Clarity Vision Group
Effective: January 1, 2005
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Absolute EyeCare. Dba
Clarity Vision Group
1485 Peachtree Parkway, Suite D-1, Cumming, GA 30041
Privacy Officer: Dr. Mark Wiggers
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.
We respect our legal obligation to keep health information that identifies you private. We are obligated by law to give you notice of our privacy practices. This Notice describes how we protect your health information and what rights you have regarding it.
TREATMENT, PAYMENT, AND HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS
The most common reason why we use or disclose your health information is for treatment, payment or health care operations. Examples of how we use or disclose information for treatment purposes are: setting up an appointment for you; testing or examining your eyes; prescribing glasses, contact lenses, or eye medications and faxing Rx’s to be filled; showing you low vision aids; referring you to another doctor or clinic for eye care or low vision aids or services; or getting copies of your health information from another professional that you may have seen before us. Examples of how we use or disclose you health information for payment purposes are: asking you about your health or vision care plans, or other sources of payment; preparing and sending bills or claims; and collecting unpaid amounts (either ourselves or through a collection agency or attorney). “Health care operations” mean those administrative and managerial functions that we have to do in order to run our office. Examples of how we use or disclose your health information for health care operations are: financial or billing audits; internal quality assurance; personnel decisions; participation in managed care plans; defense of legal matters; business planning; and outside storage of our records.
We routinely use your health information inside our office, which includes sharing with the Sears Optical, or any Contact Lens Supplier who is requesting verification or prescription information, for these purposes without any special permission. If we disclose your health information outside of our office for these reasons, we usually will not ask you for special written permission.
We will ask special written permission in the following situations: Requests other than those listed above.
USE AND DISCLOSURES FOR OTHER REASONS WITHOUT PERMISSION
In some limited situations, the law allows or requires us to use or disclose your health information without your permission. Not all of these situations will apply to us; some may never come up at our office at all. Such uses or disclosures are:
- when a state or federal law mandates that certain health information be reported for a specific purpose;
- for public health purposes, such as contagious disease reporting, investigation or surveillance; and notices to and from the federal Food and Drug Administration regarding drugs or medical devices;
- disclosures to governmental authorities about victims of suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence;
- uses and disclosures for health oversight activities, such as for the licensing of doctors; for audits by Medicare or Medicaid; or for investigation of possible violations of health care laws;
- disclosures relating to worker’s compensation programs;
- disclosures of a “limited data set” for research, public health, or health care operations;
- incidental disclosures that are an unavoidable by-product of permitted uses or disclosures;
- disclosures to “business associates” who perform health care operations for us and who commit to respect the privacy of your health information
Unless you object, we will also share relevant information about your care with your family or friends who are helping you with your eye care.
We may call or write to remind you of scheduled appointments, or that it is time to make a routine appointment. We may also call or write to notify you of other treatments or services available at our office that might help you. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will mail you appointment reminders on a post card, and/or leave you a reminder message on your home answering machine or with someone who answers your phone if you are not home.
OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES
We will not make any other uses or disclosures of your health information unless you sign a written “authorization form.” The content of an “authorization form” is determined by federal law. Sometimes, you may initiate the process if it’s your idea for us to send your information to someone else. Typically, in this situation you will give us a properly completed authorization form, or you can use one of ours.
If we initiate the process and ask you to sign an authorization form, you do not have to sign it. If you do not sign the authorization, we cannot make the disclosure. If you do sign one, you may revoke it at any time unless we have already acted in reliance upon in it. Revocations must be in writing. Send them to the office contact person named at the beginning of this Notice.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
The law gives you many rights regarding your health information. You can:
· ask us to restrict our uses and disclosures for purposes of treatment (except emergency treatment), payment or health care operations. We do not have to agree to do this, but if we agree, we must honor the restrictions that you want. To ask for a restriction, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, fax or E Mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.
· ask us to communicate with you in a confidential way, such as by phoning you at work rather than at home, by mailing health information to a different address, or by using E mail to your personal E Mail address. We will accommodate these requests if they are reasonable, and if you pay us for any extra cost. If you want to ask for confidential communications, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, fax or E mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.
· ask to see or to get photocopies of your health information. By law, there are a few limited situations in which we can refuse to permit access or copying. For the most part, however, you will be able to review or have a copy of your health information within 30 days of asking us (or sixty days if the information is stored off-site). You may have to pay for photocopies in advance. If we deny your request, we will send you a written explanation, and instructions about how to get an impartial review of our denial if one is legally available. By law, we can have one 30-day extension of the time for us to give you access or photocopies if we send you a written notice of the extension. If you want to review or get photocopies of your health information, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, fax or E mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.
