PRIVACY POLICY NOTICE:

PRIVACY NOTICE

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THAT INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.

This Notice of Privacy describes how we may use and disclose your Protected Health Information (PHI) to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations (TPO) and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law.  It also describes your rights to access and control your PHI.  “Protected Health Information” is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health condition and related health care services.

CONSENT

1.                  THE PRACTICE MAY USE AND/OR DISCLOSE YOUR PHI PROVIDED THAT IT FIRST OBTAINS A VALID CONSENT SIGNED BY YOU.  THE CONSENT WILL ALLOW THE PRACTICE TO USE AND/OR DISCLOSE YOUR PHI FOR THE PURPOSES OF:

(a)    Treatment -We may use and disclose your personal information to provide you with treatment or services. For example, we may use your health information to prescribe a course of treatment or make a referral. We will record your current healthcare information in a record so, in the future, we can see your medical history to help in diagnosing and treatment, or to determine how well you are responding to treatment. We may provide your health information to other health providers, such as referring or specialist physicians, to assist in your treatment. Should you ever be hospitalized, we may provide the hospital or its staff with the health information it requires to provide you with effective treatment.

(b)   Payment – We may use and disclose your health information so that we may bill and collect payment for the services that we provided to you. For example, we may contact your health insurer to verify your eligibility for benefits, and may need to disclose to it some details of your medical condition or expected course of treatment. We may use or disclose your information so that a bill may be sent to you, your health insurer, or a family member. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you and your diagnosis, as well as services rendered, any procedures performed, and supplies used. Also, we may provide health information to another health care provider, such as an ambulance company that transported you to our office, to assist in their billing and collection efforts.

(c)    Health Care Operations – We may use and disclose your health information to assist in the operation of our practice. For example, members of our staff may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it as part of a continuous effort to improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and services we provide. We may use and disclose your health information to conduct cost‐management and business planning activities for our practice. We may also provide such information to other health care entities for their health care operations. For example, we may provide information to your health insurer for its quality review purposes.

NO CONSENT REQUIRED

1.                  THE PRACTICE MAY USE AND/OR DISCLOSE YOUR PHI, WITHOUT A WRITTEN CONSENT FROM YOU, IN THE FOLLOWING INSTANCES:

(a)    De-identified Information – Information that does not identify you and, even without your name, cannot be used to identify you.

(b)   Business Associate – To a business associate if the Practice obtains satisfactory written assurance, in accordance with applicable law, that the business associate will appropriately safeguard your PHI.  A business associate is an entity that assists the Practice in undertaking some essential function, such as a billing company that assists the office in submitting claims for payment to insurance companies or other payers.

(c)    Personal Representative – To a person who, under applicable law, has the authority to represent you in making decisions related to your health care.

(d)   Emergency Situations –

(i)                 For the purpose of obtaining or rendering emergency treatment to you provided that the Practice attempts to obtain your Consent as soon as possible; or

(ii)               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.

(e)    Communication Barriers – If, due to substantial communication barriers or inability to communicate, the Practice has been unable to obtain your Consent and the Practice determines, in the exercise of its professional judgment, that your Consent to receive treatment is clearly inferred from the circumstances.

(f)    Public Health Activities - Such activities include, for example, information collected by a public health authority, as authorized by law, to prevent or control disease.

(g)   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 that the disclosure is necessary to prevent serious harm.

(h)   Health Oversight Activities - Such activities, which must be required by law, involve government agencies and may include, for example, criminal investigations, disciplinary actions, or general oversight activities relating to the community's health care system.

(i)     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. 

(j)     Law Enforcement Purposes - In certain instances, your PHI may have to be disclosed to a law enforcement official.  For example, your PHI may be the subject of a grand jury subpoena.  Or, the Practice may disclose your PHI if the Practice believes that your death was the result of criminal conduct. 

(k)   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. 

(l)     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.

(m)  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. 

(n)   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.

(o)   Specialized Government Functions - This refers to disclosures of PHI that relate primarily to military and veteran activity.

