NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
This Notice is effective September 23, 2013
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
WE ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO PROTECT MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
We are required by law to protect the privacy of medical information about you and that identifies you. This medical information may be information about healthcare we provide to you or payment for healthcare provided to you. It may also be information about your past, present, or future medical condition.
We are also required by law to provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices explaining our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information. We are legally required to follow the terms of this Notice. In other words, we are only allowed to use and disclose medical information in the manner that we have described in this Notice.
We may change the terms of this Notice in the future. We reserve the right to make changes and to make the new Notice effective for all medical information that we maintain. If we make changes to this Notice, we will:
- Have copies of the new Notice available upon request at each of our service locations. Alternatively, you may request a copy via mail at Privacy Officer, 12700 Park Central Drive Suite 1210, Dallas, Texas 75251. You may also download a copy of this Notice at:
The rest of this Notice will:
- Discuss how we may use and disclose medical information about you.
- Explain your rights with respect to medical information about you.
- Describe how and where you may file a privacy-related complaint.
If at any time you have questions about information in this Notice or about our privacy policies, procedures or practices, you can contact our Compliance Officer at (702) 360-3955.
WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU IN SEVERAL CIRCUMSTANCES
We use and disclose medical information about patients every day. This section of our Notice explains in some detail how we may use and disclose medical information about you in order to provide healthcare, obtain payment for that healthcare, and operate our business efficiently. This section then briefly mentions several other circumstances in which we may use or disclose medical information about you. For more information about any of these uses or disclosures, or about any of our privacy policies, procedures or practices, contact our Compliance Officer at (702) 360-3955.
- TREATMENT We may use and disclose medical information about you to provide healthcare treatment to you. In other words, we may use and disclose medical information about you to provide, coordinate or manage your healthcare and related services. This may include communicating with other healthcare providers regarding your treatment and coordinating and managing your healthcare with others.
Example: Jane is a patient at the health department. The receptionist may use medical information about Jane when setting up an appointment. The nurse practitioner will likely
use information about Jane when reviewing Jane’s condition and ordering a blood test. The laboratory technician will likely use medical information about Jane when processing or reviewing her blood test results. If, after reviewing the results of the blood test, the nurse practitioner concludes that Jane should be referred to a specialist, the nurse may disclose medical information about Jane to the specialist to assist the specialist in providing appropriate care to Jane.
- PAYMENT We may use and disclose medical information about you to obtain payment for healthcare services that you received. This means that, within the health department, we may use medical information about you to arrange for payment (such as preparing bills and managing accounts). We also may disclose medical information about you to orders (such as insurers, collection agencies, and consumer reporting agencies). In some instances, we may disclose medical information about you to an insurance plan before you receive certain healthcare services because, for example, we may need to know whether the insurance plan will pay for a particular service.
Example: Jane is a patient at the health department and she has private insurance. During an appointment with a nurse practitioner, the nurse practitioner ordered a blood test. The health department billing clerk will use medical information about Jane when he prepares a bill for the services provided at the appointment and the blood test. Medical information about Jane will be disclosed to her insurance company when the billing clerk sends the bill.
Example: The nurse practitioner referred Jane to a specialist. The specialist recommended several complicated and expensive tests. The specialist’s billing clerk may contact Jane’s insurance company before the specialist runs the tests to determine whether the plan will pay for the test.
- HEALTHCARE OPERATIONS We may use and disclose medical information about you in performing a variety of business activities that we call “healthcare operations”. These “healthcare operations” activities allow us to, for example, improve the quality of care we provide and reduce healthcare costs. For example, we may use or disclose medical information about you in performing the following activities:
- Reviewing and evaluating the skills, qualification, and performance of healthcare providers taking care of you.
- Providing training programs for students, trainees, healthcare providers or non-healthcare professionals to help them practice or improve their skills.
- Cooperating with outside organizations that evaluate, certify or license healthcare providers, staff or facilities in a particular field or specialty.
- Reviewing and improving the quality, efficiency and cost of care that we provide to you and our other patients.
- Improving healthcare and lowering costs for groups of people who have similar health problems and helping manage and coordinate care for these groups of people.
- Cooperating with outside organizations that assess the quality of the care others and we provide, including government agencies and private organizations.
- Planning for our organization’s future operations.
- Resolving grievances without our organization.
- Reviewing our activities and using or disclosing medical information in the event that control of our organization significantly changes.
- Working with others (such as lawyers, accountants and other providers) who assist us to comply with this Notice and other applicable laws.
- De-identifying medical information in accordance with the safe harbor method or expert determination method set forth under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations.
- Using or disclosing such de-identified data to third-parties for commercial purposes, in compliance with law.
Example: Jane was diagnosed with diabetes. The health department used Jane’s medical information – as well as medical information from all of the other health department patients diagnosed with diabetes – to develop an educational program to help patients recognize the early symptoms of diabetes. (Note: The educational program would not identify any specific patients without their permission.)
Example: Jane complained that she did not receive appropriate healthcare. The health department reviewed Jane’s record to evaluate the quality of the care provided to Jane.
The health department also discussed Jane’s care with an attorney.
