THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW PSYCHOLOGICAL AND MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW CAREFULLY.
OAK HEALTH CENTER, A MEDICAL CORPORATION IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION (“PHI”).
The PHI constitutes information created or noted by Oak Health Center that can be used to identify you. It contains data about your past, present, or future health or condition, the provision of health care services to you, or the payment for such health care. We are required to provide you this notice about our privacy procedures. This notice must explain when, why, and how we would use and/or disclose your PHI. Use of PHI means when we share, apply, utilize, examine, or analyze information within our practice. PHI is disclosed when we release, transfer, give, or otherwise reveal it to a third party outside our practice. With some exceptions, we may not use or disclose more of your PHI than is necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the use or disclosure is made. However, we are always legally required to follow the privacy practices described in this notice.
Please note that we reserve the right to change the terms of this notice and our privacy policies at any time. Any changes will apply to PHI already on file with us. Before we make any important changes to our policies, this notice will be updated and a copy will be available to you upon request.
HOW WE WILL USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PHI
We will use and disclose your PHI for different reasons. Some of the uses of disclosure will require your prior written consent, others, however will not. Please find below the various categories, and examples, for our use and disclosures.
USE AND DISCLOSURES RELATED TO TREATMENT, PAYMENT OR HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS DO NOT REQUIRE YOUR PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT. WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PHI WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS.
For treatment- We may disclose your PHI to physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other licensed health care providers who provide you with health care services or are otherwise involved in your care. Example: If a psychologist or therapist is treating you, we may disclose your PHI in order to coordinate your care.
For Health Care Operations- We may disclose your PHI to facilitate the efficient and correct operation of our practice. Examples: Quality control where we might use your PHI in the evaluations of the quality of health care services that you have received or to evaluate the performance of the health care professionals who provided you with these services. We may also provide your PHI to our attorneys, accountants, consultants, and others to make sure that we are in compliance with applicable laws.
To obtain payment for treatment- We may use and disclose your PHI to bill and collect payment for the treatment and services we provide you. Example: We might send your PHI to your insurance company or health plan provider in order to get payment for the health care services that we have provided to you. We could also provide your PHI to business associates, such as billing companies, claims processing companies, and others that process health care claims for our office.
Other disclosures- Examples: Your consent is not required if you need emergency treatment provided that we attempt to get your consent after treatment is rendered. In the event that we try to get your consent but you are unable to communicate with us (for example, if you are unconscious or in severe pain), and we think that you would consent to such treatment if you could, we may disclosure your PHI.
Certain other uses and disclosures do not require your consent. We may use and/or disclose you PHI without your consent or authorization for the following reasons:
The following list is a compilation of federal and California laws.
- When disclosure is required by federal, state, or local law, judicial board, administrative proceedings or law enforcement. Example: We may make a disclosure to the appropriate officials when a law requires us to report information to government agencies, law enforcement personnel and/or in an administrative proceeding.
- If disclosure is completed by a party to a proceeding before a court or an administrative agency pursuant to its lawful authority.
- If disclosure is required by a search warrant lawfully issued to a governmental law enforcement agency.
- If disclosure is compelled by the Client or the Client’s representative pursuant to California Health and Safety Codes or to corresponding federal statutes or regulations, such as the Privacy Rule that requires this Notice.
- To avoid harm. We may provide PHI to law enforcement personnel or persons able to prevent or mitigate a serious threat to the health or safety of a person of the public.
- If disclosure is compelled or permitted by the fact that you are in such mental or emotional condition as to be dangerous to yourself or the person or property of others, and if we determine that disclosure is necessary to prevent the threatened danger.
- If disclosure is mandated by the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law. For example: If we have a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect.
- If disclosure is mandated by the California Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse Reporting Law. For example: If we have a reasonable suspicion of elder abuse or dependent adult abuse.
- If disclosure is compelled or permitted by the fact that you tell us of a serious/imminent threat of physical violence by you against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims.
- For public health activities. Example: In the event of your death, if a disclosure is permitted or compelled, we may need to give the county coroner information about you.
- For health oversight activities. Example: We may be required to provide information to assist the government in the course of an investigation or inspection of a health care organization or provider.
- For specific government functions. Examples: We may disclose PHI of military personnel and veterans under certain circumstances. Also, we may disclose PHI in the interest of national security, such as protecting the President of the United States or assisting with intelligence operations.
- For research purposes. In certain circumstances, we may provide PHI in order to conduct medical research.
- For workers’ compensation purposes. We may provide PHI in order to comply with Workers’ Compensation laws.
- Appointment reminders and health related benefits or services. Examples: We may use PHI to provide appointment reminders. We may use PHI to give you information about alternative treatment options, or other health care services or benefits we offer.
- If an arbitrator or arbitration panel compels disclosure. If disclosure is required pursuant to subpoena duces tecum (e.g., a subpoena for mental health records) or any other provision authorizing disclosure in a proceeding before an arbitrator or arbitration panel.
- We are permitted to contact you, without your prior authorization, to provide appointment reminders or information about alternative or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
- If disclosure is required or permitted to a health oversight agency for oversight activities authorized by law. Example: When compelled by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to investigate or assess our compliance with HIPAA regulations.
