The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal program that requires that all medical records and other individually identifiable health information used or disclosed by us in any form, whether electronically, on paper, or orally, are kept properly confidential. This Act gives the Patient, significant new rights to understand and control how your health information is used. HIPAA provides penalties for covered entities that misuse personal health information.
We have prepared this “Summary Notice of HIPAA Privacy Practices” to explain how we are required to maintain the privacy of your health information and how we may use and disclose your health information. A Notice of HIPAA Privacy Practices containing a more complete description of the uses and disclosures of your health information is available to you upon request.
We may use and disclose your medical records for each of the following purposes: treatment, payment, and health care operations:
TREATMENT means providing, coordinating, or managing health care and related services by one or more health care providers
PAYMENT means such activities as obtaining reimbursement for services, billing or collection activities and utilization review.
HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS include the business aspects of running our laboratory service practice, such as conducting quality assessment and improvement activities, auditing functions, cost-management analysis and customer service.
We may also create and distribute de-identified health information by removing all references to individually identifiable information.
We may contact you to provide laboratory draw site information or other health-related services that may be of interest to you.
Any other uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization. You may revoke such authorization in writing and we are required to honor and abide by that written request, except to the extent that we have already taken actions relying on y our authorization.
You have the following rights with respect to your protected health information, which you can exercise by presenting a written request:
1. You have the right to ask for restrictions on the ways we use and disclose your health information for treatment, payment and health care operations. You may also request that we limit our disclosures to persons assisting your care. We will consider your request, but are not required to accept it.
2. You have the right to request that you receive communications containing your protected health information fro us by alternative means or at alternative locations. For example, you may ask that we only contact you at home or by mail.
3. Except under certain circumstances, you have the right to inspect and copy medical, billing and other records used to make decisions about you. If you ask for copies of this information, we may charge you a nominal fee for copying and mailing.
4. If you believe that information in our records is incorrect or incomplete, you have the right to ask us to correct the existing information or add missing information. Under certain circumstances, we may deny your request, such as when the information is accurate and complete.
5. You have a right to receive a list of certain instances when we have used or disclosed your medical information. We are not required to include in the list uses and disclosures for your treatment before April 14, 2003 among others. If you ask for this information from us more than once every twelve months, we may charge you a fee.