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 understand the importance of privacy and are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your medical information. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information and to provide individuals with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information. This notice describes how we may use and disclose your medical information. It also describes your rights and our legal obligations with respect to your medical information. If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact our Privacy Officer (see end of Notice).
How this Medical Practice May Use or Disclose Your Health Information
This medical practice collects health information about you and stores it in a chart and on a computer. This is your medical record. The medical record is the property of this medical practice, but the information in the medical record belongs to you. The law permits us to use or disclose your health information for the following purposes:
Treatment. We use medical information about you to provide your medical care. We disclose medical information to our employees and others who are involved in providing the care you need. For example, we may share your medical information with other physicians or other health care providers who will provide services which we do not provide. We may also disclose medical information to members of your family or others who can help you when you are sick or injured.
Payment. We use and disclose medical information about you to obtain payment for the services we provide. We may also disclose information to other health care providers to assist them in obtaining payment for services they have provided to you.
Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose medical information about you to operate this medical practice. For example, we may use and disclose this information to get your health plan to authorize services or referrals. We may also use and disclose this information as necessary for medical reviews, legal services and audits. We may also share your medical information with our "business associates", such as our billing service, that perform administrative services for us. (We have a written contract with each of these business associates that contains terms requiring them to protect the confidentiality of your medical information.) We may also share your information with other health care providers, health care clearinghouses or health plans that have a relationship with you, when they request this information to help them with their quality assessment and improvement activities, their efforts to improve health or reduce health care costs, their review of competence, qualifications and performance of health care professionals, their training programs, their accreditation, certification or licensing activities, or their health care fraud and abuse detection and compliance efforts.
Appointment Reminders. We may use and disclose medical information to contact and remind you about appointments. If you are not home, we may leave this information on your answering machine or in a message left with the person answering the phone.
Sign in sheet or electronic equivalent. We may use and disclose medical information about you by having you sign in when you arrive at our office. We may also call out your name when we are ready to see you.
Notification and communication with family. We may disclose your health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care about your location, your general condition or in the event of your death. We may also disclose information to someone who is involved with your care or helps pay for your care. If you are able and available to agree or object, we will give you the opportunity to object prior to making these disclosures, although we may disclose this information in a disaster even over your objection if we believe it is necessary to respond to the emergency circumstances. If you are unable or unavailable to agree or object, our health professionals will use their best judgment in communication with your family and others.
Marketing. We may contact you to give you information about products or services related to your treatment, case management or care coordination, or to recommend other treatments or health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you, or to provide you with small gifts. We may also encourage you to purchase a product or service when we see you. We will not use or disclose your medical information without your written authorization.
Required by law. As required by law, we will use and disclose your health information, but we will limit our use or disclosure to the relevant requirements of the law. When the law requires us to report abuse, neglect or domestic violence, or respond to judicial or administrative proceedings, or to law enforcement officials, we will further comply with the requirement set forth below concerning those activities. We may also disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process if reasonable efforts have been made to notify you of the request and you have not objected, or if your objections have been resolved by a court or administrative order.
Public health. We may, and are sometimes required by law to disclose your health information to public health authorities for purposes related to: preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability; reporting child, elder or dependent adult abuse or neglect; reporting domestic violence; reporting to the Food and Drug Administration problems with products and reactions to medications; and reporting disease or infection exposure.
Health oversight activities. We may, and are sometimes required by law to disclose your health information to health oversight agencies during the course of audits, investigations, inspections, licensure and other proceedings, subject to the limitations imposed by federal and California law.
Change of Ownership. In the event that this medical practice is sold or merged with another organization, your health information/record will become the property of the new owner, although you will maintain the right to request that copies of your health information be transferred to another physician or medical group.
When This Medical Practice May Not Use or Disclose Your Health Information
Except as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices, this medical practice will not use or disclose health information which identifies you without your written authorization. If you do authorize this medical practice to use or disclose your health information for another purpose, you may revoke your authorization in writing at any time.
Your Health Information Rights
Right to Request Special Privacy Protections. You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information, by a written request specifying what information you want to limit and what limitations on our use or disclosure of that information you wish to have imposed. We reserve the right to accept or reject your request, and will notify you of our decision.
Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that you receive your health information in a specific way or at a specific location. For example, you may ask that we send information to a particular e-mail account or to your work address. We will comply with all reasonable requests submitted in writing which specify how or where you wish to receive these communications.
Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, with limited exceptions. To access your medical information, you must submit a written request detailing what information you want access to and whether you want to inspect it or get a copy of it. We will charge a reasonable fee, as allowed by California law. We may deny your request under limited circumstances.
Right to Amend or Supplement. You have a right to request that we amend your health information that you believe is incorrect or incomplete. You must make a request to amend in writing. We are not required to change your health information, and will provide you with information about this medical practice's denial and how you can disagree with the denial. We may deny your request if we do not have the information, if we did not create the information, if you would not be permitted to inspect or copy the information at issue, or if the information is accurate and complete as is.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have a right to receive an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by this medical practice. However, this medical practice does not have to account for the disclosures provided to you or pursuant to your written authorization, or as described in the paragraphs headed treatment, payment, health care operations, and notification and communication with family, of this Notice of Privacy Practices, or disclosures for purposes of research or public health which exclude direct patient identifiers, or which are incident to a use or disclosure otherwise permitted or authorized by law, or the disclosures to a health oversight agency or law enforcement official to the extent this medical practice has received notice from that agency or official that providing this accounting would be reasonably likely to impede their activities.
Changes to this Notice of Privacy Practices
We reserve the right to amend this Notice of Privacy Practices at any time in the future. Until such amendment is made, we are required by law to comply with this Notice. After an amendment is made, the revised Notice of Privacy Protections will apply to all protected health information that we maintain, regardless of when it was created or received. We will keep a copy of the current notice posted in our reception area. We will also post the current notice on our website www.fowh.com.
Complaints. Complaints about this Notice of Privacy Practices or how this medical practice handles your health information should be directed to our Privacy Officer. If you are not satisfied with the manner in which this office handles a complaint, you may submit a formal complaint to the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
Privacy Officer: Mercedes Bin, Fair Oaks Women's Health Office Manager, 2014