1. OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION
The privacy of your medical information (also called “health information”) is important to us. We understand that your medical information is personal and we are committed to protecting it. We create a record of the care and services you receive at our organization. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice will tell you about the ways we may use and share medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain duties we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
2. OUR LEGAL DUTY
The Law Requires Us To:
a. Maintain the privacy of your health information through reasonable policies.
b. Give you this notice describing our legal duties, privacy practices, and your rights regarding your medical information.
c. Follow the terms of the current notice.
d. Let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your health information, as required by law. The law may not require notice to you in all cases. In some situations, even if the law does not require notification, we may choose to notify you.
We Have the Right To:
a. Change our privacy practices and the terms of this notice at any time, provided that the changes are permitted by law.
b. Make the changes in our privacy practices and make the new terms of our notice effective for all medical information that we maintain, including information previously created or received before the changes. If we make an important change in our privacy practices, we post the revised notice in our office, post it on our website and have it available in our office to take with you upon request.
3. USE AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION
This section describes ways that we use and disclose medical information. Although we cannot list every use or disclosure within a category, we are only permitted to use or disclose your medical information without your authorization if it falls within one of these categories. Any specific written authorization you provide may be revoked at any time in writing to us. If your health information contains information regarding your mental health or substance abuse treatment or certain infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS tests or results), we will comply with additional state law requirements as applicable to those types of information.
For Treatment: We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. For example, we can use and share your medical information with other professionals who are treating you, such as your primary care physician or a specialist.
For Payment: We may use and disclose your medical information for payment purposes. For example, a bill may be sent to you or a third party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include your medical information.
For Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose your medical information for our health care operations. For example, this might include measuring and improving quality, evaluating the performance of employees, conducting training programs, and obtaining certificates, licenses and credentials we need to serve you.
Additional Uses and Disclosures: In addition to using and disclosing your medical information for treatment, payment and health care operations, we may use and disclose medical information for the following purposes without your written authorization:
Appointment Reminders and Follow-Up Calls: We may use or disclose medical information to remind you that have an appointment or to check on you after you have received treatment. If you have an answering machine, we may leave a message. We may also send you appointment reminders.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment For Your Care: Unless you inform us that you object, we may disclose medical information to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care, who helps to take care of you or who helps to pay for your care. We may tell your family or friends your general condition. If you are not able to give or refuse permission due to incapacity or emergency circumstances, we may exercise our professional judgment to determine whether the disclosure is in your best interests and, if so, we will share only the health information that is directly relevant to such person’s involvement related to your health care or needed for notification purposes. We will also use our professional judgment and experience to make decisions in your best interest about allowing someone to act on your behalf to pick up medicine, medical supplies, x-ray or other similar forms of medical information.
Public Health Activities; Health Oversight and Other Government Functions: We may disclose health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability, including but not limited to public health activities, public health risks, product recalls, and adverse reactions to medications. If we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, we may notify the appropriate government authority (we will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.) We may also, when authorized by law to do so, notify a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition. We can also share health information to prevent or reduce a serious threat to someone’s health or safety. Further, we can use or share health information with health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law (such as for inspections, audits, investigations and licensure) and for special government functions such as regarding military, national security, protective services, and inmates. As permitted by HIPAA, we also may use and share medical information for disaster relief purposes, including with disaster relief organizations.
As Required By Law: We will use or disclose health information when required to do so by federal, state or local law, including if the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services wants to see that we are complying with federal privacy law.
Lawsuits and Legal Actions; Law Enforcement: We may disclose information in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, for law enforcement purposes or to law enforcement officials as permitted by HIPAA.
Workers Compensation and Disability Determination: We may disclose health information when authorized or necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation, disability determination, or for other authorized activities under similar programs.
Funeral Director, Coroner, and Medical Examiner; Organ/Tissue Donation: To help them carry out their duties, we may share the medical information of a person who dies with a coroner, medical examiner, funeral director or an organ or donor procurement organization.
