Notice of Privacy Practices

 Notice of Privacy Practices

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND/OR DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.

PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY.

 

If you have any questions about this notice, please contact our Privacy Officer at 503-814-4440.

 

THE PURPOSE OF THIS NOTICE

 

Oregon Heart Center is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of your health information created and/or maintained at our practice. We are required by law to give you this notice, as well as to implement policies and procedures to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of your health information. This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and/or disclose health information about you and describes your rights and our obligations regarding the use and disclosure of that information.

 

WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE

 

Any health care professional authorized to enter information into your medical record, all employees, and other personnel at this practice who may need access to your information must abide by this Notice. All business associates (ex a billing service), sites and locations of this practice may share medical information with each other for Treatment, Payment or Health Care Operations as described in this Notice. Except where treatment or an authorization is involved, only the minimum necessary information needed to accomplish the task will be shared.

 

Any health care professional authorized to enter information into your medical record created and/or maintained at our clinic; all employees, students, residents, and other service providers who have access to your health information at our clinic; and any member of a volunteer group which is allowed to help you while receiving services at our clinic. Any physician you consult with by telephone, at the hospital, or here in our office (when your regular physician from our office is not available) that provides “call coverage” for your physician.

 

HOW WE MAY USE AND OR DISCLOSE

 

HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

 

For the purposes of Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations, we may use and/or disclose your health information on a routine basis and without further acknowledgement. Examples are provided for each category; however, not every possible use or disclosure in a category is provided.

 

TREATMENT:

 

We may use health information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose health information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, office staff or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you and your health.

 

For example, your doctor may be treating you for a heart condition and may need to know if you have other health problems that could complicate your treatment. The doctor may use your medical history to decide what treatment is best for you. The doctor may also disclose to another doctor your condition so that doctor can help determine the most appropriate care for you.

 

Different personnel in our office may share information about you and disclose information to people who do not work in our office in order to coordinate your care, such as phoning in prescriptions to your pharmacy, scheduling lab work and ordering x-rays. Family members and other health care providers may be part of your medical care outside this office and may require information about you that we have.

 

PAYMENT:

 

We may use or disclose your health information so that we may bill and receive payment from you, an insurance company, or another third party for the health care services you receive from us. We also may disclose health information about you to your health plan in order to obtain prior approval for the services we provide to you, or to determine that your health plan will pay for the treatment.

 

For example, we may need to give health information about you to your health plan in order to obtain prior approval to perform a diagnostic test such as an Angiogram or an Electrophysiology Test (EP Study).

 

HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS:

 

We may use or disclose your health information in order to perform the necessary administrative, educational, quality assurance and business functions of our clinic.

 

For example, we may use your health information to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We also may use your health information to evaluate whether certain treatments or services offered by our clinic are effective, as well as to decide what additional services we should offer and how we can become more efficient. We also may disclose your health information to other physicians, nurses, technicians, or health care profession students for teaching and learning purposes.

 

SPECIAL SITUATIONS:

 

You have the right to request limitations of uses and/or disclosures concerning these situations:

 

Appointment Reminders. We may use or disclose your health information for purposes of contacting you to confirm your appointment or to remind you that it is time to make your next appointment.

 

Treatment Alternatives and Health-Related Products and Services. We may use or disclose your health information for purposes of contacting you to inform you of treatment alternatives or alternatives or health-related products or services that may be of interest to you. For example, if you are implanted with a defibrillator, we may contact you regarding informational sessions which may be of interest to you.

 

Family Members and Friends. We may disclose your health information to individuals, such as family members and friends, who are involved in your care or who help pay for your care. We may make such disclosures when:

 

We have your verbal and/or written agreement to so;

 

We make such disclosures and you do not object, or

 

We can infer from the circumstances that you would not object to such disclosures. For example, if your spouse comes into the exam room with you, we will assume that you agree to our disclosure of your information while your spouse is present in the room.

 

Requests for medical record copies to be sent to an outside individual, will require a signed authorization.

 

Should you wish that we not disclose your health information to anyone other than yourself, or someone in particular, please refer to the section titled, Right to Request Confidential Communications.

 

We also may disclose your health information to family members or friends in instances when you are unable to agree or object to such disclosures, provided that we feel it is in your best interest to make such disclosures and the disclosures relate to that family member or friend’s involvement in your care. For example, if you present to our clinic with an emergency medical condition, we may share information about your status with the family member or friend that comes with you to our clinic. We also may share your health information with a family member or friend who calls us to request a prescription refill for you.

We may use and/or disclose health information about you without your permission for the following purposes, subject to all applicable legal requirements and limitations:

 

To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.

 

Required by Law. We may use or disclose your health information when required by federal, state, or local law to do so.

 

Research. We may use or disclose your health information for research purposes under certain limited circumstances. Due to the fact that all research projects are subject to a special approval process, we will not use or disclose your health information for research purposes until the particular research project has been approved and we have your signed authorization to do so. However, we may use or disclose your health information to individuals preparing to conduct the research project in order to assist them in identifying patients with specific health care needs who may qualify to participate in the research project. Any use or disclosure of your health information, which is done for the purposes of identifying qualified participants will be, conducted onsite at our facility. In most instances, we will ask for your specific permission to use or disclose your health information if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other identifying information.

 

Organ and Tissue Donation. If you are organ donor, we may disclose your health information to organizations that handle organ procurement, transplantation, or tissue banking for the purpose of facilitating organ or tissue donation or transplantation.

 

Military, Veterans, National Security and Intelligence. If you are or were a member of the armed forces, or part of the national security or intelligence communities, we may be required by military command or other government authorities to release health information about you. We may also release information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.

 

Workers’ Compensation. We may disclose your health information to worker’s compensation or similar programs when your health condition arises out of a work-related illness or injury.

 

Public Health Risks. We may disclose health information about you for public health reasons for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability, to report births, deaths, suspected abuse or neglect, non-accidental physical injuries, reactions to medications; or to facilitate product problems and recalls.

 

Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for audits, investigations, inspections, or licensure purposes and certification surveys. These disclosures may be necessary for certain state and federal agencies to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.

 

Lawsuits and Disputes. We may disclose your health information to courts or administrative agencies charged with the authority to hear and resolve lawsuits or disputes. We may disclose your health information pursuant to a court order, a subpoena, a discovery request, or other lawful process issued by a judge or other person involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to:

 

Notify you of the request for disclosure; or Obtain an order protecting your health information.

 

Law Enforcement. We may disclose your health information in response to a request received from a law enforcement official to report criminal activity or to respond to a subpoena, court order, warrant, summons, or similar process, subject to all applicable legal requirements.

 

Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. We may disclose your health information to a coroner or medical examiner for the purpose of identifying a deceased individual or to determine the cause of death. We also may disclose your health information to a funeral directo