INFORMATION ON PATIENT PRIVACY PRACTICES
This notice describes how medical information about you (as a patient of this practice) may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to your information. This is required by the Privacy Regulations created as a result of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY
If you have any questions about this notice please contact Cole Aesthetic Center at 360.228.3235
WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE
This notice describes the information privacy practices followed by our physician, staff, and other office personnel.
YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
This notice applies to the information and records we have about your health, health status, and the health care and services you receive at this office.
We are required by law to give you this notice. It will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose health information about you and describes your rights and our obligations regarding the use and disclosure of that information.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
We must have your written, signed consent to use and disclose health information for the following purposes:
We may use health information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose health information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, office staff or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you and your health.
For example, your doctor may be treating you for a vascular condition and may need to know if you have other health problems that could complicate your treatment. The doctor may use your medical history to decide what treatment is best for you. The doctor may also tell another doctor about your condition so that doctor can help determine the most appropriate care for you.
Different personnel in our office may share information about you and disclose information to people who do not work in our office in order to coordinate your care, such as phoning in prescriptions to your pharmacy, scheduling lab work and ordering radiology procedures. Family members and other healthcare providers may be part of your medical care outside this office and may require information about you that we have.
We may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at this office may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, and insurance company or third party.
For example, we may need to give your health plan information about a service you received here so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the service. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval, or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.
For Health Care Operations
We may use and disclose health information about you in order to run the office and make sure that you and other patients receive quality care.
For example, we may use your health information to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also use health information about all or many of our patients to help us decide what additional services we should offer, how we can become more efficient or whether certain new treatments are effective.
We may contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at the office. We may leave a message on an answering machine or with an adult whom may answer your phone.
We may tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
Health Related Products and Services
We may tell you about health related products or services that may be of interest to you.
Please notify us if you do not wish to be contacted for appointment reminders, or if you do not wish to receive communications about treatment alternatives or health related products and services. If you advise us in writing that you do not wish to receive such communications, we will not use or disclose your information for these purposes.
You may revoke your consent at any time by giving us written notice. Your revocation will be effective when we receive it, but it will not apply to any uses and disclosures, which occurred before that time. If you do revoke your consent, we will not be permitted to use of disclose your information for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations, and we may therefore choose to discontinue providing you with health care treatment and services.
We may use or disclose health information about you without your permission for the following purposes, subject to all applicable legal requirements and limitations:
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety
We may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.
Required by Law
We will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state, or local law.
We may use and disclose health information about you for the research projects that are subject to a special approval process. We will ask you for your permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address, and other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care at the office.
Organ and Tissue Donation
If you are an organ donor, we may release health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate such donation and transplantation.
Military, Veterans, National Security and Intelligence
If you are or were a member of the armed forces, or part of the nation security or intelligence communities, we may be required by military command or other government authorities to release health information about you. We may also release information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
We may release health information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Public Health Risks
We may disclose health information about you for public health reasons in order to prevent or control disease, injury or disability; or report births, deaths, suspected abuse or neglect, non-accidental physical injuries, reactions to medications or problems with products.
Health Oversight Activities
We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for audits, investigations, inspections, or licensing purposes. These disclosures may be necessary for certain state and federal agencies to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Lawsuits and Disputes
If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose health information about you in response to a court or administrative order. Subject to all applicable legal requirements, we may also disclose health information about you in response to a subpoena.
We may release health information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official in response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process, subject to all applicable legal requirements.
Coroners, Medical examiners, and Funeral Directors
We may release health information to a coroner, or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death.
Information Not Personally Identifiable
We may use or disclose health information about you in a way that does not personally identify you or reveal who you are.
Family and Friends
We may disclose health information about you to your family members or friends if we obtain a written consent from you. In situations where you are not capable of giving consent (because you are not present or due to your incapacity or medical emergency), we may, using our professional judgment, determine that a disclosure to your family member or friend is in your best interest. In that situation, we will disclose only health information relevant to the person’s involvement in your care. We may also use our professional judgment and experience to make reasonable inferences that it is in your best interest to allow another person to act on your behalf to pick up, for example, filled prescriptions, medical supplies or x-rays.
OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION
We will not use or disclose your health information for any purpose other than those identified in the previous sections without your specific, written authorization. We may obtain your authorization separate from any consent we may have already obtained from you. If you have given us authorization to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization, but we can not take back any uses or disclosures already made with your permission.
If we have HIV or substance abuse information about you, we can not release that information with a special signed, written authorization (different that the authorization and consent mentioned above) from you. In order to disclose these types of records for purpose of treatment, payment, or health care operations, we will have to have both signed consent and a special written authorization that complies with the law governing HIV or substance abuse records.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
You have the following rights regarding health information we maintain about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy
You have the right to inspect an copy your health information, such as medical and billing records, that we use to make decisions about your care. You must submit a written request to the designated privacy official in order to inspect your health information. You may also have your records copied and will incur a copy fee.
We may deny your request to inspect and/or copy in certain limited circumstances. If you are denied access to your health information, you may ask that the denial be reviewed. If such a review is required by law, we will select a licensed health care professional to review your request and our denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request, and we will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right To Amend
If you believe the health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment, as long as the information is kept by this office. To request an amendment, please contact our designated privacy official to help you begin this process. You will be asked to put your request in writing.
We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
- We did not create, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment.
- Is not part of the health information that we keep.
- You would not be permitted to inspect and copy.
- Is accurate and incomplete.
Right to Request Confidential Communications
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail.
To request confidential communications, you may put your request in writing to the attention of the privacy official. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
We reserve the right to change this notice, and to make the revised or changed notice
Effective for medical information we already have about you, as well as, any information we receive in the future. We will post a summary of the current notice in the office with its effective date in the top right hand corner. You are entitled to a copy of the notice currently in effect.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our office. To file a complaint, contact our designated privacy official. You will be asked to put your complaint in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.