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.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is a government regulation designed to protect the privacy of your health information. Healthcare organizations throughout the country are changing the ways they do business to ensure these new guidelines are met. Part of this restructuring is providing patients this Notice of Privacy Practice, which outlines how we are taking the proper steps to protect you.
One of the main objectives of HIPAA is to protect any health information about a patient that can identify him or her. In addition to maintaining privacy of Protected Health Information (PHI), the HIPAA regulation requires all healthcare providers to provide you with this Notice of our legal duties and privacy practice with respect to PHI and comply with the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) that are currently in effect.
Please note that we reserve the right to make changes to this Notice and to make such changes effective for all PHI we may already have about you. If and when this Notice is changed, we will post a copy in our office in a prominent location. We will also provide you with a copy of the revised Notice upon your request.
How Roanoke Valley Speech & Hearing Center may use and disclose protected information:
Under the HIPAA regulation, our Center may use and disclose health information about you that is in regards to treatment, payment and healthcare operations. The following categories describe the different ways we may use and disclose PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations.
We may use and disclose PHI about you when providing you healthcare services, when we are coordinating your healthcare services with others in the medical fields as related to your health. That means we may consult with other healthcare providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, etc.) regarding your treatment to coordinate and manage your healthcare. Additionally, we may use or disclose PHI about you when we refer you to another healthcare provider. We are not required under certain circumstances to obtain a written authorization from the patient to carry out treatment of patient care.
In order to receive payment from your insurance company to cover the costs of healthcare services, we may need to use and disclose PHI so that we can bill and collect payment. This may include providing information about treatment or services with your health plan before the service is received to ensure it is covered. As well, we may use and disclose PHI for billing, claims management, and collection activities. We may also disclose PHI to insurance companies or third party administrators providing you with supplemental coverage. We may disclose PHI to another health care provider or to a company or health plan required to comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule for the payment activities of that health care provider, company, or health plan.
Health Care Operation
Healthcare providers may use and disclose PHI in performing business activities that are referred to as healthcare operations. Healthcare operations allows us to improve the quality of care we provide and to reduce health care cost. These operations may include the following.
Quality of Care
We may use PHI about you to identify ways to improve the quality, efficiency and cost of care that we provide to our patients.
We may use PHI about you to review and evaluate the skills, qualifications and performance of our healthcare providers taking care of you and our other patients.
We may use PHI about you to cooperate with outside organizations that assess the quality of care that we provide.
We may use PHI about you to cooperate with outside organizations that evaluate, certify, or license healthcare providers or staff.
Business Operations and Planning
We may use PHI about you to cooperate with organizations that review our activity. For example, board members, accountants, lawyers and others who assist us in complying with the law and managing our business may review your PHI. We may use PHI to assist our Center in making decisions for future operations, grievance resolution, business planning and development, business management and general administrative activities of our practice.
Communication From Our Office
We may contact you to remind you of appointments and to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits that may be of an interest to you.
Other Uses and Disclosures
We may use and disclose PHI as required by federal, state, or local law. Any disclosure is limited to the requirements of the law.
Public Health Activities
Federal and state law requires disclosures of PHI to public health authorities or others designated to carry out certain activities related to public health, including: to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability; To report disease, injury, birth, or death; To report child abuse or neglect; To notify a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease in order to control who may be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease, To report to your employer, under limited circumstances, information related to workplace injuries or illness, or workplace medical surveillance.
Abuse, Neglect, or Domestic Violence
We may disclose PHI in certain cases to proper government authorities if we reasonably believe that a patient has been a victim of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect.
Required by HIPAA Privacy Rule
We are required to disclose PHI to the Secretary of the U.S. States Dept. of Health and Human Services when requested by the Secretary to review our compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
We may disclose PHI as authorized by workers’ compensation laws or other similar programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Your rights regarding protected health information.
Under federal law, you have the following rights regarding PHI about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy: You have a right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records. To inspect and copy your medical information, you must submit your request in writing to our Center. If you request a copy of information, we may charge a fee for the cost of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request.
Right to Amend: If you feel that medical information about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment as long as the information is kept by RVSHC. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to our Center. In addition you must provide a reason which supports your request. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that: Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment; Is not part of the medical information kept by RVSHC; Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or Is accurate and complete.
Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to our Center. Your request must include (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply, for example, disclosures to your spouse.
Right to Request Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to our Center. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
Right to a Paper Copy of this Notice: You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. You may obtain a paper copy of this notice, call (540)343-0165 during regular working hours.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with RVSHC or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with our Center, please call (540)343-0165 Monday through Friday during normal business hours except federal holidays, or access our website, for further information about the complaint process. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
OTHER USES OF MEDICAL INFORMATION
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care we provided to you.