THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED OR DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
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, to be kept properly confidential. This Act gives you, 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.
As required by HIPAA, Universal Spine & Joint Specialists (USJS) has prepared this explanation of how we are required to maintain the privacy of your health information and how we may use and disclose your health information as necessary to carry out treatment, payment, or healthcare operations relating to the organized.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION
USJS may use and disclose your protected health information for treatment, obtaining payment for treatment, and healthcare operations necessary to sustain our business.
Treatment means providing, coordinating, or managing health care and related services by one or more health care providers. An example of this would be: A physical examination or assessment.
Payment means such activities as obtaining reimbursement for services, confirmation coverage, billing or collection activities and utilization review. An example of this would be: We may provide information to your insurance company as needed to receive payment for services rendered to you. This may include, but is not limited to, diagnosis and treatment codes, treatment notes, and copies of documentation relevant to obtaining payment. Your insurance company, health plan, health insurance issuer or HMO with respect to a group health plan, may disclose protected health information to the sponsor of the plan.
Healthcare Operations includes the business aspects of running our practice, such as conducting quality assessment and improvement activities, auditing functions, cost-management analysis, and customer service. An example of this would be: We may use your personal information to contact you to remind you of an upcoming appointment, either by phone or by mail.
Some of the services we offer may be provided to you in a semi-private setting. For example, our Therapy Departments have an open-gym area that allow therapists and patients efficient access to equipment and modalities needed and shared by the department.
USJS may also use or disclose your protected health information without prior authorization for public health purposes, for auditing purposes, for research studies and for emergencies. We also provide information when required by law.
We may also create and distribute de-identified health information by removing all references to individually identifiable information.
In any other situation, USJS’s policy is to obtain your written authorization before disclosing your protected health information. If you provide us with a written authorization to release your information for any reason, you may later revoke that authorization to stop future disclosures at any time.
USJS may change its policy at any time. This amendment will affect all protected health information maintained by USJS. When changes are made, a new Notice of Patient Information Practices will be posted in the waiting room areas that will display the Effective Dates and any Revision Dates, and will be provided to you on your next visit. You may also request an updated copy of our current Notice of Patient Information Practices at any time.
PATIENT’S INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
- You have the following rights with respect to your protected health information, which you can exercise by presenting a written request to the Privacy Officer:
- You have the right to review or obtain a copy of your protected health information at any time.
- You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information, including those related to disclosure of family member, other relatives, close personal friends or any other person identified by you. We are, however, not required to agree to a requested restriction. If we do agree to a restriction, we must abide by it unless you agree in writing to remove it. You may also request in writing that we not use or disclose your protected health information for treatment, payment and administrative purposes except when specifically authorized by you, when required by law or in emergency circumstances. USJS will consider all such requests on a case-by-case basis, but the practice is not legally required to accept them.
- You have the right to request that we amend your protected health information.
- You also have the right to request a list of instances where we have disclosed your protected health information for reasons other than treatment, payment or other related administrative purposes. You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us upon request.
COLLECTION OF INFORMATION
We collect personally identifiable information such as names, postal addresses, email addresses, etc., when voluntarily submitted by our visitors. The information you provide is used to fulfill your request for an appointment, to make a payment on your account, or for consideration of employment. This information is only used to fulfill your specific request.
DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION
We may share information with governmental agencies or other companies assisting us in fraud prevention or investigation. We may do so when: (1) permitted or required by law, (2) trying to protect against or prevent actual or potential fraud or unauthorized transactions, or (3) investigating fraud which has already taken place. No information is provided to any third parties for marketing purposes.
COMMITMENT TO DATA SECURITY
Your personally identifiable information is kept secure. Only authorized employees and agents who have agreed to keep information secure and confidential, have access to this information.
CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS
If you are concerned that USJS may have violated your privacy rights or if you disagree with any decisions we have made regarding access or disclosure of your protected health information, please contact our Privacy Officer at the address listed below. It is our intent to protect and keep your protected health information confidential. Your alerting us of any concerns you may have is a necessary part of a continuous quality process we employ. You will, in no way, be retaliated against for filing a complaint. You may also send a written complaint to the US Department of Health and Human Services. For further information on USJS’s health information practices or if you have a complaint, please contact the following person:
Universal Spine & Joint Specialists
8318 North Habana Ave
Tampa FL, 33614