- If disclosure is otherwise specifically required by law. Certain uses and disclosures require you to have the opportunity to object. Disclosure to family, friends or others. We may provide your PHI to a family member, friend, or other individual who you indicate is involved in your care or responsible for the payment for your health care, unless you object in whole or in part. Retroactive consent may be obtained in emergency situations. Other uses and disclosures require your prior written authorization. In any other situation not described above, we will request your written authorization before using or disclosing any of your PHI. Even if you have signed an authorization to disclose your PHI, you may later revoke that authorization, in writing, to stop any future uses and disclosures (assuming that we haven’t taken any action subsequent to the original authorization) of your PHI by us. YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR PHI The right to inspect and obtain copies of your PHI. In general, you have the right to see your PHI that is in our possession or to get copies of it. However, you must request it in writing. If we do not have your PHI, but we know who does, we will advise you how you can obtain it. You will receive a response from us within thirty (30) days of our receipt of your written request. Under certain circumstances, we may feel we must deny your request. If so, we will respond in writing the reasons for denial. We will also explain your right to have our denial reviewed. If you ask for copies of your PHI, we will charge you not more than $.25 per page. We may see fit to provide you with a summary or explanation of the PHI, but only if you agree to it, as well as to the cost, in advance. The right to request limits on uses and disclosures of your PHI. You have the right to ask that we limit how we use and disclose your PHI. While we will consider your request, we are not legally bound to agree. If we do agree to your request, we will put those limits in writing and abide by them except in emergency situations. You do not have the right to limit the uses and disclosures that we are legally required or permitted to make. The right to choose how we send your PHI to you. It is your right to ask that your PHI be sent to you at an alternate address (e.g., sending information to your work address rather than to your home address) or by an alternate method (e.g., by e-mail or by regular mail). We are obliged to agree to your request providing that we can give you the PHI, in the format you requested without undue inconvenience. The right to get a list of the disclosures we have made. You are entitled to a list of disclosures of your PHI that we have made. The list will not include uses of disclosures to which you have already consented, i.e. those for treatment, payment, or health care operations, sent directly to you, or to your family. The list will not include disclosures made for national security purposes, to corrections or law enforcement personnel, or disclosures made before November 17, 2006. After November 17, 2006, disclosure records will be held for six (6) years.
We will respond to your request for an accounting of disclosures within sixty (60) days of receiving your request. The list we give you will include disclosures made in the previous six (6) years (the first six year period being 2006-2012) unless you indicate a shorter period. The list will include the date of disclosure, to whom PHI was disclosed (including the address, if known), a description of the information disclosed, and the reason for the disclosure. We will provide the list to you at no cost, unless you make more than one (1) request in the same year, in which case we will charge a reasonable amount for each additional request.
The right to amend or revise your PHI. If you believe that there is some error in your PHI or that important information has been omitted, it is your right to request that we correct the existing information or add the missing information. Your request and the reason for the request must be in writing. You will receive a response within sixty (60) days of our receipt of your request. We may deny your request, in writing, if we find that, (a) the PHI is correct and complete, (b) forbidden to be disclosed, (c) not part of our records or (d) written by someone who is not a part of our practice. Our denial must be in writing and must state the reason for denial. It must also explain your right to file a written statement objecting to the denial. If you do not file a written objection, you still have the right to ask that your request and our denial be attached to any future disclosures of your PHI. If we approve your request, we will make the change(s) to your PHI. Additionally, we will tell you that the changes have been made, and we will advise all others who need to know about the change(s) to your PHI.
The right to get this notice by E-mail. You have the right to get this notice by E-mail. You have the right to request a copy as well.
QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS
If you have any questions about this notice or any complaints about our privacy practices, or would like to know how to file a complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, please contact us at our address above.
If, in your opinion, we may have violated your privacy rights, or if you object to a decision we made about access to your PHI, you are entitled to file a complaint with us at the address listed above. You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue S.W. Washington, D.C. 20202.
THE ABOVE NOTICE IS EFFECTIVE AS OF MARCH 1, 2016.
ADDITIONAL ONLINE POLICIES AND DISCLOSURES
We want to inform you that whenever you visit our Service, we collect information that your browser sends to us that is called Log Data. This Log Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser version, pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, and other statistics.
Cookies are files with small amount of data that is commonly used an anonymous unique identifier. These are sent to your browser from the website that you visit and are stored on your computer’s hard drive.
Our website uses these “cookies” to collection information and to improve our Service. You have the option to either accept or refuse these cookies, and know when a cookie is being sent to your computer. If you choose to refuse our cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Service.
We may employ third-party companies and individuals due to the following reasons:
- To facilitate our Service;
- To provide the Service on our behalf;
- To perform Service-related services; or
- To assist us in analyzing how our Service is used.
We want to inform our Service users that these third parties have access to your Personal Information. The reason is to perform the tasks assigned to them on our behalf. However, they are obligated not to disclose or use the information for any other purpose.
We value your trust in providing us your Personal Information, thus we are striving to use commercially acceptable means of protecting it. But remember that no method of transmission over the internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure and reliable, and we cannot guarantee its absolute security.
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