
- Give your information to your employer
- Use or share your information for marketing or advertising purposes
- Share private notes about your mental health counseling sessions
- The Law Protects the Privacy of Your Health Information Providers and health insurers who are required to follow this law must keep your information private by:
- Teaching the people who work for them how your information may and may not be used and shared
- Taking appropriate and reasonable steps to keep your health information secure
For More Information
This is a brief summary of your rights and protections under the federal health information privacy law. You can learn more about health information privacy and your rights in a fact sheet called "Your Health Information Privacy Rights." You can get this from the website at www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/.
Other Privacy Rights
Another law provides additional privacy protections to patients of alcohol and drug treatment programs. For more information, go to the website at www.samhsa.gov.