Patient Privacy Policy

HIPAA lnformation

The Health lnsurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provides safeguards to protect
your privacy. These safeguards include restrictions on who may see or be notified of your Protected
Health lnformation (PHl). These restrictions do not include the normal interchange of information necessary
to provide your or your family with treatment. HIPAA provides certain rights and protections to you as
the patient. We must balance these needs with our goal of providing you with quality service and care.

Additional information is available by calling the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services or at:
www.hhs.gov.

For this reason, our practice has adopted the following policies:


Statement of Privacy Practices

Our office is dedicated to protect the privacy rights of our patients and the confidential information entrusted to us. It is a requirement of this practice that every employee receive appropriate training and is dedicated to the principal concept that your health information shall never be compromised. We may, from time to time, amend our privacy policies and practices but will always inform you of any changes that might affect our obligations and your rights. 

Protecting your Healthcare Information 

We use and disclose the information we collect from you only as allowed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the state of Washington. This includes issues relating to your treatment, payment, and our health care operations.   Your personal health information will never be otherwise given or disclosed to anyone – even family members – without your consent or written authorization. You, of course, may give written authorization for us to disclose your information to anyone you choose, for any purpose. 

Our office and electronic systems are secure from unauthorized access and out employees are trained to make certain that the confidentiality, integrity, and access to your records is always protected. Our privacy policy and practices apply to all former, current, and future patients, so you can be confident that you protected health information will never be improperly disclosed or released.

 Collecting Protected Healthcare Information (PHI)

We will only request personal information needed to provide our standard of quality health care, implement payment activities, conduct normal health practice operations, and comply with the law. This may include your name, address, telephone number(s), Social Security Number, employment data, medical history, health records, etc. While most of the information will be collected from you, we may obtain information from third parties if it is deemed necessary. Regardless of the source, your personal information will always be protected to the full extent of the law.

 Disclosure of your Protected Healthcare Information

As stated above, we may disclose information as required by law. We are obligated to provide information to law enforcement and governmental officials under certain circumstances. We will not use your information for marketing or fund-raising purposes without your written consent. We may use and/or disclose your health information to communicate reminders about your appointments including voicemail messages, answering machines, and postcards unless you direct us otherwise. We will never use, disclose, sell, or otherwise allow access to your personal, protected information in exchange for or receipt of financial remuneration.

Any breach in the protection of your personal health information, including unauthorized acquisition, access, use, or disclosure, will be fully investigated, addressed, and mitigated as established by the HIPAA Privacy Breach Notification Rule. You have a right to and will be provided all information relating to any breach involving your personal PHI.

 Your rights as our Patient

You have a right to request copies of your healthcare information; to request copies in a variety of formats; and to request a list of instances in which we, or our business associates, have disclosed your protected information for uses other than stated above. All such requests must be in writing. We may charge for copies in an amount allowed by law. If you believe your rights have been violated, we urge you to notify us immediately. You can also notify the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 An expanded, and complete copy of our Statement of Privacy Practices, is available for your review below.

 


STATEMENT OF PRIVACY PRACTICES 

THIS STATEMENT OF PRIVACY PRACTICES DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

 

Oral Surgery Associates collects and maintains a record of the health care services we provide you. In keeping with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the State of Washington we are dedicated to protect your rights of privacy and the confidential information entrusted to us.

The commitment of each employee to ensure that your health information is never compromised is a principal concept of our practice. We will not disclose your protected health information unless you direct or authorize us to do so or unless it is otherwise allowed or compelled by law. We may, from time to time, amend our privacy policies and practices but will always inform you of any changes that might affect your rights.

You may see your record or get more information about it at “Your Individual Rights about Patient Health Information” section of the Notice. You may request to review and copy your personal record and you may also request that we make corrections to the record.

 Overview

Our Statement of Privacy Practices is currently in effect and provides information about the use and disclosure of protected health information by Oral Surgery Associates and our employees. It is applicable in all instances wherein individually identifiable health information is collected from you and services are provided for you. Our Statement:

Defines your rights and our obligations when using your health Information,

  1. Informs you about laws that provide special protections,
  2. Explains how your protected health information is used and how, under certain circumstances, it may be disclosed,
  3. Tells you how changes in this statement will be made available to you.

In synopsis form, you have a right to:

  1.  Request restricted use of your health information. (Please understand that we may not agree to your request),
  2. Request that we not disclose to your health plan of services for which you self-pay in full,
  3. Request that we communicate with you by alternate methods,
  4. Review and receive copies of your personal health record,
  5. Request for amendments and/or changes be made to your record,
  6. Request an accounting of disclosures of your health information,
  7. File complaints related to failure to protect of privacy of your health information,
  8. Direct us not to share information with your family members,
  9. Request that you not be listed in/on our facility directory.