Marketing, Newsletters and Fundraising; Affiliates and Vendors: We do not use medical information to market a third party’s products or services. Also, we do not share medical information with third parties for them to market their products or services to you. We do not sell, rent or lease medical information. We may use medical information to contact and send information to current and former patients, including possible treatment options, alternatives or other health related benefits or services that may interest them, to send newsletters or for fundraising as permitted by HIPAA. Individuals receiving these communications have a right to opt out of receiving such communications. We also may share your medical information with our affiliates and vendors who assist us, including but not limited to credit card processing, database management, email and newsletter distribution, and website management.
Research: We may use or disclose medical information under certain, limited circumstances for research, as permitted by HIPAA.
4. YOUR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
You have the right to:
a. Look at or receive an electronic or paper copy of your medical record. You must make your request in writing to our Privacy Official at 3206 Tower Oaks Blvd., Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20852. To the extent your medical record is maintained electronically and you request the information in an electronic format, to the extent possible we will provide you with a machine readable copy. If you request copies, we will charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee as permitted by HIPAA and state law. We will charge for postage if you want the copies mailed to you. We will provide a copy or a summary of your medical information, usually within 30 days for your request. We may deny your request to inspect and copy records in limited circumstances as permitted by HIPAA, but you can request that the denial be reviewed.
b. Request that we correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. We may say “no” to your request, but we will tell you why in writing within 60 days.
c. You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we have shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why. We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We will provide one accounting per year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
d. Receive a paper copy of this Notice at any time. You may obtain a copy of this Notice from us by visiting our office or calling us at the telephone numbers listed at the end of this Policy.
e. Request that we not use or share certain information for treatment, payment or our operations. We are not required to agree to your restriction request. If we do agree to your request, we will abide by our agreement (except in the case of an emergency or as otherwise permitted by law). If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share information regarding that service or item for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We must comply with that type of request if the health information you ask to be restricted from disclosure pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid out of pocket, in full, unless the disclosure is otherwise required by law.
f. Request that we contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address. We will work to accommodate reasonable requests.
g. Revoke a previously given authorization at any time by giving written notice to the Privacy Official. However, revocations will not be effective for any actions taken before receipt of the written notice to revoke. In addition, I understand that if I give a signed authorization as a condition of obtaining insurance coverage, and later revoke that authorization, the insurance company has the right to contest my claims under the insurance policy and I will be made liable for payment of all charges for any and all services rendered to me by the medical providers or staff of The Center for Innovative GYN Care.
h. File a complaint with us if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You can contact our Privacy Official by phone at 888-787-4379. You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. We will not retaliate against you for filing any complaint. If you have a question, inquiry or concern, you may send written correspondence to our Privacy Official at 3206 Tower Oaks Blvd., Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20852.
5. ADDITIONAL TERMS
The Center for Innovative GYN Care’s website and the website’s information and resources are not intended to be a substitute for medical advice for the care that patients receive from their healthcare providers. Such information and resources are provided on the website only for general informational purposes, are not a form of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individuals visiting the website should always seek the advice of their physician or other qualified health provider with any questions they may have regarding a medical condition. Individuals should not ignore professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something they have read on the website. Our website is not intended for children under the age of 13. The Center for Innovative Gyn Care reserves all rights as to its images, trademarks, service marks and copyrights. Reproduction in whole or in part of such images, marks and/or copyrights is prohibited without advance written permission obtained from the CEO of The Center for Innovative Gyn Care.
Individuals who visit the website, including the information, services, products, materials and any other resources contained or linked thereon, are using them solely at their own risk. We do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the website.
B. Use of Email
Individuals who choose to email The Center for Innovative Gyn Care should not include confidential personal information and should never include a Social Security Number, date of birth or any insurance/financial information. The Internet is not absolutely secure, and the email system used at The Center for Innovative Gyn Care is not encrypted. The website features of “Ask a Doctor” and “Book a Consult” are provided as a courtesy for individuals to initiate conversation with CIGC. Contacting CIGC through these features is not intended to create, and does not create, a new patient relationship with CIGC or any of its health care providers.
Newsletters are periodically emailed to current and former patients, as well as other individuals who have subscribed to receive them. A third party vendor, Mail Chimp, stores the recipients’ first and last names and their email addresses in order to send the electronic newsletter. Newsletter recipients can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the link provided at the bottom of the email.