We understand the importance of privacy and are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your medical information. We make a record of the medical care we provide and may receive such records from others. We use these records to provide or enable other health care providers to provide quality medical care, to obtain payment for services provided to you as allowed by your health plan and to enable us to meet our professional and legal obligations to operate this medical practice properly. 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.
This medical practice collects medical and related identifiable patient information (such as billing information, claims information, referral and health plan information) and stores it in a chart, in administrative or billing files, and on a computer. The medical record is the property of this medical practice, but the information in the medical record is accessible to the patient. This information is considered “protected health information” (PHI) under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The law permits us to use or disclose health information for the following purposes without the patient’s written authorization:
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, technicians, health care students, or other Provider personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the Provider. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process. In addition, the doctor may need to tell the dietitian if you have diabetes so that we can arrange for appropriate meals. Different departments of the Provider also may share medical information about you in order to coordinate different items, such as prescriptions, lab work, and x-rays. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the Provider who may be involved in your medical care after you leave the Provider.
We use and disclose PHI to obtain payment for the services we provide. For example, we give health plans the information they require for payment. We may also disclose information to other health care providers to assist them in obtaining payment for services they have provided to our patients.
We may use and disclose medical information about you for Provider operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the Provider and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many Provider patients to decide what additional services the Provider should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, health care students, and other Provider personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the medical information we have with medical information from other Providers 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 a patient’s identity.
We may use and disclose medical information to contact and remind our patients about appointments. If the patient is not home, we may leave this information on the patient’s answering machine or in a message left with the person answering the phone. We may use email, text messages, and phone calls for appointment reminders. If you request that such communications be made confidentially, please contact our office in writing at 22207 7th Ave S, Ste A, Des Moines, WA 98198. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
We may use and disclose medical information about our patients by having them sign in when they arrive at our office. We may also call out their names when we are ready to see them.
We may disclose our patients’ health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for their care about their location or general condition in the event of their death unless a patient had instructed us otherwise. In the event of a disaster, we may disclose information to a relief organization so that they may coordinate these notification efforts. We may also disclose information to someone who is involved with our patient’s care or helps pay for care. If our patient is able and available to agree or object, we will give the patient the opportunity to object prior to making these disclosures, although we may disclose this information in a disaster even over the patient’s objection if we believe it is necessary to respond to the emergency circumstances. If our patient is unable or unavailable to agree or object, our health professionals will use their best judgment in communication with the patient’s family and others.
Provided we do not receive any payment for making these communications, we may contact our patients to encourage them to purchase or use products or services related to their treatment, case management or care coordination, or to direct or recommend other treatments, therapies, health care providers or settings of care that may be of interest to them. We may similarly describe products or services provided by this practice and tell our patients which health plans we participate in. We may receive financial compensation to talk with our patients face-to-face, provide them with small promotional gifts, or cover our cost of reminding them to take and refill medication or otherwise communicate about a drug or biologic that is currently prescribed for the patient, but only if the patient either:
(1) has a chronic and seriously debilitating or life-threatening condition and the communication is made to educate or advise the patient about treatment options and otherwise maintain adherence to a prescribed course of treatment, or (2) the patient is a current health plan enrollee and the communication is limited to the availability of more cost-effective pharmaceuticals. If we make these communications while the patient has a chronic and seriously debilitating or life-threatening condition, we will provide notice of the following in at least 14-point type: (1) the fact and source of the remuneration; and (2) the patient’s right to opt-out of future remunerated communications by calling the communicator’s toll-free number. We will not otherwise use or disclose PHI for marketing purposes or accept any payment for other marketing g communications without the patient’s prior written authorization. The authorization will disclose whether we receive any financial compensation for any marketing activity our patients authorize, and we will stop any future marketing activity to the extent the patient revokes that authorization.
We will not sell our patients’ health information.
As required by law, we will use and disclose our patients’ 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, and are sometimes required by law, to disclose our patients’ 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. When we report suspected elder or dependent adult abuse or domestic violence, we will inform our patients or their personal representative promptly unless, in our best professional judgment, we believe the notification would place a patient at risk of serious harm or would require informing a personal representative we believe is responsible for the abuse or harm.
