Carraway Chiropractic Center
Notice of Privacy Practices
Effective Date: September 23, 2013
PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY. IT DESCRIBES HOW YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU MAY GAIN ACCESS TO THAT INFORMATION.
We at Carraway Chiropractic Center (“the Practice”) are committed to maintaining the privacy of your protected health information (“PHI”), which includes information about your medical condition and the care and treatment you receive from the Practice and other health care providers. This Notice details how your PHI may be used and disclosed to third parties for purposes of your care, payment for your care, health care operations of the Practice, and for other purposes permitted or required by law. This Notice also details your rights regarding your PHI.
Use Or Disclosure of Phi
The Practice may use and/or disclose your PHI for purposes related to your care, payment for your care, and health care operations of the Practice. The following are examples of the types of uses and/or disclosures of your PHI that may occur. These examples are not meant to include all possible types of use and/or disclosure.
- Treatment – In order to provide care to you, the Practice will provide your PHI to those health care professionals directly involved in your care so they may understand your medical condition and needs and provide advice or treatment. For example, your physician may need to know how your condition is responding to the treatment provided by the Practice.
- Payment – In order to get paid for some or all of the health care provided by the Practice, the Practice may provide your PHI, directly or through a billing service, to appropriate third party payers, pursuant to their billing and payment requirements. For example, the Practice may need to provide your health insurance carrier with information about health care services you received from the Practice so the Practice may be properly reimbursed.
- Health Care Operations – In order for the Practice to operate in accordance with applicable law and insurance requirements and in order for the Practice to provide quality and efficient care, it may be necessary for the Practice to compile, use and/or disclose your PHI. For example, the Practice may use your PHI in order to evaluate the performance of the Practice’s personnel in providing care to you.
AUTHORIZATION NOT REQUIRED
The Practice may use and/or disclose your PHI, without a written Authorization from you, in the following instances:
- De-identified Information – Your PHI is altered so that it does not identify you and, even without your name, cannot be used to identify you.
- Business Associate – To a business associate, who is someone the Practice contracts with to provide a service necessary for your treatment, payment for your treatment and/or health care operations (e.g., billing service or transcription service). The Practice will obtain satisfactory written assurance, in accordance with applicable law, that the business associate will appropriately safeguard your PHI.
- Personal Representative – To a person who, under applicable law, has the authority to represent you in making decisions related to your health care.
- Public Health Activities – Such activities include, for example, information collected by a public health authority, as authorized by law, to prevent or control disease, injury or disability. This includes reports of child abuse or neglect.
- Federal Drug Administration – If required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product defects, problems, biological product deviations, or to track products, enable product recalls, repairs or replacements, or to conduct post marketing surveillance.
- Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence – To a government authority, if the Practice is required by law to make such disclosure. If the Practice is authorized by law to make such a disclosure, it will do so if it believes the disclosure is necessary to prevent serious harm or if the Practice believes you have been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. Any such disclosure will be made in accordance with the requirements of law, which may also involve notice to you of the disclosure.
- Emergency Situations – The Practice may use and disclose PHI for the purpose of obtaining or rendering emergency treatment to you provided that the Practice attempts to obtain your Consent as soon as possible: The Practice may also use and disclose PHI to a public or private entity authorized by law or by its charter to assist in disaster relief efforts, for the purpose of coordinating your care with such entities in an emergency situation.
- Health Oversight Activities – Such activities, which must be required by law, involve government agencies involved in oversight activities that relate to the health care system, government benefit programs, government regulatory programs and civil rights law. Those activities include, for example, criminal investigations, audits, disciplinary actions, or general oversight activities relating to the community’s health care system.
- Judicial and Administrative Proceeding – For example, the Practice may be required to disclose your PHI in response to a court order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
- Law Enforcement Purposes – In certain instances, your PHI may have to be disclosed to a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes. Law enforcement purposes include: (1) complying with a legal process (i.e., subpoena) or as required by law; (2) information for identification and location purposes (e.g., suspect or missing person); (3) information regarding a person who is or is suspected to be a crime victim; (4) in situations where the death of an individual may have resulted from criminal conduct; (5) in the event of a crime occurring on the premises of the Practice; and (6) a medical emergency (not on the Practice’s premises) has occurred, and it appears that a crime has occurred.
- Public Health and Safety Activities – The Practice may disclose your PHI for public health activities and purposes. This includes reporting information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to collect or receive the information. These activities generally include:
- To prevent or control disease, injury or disability
- To report births or deaths
- To report child, elder, or dependent adult abuse or neglect
- To report reactions to medications or problems with products
- To notify people of recalls of products they may be using
- To notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition.
