Honoring your privacy is important to Neuropath, LLC. We are committed to protecting your medical information.
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
This Notice of Privacy Practices is being provided to you as a requirement of a federal law, the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This Notice describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control your protected health information. “Protected health information” is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services. References in this Notice to “we” and “us” include Neuropath, LLC, healthcare professionals employed by Neuropath who are allowed to enter or access information in your medical record, and our employees or contractors with access to your medical or billing records or health information.
We are committed to protecting your privacy and understand that your health information is personal. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information, to provide individuals this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information, and to notify you in the event of a breach of unsecured protected health information. We are required by law to abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect. However, we reserve the right to change the terms of the privacy practices described in this Notice and to make new provisions effective for all protected health information that we maintain, including protected health information that was obtained or created prior to the effective date of the current Notice. Should we make a material change to the privacy practices described in this Notice, we will update this Notice and post the new version to our website.
1. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
Your protected health information may be used and disclosed by us for the purpose of providing health care services to you, obtaining payment and conducting health care services and operations. Your protected health information may be used and disclosed only for these purposes unless you have provided an authorization to either us or the facility where you have your surgery, or the use or disclosure is otherwise permitted under applicable law or the health information privacy law (“HIPAA”).
Treatment: We use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate or manage your health care and any related services. This includes the coordination or management of your health care with another provider. For example, in the provision of professional and technical intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring services we would disclose protected health information to and/or consult with other physicians who may be treating you regarding your surgical procedure and medical condition.
Payment: Your protected health information is used and disclosed to obtain payment for the services we provide. For example, we may disclose protected health information to your health insurance plan to obtain prior approval of payment for the services your surgeon has requested us to provide, and to determine eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits.
Health Care Operations: We may use or disclose, as needed, your protected health information as part of Neuropath’s health care operations, to facilitate the provision of quality care to our patients. For example, we may use or disclose your protected health information to conduct quality assessment and performance improvement activities, employee review activities, training programs, licensing or credentialing activities, compliance reviews, hospital peer reviews, legal services, maintaining compliance programs and general management and administrative activities. In certain situations, we may also disclose patient information to another provider or health plan for their health care operations.
Service Providers: We may share your protected health information with third party business partners or associates that perform various activities on our behalf. For example, we may share your protected health information with businesses that provide us with billing or management services. If an arrangement with a business associate involves the use or disclosure of your protected health information, we will have a business associate agreement in place that requires the recipient to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
2. Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information That May Be Made Without Your Authorization or Opportunity to Agree or Object
We may use or disclose your protected health information in some situations allowed by HIPAA, without your authorization or providing you the opportunity to agree or object. Examples of situations in which we may use and disclose your protected health information without your authorization or providing you an opportunity to agree include:
- When legally required by law. When we are required to disclose your protected health information by any federal, state or local law, or to comply with federal, state or local laws, we will do so.
- When there are risks to public health, including activities relating to preventing disease; preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety; reporting events such as birth or death, conducting public health surveillance or investigations, as permitted by law; notifying a person who has been exposed or may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease, as permitted by law; reporting to an employer information about an individual who is a member of the workforce as legally permitted or required.
- For research, when the research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your protected health information.
- In connection with the activities of a health oversight agency, such as audits, investigations and inspections.
- If we believe we are required to report that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
- For reporting on the quality, safety, or effectiveness of FDA-regulated products or activities (including reporting adverse reactions to medications or helping with product recalls).
- For law enforcement purposes or to address workers’ compensation claims, or in response to other government requests.
- In response to a subpoena, court order, court-ordered warrant, summons or similar process.
- To the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if they request it.
- For law enforcement purposes including reporting certain types of wounds or other physical injuries as required by law; for the purpose of locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person; under certain limited circumstances, when you are a victim of a crime; in an emergency to report a crime; to a law enforcement official if a reasonable suspicion exists that your health condition was the result of criminal conduct.
If you are involved in a lawsuit, dispute or a claim, we may disclose protected health information in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, claim investigation or other lawful process. In many of these situations, we have to meet certain conditions set forth under applicable law before we can use or share your protected health information. There are some uses and disclosures of protected health information that HIPAA allows us to make, but that generally do not come up in the provision of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring services. Although we are allowed to use and disclose your protected health information in response to organ and tissue donation requests, to work with a medical examiner or funeral director, and for fundraising purposes, we have not used or disclosed protected health information for these purposes in the past, and do not anticipate doing so in the future.
3. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Requiring No Authorization – You Have the Opportunity to Object
We may disclose your protected health information to your family member or a close personal friend if it is directly relevant to the person’s involvement in your surgery or payment related to your surgery. We may also disclose your information in connection with trying to locate or notify family members or others involved in your care concerning your location, condition or death.
You may object to these disclosures. If you are in an emergency situation, are not present, or are incapacitated, we may use our professional judgment to decide whether disclosing your protected health information to a family member or close personal friend involved in your care is in your best interests. If we do disclose your protected health information in such a situation, we would only disclose information that is directly relevant to such person’s involvement with your treatment or payment for treatment.
If you do not object to these disclosures or we infer from the circumstances that you do not object or we determine, in the exercise of our professional judgment, that it is in your best interests for us to disclose protected health information that is directly relevant to the person’s involvement with your care, we may disclose your protected information as described.
4. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information That You Authorize
Other than as stated above, we will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. You may revoke your authorization in writing at any time, except to the extent that we have taken action in reliance upon the authorization.
5. Your Individual Rights
You have the following rights regarding your protected health information:
Make a complaint or contact us for further information. You may complain to us or to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us. You may file a complaint with us by notifying our Privacy Officer of your complaint at the contact information provided below. You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
Be notified of a breach of unsecured protected health information, if you are affected. Should a breach occur, you will be notified as required by, and in a manner consistent with, applicable law.
Inspect and copy your protected health information. You may inspect and obtain a copy of protected health information about you that is contained in a designated record set for so long as we maintain the protected health information. You may obtain your medical record that contains medical and billing records. As permitted by federal or state law, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for providing these copies.
Request a restriction on uses and disclosures of your protected health information. You can ask us not to use or disclose certain parts of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations. You may also request that we not disclose your health information to family members of friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice. Your request needs to state the specific restriction requested and to whom the restrictions apply. We are not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. We will notify you if we deny your request to a restriction. If we agree to the requested restriction, or the restriction relates to items or services for which you (or someone acting for you) paid out-of-pocket in full, we may not use or disclose your protected health information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment. With this in mind, please discuss any restriction you wish to request with your physician. You may request a restriction by contacting our Privacy Officer.
Request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. You have the right to request that we communicate with you in certain ways. We will accommodate reasonable requests. We may also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request. Please make this request in writing to our Privacy Officer.
Right to amend or correct your protected health information maintained in a designated record set. You may request an amendment of protected health information about you in a designated record set for so long as we maintain this information. If you desire to amend your records, please notify the Privacy Officer in writing of your request, including a reason to support the requested amendments, and submit it to the Privacy Office identified below. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. We will comply with your request unless we believe that the information that would be amended is accurate and complete or other special circumstances apply. Please contact our Privacy Officer if you have questions about amending your medical record.
Right to receive an accounting of disclosures, if any, of your protected health information. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or health care operations as described in this Notice. It excludes disclosures we may have made to you if you authorized us to make the disclosure, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes, for national security or intelligence, to law enforcement (as provided in the privacy rule) or correctional facilities, or as part of a limited data set disclosure. You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures that occur prior to the date of your request provided such period does not exceed six years. We will provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
Choose someone to act for you. If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
If you have any questions about the rights listed above, or you would like to exercise any of your rights, please contact our Privacy Officer.
6. Privacy Officer
Our contact person for all issues regarding patient privacy and your rights under the HIPAA regulations is the Privacy Officer. Information regarding matters covered by this Notice can be requested by contacting the Privacy Officer. You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this Notice. If at any time you would like a paper copy of our Notice, please contact our privacy officer for assistance, and a copy will be provided to you directly. If you feel that your privacy rights have been infringed by us you may submit a complaint to our Privacy Officer by sending it to:
ATTN: Privacy Officer c/o Neuropath, LLC
5825 Glenridge Drive
Building 3, Suite 101
Atlanta, GA 30328
The effective date of this Notice is December 15th, 2014.