HIPPA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 2018
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED, AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact Melissa Burton at Melissa Burton Nutrition & Wellness (“MBNW”) by email at melissa (at) melissaburton (dot) com.
OUR PLEDGE REGARDING PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION:
We at MBNW understand that protected health information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting health information about you. This Notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by MBNW. This Notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose protected health information about you. It also describes your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of protected health information.
The law requires us to:
- make sure that protected health information that identifies you is kept private;
- notify you about how we protect protected health information about you;
- explain how, when, and why we use and disclose protected health information;
- follow the terms of the Notice that is currently in effect.
We are required to follow the procedures in this Notice. We reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make new Notice provisions effective for all protected health information that we maintain by:
- making copies of the revised Notice available upon request; and
- posting the revised Notice on our website.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.
The following categories describe different ways that we may use and disclose protected health information about you without your written authorization.
- For Treatment. We may use and disclose protected health information about you to provide you with, coordinate, or manage your medical treatment or services. We may disclose protected health information about you to physicians, therapists, other health professionals/agencies, dietetic interns, or other MBNW personnel, including persons outside of our office who are involved in your medical care or follow up care.
- We may also share protected health information about you in order to coordinate different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work, or psychological services. We may disclose protected health information about you to people who provide services that are part of your medical care. And, we may use and disclose protected health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment with MBNW.
- For Payment of Services. We may use and disclose protected health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive from MBNW may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company, or a third party. We may need to give your health plan information about the nutrition services you received so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the service. We may also tell your health plan about the nutrition services you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.
- For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose protected health information about you for MBNW, such as our quality assessment and improvement activities, case management, business planning, customer services, and other activities. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run our practice, reduce health care costs, and make sure that all clients receive quality care. We may use protected health information during professional supervision to review our treatment and services and to evaluate our performance. We may also combine protected health information about many of our clients to decide what additional services we should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain treatment approaches are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, therapists, fitness professionals, or other dietitians for review and learning purposes. We will always remove information that identifies you from this set of protected health information so others may use it to study health care and health care delivery without learning who the specific clients are.
Subject to applicable state law, in some limited situations the law allows or requires us to use or disclose your protected health information for purposes beyond treatment, payment, and operations. However, some of the disclosures set forth below may never occur in our practice.
- As Required by Law. We will disclose protected health information about you when required to do so by federal, state, or local law
- Research. We may disclose your protected health information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board or privacy board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your information.
- Health Risks. We may disclose protected health information about you to a government authority if we reasonably believe you are a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will only disclose this type of information to the extent required by law, if you agree to the disclosure, or if the disclosure is allowed by law and we believe it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to you or another person.
- Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. If you are involved in a lawsuit or dispute, we may disclose your information in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose health information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made, either by us or the requesting party, to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
- Business Associates. We may disclose information to business associates who perform services on my behalf (such as billing companies); however, we require them to appropriately safeguard your information.
- Public Health. As required by law, we may disclose your protected health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.
- To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may use and disclose protected 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.
- Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These activities include audits, investigations, and inspections, as necessary for licensure and for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
- Law Enforcement. We may release protected health information as required by law, or in response to an order or warrant of a court, a subpoena, or an administrative request. We may also disclose protected health information in response to a request related to identification or location of an individual, victims of crime, decedents, or a crime on the premises.
- Organ and Tissue Donation. If you are an organ donor, we may release protected health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
- Special Government Functions. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release protected health information about you if it relates to military and veteran’s activities. We may also release your protected health information for national security and intelligence purposes, protective services for the President, and medical suitability or determinations of the Department of State.
- Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors. We may release protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also disclose protected health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to enable them to carry out their duties.
- Correctional Institutions and Other Law Enforcement Custodial Situations. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release protected health information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official as necessary for your or another person’s health and safety.
- Worker’s Compensation. We may disclose information as necessary to comply with laws relating to worker’s compensation or other similar programs established by law.
- Food and Drug Administration. We may disclose to the FDA, or persons under the jurisdiction of the FDA, protected health information relative to adverse events with respect to drugs, foods, supplements, products and product defects, or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.
