Our Legal Duty
We are required by applicable federal and state laws to maintain the privacy of your protected health information. We are also required to give you this notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your protected health information. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this notice while it is in effect.
We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this notice at any time, provided that 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 protected health information that we maintain, including medical information we created or received before we made the changes.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
We may use and disclose your protected health information about you for treatment, payment, and health care operations. Following are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health care information that may occur. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but to describe the types of uses and disclosures that maybe made by our office.
Treatment: We may use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate or manage your healthcare and any related services. This includes the coordination or management of your health care with a third party.
In addition, we may disclose your protected health information from time to time to another physician or health care provider (e.g., a specialist or laboratory) who, at the request of your physician, becomes involved in your care by providing assistance with your health care diagnosis or treatment to your physician.
We may share your protected health information with third party “business associates” that perform various activities (e.g., laboratory) for the practice.
Uses and Disclosures Based On Your Written Authorization: Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information will be made only with your authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law as described below.
You may give us written authorization to use your protected 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. Without your written authorization, we will not disclose your health care information except as described in this notice.
Others Involved in Your Health Care (Sponsor): Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your protected health information that directly relates to that person’s involvement in your health care. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment. We may use or disclose protected health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care of your location, general condition or death.
Public Health and Safety: We may disclose your protected health information to the extent necessary to avert a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety, or the health or safety of others. We may disclose your protected health information to a government agency authorized to oversee the health care system or government programs or its contractors, and to public health authorities for public health purposes.
Health Oversight: We may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws.
Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your protected health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, we may disclose your protected health information if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the governmental entity or agency authorized to receive such information. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.
Food and Drug Administration: We may disclose your protected health information to a person or company required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product defects or problems, biologic product deviations; to track products; to enable product recalls; to make repairs or replacements; or to conduct post marketing surveillance, as required.
Criminal Activity: Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, we may disclose your protected health information, if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. We may also disclose protected health information if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.
Required by Law: We may use or disclose your protected health information when we are required to do so by law. For example, we must disclose your protected health information to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request for purposes of determining whether we are in compliance with federal privacy laws. We may disclose your protected health information when authorized by workers’ compensation or similar laws.
Process and Proceedings: We may disclose your protected health information in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process, under certain circumstances. Under limited circumstances, such as a court order, warrant or grand jury subpoena, we may disclose your protected health information to law enforcement officials.
Law Enforcement: We may disclose limited information to law enforcement official concerning the protected health information of a suspect, fugitive, material witness, crime victim or missing person. We may disclose the protected health information of an inmate or other person in lawful custody to a law enforcement official or correctional institution under certain circumstances. We may disclose protected health information where necessary to assist law enforcement officials to capture an individual who has admitted to participation in a crime or has escaped from lawful custody.
Access: You have the right to look at or get copies of your protected health information, with limited exceptions. You must make a request in writing to the contact person listed herein to obtain access to your protected health information. You may also request access by sending us a letter to the address at the end of this notice.
Restriction Requests: You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your protected health information. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in an emergency). Any agreement we may make to a request for additional restrictions must be in writing signed by a person authorized to make such an agreement on our behalf. We will not be bound unless our agreement is so memorialized in writing.