Patients’ Privacy Rights & Notices

Privacy Rights

1. Can my physician discuss my case with other providers and/or staff in the office?Yes, as long as your physician is discussing only the information needed to accomplish a legitimate function (like treatment or payment for your treatment). This is called the “minimum necessary” standard under the Privacy Rule. Additionally, HIPAA does not require the physician to construct physical barriers to protect your information, but it does require your physician to use reasonable safeguards to protect your identity and confidential information in his or her office.

2. Will the doctor’s office still leave message reminders at my home?Yes, unless you object to having the office contact you at your home, such as with appointment reminders, your physician will continue to leave message reminders and communications with you as necessary to provide quality service.

3. Can my physician still use a sign-in sheet and/or call my name in the waiting room to announce my “turn”?Yes, your physician may still have you sign your name at the time of registration or announce your name in order to call you to an exam room.

4. Can my physician still fax records?Yes, your physician may fax your health information as long as reasonable safeguards are used (like verifying the correct fax number).

5. Do the HIPAA requirements apply to non-physician staff such as nurses, medical students and residents walking in the hallways or in the exam rooms?Yes, clinical staff, students and trainees must follow the HIPAA Privacy Rules.

6. Can my physician discuss my care with a close family member or friend as we have been doing in the past?Yes, HIPAA allows your physician to disclose your health information to family members and friends involved in your care as long as you do not object to the disclosure.

7. Does HIPAA still allow parents the right to access their children’s records?Parents of children 17 years and under generally have access to their child’s health information. However, HIPAA usually defers to state law in recognizing certain confidential relationships between a minor and their physician in specific treatment situations.

8. If my physician is referring me to a specialist, can this specialist have access to my records before I enter his or her office for the first time?Yes, HIPAA does not prohibit the specialist from accessing your health information to prepare the process for seeing you for the first time. However, as the case is now, you may need to authorize disclosure of your records to the specialist.

9. Does HIPAA prevent physician offices from reporting patients to collection agencies?No. Under HIPAA, collection activities are considered legitimate payment functions, and disclosures of “minimum necessary” data to collection or credit agencies to receive payment are possible.

10. Does HIPAA allow my physician to share my health information to market goods and services?HIPAA prohibits the selling or disclosing of your private health information, including demographics used in registration, to third parties for marketing purposes without your specific authorization.

 

Gastrointestinal Associates Privacy Notice

This Notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.  Please review it carefully.

Patient Health InformationUnder federal law, your patient health information is protected and confidential. Patient health information includes information about your systems, test results, diagnosis, treatment and related medical information.  Your health information also includes payment, billing and insurance information.  Your information may be stored electronically and, if so, is subject to electronic disclosure.

How We Use & Disclose Your Patient Health InformationTreatment:  We will use and disclose your health information to provide you with medical treatment or services.  For example, nurses, physicians and other members of your treatment team will record information in your records and use it to determine the most appropriate course of care. We may also disclose the information to other health care providers who are participating in your treatment, to pharmacists who are filling your prescriptions and to family members who are helping with your care.

Payment: We will use and disclose your health information for payment purposes.  For example, we may need to obtain authorization from your insurance company before providing certain types of treatment or disclose your information to payors to determine whether you are enrolled or eligible for benefits.  We will submit bills and maintain records of payments from your health plan.

Health Care Operations: We will use and disclose your health information to conduct our standard internal operations, including proper administration of records, evaluation of the quality of treatment, arranging for legal services and to assess the care and outcomes of your case and others like it.

Special Uses and DisclosuresAfter an office appointment, we may use your information to contact you with appointment reminders or to provide information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. We may also disclose relevant health information to a family member, friend or others involved in your care or payment for your care and disclose information to those assisting in disaster relief efforts.

Other Uses and DisclosuresWe may be required or permitted to use or disclose the information even without your permission as described below:

Required by law:  We may be required by law to disclose your information; such as to report gunshot wounds, suspected abuse or neglect, or similar injuries and events.
Research: We may use or disclose information for approved medical research.
Public Health Activities: We may disclose vital statistics, diseases, information related to recalls of dangerous products and similar information to public health authorities.
Health oversight: We may disclose information to assist in investigations and audits, eligibility for government programs, and similar activities.
Judicial and administrative proceedings: We may disclose information in response to an appropriate subpoena, discovery request or court order.
Law enforcement purposes:  We may disclose information needed or requested by law enforcement officials or to report a crime on our premises.
Deaths:  We may disclose information regarding deaths to coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors, and organ donation agencies.
Serious threat to health or safety:  We may use and disclose information when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.
Military and Special Government Functions:  If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release information as required by military command authorities.  We may also disclose information to correctional institutions or for national security purposes.
Workers Compensation:  We may release information about you for workers compensation or similar programs providing benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Business Associates:  We may disclose your health information to business associates (individuals or entities that perform functions on our behalf) provided they agree to safeguard the information.
Messages: We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or for billing or collections and may leave messages on your answering machine, voicemail or through other methods.

In any other situation, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing identifiable health information about you.  If you choose to sign an authorization to disclose information, you can later revoke that authorization to stop any future uses and disclosures.  Subject to compliance with limited exceptions, we will not use or disclose psychotherapy notes, use or disclose your health information for marketing purposes or sell your health information, unless you have signed an authorization.

Individual RightsYou have the following rights with regard to your health information. Please contact the Contact Person listed below to obtain the appropriate form for exercising these rights.