 Protected Healthcare Information

It is important that you know not only that we limit requests for your personal information to that needed to provide quality health care, implement payment activities, and conduct normal health practice operations, but understand what “Protected Healthcare Information” is. This may include your name, address, telephone number(s), Social Security Number, employment data, medical history, health records, and/or any personal information that is unique to you.

While most of the information will be collected from you, we may obtain information from third parties if it is deemed necessary. Regardless of the source, your personal information will always be protected to the full extent of the law.

 

Protecting Your Personal Healthcare Information

We use and disclose the information we collect from you only as allowed be the HIPAA and the state of Washington. This includes when it is used and disclosed to perform treatment, obtain payment, and conduct operational activities. Your personal health information will never be otherwise given to anyone – even family members – without your written consent. You, of course, may give written authorization for us to disclose your information to anyone you choose, for any purpose.

Our Statement of Privacy Practices applies to all personal health information collected or created by Oral Surgery Associates or received from outside healthcare providers. This information may identify you, relate to your past, present or future physical or mental condition, the care provided, or any reference to payment for your health care.

For example, protected health information includes symptoms, test results, diagnoses, health information from other providers, as well as billing and payment information relating to these services. This information is protected because it is often part of your health or medical record, which we can use as: 

  1. A method of communication among health professionals who contribute to your care,
  2. A legal record describing the care you received,
  3. A means by which you can verify that services billed were provided,
  4. A tool to educate health professionals,
  5. A source of data for medical research,
  6. A source of information for public health officials,
  7. A source of information for facility planning,
  8. A tool to assess and improve the care we provide,
  9. A method by which we can provide a better understanding of your record,
  10. A method by which we can ensure your record’s accuracy,
  11. A system to assist you to more clearly understand the circumstances and conditions in and by which others may have access to your personal information.
  12. At tool for us to make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosures to others.

 

Use and Disclosure of your Protected Health Information – Without your Authorization

As stated above we may, under allowed circumstances use and disclose protected health information (PHI) without your specific authorization. Examples of such instances are included below:

Treatment:  We may use and disclose your PHI to provide treatment. For example, we can: 

  1. Use your information to find out whether certain tests, therapies, and medicines should be ordered,
  2. Provide your information to staff members to better understand what your healthcare needs are how to evaluate your response to treatment,
  3. Disclose your PHI to another one of your treatment providers in the in order to provide you with the best possible health care. 

Payment: We may use your health information for payment purposes. Such instances may include: 

  1. Preparation of claims for payment of services,
  2. Billing your insurance directly, including information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, the procedures performed, and supplies used so that we can be paid for the treatment provided,
  3. Collection activities (if necessary) to obtain payment for services. 

Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose your health information to support the daily activities related to health care. Examples include: 

  1. Use and disclosure to monitor and improve our health services.
  2. Use by authorized staff to review at portions of your record to perform administrative activities. 

Train Staff and Students: We may use and disclose your information to teach and train staff how to review patient health information. 

Contact You for Information: Your PHI may also be used to contact you. In example, we may call you or send you a letter to remind you about your appointment, provide test results, inform you about treatment options, or advise you about other health-related benefits and services. 

Business Associates: Your PHI may be used by Oral Surgery Associates and disclosed to individuals, organizations, or companies that us or to comply with our legal obligations as described in this Notice. An example is disclosure of your PHI to consultants, attorneys or third parties to assist in our business activities. All such entities must sign a Business Associate Agreement to protect the confidentiality of your private information. 

Additional Uses and Disclosures 

We also use and disclose your information to enhance health care services, protect patient safety,

safeguard public health, ensure that our facilities and staff comply with government and accreditation standards, and when otherwise compelled or allowed by law. For example, we provide or disclose information: 

  1. About FDA-regulated drugs and devices to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  2. To government oversight agencies with data for health oversight activities such as auditing or licensure.

  3. To public health authorities with information on communicable diseases and vital records.

  4. To your employer, findings relating to the evaluation of work-related illnesses or injuries.

  5. To workers’ compensation agencies and self-insured employers for work-related illness or injuries.

  6. To appropriate government agencies when we suspect abuse or neglect.

  7. To appropriate agencies or persons when we believe it necessary to avoid a serious threat to health or safety or to prevent serious harm.

  8. To organ procurement organizations to coordinate organ donation activities.

  9. To law enforcement when required or allowed by law, including the Office of Civil Rights to conduct OCR investigations.

