Notices of Privacy Practices

This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed by Rockwall Dermatology and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully. You can view and download a copy of this notice here.

Your Rights

When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you:

  • Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record. You can ask to see or get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. Ask us how to do this. We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee.
  • Ask us to correct your medical record. You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this. We may say "no" to your request, but we'll tell you why in writing within 60 days.
  • Request confidential communications. You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address. We will say "yes" to all reasonable requests.
  • Ask us to limit what we use or share. You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our operations. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say "no" if it would affect your care. If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will say "yes" unless a law requires us to share that information.
  • Get a list of those with whom we've shared information. You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we've shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why. We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We'll provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
  • Get a copy of this privacy notice. You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.
  • Choose someone to act for you. If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information. We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.
  • File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated. You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us using the information on the last page. You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
  • Right to Revoke Authorization. If you provide us with written authorization to use or disclose your medical information for such other purposes, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose your medical information for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any uses or disclosures we have already made in reliance upon your authorization, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.

Your Choices

For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions. In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:

  • Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care.
  • Share information in a disaster relief situation.
  • Include your information in a hospital directory.
  • If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.

In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:

  • Marketing purposes
  • Sale of your information
  • Most sharing of psychotherapy notes
  • In the case of fundraising, we may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.

Our Uses and Disclosures

How do we typically use or share your health information? We typically use or share your health information in the following ways:

  • Treat you. We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you. Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.
  • Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. We may disclose medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your health care, as well as to someone who helps pay for your care, but we will do so only as allowed by state or federal law (with an opportunity for you to agree or object when required under the law), or in accordance with your prior authorization.
  • Run our organization. We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary. Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services.
  • Quality Assurance. We may need to use or disclose your medical information for our internal processes to assess and facilitate the provision of quality care to our patients.
  • Utilization Review. We may need to use or disclose your medical information to perform a review of the services we provide in order to evaluate whether that the appropriate level of services is received, depending on condition and diagnosis.
  • Credentialing and Peer Review. We may need to use or disclose your medical information in order for us to review the credentials, qualifications and actions of our health care providers.
  • Treatment Alternatives. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that we believe may be of interest to you.
  • Appointment Reminders and Health Related Benefits and Services. We may use and disclose medical information, in order to contact you (including, for example, contacting you by phone and leaving a message on an answering machine) to provide appointment reminders and other information. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that we believe may be of interest to you.
  • Business Associates. There are some services (such as billing or legal services) that may be provided to or on behalf of our Practice through contracts with business associates. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your medical information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we have asked them to do. To protect your medical information, however, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
  • Marketing of Related Health Services. We may use or disclose your medical information to send you treatment or healthcare operations communications concerning treatment alternatives or other health-related products or services. We may provide such communications to you in instances where we receive financial remuneration from a third party in exchange for making the communication only with your specific authorization unless the communication: (i) is made face-to-face by the Practice to you, (ii) consists of a promotional gift of nominal value provided by the Practice, or (iii) is otherwise permitted by law. If the marketing communication involves financial remuneration and an authorization is required, the authorization must state that such remuneration is involved. Additionally, if we use or disclose information to send a written marketing communication (as defined by Texas law) through the mail, the communication must be sent in an envelope showing only the name and addresses of sender and recipient and must (i) state the name and toll-free number of the entity sending the market communication; and (ii) explain the recipient's right to have the recipient's name removed from the sender's mailing list.
  • Bill for your services. We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities. Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.

How else can we use or share your health information? We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways - usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.

  • Help with public health and safety issues. We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:
    • Preventing disease
    • Helping with product recalls
    • Reporting adverse reactions to medications
    • Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
    • Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone's health or safety
  • Do research. We can use or share your information for health research.
  • Comply with the law. We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we're complying with federal privacy law.
  • Respond to organ and tissue donation requests. We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations.
  • Work with a medical examiner or funeral director. We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
  • For workers' compensation claims. We may disclose medical information about you for your workers' compensation or similar program. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries. For example, if you have injuries that resulted from your employment, workers' compensation insurance or a state workers' compensation program may be responsible for payment for your care, in which case we might be required to provide information to the insurer or program.
  • For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official.
  • With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law.
  • For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services.
  • Respond to lawsuits and legal actions. We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
  • Authorizations. There are times we may need or want to use or disclose your medical information for reasons other than those listed above, but to do so we will need your prior authorization. Other than expressly provided herein, any other uses or disclosures of your medical information will require your specific written authorization.
  • Psychotherapy Notes, Marketing and Sale of Medical Information. Most uses and disclosures of "psychotherapy notes," uses and disclosures of medical information for marketing purposes, and disclosures that constitute a "sale of medical information" under HIPAA require your authorization.

Our Responsibilities

We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information. We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information. We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it. We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html.

Changes to the Terms of This Notice

We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our web site.

Effective Date of This Notice

January 31, 2015

Privacy Official

Michael Saucier can be reached at 469-377-1700.

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