- PERSONS INVOLVED IN YOUR CARE We may disclose medical information about you to a relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify if that person is involved in your care and the information is relevant to your care. If the patient is a minor, we may disclose medical information about the minor to a parent, guardian or other person responsible for the minor except in limited circumstances. For more information on the privacy of minors’ information, contact our Compliance Officer at (702) 360-3955.
We may also use or disclose medical information about you to a relative, another person involved in your care or possibly a disaster relief organization (such as the Red Cross) if we need to notify someone about your location or condition.
You may ask us at any time not to disclose medical information about you to persons involved in your care. We agree to your request and not disclose the information except in certain limited circumstances, such as emergencies, or if the patient is a minor. If the patient is a minor, we may or may not be able to agree to your request.
Example: Jane’s husband regularly comes to the health department with Jane for her appointments and he helps her with her medication. When the nurse practitioner is discussing a new medication with Jane, Jane invites her husband to come into the private room. The nurse practitioner discusses the new medication with Jane and Jane’s husband.
- REQUIRED BY LAW We will use and disclose medical information about you whenever we are required by law to do so. There are many state and federal laws that require us to use and disclose medical information. For example, state law requires us to report gunshot wounds and other injuries to the police and to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services. We will comply with those state laws and with all other applicable laws.
- NATIONAL PRIORITY USES AND DISCLOSURES When permitted by law, we may use or disclose medical information about you without your permission for various activities that are recognized as “national priorities”. In other words, the government has determined that under certain circumstances (described below), it is so important to disclose medical information, that it is acceptable to disclose medical information without the individual’s permission. We will only disclose medical information about you in the following circumstances when we are permitted to do so by law. Below are brief descriptions of the “national priority” activities recognized by law. For more information on these types of disclosures, contact our Compliance Officer at (702) 360-3955.
- Threat to health or safety: We may use or disclose medical information about you if we believe it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious threat to health or safety.
- Public health activities: We may use or disclose medical information about you for public health activities. Public health activities require the use of medical information for various activities, including, but not limited to, activities related to investigating diseases, reporting child abuse and neglect, monitoring drugs or devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and monitoring work-related illnesses or injures. For example, if you have been exposed to a communicable disease (such as a sexually transmitted disease), we may report it to the State and take other actions to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Abuse, neglect or domestic violence: We may disclose medical information about you to a government authority, such as the Department of Social Services, if you are an adult and we reasonably believe that you may be a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
- Health oversight activities: We may disclose medical information about you to a health oversight agency – which is basically an agency responsible for overseeing the healthcare system or certain government programs. For example, a government agency may request information from us while they are investigating possible insurance fraud.
- Court proceedings: We may disclose medical information about you to a court or an officer of the court, such as an attorney. For example, we would disclose medical information about you to a court if a judge orders us to do so.
- Law enforcement: We may disclose medical information about you to a law enforcement official for specific law enforcement purposes. For example, we may disclose limited medical information about you to a police officer if the officer needs the information to help find or identify a missing person.
- Coroners and others: We may disclose medical information about you to a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director or to organizations that help with organ, eye and tissue transplants.
- Workers’ compensation: We may disclose medical information about you in order to comply with workers’ compensation laws.
- Research organizations: We may use or disclose medical information about you to research organizations if the organization has satisfied certain conditions about protecting the privacy of medical information.
- Certain government functions: We may use or disclose medical information about you for certain government functions, including, but not limited to, military and veterans’ activities and national security and intelligence activities. We may also use or disclose medical information about you to a correctional institution in some circumstances.
- AUTHORIZATIONS Other than the uses and disclosures described above (#1-6), we will not use or disclose medical information about you without the “authorization” – or signed permission – of you or your personal representative. In some instances, we may wish to disclose medical information about you and we may contact you to ask you to sign an authorization form. In other instances, you may contact us to disclose medical information and we will ask you to sign an authorization form.
If you sign a written authorization allowing us to disclose medical information about you, you may later revoke, or cancel, your authorization in writing (except in very limited circumstances related to obtaining insurance coverage). If you would like to revoke your authorization, you may write us a letter revoking your authorization or fill out an Authorization Revocation Form. Authorization Revocation Forms are available from our Medical Records Department. If you revoke your authorization, we will follow your instructions except to the extent that we have already relied upon your authorization and taken some action.
The following uses and disclosures of medical information about you will only be made with your authorization (signed permission):
- Uses and disclosures for marketing purposes.
- Uses and disclosures that constitute the sales of medical information that identify you.
- Most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes, if we maintain psychotherapy notes.
- Any other uses and disclosures not described in this Notice.
YOU HAVE RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO MEDICAL
INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
You have several rights with respect to medical information about you. This section of the Notice will briefly mention each of these rights. If you would like to know more about your rights, please contact our Compliance Officer at (702) 360-3955.
- RIGHT TO A COPY OF THIS NOTICE You have a right to have a paper copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. If you would like to have a copy of our Notice, ask the receptionist for a copy.
- RIGHT OF ACCESS TO INSPECT AND COPY You have the right to inspect, which means see or review, and receive a copy of medical information about you that we maintain in certain groups of records. If we maintain your medical records in an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, you may obtain a copy of your medical records. You may also instruct us in writing to send an electronic copy of your medical records to a third party. If you would like to inspect or receive a copy of medical information about you, you must provide us with a request in writing. You may write us a letter requesting access or fill out an access request form.
[LP1]What link would people use to download a copy of this notice?