· ask us to amend your health information if you think that it is incorrect or incomplete. If we agree, we will amend the information within 60 days from when you ask us. We will send the corrected information to persons who we know got the wrong information, and others that you specify. If we do not agree, you can write a statement of your position, and we will include it with your health information along with any rebuttal statement that we may write. Once your statement of position and/or our rebuttal is included in your health information, we will send it along whenever we make a permitted disclosure of your health information. By law, we can have one 30-day extension of time to consider a request for amendment if we notify you in writing of the extension. If you want to ask us to amend your health information, send a written request, including your reasons for the amendment, to the office contact person at the address, fax or E mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.
· get a list of the disclosures that we have made of your health information within the past six years (or a shorter period if you want). By law, the list will not include: disclosures for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations; disclosures with your authorization; incidental disclosures; disclosures required by law; and some other limited disclosures. You are entitled to one such list per year without charge. If you want more frequent lists, you will have to pay for them in advance. We will usually respond to your request within 60 days of receiving it, but by law we can have one 30-day extension of time if we notify you of the extension in writing. If you want a list, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, fax or E mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.
· get additional paper copies of this Notice of Privacy Practices upon request. It does not matter whether you got one electronically or in paper form already. If you want additional paper copies, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, fax or E mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.
OUR NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
By law, we must abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices until we choose to change it. We reserve the right to change this notice at any time as allowed by law. If we change this Notice, the new privacy practices will apply to your health information that we already have as well as to such information that we may generate in the future. If we change our Notice of Privacy Practices, we will post the new notice in our office, have copies available in our office, and post it on our Web site.
If you think that we have not properly respected the privacy of your health information, you are free to complain to us or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights. We will not retaliate against you if you make a complaint. If you want to complain to us, send a written complaint to the office contact person at the address, fax or E mail shown at the beginning of this Notice. If you prefer, you can discuss your complaint in person or by phone.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you want more information about our privacy practices, call or visit the office contact person at the address or phone number shown at the beginning of this Notice.
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 IS EFFECTIVE 4/1/04 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Right to Notice
As a patient, you have the right to adequate notice of the uses and disclosures of your protected health information. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA), Clarity Vision Group and Absolute EyeCare can use your protected health information for treatment, payment and health care operations. a) Treatment - We may use or disclose your health information to a physician or other healthcare provider providing treatment to you. b) Payment - We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services we provide you. c) Health care operations - We may use and disclose your health information in connection with our healthcare operations. Healthcare operations include quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing the competency or qualifications of healthcare professionals, evaluating provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.
Most uses and disclosures that do not fall under treatment, payment, health care operations will require your written authorization. Upon signing, you may revoke your authorization (in writing) through our practice at any time.
In the event of your incapacity or an emergency situation, we will disclose health information to a family member, or another person responsible for your care, using our professional judgment. We will only disclose health information that is directly relevant to the person''s involvement in your healthcare.
We will not use your health information for marketing communications without your written authorization.
Required by Law
We may also use or disclose your health information when we are required to do so by law.
Abuse or Neglect
We may disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence or the victim of other crimes. We may disclose your health information to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your or other people's health or safety.
We may disclose the health information of Armed Forces personnel to military authorities under certain circumstances. We may disclose health information to authorized federal officials required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence and other national security activities. We may disclose health information of inmates or patients to the appropriate authorities under certain circumstances.
We may use or disclose your health information to provide you with appointment reminders via phone, e-mail or letter.
Your Rights as a Patient
You have the right to restrict the disclosure of your protected health information (in writing). The request for restriction may be denied if the information is required for treatment, payment or health care operations. -You have the right to receive confidential communications regarding your protected health information. -You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information. -You have the right to amend your protected health information. -You have the right to receive an account of disclosures of your protected health information. -You have the right to a paper copy of this notice of privacy practices.
Clarity Vision Group and Absolute EyeCare are required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information. We are required to abide by the terms of this notice as it is currently stated, and reserve the right to change this notice. The policies in any new notice will not be in effect until they are posted to this site, or are available within our office.
If you have complaints regarding the way your protected health information was handled, you may submit a complaint in writing to our office. You will not be retaliated against in any manner for a complaint.
For further information about Clarity Vision Group and Absolute EyeCare's privacy policies, please contact Dr. Mark Wiggers at the following address or phone number:
Clarity Vision Group (formerly Absolute EyeCare) 770-205-2520
1485 Peachtree Pkwy, STE D-1
Cumming, GA 30041