Alabama Allergy and Asthma Clinic PC  
     
     
Patient Privacy
Patient Privacy
HIPAA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES Effective Date (April 14, 2003)

Alabama Allergy and Asthma Clinic, P.C. Notice of Privacy Practices

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. If you have any questions about this Notice please contact our Privacy Officer at 334-272-6062. This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your health information to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control your health information. "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 or condition and related health care services. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you with this Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information. We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We may change the terms of our notice, at any time, and reserve the right to do so. The new notice will be effective for all protected health information that we maintain at that time. We will provide you with any revised Notice of Privacy Practices by your accessing our website www.eallergy.yourmd.com, calling the office and requesting that a revised copy be sent to you in the mail, or asking for one at the time of your next appointment. Uses and disclosures of health information for treatment, payment and health care operations We will use your health information as part of rendering patient care, including treatment, payment and health care operations. The following are some, but not all, examples of the types of uses and disclosures that may be made by us. Treatment: We will use and disclose your health information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. For example, we would disclose your health information, as necessary, to a medical equipment company that provides care or supplies to you. Your health information will also be provided to a physician who referred you to our office or to a physician or medical center where we may refer you to for continuing treatment. This will ensure that the other physician has the necessary information to diagnose or to treat you. Payment: Your health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. For example, obtaining approval for a hospital stay may require that your relevant health information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the hospital admission. Also, we may send a bill to you or your health plan that identifies you as well as your diagnosis and treatment. Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose, as needed, your health information in order to support the business activities of your physician's practice. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training of medical residents, licensing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities. For example, we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name and indicate your physician. We may also call you by name in the waiting room when your physician is ready to see you. We will share your health information with third party "business associates" that perform various activities (e.g., transcription services) for the practice. Whenever an arrangement between our office and a business associate involves the use or disclosure of your protected health information, we will have a written contract that contains terms that will protect the privacy of your protected health information. In addition, we may contact you by phone or postcard to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health- related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. 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 research activities supported by our office. Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information will be made only with your written authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law as described below. You may revoke an authorization, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that our practice has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization. Permitted uses and disclosures of protected health information that may require an objection We may use or disclose your protected health information in the following situations unless you object to the use and/or disclosure. These situations include: Limited use or disclosure when you are not present: If you are not present or able to agree or object to the use or disclosure of the protected health information because of incapacity or emergency circumstances, then your physician may, using professional judgment, determine whether the disclosure is in your best interest. In this case, only the protected health information that is relevant to your health care will be disclosed. This would also include during natural disasters and emergency treatment situations.Family and Friends: Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, 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. Notification. Unless you object, we may use or disclose your health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care of your location, general condition or death. Other permitted and required uses and disclosures that may be made without your authorization or opportunity to object We may use or disclose your health information in the following situations without your authorization or opportunity to agree or object. These situations include: Required By Law: We may use or disclose your health information to the extent that such use or disclosure is required by law. You will be notified, if required by law, of any such uses or disclosures. Public Health: We may use or disclose your health information for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. We may also disclose your protected health information, if directed by the public health authority, to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority. Health Oversight: We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws. Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. This would also include your information if we believe you to have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. Food and Drug Administration: We may disclose your health information to comply with requirements of the FDA to report adverse events, product defects or problems, track products; to enable product recalls; to make repairs or replacements; or to conduct post marketing surveillance, as required. Legal Proceedings: We may disclose health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court, or to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process. Law Enforcement: We may also disclose health information for law enforcement purposes. These law enforcement purposes include: (1) legal processes and otherwise required by law; (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes; (3) pertaining to victims of a crime; (4) suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct; (5) in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of the practice; and (6) a medical emergency (not on the practice's premises) and it is likely that a crime has occurred. Coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors: We may disclose health information to a coroner or medical examiner or a funeral director for purposes of allowing them to do their job and carry out their duties.Organ, eye or tissue donation: Health information may be used and disclosed to organ procurement organizations or other entities involved in the procurement, banking or transplantation for organ, eye or tissue donation purposes. Research: We may disclose your health information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information. Serious threat to health or safety: We may use your health information if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public and is to a person(s) reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat or if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or to apprehend an individual. Military activity: When the appropriate conditions apply, we may use or disclose protected health information of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel: (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for separation or discharge from military service; (3) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits; or (4) to foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military services. Workers' Compensation: Your health information may be disclosed by us as authorized to comply with workers' compensation laws and other similar legally-established programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness without regard to fault. Communicable Diseases: We may disclose your health information, according to state law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition. Your Rights-The following is a statement of your rights with respect to your protected health information. You have the right to request a restriction of your health information. You may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your health information for the purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You may also request that any part of your health information not be disclosed to family members, friends or any other person who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. We are not required to agree to a restriction that you request. If we do agree to the requested restriction, we may not use or disclose your health information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment. With this in mind, please discuss any restriction you wish to request with your physician. You may request a restriction after discussing this concern with your physician and mailing it to our office at 4284 Lomac Street, Montgomery, AL 36106 to the attention of the Privacy Officer. You have the right to receive communications concerning your health information in a confidential manner. We will accommodate reasonable requests by you to receive communications of health information by an alternative means or at alternative locations. We may condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request. You may request the ability to receive communications by an alternative means by putting your request in writing and mailing it to our office at 4284 Lomac Street, Montgomery, AL 36106 to the attention of the practice manager. You have the right to inspect and copy your health information. You may inspect and obtain a copy of health information about you that is contained in a "designated record set" for as long as we maintain the health information. A "designated record set" contains medical and billing records and any other records about you that your physician and the practice uses for making decisions about you. This right is subject to certain specific exceptions. For example, you may not inspect or copy the following records: psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding; and health information that is subject to law that prohibits access to such health information. If we deny your access to your health information, we will provide you with a reason for the basis of the denial. In some instances, a right to have a decision to deny access can be reviewed. You may be charged a reasonable fee for any copies of your records as allowed under state law. Contact our privacy officer if you have any questions about inspecting and copying your health information. You have the right to amend health information. You may request an amendment, in writing, o health information about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. Please contact our privacy officer if you have questions about amending your protect health information. You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your health information. You have a right to receive an accounting of disclosures we have made of your health information. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations. It excludes disclosures we may have made to you, those that were authorized by you or your personal representative, for a facility directory, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes. You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures during the last six years prior to the date of your request. You may request a shorter timeframe. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations. You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us, upon request, even if you have agreed to accept this notice electronically. Complaints You may complain to us or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us. You may file a complaint with us by notifying our privacy officer of your complaint. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. You may contact our Privacy Officer at 334-272-6062 or jrs072@att.net for further information about the complaint process. This notice was published and becomes effective April 14, 2003. J. Allen A Meadows 4284 Lomac St Montgomery, AL, 36106-2886 (334) 272-6062