YOU CAN OBJECT TO CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES
Unless you object, or request that only a limited amount or type of information be shared, we may use or disclose protected health information about you in the following circumstances:
- We may share with a family member, relative, friend, or other person identified by you protected health information directly relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment for your care. We may also share information to notify these individuals of your location, general condition, or death.
- We may share information with a public or private agency (such as the American Red Cross) for disaster relief purposes. Even if you object, we may still share this information if necessary for the emergency circumstances.
If you would like to object to use and disclosure of protected health information in these circumstances, please use the contact information on page 1 of this document.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.
You have the following rights regarding protected health information we maintain about you:
- Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to inspect and copy protected health information that may be used to make decisions about your care. If we maintain your protected health information electronically, you can request that we provide access in an electronic form and format that is readily producible, or in a form and format agreed to by us.To inspect and copy protected health information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to Melissa Burton. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other supplies associated with your request We may not charge you a fee if you need the information for a claim for benefits under the Social Security Act or any other state or federal needs-based benefit program. We will respond to your request no later than 30 days after receiving it. There are certain situations in which we are not required to comply with your request. In these circumstances, we will respond to you in writing, stating why we will not grant your request and describe any rights you may have to request a review of our denial.
- Right to Amend. If you feel that protected health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend or supplement the information. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to Melissa Burton. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request. We will act on your request for an amendment no later than 60 days after receiving the request. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request, and we will provide a written denial to you. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask me to amend information that:
- Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
- Is not part of the protected health information kept by MBNW;
- Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
- We believe is accurate and complete.
- Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an “accounting of disclosures.” This is a list of the disclosures we made of protected health information about you. To request this list or “accounting of disclosures,” you must submit your request in writing to Melissa Burton. You may ask for disclosures made up to six years before your request (not including disclosures made before April 14, 2003). The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We are required to provide a listing of all disclosures except the following:
- For your treatment
- For billing and collection of payment for your treatment
- For health care operations
- Made to or requested by you, or that you authorized
- Occurring as a byproduct of permitted use and disclosures
- For national security or intelligence purposes or to correctional institutions or law enforcement regarding inmates
- As part of a limited data set of information that does not contain information identifying you.
- Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the protected health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations or to persons involved in your care. We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment, the disclosure is to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, or the disclosure is for one of the purposes described on pages 2-3. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to Melissa Burton.
- Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that I communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to Melissa Burton. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
- Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice. You have the right to a paper copy of this Notice at any time by contacting Melissa Burton.
- Right to Receive Notice of Breach. You have a right to be notified upon a breach of any of your unsecured protected health information.
- Rights for Out-of-Pocket Payments. If you paid out of pocket in full for a specific item or service, you have a right to ask that your protected health information with respect to that item or service not be disclosed to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations. We are required to agree to your request unless the disclosure is otherwise required by law.
TYPES OF USES AND DISCLOSURES REQUIRING AN AUTHORIZATION
Most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes require us to obtain an authorization from you. In addition, in most instances, we cannot use or disclose your protected health information for marketing purposes or sell your protected health information without your written authorization. Finally, any other use or disclosure not described in this Notice will be made only with your authorization. Any time you provide us with a written authorization, you may revoke it any time in writing, to the extent that we have not already taken action in reliance on your previous authorization.
OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES
We will obtain your written authorization before using or disclosing your protected health information for purposes other than those provided for above (or as otherwise permitted or required by law). You may revoke this authorization in writing at any time. Upon receipt of the written revocation, we will stop using or disclosing your information, except to the extent that we have already acted in reliance on the authorization.
YOU MAY FILE A COMPLAINT ABOUT OUR PRIVACY PRACTICES
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with Melissa Burton or file a written complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. A complaint to the Secretary should be filed within 180 days of the occurrence or action that is the subject of the complaint. If you file a complaint, we will not take any action against you or change my treatment of you in any way.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
We reserve the right to change this Notice and make the new Notice apply to health information we already have, as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of our current Notice on our website. The notice will have the effective date clearly marked at the top of the first page.
Please know that any information submitted via email or over the internet cannot be guaranteed as protected. You are sending this information at your own risk.
If you are not comfortable with this policy, please communicate with Melissa Burton by phone, regular mail, or in person.