SOUND CARE HEARING GROUP
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
This notice describes how health information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
Sound Care Hearing Group takes the privacy of our patients’ health information very seriously. We understand your medical information is personal to you, and we are committed to protecting this information on your behalf. Sound Care Hearing Group will not sell your health information to a third party for any reason.
OUR LEGAL DUTY
We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of your health information. We also are required to give you this Notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your health information. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this Notice while it is in effect. This Notice takes effect February 1, 2009, and will remain in effect until we replace it. We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time. We reserve the right to make the changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our Notice effective for all health information that we maintain, including health information we created or received before we made the changes. In the event we make a material change in our privacy practices, we will change this Notice and provide it to you upon request. You may request a copy of our Notice at any time.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION
We use and disclose health information about you for treatment, payment and healthcare operations. For example:
Treatment: We may use or disclose your health information to an audiologist, physician or other healthcare provider providing treatment to you for: a) the provision, coordination or management of health care and related services by health care providers; (b) consultation between health care providers relating to a patient; (c) the referral of a patient for health care from one health care provider to another; or (d) recall information.
Payment: We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services we provide to you. This may include: (a) billing and collection activities and related data processing; (b) actions by a health plan or insurer to obtain premiums or to determine or fulfill its responsibilities for coverage and provision of benefits under its health plan or insurance agreement, determinations of eligibility or coverage, adjudication or subrogation of health benefit claims; (c) medical necessity and appropriateness of care reviews, utilization review activities; and (d) disclosure to consumer reporting agencies of information relating to collection of premiums or reimbursement.
Healthcare Operations: We may use and disclose your health information in connection with our healthcare operations. Healthcare operations include things such as quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing the competence or qualifications of healthcare professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.
Your Authorization: In addition to our use of your health information for treatment, payment or healthcare operations, you may give us written authorization to use your health information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it was in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your health information for any reason except those described in this Notice.
Marketing Health Products or Services: We may provide you with information regarding products or services that we offer related to your health care needs. We may use or disclose your health information to provide you with appointment reminders (such as voicemail messages, postcards or letters) or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
To You, Your Family and Friends: We must disclose your health information to you, as described in the Patient Rights section of this Notice. We may disclose your health information to a family member, friend or other person to the extent necessary to help with your healthcare or with payment for your healthcare, but only if you agree that we may do so or, if you are not able to agree, if it is necessary in our professional judgment.
Persons Involved in Care: We may use or disclose health information to notify, or assist in the notification of (including identifying or locating) a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care, of your location, your general condition, or death. If you are present, then prior to use or disclosure of your health information, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to such uses or disclosures. In the event of your incapacity or emergency circumstances, we will disclose health information based on a determination using our professional judgment disclosing only health information that is directly relevant to the person’s involvement in your healthcare. We also will use our professional judgment and our experience with common practice to make reasonable inferences of your best interest in allowing a person to pick up filled prescriptions, medical supplies, diagnostic reports, or other similar forms of health information.
Required by Law: We may use or disclose your health information when we are required to do so by law, including for judicial and administrative proceedings.
Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence or the possible victim of other crimes. We may disclose your health information to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of others.
National Security: We may disclose to military authorities the health information of Armed Forces personnel under certain circumstances. We may disclose to authorize federal officials health information required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence and other national security activities. We may disclose to correctional institution or law enforcement official having lawful custody of protected health information of inmate or patient under certain circumstances.
Access: You have the right to review or get copies of your health information, with limited exceptions. You must make a request in writing to obtain access to your health information. If you prefer, we will prepare a summary or an explanation of your health information for a fee.
Disclosure Accounting: You have the right to receive a list of instances in which we or our business associates disclosed your health information for purposes, other than treatment, payment, healthcare operations, where you have provided an authorization and certain other activities, for the last 6 years, but not for disclosure made prior to February 1, 2009. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12 month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost based fee for responding to these additional requests.
Restriction: You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your health information. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in an emergency).
Alternative Communication: You have the right to request in writing that we communicate with you about your health information by alternative means or to alternative locations. Your request must specify the alternative means or location, and provide satisfactory explanation how payments will be handled under the alternative means or location you request.
Amendment: You have the right to request that we amend your health information. Your request must be in writing, and it must explain why the information should be amended. We may deny your request under certain circumstances.
Electronic Notice: If you receive this Notice on our website or by electronic mail (e-mail), you are entitled to receive this Notice in written form.
QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS
If you want more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, please contact us.
If you are concerned that we may have violated your privacy rights, you may complain to us using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice. You also may submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request.
We support your right to the privacy of your health information. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint with us or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Sound Care Hearing Group
HIPAA Privacy Officer
610 S. Maple Avenue, Suite 5300