As Required by the Privacy Regulations Created as a Result of
the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
This notice describes how health information about you (as a client of this practice) may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to your individually identifiable health information.
Please review this notice carefully.
A. OUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR PRIVACY
Our practice is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your Individually Identifiable Health Information (IIHI). In conducting our business, we will create records regarding you and the treatment and services we provide to you. We are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of health information that identifies you. We also are required by law to provide you with this notice of our legal duties and the privacy practices that we maintain in our practice concerning your IIHI. By federal and state law, we must follow the terms of the Notice of Privacy Practices that we have in effect at the time.
We realize that these laws are complicated, but we must provide you with the following important information:
How we may use and disclose your IIHI
Your privacy rights in your IIHI
Our obligations concerning the use and disclosure of your IIHI
The terms of this notice apply to all records containing your IIHI that are created or retained by our practice. We reserve the right to revise or amend this Notice of Privacy Practices. Any revision or amendment to this notice will be effective for all of your records that our practice has created or maintained in the past, and for any of your records that we may create or maintain in the future. Our practice will post a copy of our current Notice in our offices in a visible location at all times, and you may request a copy of our most current Notice at any time.
B. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS NOTICE, PLEASE CONTACT:
Ashli Randolph, CNM or Shelley Schumacher, CNM, Co-Directors
C. WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION (IIHI) IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS
The following categories describe the different ways in which we may use and disclose your IIHI.
Treatment. Our practice may use your IIHI to treat you. For example, we may ask you to have laboratory tests (such as blood or urine tests), and we may use the results to help us reach a diagnosis. We might use your IIHI in order to write a prescription for you, or we might disclose your IIHI to a pharmacy when we order a prescription for you. Many of the people who work for our practice – including, but not limited to, our midwives, nurses and nurse-practitioner – may use or disclose your IIHI in order to treat you or to assist others in your treatment.
Finally, we may also disclose your IIHI to other health care providers, such as our collaborative physicians, hospital personnel, and staff of laboratory and diagnostic facilities for purposes related to your treatment.
Payment. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI in order to bill and collect payment for the services and items you may receive from us. For example, we may contact your health insurer to certify that you are eligible for benefits (and for what range of benefits), and we may provide your insurer with details regarding your treatment to determine if your insurer will cover, or pay for, your treatment. We also may use and disclose your IIHI to obtain payment from third parties that may be responsible for such costs, such as family members. Also, we may use your IIHI to bill you directly for services and items. We may disclose your IIHI to other health care providers and entities to assist in their billing and collection efforts.
Health Care Operations. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI to operate our business. As examples of the ways in which we may use and disclose your information for our operations, our practice may use your IIHI to evaluate the quality of care you received from us, or to conduct cost-management and business planning activities for our practice. We may disclose your IIHI to other health care providers and entities to assist in their health care operations.
Appointment Reminders. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI to contact you and remind you of an appointment by phone or in writing
Disclosures Required By Law. Our practice will use and disclose your IIHI when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law.
D. USE AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR IIHI IN CERTAIN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
The following categories describe unique scenarios in which we may use or disclose your identifiable health information:
Public Health Risks. Our practice may disclose your IIHI to public health authorities that are authorized by law to collect information for the purpose of:
maintaining vital records, such as births and deaths
reporting child abuse or neglect
preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability
notifying a person regarding potential exposure to a communicable disease
notifying a person regarding a potential risk for spreading or contracting a disease or condition
notifying government agency(ies), as required by law, regarding certain reportable communicable diseases
reporting reactions to drugs or problems with products or devices
notifying individuals if a product or device they may be using has been recalled
notifying appropriate government agency(ies) and authority(ies) regarding the potential abuse or neglect of an adult patient (including domestic violence); however, we will only disclose this information if the patient agrees or we are required or authorized by law to disclose this information
notifying your employer under limited circumstances related primarily to workplace injury or illness or medical surveillance.
Health Oversight Activities. Our practice may disclose your IIHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. Oversight activities can include, for example, investigations, inspections, audits, surveys, licensure and disciplinary actions; civil, administrative, and criminal procedures or actions; or other activities necessary for the government to monitor government programs, compliance with civil rights laws and the health care system in general.
Lawsuits and Similar Proceedings. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI in response to a court or administrative order, if you are involved in a lawsuit or similar proceeding. We also may disclose your IIHI in response to a discovery request, subpoena, or other lawful process by another party involved in the dispute, but only if we have made an effort to inform you of the request or to obtain an order protecting the information the party has requested.
Law Enforcement. We may release IIHI if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
Regarding a crime victim in certain situations, if we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement
Concerning a death we believe has resulted from criminal conduct
Regarding criminal conduct at our offices
In response to a warrant, summons, court order, subpoena or similar legal process
To identify/locate a suspect, material witness, fugitive or missing person
In an emergency, to report a crime (including the location or victim(s) of the crime, or the description, identity or location of the perpetrator)
Research. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI for research purposes in certain limited circumstances. We will obtain your written authorization to use your IIHI for research purposes except when an Institutional Review Board or Privacy Board has determined that the waiver of your authorization satisfies the following: (i) the use or disclosure involves no more than a minimal risk to your privacy based on the following: (A) an adequate plan to protect the identifiers from improper use and disclosure; (B) an adequate plan to destroy the identifiers at the earliest opportunity consistent with the research (unless there is a health or research justification for retaining the identifiers or such retention is otherwise required by law); and (C) adequate written assurances that the PHI will not be re-used or disclosed to any other person or entity (except as required by law) for authorized oversight of the research study, or for other research for which the use or disclosure would otherwise be permitted; (ii) the research could not practicably be conducted without the waiver; and (iii) the research could not practicably be conducted without access to and use of the PHI.
Serious Threats to Health or Safety. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI when necessary to reduce or prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of another individual or the public. Under these circumstances, we will only make disclosures to a person or organization able to help prevent the threat.
Military. Our practice may disclose your IIHI if you are a member of U.S. or foreign military forces (including veterans) and if required by the appropriate authorities.
National Security. Our practice may disclose your IIHI to federal officials for intelligence and national security activities authorized by law. We also may disclose your IIHI to federal officials in order to protect the President, other officials or foreign heads of state, or to conduct investigations.
Inmates. Our practice may disclose your IIHI to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials if you are an inmate or under the custody of a law enforcement official. Disclosure for these purposes would be necessary: (a) for the institution to provide health care services to you, (b) for the safety and security of the institution, and/or (c) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of other individuals.
Workers’ Compensation. Our practice may release your IIHI for workers’ compensation and similar programs.