SKODA GORDON DENTITRY. NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
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.
If you have any question about this notice, please contact our Privacy Contact, Dee Stewart.
This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information (PHI) to carry out treatment, payment or dental care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control your protected health information. "Protected health information" is information about you, including demographic information, which may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future dental health condition and related health care services.
We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We may change the terms of our notice at any time. The new notice will be effective for all protected health information that we maintain both before and after the change. Upon your request, we will provide you with any revised Notice of Privacy Practices by calling the office and requesting that a revised copy be sent to you in the mail or asking for one at the time of your next appointment.
1. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information You will be asked to sign this Notice of Privacy Practices. We will make a good faith effort to obtain a written acknowledgement that you received this Notice of Privacy Practices for Protected Health Information the first time we provide services to you after January 1, 2017 or as soon as reasonably practicable under the circumstances. Your protected health information may be used and disclosed by your dentist, our office staff and others outside of our office that are involved in your care and treatment for the purpose of providing health care services to you. Your protected health information may also be used and disclosed to obtain payment for your health care bills, to support the operation of the physician's practice, and any other use required by law.
Treatment: We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate or manage your dental care and any related services. This includes the coordination or management of your dental health care with a third party that may need access to your protected health information. For example, we would disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to other physicians who may be treating you. Your protected health information may be provided to a dentist to whom you have been referred to ensure that the dentist has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you. In addition, we may disclose your protected health information from time-to-time to a health care provider (e.g., a specialist
or laboratory) who, at the request of your dentist, becomes involved in your care by providing assistance with your diagnosis or treatment to your dentist.
Payment: Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your dental care services. Payment activities include billing, collections, claims management, and determinations of eligibility and coverage to obtain payment form you, an insurance company or another third party. This may include certain activities that your insurance plan may undertake before it approves or pays for the dental care services we recommend for you such as: making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits.
Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose, as-needed, your protected health information in order to support the business activities of your dentist’s practice. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, conducting or arranging for other business activities. We may also call you by name in the waiting room when your dentist is ready to see you. We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to contact you to remind you of your appointment. We will share your protected health information with third party "business associates" that perform various activities (e.g., billing, transcription services for the practice. Whenever an arrangement between our office and a business associate involved the use or disclosure of your protected health information, we will have a written contract that contains terms that will protect the privacy of your protected health information.
Others Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care: Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your protected health information that directly relates to that person's involvement in your health care. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment. We may use or disclose protected health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care or general condition. If a person has the authority by law to make health care decisions for you, we will treat that patient representative the same way we would treat you with respect to your health information.
Emergencies: We may use or disclose your protected health information in an emergency treatment situation. If this happens, we shall attempt to obtain your acknowledgement of our Privacy Practices as soon as reasonably practicable after the delivery of treatment. If your physician or another physician in the practice is required by law to treat you and the physician has attempted to obtain your acknowledgement, but is unable, he or she may still use or disclose your protected health information for treatment, payment, and health care operations.
Communication Barriers: We may use and disclose your protected health information if your physician or another physician in the practice attempts to obtain an acknowledgement of our Privacy Practices from you but is unable to do so due to substantial communication barriers.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures that may be made without Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use or disclose your protected health information in the following situations without your acknowledgement or authorization. These situations include:
Required By Law: We may use or disclose your protected health information to the extent that the use or disclosure is required by law.
Public Health Activities. We may disclose your health information for public health activities, including disclosures to:
o Prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
o Report child abuse or neglect;
o Report reactions to medications or problems with products or devices;
o Notify a person of a recall, repair, or replacement of products or devices;
o Notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or condition; or
o Notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been
the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
National Security. We may disclose to military authorities the health information of Armed Forces personnel under certain circumstances. We may disclose to authorized federal officials health information required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities. We may disclose to correctional institution or law enforcement official having lawful custody the protected health information of an inmate or patient.
Secretary of HHS. We will disclose your health information to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services when required to investigate or determine compliance with HIPAA.
Worker’s Compensation. We may disclose your PHI to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to worker’s compensation or other similar programs established by law.
Law Enforcement. We may disclose your PHI for law enforcement purposes as permitted by HIPAA, as required by law, or in response to a subpoena or court order.
Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose your PHI to an oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include audits, investigations, inspections, and credentialing, as necessary for licensure and for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose your PHI in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose health information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process
instituted by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made, either by the requesting party or us, to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
Coroners, Funeral Directors, and Organ Donation: We may release your PHI to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also disclose PHI to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to enable them to carry out their duties.
Research: We may disclose protected health information to researches 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 protected health information.
Criminal Activity: Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, we may disclose your protected health information if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. We may also disclose protected health information if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.
Inmates: We may use or disclose your protected health information if you are an inmate of a correctional facility and your physician created or received your protected health information in the course of providing care to you.
2. Your Rights
Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your protected health information and a brief description of how you may exercise these rights.
You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information. This means you may inspect and obtain a copy of protected health information about you that is contained in a designated record set for as long as we maintain the protected health information. A "designated record set" contains medical and billing records and any other records that your physician and the practice uses for making decisions about you. Under federal law, however; you may not inspect or copy the following records: psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding; and protected health information that is subject to law that prohibits access to protected health information. Depending on the circumstances, a decision to deny access may be reviewable. In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed. Please contact our Privacy Contact if you have questions about access to your medical record.
You have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy
Practices. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. Your physician is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. If a physician believes it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your protected health information, your protected health information will not be restricted. If your physician does agree to the requested restriction, we may not use or disclose your protected health information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment. With this in mind, please discuss any restriction you wish to request with your physician. You may request a restriction by submitting a written request to our Privacy Contact.
You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests. We may also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request. Please make this request in writing to our Privacy Contact.
You may have the right to have your physician amend your protected health information. This means you may request an amendment of protected health information about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. Please contact our Privacy Contact if you have questions about amending your medical record.
You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your protected health information.
This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations and valid authorizations or incidental disclosures as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. It excludes disclosures we may have made to you, for a facility directory, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes. You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures that occurred after January 1, 2017. You may request a shorter timeframe. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations.
You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us, upon request, even if you have agreed to accept this notice electronically.
You may complain to us or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us. You may file a complaint with us by notifying our Privacy Contact of your complaint. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. You may contact our Privacy Contact, Dee Stewart, at 216-464-1180 for further information about the complaint process. This notice was published and becomes effective on January 1, 2017.