Privacy-draft

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) notice of privacy practices

Effective date April 30, 2003

 

This notice describes our privacy practices, how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully. If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Lisa McKay at 360-736-6778.

We are required by law to:

  • Maintain the privacy of protected health information,
  • Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices regarding your health information, and
  • Follow the terms of the notice currently in effect.

How we may use and disclose your health information

The following describes the ways we may use and disclose your health information. Except for the purposes stated below, we will use and disclose your health information only with your written permission. You may revoke such permission at any time by writing to Northwest Pediatric Center.

Appointment reminders, treatment alternatives and health-related benefits and services
As required by law
Averting a serious threat to health or safety
Business associates
Coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors
Healthcare operations
Health oversight activities
Individuals involved in your care or payment for your care
Inmates or individuals in custody
Law enforcement
Lawsuits and disputes
Military and veterans
National security and intelligence activities
Payment
Public health risks
Research
Treatment
Worker’s compensation

 

Appointment reminders, treatment alternatives and health-related benefits and services

We may use and disclose your health information to contact you and remind you of your appointment; to tell you about treatment alternatives; or to inform you about health-related benefits and services you could use.

As required by law

We will disclose your health information when required to do so by international, federal, state or local law.

Averting a serious threat to health or safety

We may use and disclose your health information when necessary to prevent a serious threat to the health and safety of you, another person, or the public. Disclosures will be made only to someone who can prevent the threat.

Business associates

We may disclose your health information to our business associates that perform functions on our behalf or provide us with services. For example, we may use another company to perform billing services on our behalf. All of our business associates are obligated to protect the privacy of your information and are not allowed to use or disclose the information for any other purpose than that which appears in their contract with us.

Coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors

We may release your health information to a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director to identify a deceased person or cause of death, or other similar circumstance.

Healthcare operations

We may use and disclose your health information to evaluate and improve our medical care, and to operate and manage our office. For example, we may use and disclose information to a peer-review organization or a health plan that is evaluating our care. We may also share information with others that have a relationship with you for their healthcare operation activities.

Health-oversight activities

We may disclose your health information to a health-oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These may include audits, investigations, inspections and licensure. These activities are necessary for government agencies to monitor the healthcare system and government programs, and to comply with civil-rights laws.

Individuals involved in your care or payment for your care

When appropriate, we may share your health information with a person involved in, or paying for, your care (such as your family or a close friend). We may notify your family about your location or condition, or disclose such information to an entity assisting in disaster relief.

Inmates or individuals in custody

If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or in custody we may disclose your information:

  1. For the institution to provide you with healthcare,
  2. To protect your health and safety or that of others, or
  3. For the safety and security of the institution.

Law enforcement

We may release your health information as requested by law enforcement officials if:

  1. There is a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process;
  2. The request is limited to information needed to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
  3. The information is about the victim of a crime even if, under certain very limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain your agreement;
  4. The information is about a death that may be the result of criminal conduct;
  5. The information is relevant to criminal conduct on our premises; or
  6. It is needed in an emergency to report a crime, the location of a crime or victims, or the identity, description, or location of the person who may have committed the crime.

Lawsuits and disputes

If you are involved in a lawsuit or dispute, we may disclose your health information in response to a court or administrative order. We may disclose your health information in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.

Military and veterans

If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release your health information as required by military-command authorities. If you are a member of a foreign military, we may release your health information to the foreign military-command authority.

National security and intelligence activities

We may disclose your health information to authorized federal officials for intelligence and other national security activities authorized by law.

Payment

We may use and disclose your health information so others or Northwest Pediatric Center may bill and receive payment from you; from an insurance company, or from a third party for the treatment and services you received. For example, we may give information to your health-insurance plan so they pay for your treatment.

Public health risks

We may disclose your health information for public health activities to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability. We may use your health information in reporting births or deaths; suspected child abuse or neglect; medication reactions; product malfunctions or injuries; or product-recall notifications. We may use your health information to notify someone who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition. If we are concerned that a patient may have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, we may ask your permission to make a disclosure to an appropriate government authority. We will make that disclosure only when you agree or when required or authorized to do so by law.

Research

We may use and disclose your health information for research. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health of patients who received one treatment to those who received another for the same condition. Before we do so, the project needs to go through a special approval process. Even without special approval, we may permit researchers to look at records to help identify patients who may be included in their research, as long as they do not remove or copy any of your health information.

Treatment

We may use and disclose your health information for your treatment, and to provide you with treatment-related healthcare services. For example, we may disclose your health information to doctors, nurses, technicians, or other personnel, including people outside our office, who are involved in your medical care and need the information to provide you with medical care.

Worker’s compensation

We may release your health information for worker’s compensation or similar programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.

Your rights regarding your health information

Inspect and copy

You have the right to inspect and copy your medical and billing records by written request to Northwest Pediatric Center.

Amend

You have the right to request an amendment to your records by written request to Northwest Pediatric Center.

Accounting of disclosures

You have a right to an accounting of certain disclosures by written request to Northwest Pediatric Center.

Request restrictions

You have the right to request restriction or limitation on your health information used for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You may request us to limit disclosure to someone involved in your care or in payment for your care (such as a spouse) by written request to Northwest Pediatric Center. We are not required to agree with your request, but we will try to comply.

Request confidential communication

You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. You can ask, for example, that we contact you only by mail or at work. Your written request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted, and be addressed to Northwest Pediatric Center. We will accommodate reasonable requests.

 

Changes to this notice

We may change this notice and make it effective for medical information we already have about you, as well as for new information. The current notice will be posted and available at all times. You have a right to request a paper copy of the current notice during any visit or by written request to Northwest Pediatric Center.

Northwest Pediatric Center
1911 Cooks Hill Road
Centralia, WA, 98531
360-736-6778