NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAYBE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.
PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
This Notice of Privacy Practices (the "Notice") tells you about the ways we may use and disclose your protected health information ("medical information") and your rights and our obligations regarding
the use and disclosure of your medical information. This Notice applies to Bay Area Obstetrics and Gynecology, P.A. including its providers and employees (the "Practice").
I. OUR OBLIGATIONS.
We are required by law to:
- Maintain the privacy of your medical information to the extent required by state and federal law;
- Give you this Notice explaining our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you;
- Notify affected individuals following a breach of unsecured medical information under federal law; and
- Follow the terms of the version of this Notice that is currently in effect.
II. HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.
The following categories describe the different reasons that we typically use and disclose medical information. These categories are intended to he general descriptions only, and not a list of every instance in which we way use or disclose your medical information. Please understand that for these categories, the law generally does not require us to get your authorization in order for us to use or disclose your medical information.
A. For Treatment.
We may use and disclose medical information about you to provide you with health care treatment and related services, including coordinating and managing your health care. We may disclose medical information about you to physicians, nurses, other health care providers and personnel who are providing or involved in. providing health care to you (both within and outside of the Practice). For example, should your care require referral to or treatment by another physician of a specialty outside of the Practice, we may provide that physician with your medical information in order to aid the physician in his or her treatment of you.
B. For Payment.
We may use and disclose medical information about you so that we or may bill and collect from you, an insurance company, or a third party for tho health care services we provide. This may also include tho disclosure of medical information to obtain prior authorization for treatment and procedures from your insurance plan. For example, we may send n claim for payment to your insurance company, and that claim may have a code on it that describes the services that have been rendered to you. If, however, you pay for an item or service in full. out of pocket and request that we not disclose to your health plan the medical information solely relating to that item or service, as described more fully in Section IV of this Notice, we will follow that restriction on disclosure unless otherwise required by law.
C. For Health Care Operations.
We may use and disclose medical information about you for our health care operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to operate and manage our practice and to promote quality care. For example, we may need to use or disclose your medical information in order to assess the quality of care you receive or to conduct certain cost management, business management, administrative, or quality improvement activities or to provide information to our insurance carriers.
D. Quality Assurance.
We may need to use or disclose your medical information for our internal processes to assess and facilitate the provision of quality care to our patients.
E. Utilization Review.
We may need to use or disclose your medical information to perform a review of the services we provide in order to evaluate whether that the appropriate level of services is received, depending on condition and diagnosis.
F. Credentialing and Peer Review.
We may need to use or disclose your medical information in order for us to review the credentials, qualifications and actions of our health care providers.
H. Treatment Alternatives.
We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that we believe may be of interest to you.
I. Appointment Reminders and Health Related Benefits and Services.
We may use and disclose medical information, in order to contact you (including, for example, contacting you by phone and leaving a message on an answering machine) to provide appointment reminders and other information. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that we believe may be of interest to you.
J. Business Associates.
There are some services (such as billing or legal services) that may be provided to or on behalf of our Practice through contracts with business associates. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your medical information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we have asked them to do. To protect your medical information, however, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
K. Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care.
We may disclose medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your health care, as well as to someone who helps pay for your care, but we will do so only as allowed by state or federal law (with an opportunity for you to agree or object when required under the law), or in accordance with your prior authorization.
L. As Required by Law.
We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal. state, or local law or regulations.
M. To Avert an Imminent Threat of Injury to Health or Safety.
We may use and disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent or decrease a serious and imminent threat of injury to your physical, mental or emotional health or safety or the physical safety of another person. Such disclosure would only be to medical or law enforcement personnel.
N. Organ and Tissue Donation.
If you are an organ donor, we may use and disclose medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ. eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
O. Psychotherapy Notes, Marketing and Sale of Medical Information.
Most uses and disclosures of "psychotherapy notes," uses and disclosures of medical information for marketing purposes, and disclosures that constitute a "sale of medical information" under HIPAA require your authorization.
