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.
Purpose of this Notice
Patient plus of Louisiana is required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information (PHI). This notice applies to all records of the health care and services you received at Patient Plus. This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose your PHI. This notice also describes your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of your PHI. A paper copy will be provided upon request.
Patient Plus’ Commitment
We are required by law to: (i) make sure that your PHI is kept private; (ii) give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI; (iii) follow the terms of this notice as long as it is currently in effect (if we revise this notice, we will follow the terms of the revised notice as long as it is currently in effect); (iv) train our personnel concerning privacy and confidentiality; (v) mitigate (lessen the harm of) any breach of privacy/confidentiality; and (vi) notify affected individuals following a breach of unsecured PHI.
How We May Use and Disclose Information about You
The following categories (listed in bold-face print, below) describe different ways that we use and disclose your protected health information (PHI). For each category of uses or disclosures we will explain what we mean and give you some examples, but not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed.
For Treatment. We are permitted to use and disclose your PHI to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you or providing you with medical treatment or services. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process. We also may disclose your PHI to health care providers that are not affiliated with Patient Plus who may be involved in your medical care, such as physicians, who will provide follow-up care, physical therapy organizations, medical equipment suppliers, and skilled nursing facilities.
For Payment. We are permitted to use and disclose your PHI so that the treatment and services you receive at/by Patient Plus may be billed to (and payment may be collected from) your insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about the services you received at Patient Plus so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the services.
For Health Care Operations. We are permitted to use and disclose your PHI for our business operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run Patient Plus and to make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use PHI to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you.
To Business Associates for Treatment, Payment and Health Care Operations. We are permitted to disclose your PHI to our business associates in order to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations. For example, we may disclose your PHI to a company we hire to bill insurance companies on our behalf to help us obtain payment for the health care services we provide.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. We may release your PHI to a family member, other relative, or close personal friend who is involved in your medical care if the PHI released is directly relevant to the person’s involvement with your care. We also may release information to someone who helps pay for your care. We also may tell your family or friends that you are at Patient Plus and what your general condition is.
Other Uses/Disclosures. We may use and disclose medical information: (i) to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you; (ii) to give you information about treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you; or (iii) to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at Patient Plus.
As Required By Law. We will disclose your PHI when required to do so by federal, state, or local law.
Public Health Activities. We may disclose your PHI for certain public health activities (e.g., controlling disease, injury, or disability; reporting abuse or neglect; reporting drug reactions), but only if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose PHI to a government health oversight agency for activities authorized by law such as audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure.
Lawsuits and Disputes. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose your PHI in response to a court or administrative order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute.
Law Enforcement. In certain designated situations, we may release PHI if asked to do so by a law enforcement official.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. We may release PHI: (i) to a coroner ormedicalexaminer to identify a deceased person or to determine the cause of death; or (ii) to a funeral director as necessary to help them carry out their duties.
Other Special Situation. We may use and/or disclose PHI: (i) to organizations that handle or facilitate organ procurement or transplantation; (ii) to law enforcement when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person; (iii) as required by applicable military command authorities (if you are a member of the armed forces); (iv) to authorized federal officials for certain national security purposes; or (vi) for workers compensation purposes.
When Your Authorization is Required
Uses or disclosures of your PHI for other purposes or activities not listed above will be made only with your written authorization (permission). Uses and disclosure of PHI that require an authorization include psychotherapy notes, marketing uses, and sale of PHI.
If you provide us authorization to use or disclose your PHI, you may revoke your authorization in writing at any time. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose your PHI for the reasons covered by your written permission. However, we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission.
Your Rights: You have the following rights regarding the PHI we maintain about you:
Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the PHI we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have to 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. We are not required to agree with your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment.
Right to Request Confidential Communications. 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 by telephone at work or that we only contact you by mail at home. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Right to Inspect and Receive a Copy. You have the right to inspect and receive a copy of PHI that may be used to make decisions about your care. Psychotherapy notes may not be inspected or copied. We may deny your request to inspect or receive a copy in certain very limited circumstances.
Right to Amend. If you believe that PHI we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for Patient Plus. You must include a reason that supports your request. We may deny your request for an amendment in certain limited circumstances.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an “accounting of disclosures” that have been made by Patient Plus in the past six (6) years.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice. You have the right to a paper copy of this notice (even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically). You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time.
Changes to this Notice
We reserve the right to change 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 receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice on Patient Plus premises and on the Patient Plus web site. The noticed will contain, in the lower left- hand corner, the effective date. In addition, each time you register at, or are admitted to, Patient Plus for treatment purposes, you may request a copy of the current notice in effect.
Requests, Questions, and Complaints
If you have any questions or would like additional information on these rights, you may contact Patient Plus’ Privacy Officer at our offices. Additionally, if you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with either Patient Plus’ Privacy Officer or with the office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Human Health and Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington, D.C. 20201. You will not be penalized in any way for filing a complaint.