Notice of Privacy Practices
Effective October 1, 2009
Confidentiality " We take it seriously.Planned Parenthood of Southern New England believes that everyone has the right to privacy.Our Notice of Privacy Practices can be found below.We help you maintainprivacy with the following policies:
In Our Health Centers:Planned Parenthood keeps your health information private. That means that no one will know that you have gotten services from us unless you tell them, or give us permission to tell them. Parental permission is not needed to get services from us.Note: The use of medical insurance requires us to release information about your care to your insurance company. This may mean that others (like the policy holder) may have access to information about you " including the services we provided to you.
On The Web: Planned Parenthood is committed to maintaining the privacy of visitors to our web site. We do not rent, sell or trade e-mail addresses to anyone for any reason.Our server recognizes the browser used by visitors to our web site " but not their addresses or identities. All of this information is used to help us improve our site.
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
We understand the importance of privacy and are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your medical information. We create a record of the care and services you receive from us. We do so to provide you with quality medical care and to enable us to meet our professional and legal obligations.
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information. The privacy and security provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require us to:
Make sure that health information that identifies you is kept private;
Make available this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to health information about you;
Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.
Additionally, the State of CT Public Act No. 08-167 (AN ACT CONCERNING THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS) requires that Planned Parenthood ofSouthern New Englandsafeguard your social security number if provided during patient registration.
This Notice applies to all of the records generated or received by Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, whether we documented the health information, or another doctor forwarded it to us. This Notice will tell you the ways in which we may use or disclose health information about you. This Notice also describes your rights to the health information we keep about you, and describes certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of your health information.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
The following categories describe different ways that we may use or disclose health information about you. Unless otherwise noted, each of these uses and disclosures may be made without your permission. For each category of use or disclosure, we will explain what we mean and give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, unless we ask for a separate authorization, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.
For Treatment. We may use health information about you to provide you with healthcare treatment and services. HIPAA permits us to disclose health information about you to doctors, clinicians, center operations assistants, students, volunteers or other personnel who are involved in providing the care you need. At Planned Parenthood we are more careful about your privacy and in most cases we will not disclose your health information to another provider or speak to another provider outside of Planned Parenthood about you without your consent. In accordance with CT State law, we will not disclose any confidential HIV related information about you without your written consent except in limited circumstances such as when mandated by law.
An example of when we would ask for your written consent is if you are moving and want your records sent to another provider. We will ask you to sign a form authorizing us to send your records to that provider.
For Payment: We may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive from us may be billed to and payment collected from you, an insurance company, a state Medicaid agency or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health insurance plan information about your office visit so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the visit. In some instances, we may need to 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 for operations of our healthcare practice. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run our practice and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use health information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine health information about many patients to decide whether certain new treatments are effective, or to compare how we are doing with others and to see where we can make improvements. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of health information so others may use it to study healthcare delivery without learning who our specific patients are.
Research: There may be situations where we want to use and disclose health information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the efficacy of one medication over another. For any research project that uses your health information, we will either obtain an authorization from you or ask an Institutional Review or Privacy Board to waive the requirement to obtain authorization from you. A waiver of authorization will be based upon assurances from a review board that the researchers will adequately protect your health information.
Appointment Reminders. Unless you ask that we not call you, we may use and disclose health information to call you about appointments. If you are not home, we may leave a message for you to call Planned Parenthood.
Sign-in sheet. We may ask you to sign in when you arrive at our office. We may also call out your name when we are ready to see you.
As Required By Law. We will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state, or local law, but we will limit our use or disclosure to the relevant requirements of the law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or 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. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
Military and Veterans. If you are a member of the armed forces or are separated/discharged from military services, we may release health information about you as required by military command authorities or the Department of Veterans Affairs as may be applicable. We may also release health information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authorities.
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 activities. These activities generally include the following:
To prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
To report births and deaths;
To report child abuse or neglect;
To report reactions to medications or problems with products;
To notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
To notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition;
To notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government 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 health information about you in response to an order issued by a court or administrative tribunal.
Law Enforcement. We may, and are sometimes required by law, to disclose health information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official for purposes such as identifying of locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person, complying with a court order, warrant, grand jury subpoena and other law enforcement purposes.
Coroners, Health Examiners and Funeral Directors. We may release health information to a coroner or health examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release health information about patients to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
Inmates. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release health information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary: (1) for the institution to provide you with healthcare; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION
Other uses and disclosures of health information previously described in this Notice will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose health 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 the records of the care that we provide to you.
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 certain rights to inspect and copy health information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes health and billing records. This does not include psychotherapy notes.
To inspect and copy health information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing on a form provided by us. If you request a copy of your health information, we may charge a fee for the costs of locating, copying, mailing or other supplies and services associated with your request.
We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to health information, you may in certain instances request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed healthcare professional chosen by our practice will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your initial request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to Amend. If you feel that 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 for as long as we keep the information. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing on a form provided by us and submitted to: The Privacy Official at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.
We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not the form provided by us and does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us 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 health information kept by or for our practice;
Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
Is accurate and complete.
Any amendment we make to your health information will be disclosed to those with whom we disclose information as previously specified.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request a list (accounting) of any disclosures of your health information we have made, except for uses and disclosures for treatment, payment, and health care operations, as previously described. There are very few instances when we would make a disclosure of your health information for purposes other than treatment, payment or health care operations. To request this list of disclosures, you must submit your request on a form that we will provide to you.
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 health care operations. For example, you have the right to request that we not include your health information in a medical record review we might do to evaluate the quality of care we provide. 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 or the payment for your care.
While we will try to accommodate your request for restrictions, we are not required to do so if it is not feasible for us to ensure our compliance with law or we believe it will negatively impact the care we may provide you. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment. To request a restriction, you must make your request on a form that we will provide you. In your request, you must tell us what information you want to limit and to whom you want the limits to apply.
Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about health matters in a certain manner or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail to a post office box. During our intake process, we will ask you how you wish to receive communications about your health care or for any other instructions on notifying you about your health information. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice. You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this Notice at any time upon request. You may also obtain a copy of this Notice at our website: http://www.plannedparenthood.orgwww.plannedparenthood.org/.
MINORS AND PERSONS WITH GUARDIANS
Minors have all the rights outlined in this Notice with respect to health information relating to reproductive healthcare, except in emergency situations or when the law requires reporting of abuse and neglect.
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 health information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will keep a current copy of the Notice posted in our center. The Notice contains the effective date on the first page.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us by writing to The Privacy Official at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England at 345 Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511. You may also send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Our Privacy Official can provide you with the appropriate address upon request. Under no circumstances will you be penalized for filing a complaint.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Planned Parenthood of Sothern New Englands Privacy Official at (203) 865-5158.
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