- Coroner or Medical Examiner – The Practice may disclose your PHI to a coroner or medical examiner for the purpose of identifying you or determining your cause of death, or to a funeral director as permitted by law and as necessary to carry out its duties.
- Organ, Eye or Tissue Donation – If you are an organ donor, the Practice may disclose your PHI to the entity to whom you have agreed to donate your organs.
- Research – If the Practice is involved in research activities, your PHI may be used, but such use is subject to numerous governmental requirements intended to protect the privacy of your PHI such as approval of the research by an institutional review board, the de-identification of your PHI before it is used, and the requirement that protocols must be followed.
- Data Breach Notification Purposes – We may use or disclose you PHI to provide legally required notices of unauthorized access to or disclosure of your health information.
- Avert a Threat to Health or Safety – The Practice may disclose your PHI if it believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public and the disclosure is to an individual who is reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat.
- Specialized Government Functions – When the appropriate conditions apply, the Practice may use PHI of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel: (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veteran Affairs of eligibility for benefits; or (3) to a foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military service. The Practice may also disclose your PHI to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities including the provision of protective services to the President or others legally authorized.
- Inmates – The Practice may disclose your PHI to a correctional institution or a law enforcement official if you are an inmate of that correctional facility and your PHI is necessary to provide care and treatment to you or is necessary for the health and safety of other individuals or inmates.
- Workers’ Compensation – If you are involved in a Workers’ Compensation claim, the Practice may be required to disclose your PHI to an individual or entity that is part of the Workers’ Compensation system.
- Disaster Relief Efforts – The Practice may use or disclose your PHI to a public or private entity authorized to assist in disaster relief efforts.
- Marketing – Face to face communication directly with the patient or promotional gifts of nominal value do not require authorization. All other situations require separate authorization.
- Required by Law – If otherwise required by law, but such use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and limited to the requirements of the law.
- Change of Ownership — In the event that The Practice is sold or merged with another organization, your health information/record will become the property of the new owner.
- Appointment Reminders — The Practice may, from time to time, contact you to provide appointment reminders. The reminder may be in the form of a letter or postcard. The Practice will try to minimize the amount of information contained in the reminder. The Practice may also contact you by phone and, if you are not available, the Practice will leave a message for you.
- Sign In Sheets — We maintain a sign-in sheet for individuals seeking care and treatment in the office. The sign-in sheet is located in a position where staff can readily see who is seeking care in the office, as well as the individual’s location within the office suite. This information may be seen by, and is assessable to others who are seeking care or services in our office. It is also our policy to call you by name from the waiting room.
- Treatment Rooms — Treatment rooms are all private, with the exception of the therapy rooms. Others may overhear some aspects of your care in the room. At all times we will try to be as discreet as possible when discussing your health care in this environment.
- Patient Charts — Charts with patient names are visible in the hallways. If you wish your chart to not be seen in the hallway, please notify the front desk and other arrangements will be made.
- Front Desk Communication — It is our policy to make future appointments, collect co-pays, payments, and/or insurance cards at our front desk, which may be overheard by others in the waiting room.
- Birthday, Thank You Cards, Newsletters — The Practice may, from time to time, contact you to provide our practice newsletter and will send you an annual birthday greeting. The reminder and birthday greeting may be in the form of a letter or postcard. The Practice will try to minimize the amount of information contained in the newsletter or greeting. The Practice may also contact you by phone and, if you are not available, the Practice will leave a message for you. The Practice may include your name in a Thank You card to the person who referred you.
- Fundraising – In the event the practice engages in fundraising activities, we may use or disclose your demographic information and the dates that you received treatment from your physician, as necessary, in order to contact you for fundraising activities supported by our office.
- Treatment Alternatives – The Practice may, from time to time, contact you about treatment alternatives it offers, or other health benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
USES AND DISCLOSURES THAT REQUIRE US TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT AND OPT OUT
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a
relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your PHI that directly relates to that person’s involvement in your health care., If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment.
Disaster Relief. We may disclose your PHI to disaster relief organizations that seek your Protected Health Information to coordinate your care, or notify family and friends of your location or condition in a disaster. We will provide you with an opportunity to agree or object to such a disclosure whenever we practically can do so.
Fundraising. In the event the practice engages in Fundraising activities, you have the right to opt out of such communications.