  • You may request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures. We are not required to agree to a requested restriction, except requests to limit disclosures to your health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations when you have paid in full, out-of-pocket for the item or service covered by the request and when the use or disclosure is not required by law.
  • You may ask us to communicate with you confidentially by, for example, sending notices to a special address or not using postcards to remind you of appointments.
  • In most cases, you have the right to look at or get a copy of your health information. There may be a small charge for copies.
  • You have the right to request that we amend your information.
  • You may request a list of disclosures of information about you for reasons other than treatment, payment or health care operations and except for other exceptions.
  • You have the right to obtain a paper copy of the current version of this Notice upon request, even if you have previously agreed to receive it electronically.

Our Legal DutyWe are required by law to protect and maintain the privacy of your health information, to provide this Notice about our legal duties and privacy practices regarding protected health information, and to abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect. We are required to notify affected individuals in the event of a breach involving unsecured protected health information.

Changes in Privacy NoticeWe may change this Notice at any time and make the new terms effective for all health information we hold.  The effective date of this Notice is listed at the bottom of the page.  If we change our Notice, we will post the new Notice in the waiting area. For more information about our privacy practices, contact the person listed below.

ComplaintsIf you are concerned that we have violated your privacy rights, you may contact the person listed below.  You may also send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The person listed below will provide you with the appropriate address upon request. You will not be penalized in any way for filing a complaint.

Contact PersonIf you have any questions, requests or complaints, please contact:
Frances Lange
flange@gihealthcare.com
Effective Date of Notice: Sept. 1, 2013

 

Endoscopy Center Privacy Notice

This Notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

Patient Health InformationUnder federal law, your patient health information is protected and confidential. Patient health information includes information about your systems, test results, diagnosis, treatment and related medical information. Your health information also includes payment, billing and insurance information. Your information may be stored electronically and if so is subject to electronic disclosure.

How We Use & Disclose Your Patient Health InformationTreatment: We will use and disclose your health information to provide you with medical treatment or services. For example, nurses, physicians and other members of your treatment team will record information in your record and use it to determine the most appropriate course of care. We may also disclose the information to other health care providers who are participating in your treatment, to pharmacists who are filling your prescriptions and to family members who are helping with your care.

Payment: We will use and disclose your health information for payment purposes. For example, we may need to obtain authorization from your insurance company before providing certain types of treatment or disclose your information to payors to determine whether you are enrolled or eligible for benefits. We will submit bills and maintain records of payments from your health plan.

Health Care Operations: We will use and disclose your health information to conduct our standard internal operations, including proper administration of records, evaluation of the quality of treatment, arranging for legal services and to assess the care and outcomes of your case and others like it.

Special Uses and DisclosuresAfter an office appointment, we may use your information to contact you with appointment reminders or to provide information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. We may also disclose relevant health information to a family member, friend or others involved in your care or payment for your care and disclose information to those assisting in disaster relief efforts.

Other Uses and DisclosuresWe may be required or permitted to use or disclose the information even without your permission as described below:

Required by law: We may be required by law to disclose your information; such as to report gunshot wounds, suspected abuse or neglect, or similar injuries and events.
Research: We may use or disclose information for approved medical research.
Public Health Activities: We may disclose vital statistics, diseases, information related to recalls of dangerous products and similar information to public health authorities.
Health oversight: We may disclose information to assist in investigations and audits, eligibility for government programs, and similar activities.
Judicial and administrative proceedings: We may disclose information in response to an appropriate subpoena, discovery request or court order.
Law enforcement purposes: We may disclose information needed or requested by law enforcement officials or to report a crime on our premises.
Deaths: We may disclose information regarding deaths to coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors and organ donation agencies.
Serious threat to health or safety: We may use and disclose information when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.
Military and Special Government Functions: If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release information as required by military command authorities. We may also disclose information to correctional institutions or for national security purposes.
Workers’ Compensation: We may release information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs providing benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Business Associates: We may disclose your health information to business associates (individuals or entities that perform functions on our behalf) provided they agree to safeguard the information.
Messages: We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or for billing or collections and may leave messages on your answering machine, voicemail or through other methods.

In any other situation, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing identifiable health information about you. If you choose to sign an authorization to disclose information, you can later revoke that authorization to stop any future uses and disclosures. Subject to compliance with limited exceptions, we will not use or disclose psychotherapy notes, use or disclose your health information for marketing purposes or sell your health information, unless you have signed an authorization.

Individual RightsYou have the following rights with regard to your health information. Please contact the Contact Person listed below to obtain the appropriate form for exercising these rights.

  • You may ask us to communicate with you confidentially by, for example, sending notices to a special address or not using postcards to remind you of appointments.
  • In most cases, you have the right to look at or get a copy of your health information. There may be a small charge for copies.
  • You have the right to request that we amend your information.
  • You may request a list of disclosures of information about you for reasons other than treatment, payment or health care operations and except for other exceptions.
  • You have the right to obtain a paper copy of the current version of this Notice upon request, even if you have previously agreed to receive it electronically.

Our Legal DutyWe are required by law to protect and maintain the privacy of your health information, to provide this Notice about our legal duties and privacy practices regarding protected health information, and to abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect. We are required to notify affected individuals in the event of a breach involving unsecured protected health information.

Changes in Privacy NoticesWe may change this Notice at any time and make the new terms effective for all health information we hold. The effective date of this Notice is listed at the bottom of the page. If we change our Notice, we will post the new Notice in the waiting area. For more information about our privacy practices, contact the person listed below.

ComplaintsIf you are concerned that we have violated your privacy rights, you may contact the person listed below. You may also send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The person listed below will provide you with the appropriate address upon request. You will not be penalized in any way for filing a complaint.

Contact PersonIf you have any questions, requests, or complaints, please contact:
Frances Lange
flange@gihealthcare.com
Effective Date of Notice: Sept. 1, 2013