NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES AS REQUIRED BY THE PRIVACY REGULATIONS CREATED AS A RESULT OF THE HEATH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1996 (HIPAA)
PREMIER EYECARE OF ROSWELL
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.
PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
A. OUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR PRIVACY
Our practice is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your individually identifiable health information (PHI In conducting our business, we will create records regarding you and the treatment and services we provide to you. We are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of health information that identifies you. We also are required by law to provide you with this notice of our legal duties and the privacy practices that we maintain in our practice concerning your PHI. By federal and state law, we must follow the terms of the notice of privacy practices that we have in effect at the time.
We realize that these laws are complicated but we must provide you with the following important information:
- How we may use and disclose your PHI.
- Your privacy rights in your PHI.
- Our obligations concerning the use and disclosure of your PHI.
The terms of this notice apply to all records containing your PHI that are created or retained by our practice. We reserve the right to revise or amend this Notice of Privacy Practices. Any revision or amendment to this notice will be effective for all of your records that our practice has created or maintained in the past, and for any of your records that we may create or maintain in the future. Our practice will post a copy of our current Notice in our office in a visible location at all times, and you may request a copy of our most current Notice at any time.
B. PLEASE ADDRESS ALL QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS NOTICE OF PRIVACY TO OUR PRIVACY OFFICER AT THE ADDRESS LISTED AT THE END OF THIS NOTCE.
C. WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR INDIVIDUALLY INDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION (PHI) IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS.
The following categories describe the different ways in which we may use and disclose your PHI.
1. Treatment. We use information for treatment purposes when, for example, we set up an appointment for you, when our doctor tests your eyes, when our doctor prescribes glasses, contact lenses or medication, when our staff helps you select and order glasses or contact lenses, and when we show you low vision aids. We may disclose your health information outside of our office for treatment purposes if, for example, we refer you to another doctor or clinic for further care, if we send a prescription for glasses or contacts to a laboratory to be fabricated, when we provide a prescription for medication to a pharmacist, or when we phone to let you know that your glasses or contact lenses are ready to be picked up. Sometimes we may ask for copies of your health information from another professional that you may have seen before us to allow us to treat you more efficiently.
2. Payment. We use your health information for payment purposes when, for example, our staff asks you about health or vision care plans that you may belong to, or about other sources of payment for our services, when we prepare bills to send to you or your health or vison care plan, when we process payment by credit card, and when we try to collect unpaid amounts due. We may disclose your health information outside of our office for payment purposes when, for example, bills or claims for payment are mailed, faxed, or sent by computer to you or your health or vision plan, or when we occasionally have to ask a collection agency or attorney to help us with unpaid amounts due.
3. Health Care Operations. We use and disclose your health information for health care operations in a number of ways. Health care operations, refers to those administrative and managerial functions that we have to do in order to run our office. We may use or disclose your health information, for example, for financial or billing audits, for internal quality assurance, for personnel decisions, to enable our doctors to participate in managed care plans, for the defense of legal matters, to develop business plans, and outside storage of our records.
4. Appointments and Reminders. Our practice may use and disclose your PHI to contact you and remind you of an appointment or as a follow up on treatment. For example, we may send appointment reminder and recall cards to remind you of an upcoming office visit via mail, phone or email.
5. Non-Medical communications. Our practice may use you PHI to contact you for non-medical reasons. For example, we may send you a birthday card, a holiday greeting or thank you for referrals via mail or email.
6. Treatment Options. Our practice may use your PHI to inform you of potential treatment options or alternatives. We may treat you in an open treatment area and some incidental PHI may be overheard by other patients being treated at the same time.
7. Health-Related Benefits and Services. Our practice may use and disclose your PHI to inform you of health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you. For example, we may send you newsletters that may include information about our practice, health related issues and products and services.
8. Release of Information to Family/Friends. Our practice may release your PHI to a friend or family member that is involved in your care, or who assists in taking care of you. For example, a parent or guardian may ask that a babysitter take their child to the pediatrician’s office for treatment of a cold. In this example, the babysitter may have access to the child’s medical information. This information will be released only with a complete and current release of information form on file.
9. Disclosures Required by Law. Our practice will use and disclose your PHI when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law.
D. USE AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR PHI IN CERTAIN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
The following categories describe unique scenarios in which we may use or disclose your identifiable health information:
1. Public Health Risks. Our practice may disclose your PHI to public health authorities that are authorized by law to collect information for the purpose of:
A. Maintaining vital records, such as births and deaths;
B. Reporting child abuse or neglect;
C. Preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability;
D. Notifying a person regarding potential exposure to a communicable disease;
E. Notifying a person regarding a potential risk for spreading or contracting a disease or condition;
F. Reporting reactions to drugs or problems with products or devices;
G. Notifying individuals if a product or device they may be using has been recalled;
H. 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; and
I. Notifying your employer under limited circumstances related primarily to workplace injury or illness or medical surveillance.
2. Health Oversight Activities. Our practice may disclose you PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. Oversight activities can include, for example, investigations, inspections, audits, or other activities necessary for the government to monitor government programs, compliance with civil rights laws and the health care system in general.