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.
Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California is required, by law, to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of your protected health information and to provide our patients with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your protected health information.
Disclosure of your Health Care Information
Treatment: We may disclose your health care information to other healthcare professionals within our practice for the purpose of treatment, payment or healthcare operations.
Payment: We may disclose your health information to your insurance provider for the purpose of payment or health care operations. If payment is not made as arranged, our office may utilize an outside collection agency, credit reporting agency or other means of collecting outstanding debt. Your file, containing protected health care information, may be reviewed by the designated collection agency or authority.
Workers’ Compensation: If applicable, we may disclose your health information as necessary to comply with state Workers’ Compensation Laws.
Emergencies: We may disclose your health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, or another person responsible for your care, about your medical condition or in the event of an emergency or of your death.
Public Health: As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health authorities for purposes related to: preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability; reporting child abuse or neglect; reporting domestic violence; reporting to the Food and Drug Administration problems with products and reactions to medications; and reporting disease or infection exposure.
Law Enforcement/Court Proceedings: We may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for purposes such as complying with a court order or subpoena. If you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made for information about the professional services the HSCNC provided you, such information is privileged under California law, and we will not release information without the written authorization of you or your legally appointed representative or a court order. The privilege does not apply when the evaluation is court ordered. You will be informed in advance if this is the case.
Deceased Persons: We may disclose your health information to coroners or medical examiners.
Public Safety: It may be necessary to disclose your health information to appropriate persons in order to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a particular person or to the general public. Our professional staff are mandated by law to disclose health information if the patient/client/student presents a threat to themselves or others.
Marketing and Other Communications
We may contact you for marketing purposes or fundraising purposes, as described below:
“As a courtesy to our patients, it is our policy to call your home on the evening prior to your schedule appointment to remind you of your appointment time. If you are not at home, we leave a reminder message on your answering machine or with the person answering the phone. No protected health information will be disclosed during this call other than the date and time of your scheduled appointment and a request to call our office if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment.”
“It is our practice to occasionally participate in charitable events and marketing efforts specific to our organization which we feel are a benefit to our patients/clients. During these times, we may send you a letter, post card, invitation or call your home to invite you to participate in the charitable activity. We will inform you of the type of activity, the dates and times, and request your participation in such event. It is not our policy to disclose health information about you for the purpose of Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California sponsored fund-raising events.”
Change of Ownership
In the event that Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California is sold or merged with another organization, your health information/record will become the property of the new owner.
Your Health Information Rights
- You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. Please be advised, however, that Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California is not required to agree to the restriction that you requested.
- You have the right to have your health information received or communicated through an alternative method or sent to an alternative location other than the usual method of communication or delivery, upon your request.
- You have the right to inspect and copy your health information.
- You have a right to request that Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California amend your protected health information. Please be advised, however, that Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California is not required to agree to amend your protected health information. If your request to amend your health information has been denied, you will be provided with an explanation of our denial reason(s) and information about how you can disagree with the denial.
- You have a right to receive an accounting of disclosures of your protected health information made by Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California.
- You have a right to a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices at any time upon request.
Changes to this Notice of Privacy Practices
Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California reserves the right to amend this Notice of Privacy Practices at any time in the future, and will make the new provisions effective for all information that it maintains. Until such amendment is made, Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California is required by law to comply with this Notice.
Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide you with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information. If you have questions about any part of this notice, or if you want more information about your privacy rights, please contact HSCNC’s HIPAA Officer by calling this office at (415) 921-7658. If the HIPAA Officer is not available, you may make an appointment for a conference in person or by telephone within 2 working days.
Breaches of Privacy
Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California will contact you via mail in the event of a breach of security that has compromised the privacy of your health information. We will also notify any third party agency that you have authorized to receive such information. This also includes Department of Rehabilitation.
Complaints about your privacy rights or how Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California has handled your health information should be directed to the CEO by calling this office at (415) 921-7658. If the CEO is not available, you may make an appointment for a conference in person or by telephone within 2 working days.
If you are not satisfied with the manner in which this office handles your complaint, you may submit a formal complaint to:
DHHS, Office of Civil Rights
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Room 509F HHH Building
Washington, DC 20201
This notice is effective as of 4/23/2010