P. Right to Revoke Authorization.
If you provide us with written authorization to use or disclose your medical information for such other purposes, you may revoke that authorization in writing at anytime. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose your medical information for the reasons covered by your "Written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any uses or disclosures we have already made in reliance upon your authorization, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.
III. YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.
Federal and state laws provide you with certain rights regarding the medical information we have about you. The following is a summary of those rights.
A. Right to Inspect and Copy.
Under most circumstances, you have the right to inspect and/or copy your medical information that we have in our possession, which generally includes your medical and billing records. To inspect or copy your medical information, you must submit your request to do so in writing to the Practice's HIPAA Officer at the address listed in Section VI below.
If you request a copy of your information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or certain supplies associated with your request. The fee we may charge will be the amount allowed by state law.
If your requested medical information is maintained in an electronic format (e.g., as part of an electronic medical record, electronic billing record, or other group of records maintained by the Practice that is used to make decisions about you) and you request an electronic copy of this information, then we will provide you with the requested medical information in the electronic form and format requested, if it is readily producible in that form and format. If it is not readily producible in the requested electronic form and format, we will provide access in a real able electronic form and format as agreed to by the Practice and you.
In certain very limited circumstances allowed by law, we may deny your request to review or copy your medical information. We will give you any such denial in writing. If you Me denied access to medical information, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed health care professional chosen by the Practice will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request. We will abide by the outcome of the review.
B. Right to Amend.
If you feel the medical information we pave about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by the Practice. To request an amendment, your request must be in writing and submitted to the HIPAA Officer at the address listed in Section VI below. In your request, you must provide a reason as to why you want this amendment. If we accept your request, we will notify you of that in writing.
We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that (i) was not created by us (unless you provide a reasonable basis for asserting that the person or organization that created the information is no longer available to act on the requested amendment), (ii) is not part of the information kept by the Practice, (iii) is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy, or (iv) is accurate and complete. If we deny your request, we will notify you of that denial in writing.
C. Right to an Accounting of Disclosures.
You have the right to request an "accounting of disclosures" of your medical information. This is a list of the disclosures we have made for up to six years prior to the date of your request of your medical information, but does not include disclosures for Treatment, Payment or Health Care Operations (as described in Sections II A, B, and C of this Notice) or disclosures made pursuant to your specific authorization (as described in Section ill of this Notice), or certain other disclosures.
If we make disclosures through an electronic health records (EHR) system, you may have an additional right to an accounting of disclosures for Treatment. Payment. and Health Care Operations. Please contact the Practice's HIPAA Officer at the address set forth in Section VI below for more information regarding whether we have implemented an EHR and the effective date, if any, of any additional right to an accounting of disclosures made through an EHR for the purposes of Treatment, Payment, or Health Care Operations.
To request a list of accounting. you must submit your request in writing to the Practice's HlPAA Officer at the address set forth in Section VI below.
Your request must state a time period, which may not be longer than six years (or longer than three years for Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations disclosures made through an ERR, if applicable) and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper or electronically). The first list you request within a twelve-month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you a reasonable fee for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
D. Right to Request Restrictions.
You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment. payment. or health care operations. You also have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend.
Except as specifically described below in this Notice, we are not required to agree to your request for a restriction or limitation. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide emergency treatment In addition, there are certain situations where we won't be able to agree to your request, such as when we are required by law to use or disclose your medical information. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to the Practice's HlPAA Officer at the address listed in Section VI of this Notice below. In your request. you must specifically tell us what information you want to limit. whether you want us to limit our use, disclosure, or both, and to whom you
want the limits to apply.
As stated above, in most instances we do not have to agree to your request for restrictions on disclosures that are otherwise allowed. However, if you pay or another person (other than a health plan) pays on your behalf for an item or service in full, out of pocket, and you request that we not disclose the medical information relating solely to that item or service to a health plan for the purposes of payment or health care operations, then we will be obligated to abide by that request for restriction unless the disclosure is otherwise required by law. You should be aware that such restrictions may have unintended consequences, particularly if other providers need to know that information (such as a pharmacy filling a prescription). It will be your obligation to notify any such other providers of this restriction.