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.
Palouse Specialty Physicians includes: Palouse ENT & Audiology, Palouse Neurology, Palouse Oncology & Hematology and Palouse Urology.
Palouse Specialty Physicians respects your privacy and understands the sensitivity of your personal health information. The law protects the privacy of the health information we create and obtain in providing care and services to you. Your protected health information includes your symptoms, test results, diagnoses, treatment, health information from other providers, and billing and payment information relating to these services.
Any outside correspondence or outside records maintained in our system and related to your care here or decisions made by your provider(s) here are considered part of the Designated Record Set, and are therefore eligible to be included in authorized releases of information.
As required by The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"), we have prepared this explanation of how we are required to maintain the privacy of your health information and how we may use and disclose your health information.
We may use and disclose your medical records without your permission for each of the following purposes; treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. Explanations and examples for these types of uses and disclosures are below. Not every use/disclosure is listed, but all the ways we are permitted to use and disclose health information fall within these categories.
For treatment: Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of our health care team will be recorded in your medical record and used by members of our health care team to help decide what care may be right for you. We may also provide information to health care providers outside our practice who are providing you care or for a referral. This will help them stay informed about your care.
For payment: We request payment from your health insurance plan. Health plans need information from us about your medical care. Information provided to health plans may include your diagnoses, procedures performed, or recommended care. We bill you or the person you tell us is responsible for paying for your care if it is not covered by your health insurance plan.
For health care operations: We may use your medical records to assess quality and improve services. We may use and disclose medical records to review the qualifications and performance of our health care providers and to train our staff. We may use and disclose your information to conduct or arrange for services, including: medical quality review by your health plan, accounting, legal, risk management, and insurance services; and audit functions, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs
Some of the other ways that we may use or disclose your protected health information without your authorization are as follows:
- Required by law: We must make any disclosure required by state, federal, or local law.
- Business Associates: We contract with individuals and entities to perform jobs for us or to provide certain types of services that may require them to create, maintain, use, and/or disclose your health information. We may disclose your health information to a business associate, but only after they agree in writing to safeguard your health information. Examples include billing services, accountants, and others who perform health care operations for us.
- Notification of family and others: Unless you object, we may release health information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. We may tell your family or friends your condition and that you are in a hospital.
Public health and safety purposes: As permitted or required by law, we may disclose protected health information:
- To prevent or reduce a serious, immediate threat to the health or safety of a person or the public.
- To public health or legal authorities:
To protect public health and safety.
- To prevent or control disease, injury, or disability.
- To report vital statistics such as births or deaths.
- To report suspected abuse or neglect to public authorities.
- Research: We may disclose protected health information to researchers if the research has been approved by an institutional review board or a privacy board and there are policies to protect the privacy of your health information. We may also share information with medical researchers preparing to conduct a research project.
- Coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors: We may disclose protected health information to funeral directors and coroners consistent with applicable law to allow them to carry out their duties.
- Organ-procurement organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose protected health information to organ-procurement organizations (tissue donation and transplant) or persons who obtain, store, or transplant organs.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA): For problems with food, supplements, and products, we may disclose protected health information to the FDA or entities subject to the jurisdiction of the FDA.
- Workplace injury or illness: Washington State law requires the disclosure of protected health information to the Department of Labor and Industries, the employer, and the payer (including a self-insured payer) for workers' compensation and for crime victims' claims. We also may disclose protected health information for work-related conditions that could affect employee health; for example, an employer may ask us to assess health risks on a job site.
- Correctional institutions: If you are in jail or prison, we may disclose your protected health information as necessary for your health and the health and safety of others.
- Law enforcement: We may disclose protected health information to law enforcement officials as required by law, such as reports of certain types of injuries or victims of a crime, or when we receive a warrant, subpoena, court order, or other legal process.
- Government health and safety oversight activities: We may disclose protected health information to an oversight agency that may be conducting an investigation. For example, we may share health information with the Department of Health.
- Disaster relief: We may share protected health information with disaster relief agencies to assist in notification of your condition to family or others.
- Military, Veteran, and Department of State: We may disclose protected health information to the military authorities of U.S. and foreign military personnel; for example, the law may require us to provide information necessary to a military mission.
- Lawsuits and disputes: We are permitted to disclose protected health information in the course of judicial/administrative proceedings at your request, or as directed by a subpoena or court order.
- National Security: We are permitted to release protected health information to federal officials for national security purposes authorized by law.
- De-identifying information: We may use your protected health information by removing any information that could be used to identify you.
- Any other uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization. You may revoke such authorization in writing and we are required to honor and abide by that written request, except to the extent that we have already taken actions relying on your authorization.
Statements about certain uses and disclosures:
- We may contact you to remind you about appointments.
- We may contact you to provide information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
- We may contact you to raise funds. If we contact you for fund-raising, we will also provide you with a way to opt out of receiving fund-raising requests in the future.
Your health information rights: The health and billing records we create and store are the property of Palouse Specialty Physicians. The protected health information in it, however, generally belongs to you. You have the following rights with respect to your health information, which you can exercise by presenting a written request to the Privacy Officer:
- The right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information, including those related to disclosures to family members, other relative, close personal friends, or any other person identified by you. We are, however, not required to agree to a requested restriction unless the request is to restrict disclosure of your protected health information to a health plan for payment or health care operations and the protected health information is about a service or treatment for which you paid directly. If we do agree to a restriction, we must abide by it unless you agree in writing to remove it.
- The right to receive confidential communications of your personal health information
- The right to inspect and copy your personal health information (We have a form for you to request records)
- The right to receive an accounting of disclosures your personal health information. The list will not include disclosures for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You may receive this information without charge once every 12 months. We will notify you of the cost involved if you request this information more than once in 12 months.
- The right to receive, read, and ask questions about this Notice of Privacy Practices ("Notice")
- The right to obtain a paper copy of the most current Notice
- The right to request to amend your protected health information. We may deny your request if we did not create the information you want changed or for certain other reasons. If your request is denied, you may write a statement of disagreement. It will be stored in your medical record, and included with any release of your records.
- Cancel prior authorizations to use or disclose health information by giving us a written revocation. Your revocation does not affect information that has already been released. It also does not affect any action taken before we have it. Sometimes, you cannot cancel an authorization if its purpose was to obtain insurance.
We are required to maintain the privacy of your personal health information, provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices, and abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect.
We reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all health information we maintain. If we make changes, we will update this Notice. You may receive the most recent copy of this Notice by calling and asking for it or by visiting our office or the Web site at www.palousespecialty.com to pick one up.
To ask for help or complain: If you have questions, want more information, or want to report a problem about the handling of your protected health information, you may contact the Privacy Officer at 888-4-Palouse. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may discuss your concerns with any staff member. You may also deliver a written complaint to the Privacy Officer at 825 SE Bishop Blvd, Suite 601; Pullman, WA 99163. You may also file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR). We respect your right to file a complaint with us or with the OCR. If you complain, we will not retaliate against you.
Patient Responsibilities: Patients are responsible for;
- Providing accurate and complete information about medical complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, pain, and other matters relating to their health.
- Following the treatment plan recommended by those responsible for their care.
- Telling the health care provider if they cannot or do not want to follow the treatment plan recommended to them.
- Their actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow the healthcare team's instructions.
- Seeing that their bills are paid as promptly as possible; following Palouse Specialty Physician's policies.
- Being considerate of the rights of other patients and personnel.
- Seeking information, and in the event they have questions, asking them.
Effective date of most current revision: 05/07/2020 Original effective date: 01/01/2015