  10. For court order or lawful subpoena.

  11. To coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors.

  12. To government officials when required for specifically identified functions such as national security.

  13. When otherwise required by law, such as to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services for purposes of determining compliance with our obligations to protect the privacy of your health information.

  14. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority. 

     

Your Rights to Object 

Disclosure to Family, Friends, or Others:  You may object to our disclosing your general health condition (“good”, “fair”, “critical”, etc.) to an individual, or individuals, you have identified who have an active interest in your care, payment for your health care, or who may need to notify others about your general condition, location, or death. If you do not so indicate, we will use our best professional judgment to provide relevant protected health information to your family member, friend, or another identified person.

Use and Disclosure Requiring Your Authorization

Our offices and electronic systems are secure from unauthorized access and our employees are trained to make certain that the confidentiality of your records is always protected. Our privacy policy and practices apply to all former, current, and future patients, so you can be confident that your protected health information will never be improperly disclosed or released.

Other than the uses and disclosures described above, we will not use or disclose your protected health information without your written authorization. You may revoke your written authorization, at any time unless prohibited by law, or disclosure is required for us to obtain payment for services already provided, or we have otherwise relied on the authorization.

 

Additional Protection of Your Patient Health Information

Special state and federal laws apply to certain classes of patient health information. For example, additional protections may apply to information about sexually transmitted diseases, drug and alcohol abuse treatment records, mental health records, and HIV/AIDS information. When required by law, we will obtain your authorization before releasing this type of information. 

 

Your Individual Rights about Patient Health Information

You may contact Oral Surgery Associates to exercise your rights related to the use and disclosure of your protected health information. You may contact us at:

Oral Surgery Associates  –  3924 Martin Way E  –  Olympia, WA 98506  –  Olympia Office Phone Number 360-456-8610

 

Your specific rights are listed include: 

  1. The right to request restricted use:  You may request in writing that we not use or disclose your information for treatment, payment, and/or operational activities except when authorized by you, when required by law, or in emergency circumstances. We are not legally required to agree to your request. If you request that we restrict the use of your private information, we will provide you with written notice of our decision about your request.

  2. The right to request non-disclosure to health plans:  You have the right to request in writing that health care items or services for which you self-pay for in full in advance of your visit not be disclosed to your health plan.

  3. The right to receive confidential communications:  You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a particular way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to the address above. We will grant all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.

  4. The right to inspect and receive copies:  In most cases, you have the right to inspect and receive a copy of certain health care information including certain medical and billing records. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request.

  5. The right to request an amendment to your record:  If you believe that information in your record is incorrect or that important information is missing, you have the right to request in writing that we make a correction or add information. In your request for the amendment, you must give a reason for the amendment. We are not required to agree to the amendment of your record, but a copy of your request will be added to your record.

  6. The right to know about disclosures:  You have the right to receive a list of instances in which we have disclosed your health information. Certain instances will not appear on the list, such as disclosures for treatment, payment, or health care operations or when you have authorized the use or disclosure. Your first accounting of disclosures in a calendar year is free of charge. Any additional request within the same calendar year requires a processing fee.

  7. The right to make complaints:  If you believe that we have violated your privacy, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your records, you may file a complaint directly to Oral Surgery Associates, using the contact information above. Neither Oral Surgery Associates, nor any employee of Oral Surgery Associates will retaliate against anyone for filing a complaint.

     

    You may also contact: 

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights: 2201 Sixth Avenue – Mail Stop RX-11 Seattle, WA 98121-1831 206-615-2290; 206-615-2296 (TTY) 206-615-2297 (fax) Toll free: 1-800-362-1710; 1-800-537-7697 (TTY)

     

    Breach Notification 

    If it is found that your patient information is used or disclosed in a manner that is not consistent with the practices described in this notice, Oral Surgery Associates will fully investigate the matter to assess if there was a breach in the protection of your PPE. The assessment will be conducted to determine whether the information that was used or disclosed has significant risk of physical, financial, or reputational harm to you. If so, Oral Surgery Associates will notify you and Health and Human Services in writing.

     

    Privacy Notice Changes 

    We are required by law to protect the privacy of your information, to provide this Statement of Privacy Practices and to follow the privacy practices that are described herein. We reserve the right to change the privacy practices described and the right to make the revised or changed Statement effective for protected health information we already have as well as any information we may receive in the future. 

    We have posted a copy of our current Statement for your review and reference. Additionally, each time you visit our office for treatment or health care services, you may request a copy of our current Statement of Privacy Practices.