HIPAA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Effective Date: April 14, 2003, Revision Date: August 9, 2012
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 questions about this notice, please contact Pat Weicker at 260-408-2308.
WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE.
This notice describes Orthopaedics Northeast (ONE) Policies and Procedures and that of:
Any health care professional authorized to enter information into your medical record.
All departments and units of the practice.
Any member of a volunteer group we allow to help you while you are in the practice.
All employees, staff and other practice personnel.
All ONE entities, sites and locations follow the terms of this notice. In addition, these entities, sites and locations may share medical information with each other for treatment, payment or hospital operations purposes described in this notice.
OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION:
ONE understands that medical information about you and your health is personal. ONE is committed to protecting medical information about you. ONE creates a record of the care and services you receive at the practice. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by the practice, whether made by practice personnel or your personal doctor. This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
Law to requires us:
make sure that medical information that identifies you is kept private;
give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you; and
follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.
HOW ORTHOPAEDICS NORTHEAST MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.
The following categories describe different ways that ONE may use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures we will explain what we mean. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.
For Treatment. ONE may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. ONE may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the practice. Different departments of the practice may also share medical information about you in order to coordinate your different healthcare needs, such as prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. We may at times display photo of our patients. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the practice who may be involved in your medical care such as family members, clergy or others we may use to provide services that are part of your care. In the course of your treatment, verbal communications between ONE staff members and others related to your healthcare may be overheard by non-staff members in our office. ONE will make their best efforts to keep your health information as private as possible.
For Payment. ONE may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at the practice may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about treatment you received at the practice so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the treatment. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment. ONE may disclose your information to an attorney or collection agency to obtain payments due for services rendered.
For Health Care Operations. ONE may use and disclose medical information about you for practice operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the practice and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, and other practice personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the medical information we have with medical information from other physicians to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of medical information so others may use it to study health care and health care delivery without learning who the specific patients are. ONE may have occasion to use your name as a part of the operational process of servicing our patients. ONE staff will make their best effort to protect any information, written or oral, from being seen or over heard.
Appointment Reminders. ONE may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at our practice, this may done by phone. A message may be left at the number you provided.
Business Associates. ONE may contract with certain vendors that we provide patient information to them to perform a service for ONE with that information. Examples of “business associates” are consultants, lawyers, shredding services, outside transcription services, or outsourced billing services. Business Associates are held to the same standard as ONE for the confidentiality and security of your PHI.
Treatment Alternatives. ONE may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
Health-Related Benefits and Services. ONE may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
Communication with Family and Friends. ONE may release medical information about you to a friend or family member who you identify as being involved in your medical care. ONE may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. ONE may also disclose information in front of family or friends who you allow to accompany you in your office visit.
Other communication with you may be by e-mail to you at the e-mail address you provided to inform you of information on our secured “Patient Information Portal.” ONE transmits no PHI in an un-encrypted e-mail.
Research. Under certain circumstances, ONE may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another, for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with patients' need for privacy of their medical information. Before we use or disclose medical information for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process, but we may, however, disclose medical information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project, for example, to help them look for patients with specific medical needs, so long as the medical information they review does not leave the practice. We will almost always ask for your specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other information that reveals who you are.
As Required By Law. ONE will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. ONE may use and disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
Organ and Tissue Donation. If you are an organ donor, we may release 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.
Military and Veterans. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority. We may use and disclose to components of the Department of Veterans Affairs medical information about you to determine whether you are eligible for certain benefits.
Workers' Compensation. ONE may release medical information about you for workers' compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Public Health Risks. ONE may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:
to prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
to report births and deaths;
to report child abuse or neglect;
to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
to notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
to notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition;
to notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
Health Oversight Activities. ONE may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Lawsuits and Disputes. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
Law Enforcement. ONE may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process;
To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
About the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person's agreement;
About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
About criminal conduct at the practice; and
In emergency circumstances to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. ONE may release medical information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death.
National Security and Intelligence Activities. ONE may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
Protective Services for the President and Others. ONE may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.
Inmates. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release medical information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary (1) for the institution to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.
You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes.
To inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to ONE’S Release of Information Department. If you request a copy of the information a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request would apply. The costs are based on IC 16-39-9-4 and 760 IAC 1-71-3.
ONE may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances. If you are 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 comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to Amend. If you feel that medical information we have 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 or for the practice.
To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to any of our offices. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request.
ONE 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:
Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
Is not part of the medical information kept by or for the practice;
Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
Is accurate and complete.