NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
OUR PROMISE TO YOU, OUR PATIENTS
Your information is confidential.
Your information is important and confidential. Our ethics and policies require that your information be held in strict confidence.
We protect your information.
We maintain protocols to ensure the security and confidentiality of your personal information. We have physical security in our building, passwords to protect databases, compliance audits, and virus/intrusion detection software. Within our practice, access to your information is limited to those who need it to perform their jobs.
This notice describes how information about you may be used and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
At our practice, we are committed to treating and using protected health information about you responsibly. This Notice of Privacy Policies describes the personal information we collect, and how we use or disclose that information. It also describes your rights as they relate to your protected health information. This Notice is effective April 16, 2003, and applies to all protected health information as defined by federal regulations.
Understanding Your Health Record
Each time you visit our practice, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as a:
· Basis for planning your care and treatment,
· Means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care,
· Legal document describing the care you received,
· Means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided,
· Tool in educating health professionals,
· Source of data for medical research,
· Source of information for public health officials charged to improved the health of the state and nation,
· Source of data for our planning and marketing, and
· Tool by which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render and outcomes we achieve.
Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to: ensure its accuracy; better understand who, what, when, and why others may access your health information; and make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.
Your Health Information Rights
Although your health record is the physical property of our practice, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:
· Obtain a paper copy of this notice of privacy policies.
· Inspect and copy your health record as provided by 45 CFR 164.524.
· Amend you're your health record as provided by 45 CFR 164.528.
· Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information as provided by 45 CFR 164.528.
· Request communications of your health information by alternative means or at attentive locations.
· Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information as provided by 45 CFR 164.522.
· Revoke your authorization to use disclose health information except to the except to the extent that action has already been taken.
Our practice is required to:
· Maintain the privacy of your health information,
· Provide you with this notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you,
· Abide by the terms of this notice,
· Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction, and
· Accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative locations.
We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. We will keep a posted copy of the most current notice in our facility containing the effective date and revision number in the top, right-hand corner. In addition, each time you visit our facility for treatment, we will offer you a copy of the current notice effect.
We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice. We will also discontinue to use or disclose your health information if we have received a written revocation of the authorization according to the procedures include in the authorization.
For More Information Or To Report A Problem
If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact our practice's Privacy Officer, Hedda Frerichs, @ 11539 Hawthorne Blvd. 6 th Floor Hawthorne, CA 90250 or call our compliance officer Yvette Ortiz @ (310) 531-2300.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can either file a complaint with our Privacy Officer for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OCR). There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint with either our Privacy Officer or the OCR. The address for the OCR is as follows:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201
Examples of Disclosures For Treatment, Payment, And Health Operations
We will use your health information for treatment.
For example: Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your health care team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. Your physician will document in your record his or her expectations of the members of your health care team. Members of your health care team will then record the actions they took and their observations. In that way, the physician will know how you are responding to treatment.
We will also provide your other physician(s) or subsequent health care provider(s) (when applicable) with copies of various reports that should assist them in treating you.
We will use your health information for payment.
For example: A bill may be sent to you or a third-party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, procedures, and supplies used.
We will use your health information for regular health information for regular health operations.
For example: Members of the medical staff, the risk or quality improvement manager, or members of the quality improvement team may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and service we provide.
· Business Associates
There are some services provided in our organization through contacts with business associates. Examples include physician services in the emergency department and radiology, certain laboratory tests, and a transcription service we use to transfer dictated patient care into the medical record. Due to the nature of business associates' services, they must receive your health information in order to perform the jobs we've asked them to do. To protect your health information, however, when these services are contracted we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
We may disclose information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information.
· Funeral directors
We may disclose health information to funeral directors to carry out their duties with applicable law.
· Organ Procurement Organizations
Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.
We may contact you as part of a fund-raising effort.
· Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse events with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.
· Public Health
As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.
· Appointment Reminders
We may contact you or a family member at the phone number you have provided for us as a reminder that you have an appointment.
We may contact you to provide information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
Unless you notify us that you object, we will use your name, location in the facility, and general condition for our directory purposes. This information may be provided to members of your family and to other people who ask for you by name.
We may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member or a personal representative (or other person responsible for your care) of your location and general condition.
· Communication With Family
Health professionals, using their best judgment, may disclose to a family member, other relative, or close personal friend (or any other person you identify) health information relevant to that person's involvement in your care of payment related to your care.
· Law Enforcement
We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena.
Federal law makes provision for your health information to be released to an appropriate health oversight agency, public health authority, or attorney, provided that a work force member or business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or have otherwise violated professional or clinical standards or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more patients, workers, or the public.