In using and disclosing this protected health information (PHI), it is our objective to follow the Privacy Standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), 45 CFR Part 464, and its related Rules and Regulations and other State laws. HIPAA allows us to use and disclose PHI without your specific authorization for treatment, payment, and health care operations and as required by law. This includes the sharing of information with certain State agencies when mandated by certain States to report names of patients testing positive for certain sexually transmitted diseases (all infections we test for except Herpes). All other uses and disclosures require your specific authorization.
If you feel your rights have been violated, you may file a complaint in writing with the Privacy Officer. If you are not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint, you may also file a complaint with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Filing a complaint will not result in retaliation.
We will use and exchange information obtained by a physician, nurse practitioner, nurse or other medical professionals, staff, trainees and volunteers in our office to determine your best course of treatment. The information obtained from you or from other providers will become part of your medical records. We may also disclose your PHI to other outside treating medical professionals and staff as deemed necessary for your care. For example, we may disclose your PHI to an outside doctor for referral. We will also provide your health care providers with copies of various reports to assist them in your treatment.
We may send a bill to you or to your insurance carrier. Also, the disbursement office may receive PHI as necessary to pay a claim. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as that portion of your PHI necessary to obtain payment.
Members of the medical staff, trainees, medical students, a Risk or Quality Improvement team, or similar internal personnel may use your information to assess the care and outcomes of your care in an effort to improve the quality of the healthcare and service we provide or for educational purposes. For example, an internal review team may review your medical records to determine the appropriateness of care. There may also be times in which our accountants, auditors, health information specialists or attorneys may review your PHI to meet their responsibilities.