We will not sell our patients’ health information.We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
We may, and are sometimes required by law, to disclose our patients’ health information to a law enforcement official for purposes such as identifying of locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person, complying with a court order, warrant, grand jury subpoena, and other law enforcement purposes.
We 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. We may also release medical information about patients of the Provider to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
We may, and are sometimes required by law, to disclose our patients’ health information to appropriate persons in order to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a particular person or the general public.
We may disclose our patients’ health information for military or national security purposes or to correctional institutions or law enforcement officers that have the patient in their lawful custody.
We may disclose our patients’ health information as necessary to comply with workers’ compensation laws. For example, to the extent our patients’ care is covered by workers’ compensation, we will make periodic reports to their employers about their conditions. We are also required by law to report cases of occupational injury or occupational illness to the employer or workers’ compensation insurer.
In the event that this medical practice is sold or merged with another organization, our patients’ health information/records will become the property of the new owner, although our patients will maintain the right to request that copies of their health information be transferred to another physician or medical group.
In the case of a breach of unsecured protected health information, we will notify our patients as required by law. If they have provided us with a current email address, we may use email to communicate information related to the breach. In some circumstances, our business associate may provide the notification. We may also provide notification by other methods as appropriate.
Except as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices, this medical practice will, consistent with its legal obligations, not use or disclose health information that identifies individual patients without their written authorization. If a patient authorizes this medical practice to use or disclose health information for another purpose, the patient may revoke the authorization in writing at any time.
Our patients have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of their health information by a written request specifying what information they want to limit, and what limitations on our use or disclosure of that information they wish to have imposed. If our patients tell us not to disclose information to their commercial health plan concerning health care items or services for which they paid for in full out-of-pocket, we will abide by their request, unless we must disclose the information for treatment or legal reasons. We reserve the right to accept or reject any other request and will notify our patients of our decision.
Our patients have the right to request that they receive their health information in a specific way or at a specific location. For example, they may ask that we send information to a particular email account or to their work address. We will comply with all reasonable requests submitted in writing which specify how or where our patients wish to receive these communications.
You have the right to access, inspect and copy the medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care, with a few exceptions. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but may not include psychotherapy notes. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. We may deny your request to inspect and copy medical information in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to medical information, in some cases, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed health care professional chosen by the Provider 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.
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 Provider. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request. We 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 Provider; Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy, or Is accurate and complete.
Our patients have a right to receive an accounting of disclosures of their health information made by this medical practice, except that this medical practice does not have to account for the disclosures provided to them or pursuant to their written authorization, or as described in paragraphs 1 (treatment), 2 (payment), 3 (health care operations), 6 (notification and communication with family) and 18 (specialized government functions) of Section A 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.
Our patients have a right to notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to their health information, including a right to a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices, even if they have previously requested its receipt by email. We will post our current Notice of Privacy Practices on our website at aestheticspecialists.net. The Notice will contain, in the top left-hand corner, the effective date.
You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for payment or healthcare operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a surgery you had. In your request, you must tell us what information you want to limit, whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both, and to whom you want the limits to apply (for example, disclosures to your spouse). We are not required to agree to these types of request. We will not comply with any requests to restrict use or access of your medical information for treatment purposes.You also have the right to restrict use and disclosure of your medical information about a service or item for which you have paid out of pocket, for payment (i.e. health plans) and operational (but not treatment) purposes, if you have completely paid your bill for this item or service. We will not accept your request for this type of restriction until you have completely paid your bill (zero balance) for this item or service. We are not required to notify other healthcare providers of these restrictions, that is your responsibility.
We reserve the right to change this Notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed Notice effective for medical information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current Notice. The Notice will contain on the first page, in the top right-hand corner, the effective date. In addition, each time you register at or are admitted to the Provider for treatment or health care services as an inpatient or outpatient, we will offer you a copy of the current Notice in effect.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the Provider or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; //www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/index.html
To file a complaint with the Provider, contact the individual listed on the first page of this Notice. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.