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Privacy Policy

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.

OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION

The privacy of your medical information is important to us. We understand that your medical information is personal and we are committed to protecting it. We create a record of the care and services you receive at our organization. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice will tell you about the ways we may use and share medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain duties we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.

YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION RIGHTS

Unless otherwise required by law your health record is the physical property of the healthcare practitioner or facility that compiled it, the information belongs to you. You have the right to request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information, and request amendments to your health record. This includes the right to obtain a paper copy of the notice of privacy practices upon request, inspect, and obtain a copy of your health record. Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information, request communications of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations, revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken. If you request copies we will charge you $1.00 per page, and postage if you want the copies mailed to you. All requests must be made in writing. Contact the Privacy Officer listed at the end of this document to obtain the necessary forms.

OUR RESPONSIBILITIES

This organization is required to maintain the privacy of your health information. In addition, provide you with a notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you. This organization must abide by the terms of this notice, notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction, accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations. We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all the protected health information we maintain. Before we make an important change in our privacy practices, we will change this notice and make the new notice available upon request.

USE AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION

The following section describes different ways that we use and disclose medical information. Not every use or disclosure will be listed. However, we have listed all of the different ways we are permitted to use and disclose medical information. We will not use or disclose your medical information for any purpose not listed below without your specific written authorization. Any specific written authorization you provide may be revoked at any time by writing to us.

For treatment:

We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, assistants, technicians, medical students, or other people who are taking care of you. We may also share medical information about you to your other health care providers to assist them in treating you.

For payment:

We may use and disclose your medical information for payment purposes.

For health care operations:

We may use and disclose your medical information for our health care operations. This might include measuring and improving quality, evaluating the performance of employees, conducting training programs, and getting the accreditation, certificates, licenses and credentials we need to serve you.

Business associates:

There may be some services provided in our organization through contracts with Business Associates such as outside labs. When these services are contracted, we may disclose some or all of your health information to our Business Associate so that they can perform the job we have asked them to do. To protect your health information, however, we require the Business Associate to appropriately safeguard your information.

Notification:

We may use and disclose medical information to notify or help notify a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care. We will share information about your location, general condition, or death. If you are present, we will get your permission if possible before we share, or give you the opportunity to refuse permission. In case of emergency, and if you are not able to give or refuse permission, we will share only the health information that is directly necessary for your health care, according to our professional judgment. We will also use our professional judgment to make decisions in your best interest about allowing someone to pick up medicine, medical supplies or medical information for you.

Appointments and services:

We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.

Disaster relief:

We may use and disclose medical information with a public or private organization or person who can legally assist in disaster relief efforts.

Funeral director, coroner, medical examiner:

Consistent with applicable law, we may share the medical information of a person who has died with a coroner, medical examiner, funeral director or an organ procurement organization to help them carry out their duties.

Specialized government functions:

Subject to certain requirements, we may disclose or use health information for military personnel and veterans, for national security and intelligence activities, for protective services for the President and others, for medical suitability determinations for the Department of State, for correctional institutions and other law enforcement custodial situations, and for government programs providing public benefits.

Correctional institution:

Should you be an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution or agents thereof health information necessary for your health and the health and safety of other individuals. An inmate does not have the right to the Notice of Privacy Practices.

Workers compensation:

We may disclose health information as authorized and necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs.

Court orders and judicial and administrative proceedings:

We may disclose medical 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 share your medical information with law enforcement officials. We may share limited information with a law enforcement official concerning the medical information of a suspect, fugitive, material witness, crime victim or missing person.

Public health activities:

As required by law, we may disclose your medical information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability, including child abuse or neglect. We may also disclose your medical information to persons subject to jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration for purposes of reporting adverse events associated with product defects or problems, to enable product recalls, repairs or replacements, to track products, or to conduct activities required by the Food and Drug Administration. We may also, when we are authorized by law to do so, notify a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition.

Victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence:

We may disclose medical information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence or the possible victim of other crimes. We may share your medical information if it is necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of others. We may share medical information when necessary to help law enforcement officials capture a person who has admitted to being part of a crime or has escaped from legal custody.

Law enforcement:

We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law (such as reporting gun shot wounds) or in response to a valid subpoena, reporting limited information concerning identification and location at the request of a law enforcement official, reporting death and crimes on our premises. Federal law also 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 and are potentially endangering one or more patients, workers or the public.

QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS

If you have any questions about this notice or if you think that we may have violated your privacy rights, please contact Marlene Kirker or Lisa Young, our Privacy Officers. You may also submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to file your complaint. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint.

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES AVAILABILITY

This notice will be prominently posted in the office where registration occurs. Patients will be provided a hard copy.

This notice took effect on April 14, 2003.