This notice describes how information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.
IntroductionAt Associates in Medicine P.A., we are committed to using your protected health information responsibly. This notice describes the personal information we collect, and how and when we use or disclose that information. It also describes your rights as they relate to your protected health information as defined by federal regulations.
Understanding Your Medical Record/Health InformationEach time you visit Associates in Medicine, P.A., a record of your visit is made. Typically this record contains information about your visit, including your examination, diagnoses, test results, and treatment, as well as other pertinent healthcare data. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as:
- A basis for planning your healthcare and treatment.
- A means of communication with other healthcare professionals involved in your care.
- A legal document outlining and describing the care you received.
- A tool that you, or another payer (your insurance company) will use to verify that services billed were actually provided.
- An education tool for medical health providers.
- A resource for medical research.
- A basis for public health officials who might use this information to assess and/or improve state as well as national healthcare standards.
- A source of data for planning and/or marketing.
- A tool that we can reference to ensure the highest satisfaction.
Your RightsYou have certain rights under the federal privacy standards. These include:
- The right to request restrictions on the use and disclosure of your protected health information.
- The right to receive confidential communications concerning your medical condition and treatment.
- The right to inspect and copy your protected health information.
- The right to receive a list of how and to whom your protected health information has been disclosed.
- The right to receive a copy of this notice.
Our ResponsibilitiesAssociates in Medicine P.A. is required to:
- Maintain the privacy of your health information.
- Provide you with this notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you.
- Abide by the terms of this notice.
- Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction.
- Accommodate reasonable requests you have regarding communication of health information via alternative means and location.
We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice. We will also discontinue to use or disclose your health information after we have received a written revocation of the authorization according to procedures included in the authorization.
How We May Use And/Or Disclose Your Health InformationWe will use your information for treatment.
Your health information may be used by staff members or disclosed to other health care professionals for the purpose of evaluating your health, diagnosing medical conditions, and providing treatment. For example, results of laboratory tests and procedures will be available in your medical record to all health professionals who may provide treatment or who may be consulted by staff members.
We will use your information for payment.
Your health plan may request and receive information on dates of service, the services provided, and the medical condition being treated in order to pay for the service rendered to you.
We will use your information for regular health operations.
Your health information may be used as a resource to support the day-to-day activities and management of Associates in Medicine P.A. For example, information on the services you received may be used to support budgeting and financial reporting, and activities to evaluate and promote quality.
In some instances, we have contracted separate entities to provide services for us. These associates require your health information in order to accomplish the tasks that we ask them to provide. Some examples of these business associates might be a billing service, collection agency, answering services and computer software/hardware provider.
Communication with family.
Due to the nature of our field, we will use our best judgment when disclosing health information to a family member, other relatives, or any other person that is involved in your care or that you have authorized to receive this information.
Research/ Teaching/ Training.
We may use your information for the purpose of research, teaching and training.
Federal law requires us to release your information to an appropriate health oversight agency, public health authority or attorney, or other federal/state appointee if there are circumstances that require us to do so.
You may access your health information securely on the internet through the Associates in Medicine, P.A. Patient Portal.
Public health reporting.
Your health information may be disclosed to public health agencies as required by law.
Your health information may be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without your permission to support government audits and inspections, to facilitate law enforcement investigations, and to comply with government mandated reporting.
The practice may use your information to remind you about upcoming appointments. Typically, appointment reminders are sent by mail in a closed envelope or through a brief, non-specific message that may be left on your voicemail, sent by text message to your cellular phone or through e-mail. If you don’t approve of these methods, or if you prefer alternative methods, please inform the practice.
Other uses and disclosures.
Disclosure of your health information or its use for any purpose other than those listed above, requires your specific written authorization. If you change your mind after authorizing a use or disclosure of your information you may submit a written revocation of the authorization. However, your decision to revoke the authorization will not affect or undo any use or disclosure of information that occurred before you notified us of your decision.
For More Information or to Report a ProblemIf you have complaints, questions, or would like additional information regarding this notice or the privacy practices of Associates in Medicine, P.A., please contact:
Associate in Medicine, P.A.
4543 Post Oak Place Dr Ste. 105
Houston, TX 77027
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, please contact the aforementioned practice Privacy Officer, or, you may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint with either the Privacy Officer or with the Office of Civil Rights. The address for the Office for Civil Rights is listed below:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C., 20201