NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION
Please review it carefully

If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Amy Cash, the designated privacy official at our office.

Barry S. Handler, M.D.
6699 Alvarado Rd., Suite 2305
San Diego, CA 92120
619-583-4222

WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE:

This notice describes information about privacy practices followed by our employees, staff and other personnel. The practices described in this notice will also be followed by healthcare providers you consult with by telephone (when your regular healthcare provider from our office is not available) who provide “call coverage” for your healthcare provider.

YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION:
This notice applies to the information and records we have about your health, health status, and the healthcare and services you receive at this office.

We are required by law to give you this notice. It will tell  you about the ways in which we may use and disclose health information about you and describes your rights and our obligations regarding the use and disclosure of that information.

HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU:
We must have your written, signed Consent to use and disclose health information for the following purposes:

For 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 skin cancer 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 tell another doctor about our condition so that the 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 to coordinate your care, such as phoning in prescriptions to your pharmacy, scheduling lab work and ordering X-Rays. Family members and other healthcare providers may be part of your medical care outside this office and may require information about you that we have.

For Payment: We may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at this office may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about a service you received here so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the service. We may also tell  your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval, or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.

For Healthcare Operations: We may use and disclose health information about you in order to run the office and make sure that you and our other patients receive quality care. For example, we may use your health information to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also use health information to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also use health information about all or many of our patients to help us decide what additional service we should offer, how we can become more efficient, or whether certain new treatments are effective.

Lawsuits and Disputes: If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose health information about you in a response to a court or administrative order. Subject to all applicable legal requirements, we may also disclose health information about you in response to subpoena.

Law Enforcement: We may release health information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official in response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons, or similar process, subject to all applicable legal requirements.

Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors: We may release 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.

Information Not Personally Identifiable: We may use or disclose health information about you in a way that does not personally identify you or reveal who you are.

 

Family and Friends: We may disclose health information about you to your family members or friends if we obtain your verbal agreement to do so, or if we give you an opportunity to object to such a disclosure and you do not raise an objection. We may also disclose health information to your family or friends if we can infer from the circumstances, based on our professional judgment, that you would not object. For example, we may assume you agree to our disclosure of your personal information to your spouse with you in the exam room during treatment or while treatment is discussed.

In situations where you are not capable of giving consent (because you are not present or due to your incapacity or medical emergency), we may, using our professional judgment, determine that a disclosure to your family member or friend is in your best interest. In that situation, we will disclose only health information relevant to the person’s involvement in you r care. We may also use our professional judgment and experience to make reasonable inferences that is in your best interest to allow another person to act on your behalf to pick up, for example, filled prescriptions, medical supplies, or X-Rays.

OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION

We will not use or disclose your health information for any purpose other than those identified in the previous sections without your specific, written Authorization. We must obtain your Authorization separate from any consent we may have obtained from you. If you give us Authorization to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that Authorization, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your Authorization, we will no longer use or disclose information about you for the reasons covered by your written Authorization, but we cannot take back any uses or disclosures already made with your permission.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

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

Right to Inspect and Copy: You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, such as medical and billing records, that we use to make decisions about your care. You must submit a written request to Amy Cash, the Privacy Officer, in order to inspect and/or copy your health information. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other associated supplies. We may deny your request to inspect and/or copy in certain limited circumstances. If such a review is required by law, we will select a licensed healthcare professional to review your request, and we will comply with the outcome of the review.

Right to Amend: If you believe health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment as long as the information is kept by this office.
To request an amendment, complete and submit a Medical Record Amendment/Correction Form to Amy Cash, Privacy Official. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request.

Appointment Reminders: We may contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at the office.

Treatment Alternatives: We may tell about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.

Health-Related Products and Services: We may tell you about health-related products or services that may be of interest to you.

Please notify us if you do not wish to contacted for appointment reminders, or if you do not wish to receive communications about treatment alternative or health-related products and services. If you advise us in writing (at the address listed at the top of this Notice) that you do not wish to receive such communications, we will not use or disclose your information for these purposes.

You may revoke your consent at anytime by giving us a written notice. Your revocation will be effective when we receive it, but it will not apply to any uses and disclosures that occurred before that time.

I f you do revoke you Consent, we will not be permitted to use or disclose information for purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations, and we may therefore choose to discontinue providing you with healthcare treatment and services.

SPECIAL SITUATIONS: 
We may use 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 and 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 will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state, or local law.

Research: We may use and disclose health information about you for research projects that are subject to a special approval process. We will ask for your permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care at the office.

Organ and Tissue Donation: If you are an organ donor, we may release health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate such donation and 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 release health information about you for workers’ compensation or  similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.

Public Health Risks: We may disclose health information about you for public health reasons in order to prevent or control disease, injury or disability; or report births, deaths, suspected abuse or neglect, non-accidental physical injuries, reactions, to medications or problems with products.

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

  1. We did not create, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment.
  2. Is not part of the health information that we keep.
  3. You would not be permitted to inspect and copy.
  4. 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 medical information about you for purposes other than treatment, payment and healthcare operations. To obtain this list, you must submit your request in writing to Amy Cash,, Privacy Official. It must state a time period, which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper or electronically). We may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any cots are incurred.

Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care of the payment for it, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a surgery you had.

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.

To request restrictions, you may complete and submit the Request For Restriction On Use/Disclosure Of Medical Information to Amy Cash, Privacy Official.

Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice: You have the right to a paper copy this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive it electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy. To obtain such a copy, contact Amy Cash, Privacy Official.

CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE:
We reserve the right to change this notice, and 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 summary of the current notice in the office with its effective date in the top right hand corner. You are entitled to a copy of the notice current in effect.

COMPLAINTS:
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our office or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with our office, contact Amy Cash, Administrator, Barry S. Handler, M.D., 619-697-4222. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.