(p)   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.

(q)   National Security and Intelligence Activities – The Practice may disclose your PHI in order to provide authorized governmental officials with necessary intelligence information for national security activities and purposes authorized by law.

(r)     Military and Veterans – If you are a member of the armed forces, the Practice may disclose your PHI as required by the military command authorities.

(s)     Disaster Relief - We may disclose your health information in disaster relief situations where disaster relief organizations seek your health information to coordinate your care, or notify family and friends of your location and condition. We will provide you with an opportunity to agree or object to such a disclosure whenever we practicably can do so.

MARKETING

 In most circumstances, we are required by law to receive your written authorization before we use or disclose your health information for marketing purposes.  However, we may provide you with promotional gifts of nominal value. Under no circumstances will we sell our patient lists or your health information to a third party without your written authorization.

 WORKERS COMPENSATION

 We may disclose your health information to the extent authorized

by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or

other similar programs established by law.

NEWSLETTERS, EMAILS, AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

We may use your personal information in order to communicate to you via newsletters, mailings, or other means regarding treatment options, health related information, disease management programs, wellness programs, or other community based initiatives or activities in which our practice is participating.

APPOINTMENT REMINDER

The Practice may, from time to time, contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.  The following appointment reminders are used by the Practice: a) a postcard mailed to you at the address provided by you; and b) telephoning your home and leaving a message on your answering machine or with the individual answering the phone.

DIRECTORY/SIGN-IN LOG

The Practice maintains a directory of and sign-in log for individuals seeking care and treatment in the office. Directory and sign-in log are 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 Practice’s office suite.  This information may be seen by, and is accessible to, others who are seeking care or services in the Practice’s offices.

OPEN ADJUSTING ENVIROMENT

It is the practice of this office to provide chiropractic care in an “open-adjusting environment”. “Open Adjusting” involves several patients being seen in the same adjusting room at the same time.  Patients are within sight of one another and ongoing routine details of care are discussed within earshot of other patients and staff.  This environment also involves the therapy room. 

We are requesting this authorization of you due to various interpretations under Federal Law with respect to what is known as an “Incidental Disclosures” of health information.  It is our view that the kinds of matter related to an open adjusting environment are incidental matters.  In the event you or someone else would not agree with us.  We are providing this disclosure. 

The use of this format is intended to make your experience with our office more efficient and productive as well as enhance your access to quality health care and health information.  If you choose not to be adjusted in an open-adjusting environment, other arrangements will be made for you.  Your decision will have no adverse effect on your care from Lockport Chiropractic or on your relationship with our staff. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

It is the practice of this office to take a photograph(s) to use for patient files, posture programs and other assessment devices.  These photographs will not be used for display purposes in the office without consent but may be sent to insurance companies as part of your medical records.  It is up to the patient to inform Lockport Chiropractic if they do not want these photos included as part you’re your medical record. 

VIDEO RECORDINGS

It is the practice of this office to take video recordings for training purpose only.  These video recordings will not be used for display purposes in the office or be released to the public, but may be sent to practice management company (business associate) for training purposes.  It is up to the patient to inform Lockport Chiropractic if they do not want these video recordings to be part of our training. 

FAMILY/FRIENDS

The Practice may disclose to your family member, other relative, a close personal friend, or any other person identified by you, your PHI directly relevant to such person's involvement with your care or the payment for your care.  The Practice may also use or disclose your PHI to notify or assist in the notification (including identifying or locating) a family member, a personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, of your location, general condition or death.  However, in both cases, the following conditions will apply:

(a)    If you are present at or prior to the use or disclosure of your PHI, the Practice may use or disclose your PHI if you agree, or if the Practice can reasonably infer from the circumstances, based on the exercise of its professional judgment that you do not object to the use or disclosure.

(b)   If you are not present, the Practice will, in the exercise of professional judgment, determine whether the use or disclosure is in your best interests and, if so, disclose only the PHI that is directly relevant to the person's involvement with your care.

AUTHORIZATION

Uses and/or disclosures, other than those described above will be made only with your written Authorization.

