Patient Privacy Policy

Vestal Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is committed to protecting your privacy, both in the office and online. We make every effort to safeguard your personal data. We comply with all HIPAA requirements, including the gathering of personal information and online security.

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. THIS NOTICE APPLIES TO ALL OF THE RECORDS OF YOUR CARE GENERATED BY THIS PRACTICE WHETHER MADE BY THE PRACTICE OR AN ASSOCIATED FACILITY.

The Practice provides this Notice to comply with the Privacy Regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This notice describes our Practice’s policies, which extend to any health care professional authorized to enter information into your chart, all employees, staff and other personnel working for or with our Practice, and our business associates (labs, referring offices, physical therapists, dental supply companies, etc.).

HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

The following categories describe ways we use and disclose protected health information. Each category provides a general explanation and provides some examples of uses. Not every use or disclosure in a category is either listed or actually in place.

We use your medical information to provide current or prospective medical treatment or services to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, or hospital personnel involved in your care. We may discuss your medical information with you to recommend possible treatment options or alternatives. We may communicate to a referring office via a secured internet site to obtain your x-rays and patient information. We may disclose your medical information to others involved in your medical care after you leave the Practice; this may include your family members, personal representatives authorized by you or by a legal mandate.

We may disclose your medical information for services and procedures so they may be billed and collected from you, an insurance company, or any third party payor. We may also tell your health plan and/or referring physician about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment, to facilitate payment of a referring physician.

The final category under which we may use or disclose your protected health information without your permission is for health care operations. This includes a wide range of day-today activities performed by us such as quality assessment, case management, and care coordination, contacting other providers about care alternatives for you, conducting internal training programs for supervisory purposes, and activities associated with the licensing and issuance of credentials for our staff.

·         Appointment and Patient Recall Reminders

We may ask that you sign-in at the Receptionists’ Desk, writing in a “Sign In” log on the day of your appointment. On the day of your appointment, we may call your name in the reception area to bring you to the treatment area. We may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for medical care with the Practice or that you are due to receive periodic care from the Practice. This contact may be by phone, in writing, e-mail, or otherwise and may involve leaving an e-mail, a message on an answering machine, or otherwise which could (potentially) be received or intercepted by others.

·         To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety

We may use and disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat either to your specific health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.

·         Public Health Risks

Law or public policy may require us to disclose medical information about you for public health

activities.

·         Investigation and Government Activities

We may disclose medical information to a local, state or federal agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the payor, the government and other regulatory agencies to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.

·         Lawsuits and Disputes

If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order. This is particularly true if you make your health an issue. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute. We shall attempt in these cases to tell you about the request so that you may obtain an order protecting the information requested if you so desire. We may use such information to defend ourselves, or any member of our Practice in any actual or threatened action. We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official.

CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE

We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical information we already have about you as well as any information we may receive from you in the future. A copy of the current notice will be available in the Practice. In addition, each time you visit the Practice for treatment or health care services you may request a copy of the current notice in effect.

OTHER USES OF MEDICAL INFORMATION

Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission, unless those uses can be reasonably inferred from the intended uses above. If you have provided us with your permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that Permission, in writing. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.

PATIENT RIGHTS

You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:

You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care.

 

If you feel that the medical information we have about you in your record is incorrect or incomplete, then you may ask us to amend the information. To request an amendment, your request must be submitted in writing, along with your intended amendment and a reason that supports your request to amend. The amendment must be dated and signed by you and notarized. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. You have the right to request a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you, to others. To request this list, you must submit your request in writing. Your request must state a time period not longer than six (6) years back and may not include dates before April 14, 2003.

You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care (a family member or friend). We are not required to agree to your request, and we may not be able to comply with your request. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing and include what information you want to limit, whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both, and to whom you want the limits to apply, (e.g., disclosures to your children, parents, spouse, etc.)

You have the right to request that we 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, that we not leave voice mail or e-mail, or the like. You have the right to request confidential communications. You must make your request in writing.

Questions and Concerns

For more information or to file an internal complaint, please contact Vestal Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Vestal Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and its employees are committed to protecting patient privacy.