The federal guidelines that further protect the privacy of your medical information are part of the comprehensive Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. These rules, which became effective on April 14, 2003, give you more control over, and knowledge about, who is using your medical information and for what purpose.
Will I receive a copy of my patient privacy rights?
You will receive, in person, a copy of our privacy notice. It describes how medical information about you or your child may be used, and how you may gain access to this information. During registration, you will be asked to sign an acknowledgement that states you have received the privacy notice.
When may we use and share your health information?
We may use health information about you or your child without your written permission for the limited purposes of:
- Treatment. This involves providing, managing and coordinating care to meet your needs. It may also involve sharing information with other providers, such as your own doctor or caregivers at other institutions.
- Payment. We share your health information with your insurance company as needed to bill for your care.
- Health-care operations. We use medical information to assess and improve quality of care and train our staff. We can also:
- Send announcements or call you about appointment reminders
- Contact you about patient care issues and treatment choices
- Tell you about services that may benefit and/or interest you
When else may we share your health information outside Universal Pediatrics without your written authorization?
- To allow business associates to assist us with treatment, payment or health-care operations
- To prevent or control disease, such as reporting infectious diseases to boards of health
- To communicate with law enforcement officers in certain situations
- Unless you tell us otherwise, to communicate with family and friends involved in your care
- When necessary, to comply with a subpoena, court order or other legal requirement
When must we obtain your written authorization to use and share your health information?
We need your written authorization to share your health information concerning certain types of care, such as:
- Treatments for sexually transmitted diseases
- HIV testing and/or test results
- Genetic testing and/or test results
- Substance abuse rehabilitation
- In general, sensitive information such as sexual assault counseling records or communication between you and a mental health provider
What are my patient rights?
You have the right to:
- Inspect and receive copies of your medical information, based on hospital policies and procedures.
- Request, in writing, changes to your health information. Your request will be reviewed based on hospital policy and procedure, however the hospital has the right to deny the request. A written statement will be provided regarding the decision.
- Request, in writing, that we limit how we use or share health information about you or your child. However, we may not be able to comply with all requests.
- Withdraw, in writing, any authority you have given to share your information. However, we won't be able to take back information we have previously given out.
- Request, in writing, and receive a record of times when we have shared your health information without your written permission except when related to treatment payment or health-care-operations.
What are Universal Pediatrics’ responsibilities?
The law requires us to:
- Maintain the privacy of health information about you or your child
- Provide the privacy notice of our duties, your rights and our privacy practices
- Follow the terms of our notice
- Notify you if we cannot continue honoring your request