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 READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
Your health record contains personal information about you and your health. This is information about you, that may identify you, and that relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health condition, and related health care services is to as Protected Health Information (PHI). This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your PHI in accordance with applicable law. It also describes your rights regarding how you may gain access to and control your PHI.
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with notice of my legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI. We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We reserve the right to change the terms of my Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. Any new Notice of Privacy Practices will be effective for all PHI that we maintain at that time. We will provide you with a copy of the revised Notice of Privacy Practices by sending a copy to you in the mail upon request or by providing one to you at your next appointment.
HOW I MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU:
The following describes the ways we may use and disclose health information that identifies YOU. Except for the purposes described below, we will use and disclose Health Information only with your written permission. You may revoke such permission at any time by writing to our practice Privacy Officer/Security Officer.
For Treatment. Your PHI may be used and disclosed by those who are involved in your care for the purpose of providing, coordinating, or managing your health care treatment and related services. This includes consultation with clinical supervisors or other treatment team members. We may disclose PHI to any other consultant only with your authorization.
For Payment. We may use and disclose PHI so that we can receive payment for the treatment services provided to you. This will only be done with your authorization. Examples of payment-related activities are: making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, processing claims with your insurance company, reviewing services provided to you to determine medical necessity, or undertaking utilization review activities. If it becomes necessary to use collection processes due to a lack of payment for services, we will only disclose the minimum amount of PHI necessary for purposes of collection.
For Health Care Operation. We may use or disclose, as needed, your PHI in order to support our business activities including, but not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, licensing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities. For example, we may share your PHI with third parties that perform various business activities (e.g., billing or typing services) provided we have a written contract with the business that requires it to safeguard the privacy of your PHI. For training or teaching purposes, PHI will be disclosed only with your authorization.
Required by Law. Under the law, we must make disclosures of your PHI to you upon your request. In addition, we must make a disclosure to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of investigating or determining our compliance with the requirements of the Privacy Rule.
Without Authorization. Applicable law and critical standards permit us to disclose information about you without your authorization only in a limited number of other situations. The types of uses and disclosures that may be made without your authorization are those that are:
- Required by Law, such as mandatory reporting of child abuse or neglect or mandatory government agency audits or investigations (such as the professional counselor licensing board or the health department)
- Required by Court Order
- Necessary to prevent or lesson a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. If information is disclosed to prevent or lessen a serious threat it will be disclosed to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat, including the target of the threat.
Verbal Permission. We may use or disclose your information to family members that are directly involved in your treatment with your verbal permission.
With Authorization. Uses and disclosures not specifically permitted by applicable law will be made only with your written authorization, with may be revoked.
Appointment Reminders, Treatment Alternatives and Health Related Benefits and Services. We may use and disclose Health Information to contact you to remind you that you have an appointment with us. We also may use and disclose Health Information to tell you about treatment alternatives or health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. When appropriate, we may share Health Information with a person who is involved in your medical care or payment for your care, such as your family or a close friend. We also may notify your family about your location or general condition or disclose such information to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort.
Research. Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose Health Information for research. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health of patients who received one treatment to those who received another, for the same condition. Before we use or disclose Health Information for research, the project will go through a special approval process. Even without special approval, we may permit researchers to look at records to help them identify patients who may be included in their research project or for other similar purposes, as long as they do not remove or take a copy of any Health Information.
As Required by Law. We will disclose Health Information when required to do so by international, federal, state or local law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may use and disclose Health Information when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Disclosures, however, will be made only to someone who may be able to help prevent the threat.
Business Associates. We may disclose Health Information to our business associates that perform functions on our behalf or provide us with services if the information is necessary for such functions or services. For example, we may use another company to perform billing services on our behalf. All of our business associates are obligated to protect the privacy of your information and are not allowed to use or disclose any information other than as specified in our contract.
Organ and Tissue Donation. If you are an organ donor, we may use or release Health Information to organizations that handle organ procurement or other entities engaged in procurement, banking or transportation of organs, eyes or tissues to facilitate organ, eye or tissue donation and transplantation.
Military and Veterans. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release Health Information as required by military command authorities. We also may release Health Information to the appropriate foreign military authority if you are a member of a foreign military.
Workers’ Compensation. We may release Health Information for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Public Health Risks. We may disclose Health Information for public health activities. These activities generally include disclosures to prevent or control disease, injury or disability; report births and deaths; report child abuse or neglect; report reactions to medications or problems with products; notify people of recalls of products they may be using; a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition; and 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. We may disclose Health 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.
Data Breach Notification Purposes. We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information to provide legally required notices of unauthorized access to or disclosure of your health information.
Lawsuits and Disputes. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose Health Information in response to a court or administrative order. We also may disclose Health Information 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. We may release Health Information if asked by a law enforcement official if the information is: (1) in response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process; (2) limited information to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person; (3) about the victim of a crime even if, under certain very limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement; (4) about a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct; (5) about criminal conduct on our premises; and (6) in an emergency 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. We may release Health 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 also may release Health Information to funeral directors as necessary for their duties.
National Security and Intelligence Activities. We may release Health Information to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
Protective Services for the President and Others. We may disclose Health Information to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or to conduct special investigations.
Inmates or Individuals in Custody. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release Health Information to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be if 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) the safety and security of the correctional institution.
USES AND DISCLOSURES THAT REQUIRE US TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT AND OPT
Individuals 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.
