Privacy Policy

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 questions about this notice, please contact us mailto:info@plasticsurgery-inc.com

The following privacy policy is to ensure that this medical office complies with requirements of the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) as well as California privacy protection laws and regulations.  This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law.  “Protected health information” is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or 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

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, or as soon as reasonably practicable under the circumstances.   Below are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health care information that the physician’s office is permitted to make.  These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but to describe the types of uses and disclosures that may be made by our office.   We will ensure that such uses and disclosures of your protected health information shall be limited to the minimum amount of information needed to accomplish the purpose of disclosure.

Treatment.  We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate or manage your health care and any related services.  This includes the coordination or management of your 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 a home health agency that provides care to you.  We will also disclose protected health information to other physicians who may be treating you.  For example, your protected health information may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred to ensure that the physician has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you.

In addition, we may disclose your protected health information from time-to-time to another physician or health care provider (e.g., a specialist or laboratory) who, at the request of your physician, becomes involved in your care by providing assistance with your health care diagnosis or treatment to your physician.

Payment.  Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services.  This may include certain activities that your health insurance plan may undertake before it approves or pays for the health care services we recommend for you such as: making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you for medical necessity and undertaking utilization review activities.  For example, obtaining approval for a hospital stay may require that your relevant protected health information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the hospital admission.

Healthcare Operations.  We may use or disclose, as needed, your protected health information in order to support the business activities of your physician’s practice. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training of medical students, licensing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities.

For example, we may disclose your protected health information to medical school students that see patients at our office.  In addition, we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name and indicate your physician.  We may also call you by name in the waiting room when your physician 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 involves 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.

We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.  We may also use and disclose your protected health information for other marketing activities.  For example, your name and address may be used to send you a newsletter about our practice and the services we offer.  We may also send you information about products or services that we believe may be beneficial to you.  You may contact our Privacy Contact to request that these materials not be sent to you.

Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Based Upon Your Written Authorization:  Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information will be made only with your written authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law as described below.  You may revoke this authorization, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that your physician or the physician’s practice has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization. 

2.  Record Retention

We will adhere to the HIPAA Privacy records retention requirement of six years.  All records designated by HIPAA in this retention requirement will be maintained in a manner that allows for access within a reasonable time.  This records retention time requirement maybe extended at our discretion to meet with other governmental regulations or those requirements imposed by our professional liability carrier.

3. Complaints

You may complain to us or to the Department 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 for further information at mailto:info@plasticsurgery-inc.com

This notice was published and becomes effective on June 20, 2013.