NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Effective Date: September 23, 2013
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. This notice is provided to you as a requirement of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This notice describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment for health care operations and for other purposed that are permitted or required by law. Please review it carefully.
WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE
This notice describes the information privacy practices followed by our employees, staff and other personnel.
YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
This notice applies to the information and record we have about you, your health, health status, and the health care and services you received from Yosemite Pathology Medical Group, Inc. Your health information may include information created and received by Yosemite Pathology Medical Group, Inc., may be in the form of written or electronic records or spoken words, and may include information about your health history, health status, symptoms, examinations, test results, diagnoses, treatments, procedures, prescriptions, related billing activity and similar types of health related information. 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 may use and disclose health information for the following purposes:
For Treatment 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, 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 heart 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 organization may share information about you and disclose information to people who do not work for Yosemite Pathology Medical Group Inc. in order to coordinate your care, such as phoning in prescriptions to your pharmacy, scheduling lab work and ordering x-rays. Family members and other health care providers may be part of your medical care outside this office and may require information about you that we have. We will request your permission before sharing health information with your family or friends unless you are unable to give permission to such disclosure due to your health condition.
For Payment We may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and services you received at Yosemite Pathology Medical Group, Inc. 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 you plan will pay for the treatment.
For Health Care Operations We may use and disclose health information about you in order to run Yosemite Pathology Medical Group, Inc. and make sure that you and our other patients received 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 also disclose your health information to health plans that provide your insurance coverage and other health care provider that care for you. Our disclosure of your health information to plans and other providers may be for the purpose of helping these plan and provider provide or improve care, reduce cost, coordinate and manage health care and services, train staff and comply with the law.
We may use or disclose health information about you for the following purposes subject to all applicable legal requirement 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 may use and disclose health information about your when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
Military, Veterans, National Security and Intelligence. If you are or were a member of the armed forces, or part of the national 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.
Workers’ Compensation. 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, reaction 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.
Law Enforcement. We may release health information is 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.
Information Not Personally Identifiable. We may use or disclose health information about you in a way that does not personal 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 your verbal agreement to do so or if we give you an opportunity to object to such a disclosure and you do not raise an objection. We may also disclose health information to your family or friends if we can infer from the circumstances, based on our professional judgment that you would not object. For example, we may assume you agree to our disclosure of your personal health information to your spouse when you bring your spouse with you into the exam room or the hospital during treatment or while treatment is discussed. 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. For example, we may inform the person who accompanied you to the emergency room that you suffered a heart attack and provide updates on your progress and prognosis. 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. Examples of disclosures requiring your authorization include disclosures to your partner, your spouse, your children and your legal counsel.
USES AND DISCLOSURES THAT REQUIRE US TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT
Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your Protected Health Information 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 profession judgment. We may disclose your Protected Health Information to disaster relief organizations that seek your Protected Health Information to coordinate your care, or notify family and friends of your location or condition is a disaster. We will provide you with an opportunity to agree or object to such a disclosure whenever we practically can do so.
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 and copy your health information, such as medical and billing records, that we keep and use to make decisions about your care. You must submit a written request to Privacy Officer in order to inspect and/or copy records of your health information. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other associated supplies. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdrawn or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred. A modified request may include requesting a summary of your medical record. If you request to view a copy of your health information, we will not charge you for inspecting your health information. If you wish to inspect your health information, please submit your request in writing to Privacy Officer. You have the right to request a copy of your health information in electronic form; that we would provide through a secure e-mail service. We may deny your request to inspect and/or copy your record or parts of your record in certain limited circumstances. If you are denied copies of or access to, health information that we keep about you, you may ask that our denial be reviewed. If the law gives you a right to have our denial reviewed, 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 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 Yosemite Pathology Medical Group, Inc. To request an amendment, complete and submit a medical record amendment/correction form to Privacy Officer. We may deny your request for an amendment if your request is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny or partially 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 complete
If we deny or partially deny our request for amendment, you have the right to submit a rebuttal and request the rebuttal be made as part of your medical record. Your rebuttal needs to be three pages in length or less and we have the right to file a rebuttal responding to yours in your medical record. You also have the right to request that all documents associated with the amendment request (including rebuttal) be transmitted to any other party and time that portion of the medical record is disclosed.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an “accounting of disclosures.” This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you for the purposes other than treatment, payment, health care operations, when specifically authorized by you and a limited number of special circumstances involving national security, correctional institutions and law enforcement. To obtain this list, you must submit your request in writing to Privacy Officer. It must state a time period, which may not be longer than six years. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper, electronically). The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction of limitation of the health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for it, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a surgery you had.
We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment or we are required by law to use or disclose the information.
We are required to agree to your request if you pay for treatment, services, supplies and prescriptions “out of pocket” and you request the information not be communicated to your health plan for payment or health care operations purposes. There may be instances where we are required to release this information if required by law. To request restrictions, you may complete and submit the Request for Restriction on Use/Disclosure of Medical Information to Privacy Officer.
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 complete and submit the Request for Restriction on Use/Disclosure of Medical Information and/or confidential communication to Privacy Officer. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to contacted.
Right to a Paper Copy of this Notice. You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive it electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy. You may also find a copy of this Notice on our web site. www.ypmg.com Under Patient Privacy Rights. To obtain such a copy, contact Privacy Officer.
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. You are entitled to a copy of the notice currently in effect.
BREACH OF HEALTH INFORMATION
We will inform you if there is a breach of your unsecured health information
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our office or with the Secretary of the department of Health and Human services:
Office for Civil Right Region XI
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
90 7th Street, Suite 4-100
San Francisco, CA 94103
To file a complaint with Yosemite Pathology Medical Group, Inc., contact
Yosemite Pathology Medical Group, Inc.
4301 NorthStar Way
Modesto, CA 95356
You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.