II. I HAVE A LEGAL DUTY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH lNFORMATION (PHI)
We are legally required to protect the privacy of your PHI, which includes information that can be used to identify you that we have created or received about your past, present, or future health or condition, the provision of health care to you, or the payment of this health care. we must provide you with this Notice about our privacy practices, and such Notice must explain how, when, and why we will "use" and "disclose" your PHI. A "use" of PHI occurs when we share, examine, utilize, apply, or analyze such information within our practice; PHI is "disclosed" when it is released, transferred, has been given to, or is otherwise divulged to a third party outside of our practice. With some exceptions, we may not use or disclose any more of your PHI than is necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the use or disclosure is made. And, we are legally required to follow the privacy practices described in this Notice.
However, we reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and our privacy policies at any time. Any changes will apply to PHI on file with us already. Before we make any important changes to our policies, we will promptly change this Notice and post a new copy of it in our office and on our website (if applicable). You can also request a copy of this Notice, or you can view a copy of it in our office or on our website, which is located at FullHeartTreatment.com.
III. HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PHI.
We will use and disclose your PHI for many different reasons. For some of these uses or disclosures, we will need your prior authorization; for others, however, we do not. Listed below are the different categories of our uses and disclosures along with some examples of each category.
A. Uses and Disclosures Relating to Treatment, Payment, or Health Care Operations Do Not Require Your Prior Written Consent. We can use and disclose your PHI without your consent for the following reasons:
- 1. For treatment. We can disclose your PHI to physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other licensed health care providers who provide you with health care services or are involved in your care. In the normal course of treatment, before doing so, we will obtain your written consent.
- 2. To obtain payment for treatment. We can use and disclose your PHI to bill and collect payment for the treatment and services provided by Full Heart Treatment Center to you. For example, we might send your PHI to your insurance company or health plan to get paid for the health care services that we have provided to you.
IV. WHAT RIGHTS YOU HAVE REGARDING YOUR PHI
You have the following rights with respect to your PHI:
A. The Right to Request Limits on Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI. You have the right to ask that we limit how we use and disclose your PHI. We will consider your request, but we are not legally required to accept it. If we accept your request, we will put any limits in writing and abide by them except in emergency situations. You may not limit the uses and disclosures that we am legally required or allowed to make.
B. The Right to Choose How We Send PHI to You. You have the right to ask that we send information to you to at an alternate address (for example, sending information to your work address rather than your home address) or by alternate means (for example, e-mail instead of regular mail) We must agree to your request so long as we can easily provide the PHI to you in the format you requested.
C. The Right to See and Get Copies of Your PHI. In most cases, you have the right to look at or get copies of your PHI that we have, but you must make the request in writing. If we don't have your PHI but we know who does, we will tell you how to get it. We will respond to you within 30 days of receiving your written request. In certain situations, we may deny your request. If we do, we will tell you, in writing, our reasons for the denial and explain your right to have our denial reviewed.
D. The Right to Get a List of the Disclosures We Have Made.
You have the right to get a list of instances in which we have disclosed your PHI. The list will not include uses or disclosures that you have already consented to, such as those made for treatment, payment, or health care operations, directly to you, or to your family. The list also will not include uses and disclosures made for national security purposes, to corrections or law enforcement personnel, or disclosures made before April 15, 2003.
We will respond to your request for an accounting of disclosures within 60 days of receiving your request. The list we will give you will include disclosures made in the last six years unless you request a shorter time. The list will include the date of the disclosure, to whom PHI was disclosed (including their address, if known), a description of the information disclosed, and the reason for the disclosure. We will provide the list to you at no charge.
E. The Right to Correct or Update Your PHI. IIf you believe that there is a mistake in your PHI or that a piece of important information is missing, you have the right to request that we correct the existing information or add the missing information. You must provide the request and your reason for the request in writing. We will respond within 60 days of receiving your request to correct or update your PHI. We may deny your request in writing if the PHI is (i) correct and complete, (ii) not created by us, (iii) not allowed to be disclosed, or (iv) not part of our records. Our written denial will state the reasons for the denial and explain your right to file a written statement of disagreement with the denial. If you do not file one, you have the right to request that your request and our denial be attached to all future disclosures of your PHI.
If we approve your request, we will make the change to your PHI, tell you that we have done so, and tell others that need to know about the change to your PHI.
F. The Right to Get This Notice by E-Mail. You have the right to get a copy of this notice by e-mail. Even if you have agreed to receive notice via e-mail, you also have the right to request a paper copy of it.
V. HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PRIVACY PRACTICES
If you think that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your PHI, you may file a complaint with the person listed in Section VI below. You also may send a written complaint to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201. We will take no retaliatory action against you if you file a complaint about our privacy practices.
VI. PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS NOTICE OR TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PRIVACY PRACTICES
If you have any questions about this notice or any complaints about our privacy practices, or would like to know how to file a complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, please contact us at: Full Heart Treatment Center, 606 Beaver Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, or (707) 544-5717.