We are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information (PHI), to provide individuals with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information, and to notify affected individuals following a breach of unsecured protected health information. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this Notice while it is in effect. This Notice takes effect on September 23, 2013, and will remain in effect until we replace it.
We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time, provided such changes are permitted by applicable law. We reserve the right to make the changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our Notice effective for all health information that we maintain, including health information we created or received before we made the changes. When we make a significant change in our privacy practices, we will change this Notice and post the new Notice clearly and prominently at our practice location, and we will provide copies of the new Notice upon request.
You may request a copy of our Notice at any time. For more information about our privacy practices, or for additional copies of this Notice, please contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH
INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
We use and disclose your health information for different purposes, including treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. For each of these categories, we have provided a description and an example. Some information, such as HIV-related information, genetic information, alcohol and/or substance abuse records, and mental health records may be entitled to special confidentiality protections under applicable state or federal law. We will abide by these special protections as they pertain to applicable cases involving these types of records.
Treatment: We may use and disclose your health information for your treatment. For example, we may disclose your health information to a specialists providing treatment to you.
Payment: We may use and disclose your health information to obtain reimbursement for the treatment and services you receive from us or another entity involved with your care. Payment activities include billing, collections, claims management, and determinations of eligibility and coverage to obtain payment from you, an insurance company, or another third party. For example, we may send claims to your dental plan containing certain health information.
Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose your health information in connection with our healthcare operations. For example, healthcare operations include review of our treatment and services, training, evaluating the performance of our staff and health care professionals, quality assurance, financial or billing audits, legal matters, and business planning and development.
Individuals Involved In Your Care or Payment for Your Care: We may disclose health information to your family or friends or any other individual identified by you when they are involved in your care or payment for your care. Additionally, we may disclose information about you to a patient representative. If a person has the authority by law to make health care decisions for you, we will treat that patient representative the same way we would treat you with respect to your health information.
Appointment Reminders: We may use or disclose your health information when contacting you to remind you of a dental appointment. We may contact you by using a postcard, letter, or voicemail.
Disaster Relief: We may use or disclose your health information to assist in disaster relief efforts.
Required by Law: We may use or disclose your health information when we are required to do so by law.
Law Enforcement: We may disclose your PHI for law enforcement purposes as permitted by HIPAA, as required by law, or in response to a subpoena or court order.
Public Health and Public Benefit: We may disclose patient health information for public health activities and purposes, which include: preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability; reporting child abuse or neglect; reporting adverse reactions to medications or foods; reporting product defects; enabling product recalls; notifying a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition; and notifying the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
National Security: We may disclose to military authorities the health information of Armed Forces personnel under certain circumstances. We may disclose to authorized federal officials health information required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities. We may disclose to a correctional institution or law enforcement official having lawful custody the PHI of an inmate or patient.
Secretary of HHS: We will disclose your health information to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services when required to investigate or determine compliance with HIPAA.
Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose your PHI to an oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These activities include audits, investigations, inspections, and credentialing, as necessary for licensure and for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Research: We may disclose your PHI to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board or privacy board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your information.
Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors: We may release your PHI to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also disclose PHI to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to enable them to carry out their duties.
Other Uses and Disclosures of PHI
Your authorization is required, with few exceptions, for disclosure of psychotherapy notes, use or disclosure of PHI for marketing, and the sale of PHI. We will also obtain your written authorization before using or disclosing your PHI for purposes other than those provided for in this Notice. You may revoke an authorization in writing at any time. Upon receipt of the written revocation, we will stop using or disclosing your PHI, except to the extent that we have already taken action in reliance on the authorization.
Your Health Information Rights
Access: You may request to review or request a copy of your health information, with limited exceptions. You must make the request in writing. You may obtain a form to request access by using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice. You may also request access by sending us a letter to the address at the end of this Notice. If you request information that we maintain on paper, we may provide photocopies. If you request information that we maintain electronically, you have the right to an electronic copy. We will use the form and format you request if readily producible. We will charge you a reasonable cost-based fee for the cost of supplies and labor of copying, and for postage if you want copies mailed to you. Contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice for an explanation of our fee structure.
We may deny your request under certain circumstances; you have the right to have the denial reviewed in accordance with the requirements of applicable law.
Amend: You have the right to request that we amend you health information. Your request must be in writing, and it must explain why the information should be amended. We may deny your request under certain circumstances. If we agree to your request, we will amend your record(s) and notify you of such. If we deny your request for an amendment, we will provide you with a written explanation of why we denied it and explain your rights.
Right to Request a Restriction: You have the right to request additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your PHI by submitting a written request to the Privacy Office. Your written request must include (1) what information you want to limit, (2) whether you want to limit use or disclosure or both, and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply. We are not required to agree to your request except in the case where the disclosure is to a health plan for purposes of carrying out payment or health care operations, and the information pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you, or a person on your behalf (other than the health plan), has paid our practice if full.
Disclosure Accounting: With the exception of certain disclosures, you have the right to receive an accounting of disclosure of your health information in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. To request an accounting of disclosures of your health information, you must submit your request in writing. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12-month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests.
Alternate Communication: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your health information by alternate means or at alternate locations. You must make your request in writing. Your request must specify the alternate means or location, and provide satisfactory explanation of how payments will be handled under the alternate means or location you request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. However, if we are unable to contact you using the ways or locations you have requested we may contact you using the information we have.
Right to Notification of a Breach: You will receive notifications of breaches of your unsecured protected health information as required by law.
Electronic Notice: You may receive a paper copy of this Notice upon request, even if you have agreed to receive this Notice electronically on our Web site.
Questions and Complaints
If you want more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, please contact us.
If you are concerned that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your health information or in response to a request you made to amend or restrict the use or disclosure of your health information or to have us communicate with you by alternate means or at alternate locations, you may complain to us using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice. You may also submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request.
We support your right to the privacy of your health information. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint with us or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Telephone: 315-788-0805 Fax: 315-788-4108
Address: 126 Bellew Ave Watertown, New York 13601