Your Health Information Rights

The following are statements of your rights with respect to your protected health information.

  • Right to Obtain a Paper Copy of This Notice: You have the right to a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy.

  • Right to Inspect and Copy: You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes. To inspect and copy medical information, you must submit a written request to our privacy officer. We will supply you with a form for such a request. If you request a copy of your medical information, we may charge a reasonable fee for the costs of labor, postage, and supplies associated with your request. We may not charge you a fee if you require your medical information for a claim for benefits under the Social Security Act or any other state or federal needs-based benefit program.  If your medical information is maintained in an electronic health record, you also have the right to request that an electronic copy of your record be sent to you or to another individual or entity. We may charge you a reasonable cost based fee limited to the labor costs associated with transmitting the electronic health record.

  • Right to Amend: If you feel that medical 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 for as long as we retain the information.  To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to our privacy officer. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request.  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:

  • Right to an Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by us. In your accounting, we are not required to list certain disclosures, including:

  • Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical 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 medical information we communicate about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care. Except as noted above, we are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the restricted information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to our privacy officer. In your request, you must tell us what information you want to limit, whether you want to limit our use, disclosure, or both and to whom you want the limits to apply.

  • 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 e‐mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to our privacy officer.  We will accommodate all reasonable requests.

  • Right to Receive Notice of a Breach: We are required to notify you by first class mail or by email (if you have indicated a preference to receive information by e‐mail), of any breaches of Unsecured Protected Health Information as soon as possible, but in any event, no later than 60 days following the discovery of the breach. “Unsecured Protected Health Information” is information that is not secured through the use of a technology or methodology identified by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to render the Protected Health Information unusable, unreadable, and undecipherable to unauthorized users.

     • was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information no longer available to make the amendment;

• is not part of the medical information kept by or for Lockport Chiropractic;

• is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or

• is accurate and complete.

If we deny your request for amendment, you may submit a statement of disagreement. We may reasonably limit the length of this statement. Your letter of disagreement will be included in your medical record, but we may also include a rebuttal statement.

• disclosures made for treatment, payment, and health care operations purposes or

disclosures made incidental to treatment, payment, and health care operations, however,

if the disclosures were made through an electronic health record, you have the right to

request an accounting for such disclosures that were made during the previous 3 years;

• disclosures made pursuant to your authorization;

• disclosures made to create a limited data set;

• disclosures made directly to you.

To request an accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to our privacy officer. Your request must state a time period which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you would like the accounting of disclosures (for example, on paper or electronically by email). The first accounting of disclosures you request within any 12 month period will be free. For additional requests within the same period, we may charge you for the reasonable costs of providing the accounting of disclosures. We will notify you of the costs involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time, before any costs are incurred. Under limited circumstances mandated by federal and state law, we may temporarily deny your request for an accounting of disclosures.

Complaints

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. To file a complaint with us, or to obtain more information, you may contact our privacy officer Ausra Radcliffe, at (815) 838-9441.  All complaints must be submitted in writing and should be submitted within 180 days of when you knew or should have known that the alleged violation occurred, at 360 Summit Drive, Lockport, IL, 60441.

PRACTICE'S REQUIREMENTS

1.                  THE PRACTICE:

(a)    Is required by federal law to maintain the privacy of your PHI and to provide you with this Privacy Notice detailing the Practice's legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI. 

(b)   Is required by State law to maintain a higher level of confidentiality with respect to certain portions of your medical information that is provided for under federal law.  In particular, the Practice is required to comply with the following State statutes: Illinois.

(c)    Is required to abide by the terms of this Privacy Notice.

(d)   Reserves the right to change the terms of this Privacy Notice and to make the new Privacy Notice provisions effective for your entire PHI that it maintains.

(e)    Will distribute any revised Privacy Notice to you prior to implementation. 

(f)    Will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

EFFECTIVE DATE

This Notice is in effect as of 04/15/2003. Amended  8/4/2009

Amended 09/27/2012

 

(815) 838-9441

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