YOUR WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION IS REQUIRED FOR OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES
The following uses and disclosures of your Protected Health Information will be made only with your written authorization:
- Uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information for marketing purposes; and
- Disclosures that constitute a sale of your Protected Health Information
Other uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information not covered by this Notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. If you do give us an authorization, you may revoke it at any time by submitting a written revocation to our Privacy Officer and we will no longer disclose Protected Health Information under the authorization. But disclosure that we made in reliance on your authorization before you revoked it will not be affected by the revocation.
You have the right to:
- Revoke any Authorization, in writing, at any time. To request a revocation, you must submit a written request to the Practice’s Privacy Officer.
- Request restrictions on certain use and/or disclosure of your PHI as provided by law. However, the Practice is not obligated to agree to any requested restrictions. To request restrictions, you must submit a written request to the Practice’s Privacy Officer. In your written request, you must inform the Practice of what information you want to limit, whether you want to limit the Practice’s use or disclosure, or both, and to whom you want the limits to apply. If the Practice agrees to your request, the Practice will comply with your request unless the information is needed in order to provide you with emergency treatment.
- If you pay for your health care service or item entirely out-of-pocket, you have the right to ask that your PHI with respect to that item or service not be disclosed to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations, and we will honor that request.
- Receive confidential communications of PHI by alternative means or at alternative locations. You must make your request in writing to the Practice’s Privacy Officer. The Practice will accommodate all reasonable requests.
- Inspect and copy your PHI as provided by law. To inspect and copy your PHI, you must submit a written request to the Practice’s Privacy Officer. In certain situations that are defined by law, the Practice may deny your request, but you will have the right to have the denial reviewed. The Practice may charge you a fee for the cost of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. If your Protected Health Information is maintained in an electronic format (known as an electronic medical record or an electronic health record), you have the right to request that an electronic copy of your record be given to you or transmitted to another individual or entity. We will make every effort to provide access to your Protected Health Information in the form or format you request, if it is readily producible in such form or format. If the Protected Health Information is not readily producible in the form or format you request your record will be provided in either our standard electronic format or if you do not want this form or format, a readable hard copy form. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for the labor associated with transmitting the electronic medical record.
- Amend your PHI as provided by law. To request an amendment, you must submit a written request to the Practice’s Privacy Officer. You must provide a reason that supports your request. The Practice may deny your request if it is not in writing, if you do not provide a reason in support of your request, if the information to be amended was not created by the Practice (unless the individual or entity that created the information is no longer available), if the information is not part of your PHI maintained by the Practice, if the information is not part of the information you would be permitted to inspect and copy, and/or if the information is accurate and complete. If you disagree with the Practice’s denial, you have the right to submit a written statement of disagreement.
- Receive an accounting of non-routine disclosures of your PHI as provided by law. To request an accounting, you must submit a written request to the Practice’s Privacy Officer. The request must state a time period which may not be longer than six years and may not include the dates before April 14, 2003. The request should indicate in what form you want the list (such as a paper or electronic copy). The first list you request within a 12 month period will be free, but the Practice may charge you for the cost of providing additional lists in that same 12 month period. The Practice will notify you of the costs involved and you can decide to withdraw or modify your request before any costs are incurred. Certain types of disclosures are not included in such an accounting. These include disclosures made for treatment, payment or healthcare operations; disclosures made to you; disclosures made with your authorization; disclosures for national security or intelligence purposes or to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials in some circumstances.
- You have the right to be notified upon a breach of any of your unsecured PHI.
- Receive a paper copy of this Privacy Notice from the Practice upon request.
- To file a complaint with the Practice, please contact the Practice’s Privacy Officer. All complaints must be in writing.
- If your complaint is not satisfactorily resolved, you may file a complaint with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights. Our Privacy Officer will furnish you with the address upon request.
- To obtain more information, or have your questions about your rights answered, please contact the Practice’s Privacy Officer.
- Is required by law to maintain the privacy of your PHI and to provide you with this Privacy Notice upon request.
- Is required to abide by the terms of this Privacy Notice.
- Is required to notify you of any breaches of your PHI.
- Reserves the right to change the terms of this Privacy Notice and to make the new Privacy Notice provisions effective for all of your PHI that it maintains.
- Will not retaliate against you for making a complaint.
- Must make a good faith effort to obtain from you an Acknowledgment of receipt of this Notice.
- Will post this Privacy Notice in its lobby and on the Practice’s web site.
To obtain more information about your privacy rights or if you have questions about your privacy rights you may contact the Practice’s Privacy Officer as follows:
Carraway Chiropractic Center
2507 Neuse Boulevard
New Bern, North Carolina 28562