Disaster Relief. We may disclose your Protected Health Information to disaster relief organizations that seek your Protected Health Information to coordinate your care or notify family and friends of your location or condition in a disaster. We will provide you with an opportunity to agree or object to such a disclosure whenever we practically can do so.
YOUR WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION IS REQUIRED FOR OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES
The following uses and disclosures of your Protected Health Information will be made only with your written authorization:
- Uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information for marketing purposes; and
- Disclosures that constitute a sale of your Protected Health Information
Other uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information not covered by this Notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. If you do give us authorization, you may revoke it at any time by submitting a written revocation to our Privacy Officer and we will no longer disclose Protected Health Information under the authorization. But disclosure that we made in reliance on your authorization before you revoked it will not be affected by the revocation.
You have the following rights regarding Health Information we have about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy. You have a right to inspect and copy Health Information that may be used to make decisions about your care or payment for your care. This includes medical and billing records, other than psychotherapy notes. To inspect and copy this Health Information, you must make your request, in writing, to Envision Healthcare Services LLC, 145 Highway 15-401 Bypass W Ste. 9, Bennettsville, SC 29512. We have up to 30 days to make your Protected Health Information available to you and we may charge you a reasonable fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other supplies associated with your request. We may not charge you a fee if you need the information for a claim for benefits under the Social Security Act or any other state of the federal needs-based benefit program. We may deny your request in certain limited circumstances. If we do deny your request, you have the right to have the denial reviewed by a licensed healthcare professional who was not directly involved in the denial of your request, and we will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to an Electronic Copy of Electronic Medical Records. If your Protected Health Information is maintained in an electronic format (known as an electronic medical record or an electronic health record), you have the right to request that an electronic copy of your record be given to you or transmitted to another individual or entity. We will make every effort to provide access to your Protected Health Information in the form or format you request if it is readily producible in such form or format. If the Protected Health Information is not readily producible in the form or format you request your record will be provided in either our standard electronic format or if you do not want this form or format, a readable hard copy form. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for the labor associated with transmitting the electronic medical record.
Right to Get Notice of a Breach. You have the right to be notified upon a breach of any of your unsecured Protected Health Information.
Right to Amend. If you feel that Health Information we have 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 our office. To request an amendment, you must make your request, in writing, to Envision Healthcare Services LLC, 145 Highway 15-401 Bypass W Ste. 9, Bennettsville, SC 29512.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures we made of Health Information for purposes other than treatment, payment, and healthcare operations or for which you provided written authorization. To request an accounting of disclosures, you must make your request, in writing, to Envision Healthcare Services LLC, 145 Highway 15-401 Bypass W Ste. 9, Bennettsville, SC 29512.
Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the Health Information we use or disclose for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the Health Information we disclose to someone involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not share information about a particular diagnosis or treatment with your spouse. To request a restriction, you must make your request, in writing, to Envision Healthcare Services LLC, 145 Highway 15-401 Bypass W Ste. 9, Bennettsville, SC 29512. We are not required to agree to your request unless you are asking us to restrict the use and disclosure of your Protected Health Information to a health plan for payment or health care operation purposes and such information you wish to restrict pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid us “out-of-pocket” in full. If we agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment.
Out-of-Pocket-Payments. If you paid out-of-pocket (or in other words, you have requested that we not bill your health plan) in full for a specific item or service, you have the right to ask that your Protected Health Information with respect to that item or service not be disclosed to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations, and we will honor that request.
Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you by mail or at work. To request confidential communications, you must make your request, in writing, to Envision Healthcare Services LLC, 145 Highway 15-401 Bypass W Ste. 9, Bennettsville, SC 29512. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted. We will accommodate reasonable requests.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice. You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice. You may obtain a copy of this notice at our website, www.envisionhealthcareservices.com. To obtain a paper copy of this notice, make your request, in writing, to Envision Healthcare Services LLC, 145 Highway 15-401 Bypass W Ste. 9, Bennettsville, SC 29512.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE:
We reserve the right to change this notice and make the new notice apply to Health Information we already have as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of our current notice at our office. The notice will contain the effective date on the first page, in the top right-hand corner.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING PHI:
You have the following rights regarding PHI we maintain about you. To exercise any of these rights, please submit your request in writing to Envision Healthcare Services LLC, 145 Highway 15-401 Bypass W Ste. 9, Bennettsville, SC 29512.
- Right of Access to Inspect and Copy. You have the right, which may be restricted only in exceptional circumstances, to inspect and copy PHI that may be used to make decisions about your care. Your right to inspect and copy PHI will be restricted only in those situations where there is compelling evidence that access would cause serious harm to you. I may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for copies.
- Right to Amend. If you feel the PHI I have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask me to amend the information although I am not required to agree to the amendment.
- Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have a right to request an accounting of certain disclosures that I make of your PHI. I may charge you a reasonable fee if you request more than one accounting within a 12-month period.
- Right to Request Restrictions. You have a right to request a restriction or limitation on the use or disclosure of your PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations. I am not required to agree with your request.
- Right to Request Confidential Communication. You have the right to request that I communicate medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location.
- Right to a Copy of this Notice. You have a right to a copy of this notice.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our office or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with our office, you must make your request, in writing, to Envision Healthcare Services LLC, 145 Highway 15-401 Bypass W Ste. 9, Bennettsville, SC 29512. You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201 or by calling (202)-619-0257. All complaints must be made in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint. For more information on HIPAA privacy requirements, HIPAA electronic transactions and code sets regulations, and the proposed HIPAA security rules, please visit ACOG’s website, www.acog.org, or call (202) 863-2584.