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Privacy Policy

Effective date of notice:  September 20, 2013

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
CAVETT EYE CARE, LLC
SONJA CAVETT, O.D.
2911 TERRELL ROAD, SUITE E
GREENVILLE, TX  75402
PHONE 903-454-8600
FAX 903-454-8601
www.cavetteyecare.com
CONTACT PERSON: Jamie Kane
 

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.  Your "health information," for purposes of this Notice, is generally any information that identifies you and is created, received, maintained or transmitted by us in the course of providing health care items or services to you (referred to as "health information" in this Notice).

We are required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") and other applicable laws to maintain the privacy of your health information, to provide individuals with this Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to such information, and to abide by the terms of this Notice. We are also required by law to notify affected individuals following a breach of their unsecured health information.  This Notice describes how we protect your health information and what rights you have regarding it.

TREATMENT, PAYMENT, AND HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS
The most common reason why we use or disclose your health information is for treatment, payment or health care operations.  Examples of how we use or disclose information for treatment purposes are:  setting up an appointment for you; testing or examining your eyes; prescribing glasses, contact lenses, or eye medications and faxing or electronically transmitting them to be filled; showing you low vision aids; referring you to another doctor or clinic for eye care of low vision aids or services; getting copies of your health information from another professional that you may have seen before us.  Examples of how we use or disclosure your health information for payment purposes are:  asking you about your health or vision care plans, or other sources of payment; preparing and sending bills or claims; and collecting unpaid amounts (either ourselves or through a collection agency or attorney).  “Health care operations” mean those administrative and managerial functions that we have to do in order to run our office.  Examples of how we use or disclosure your health information for health care operations are:  financial or billing audits; internal quality assurance; personnel decisions; participation in managed care plans; defense of legal matters; business planning; and outside storage of our records.

We routinely use your health information inside our office for these purposes without any special permission.  If we need to disclose your health information outside of our office, we will ask you for special written permission.  

USES AND DISCLOSURES FOR OTHER REASONS WITHOUT PERMISSION
In some limited situations, the law allows or requires us to use or disclose your health information without your permission.  Not all of these situations will apply to us; some may never come up at our office at all.  Such uses or disclosures are:

  • when a state or federal law mandates that certain health information be reported for a specific purpose;
  • for public health purposes, such as contagious disease reporting, investigation or surveillance; and notices to and from the federal Food and Drug Administration regarding drugs or medical devices;
  • disclosures to governmental authorities about victims of suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence;
  • uses and disclosures for health oversight activities, such as for the licensing of doctors; for audits by Medicare or insurance companies; or for investigation of possible violations of health care laws;
  • disclosures for judicial and administrative proceedings, such as in response to subpoenas or orders of courts or administrative agencies;
  • disclosures for law enforcement purposes, such as to provide information about someone who is or is suspected to be a victim of a crime; to provide information about a crime at our office; or to report a crime that happened somewhere else;
  • disclosure to a medical examiner to identify a dead person or to determine the cause of death; or to funeral directors to aid in burial; or to organizations that handle organ or tissue donations;
  • uses or disclosures for health related research;
  • uses and disclosures to prevent a serious threat to health or safety;
  • uses or disclosures for specialized government functions, such as for the protection of the president or high ranking government officials; for lawful national intelligence activities; for military purposes; or for the evaluation and health of members of the foreign service;
  • disclosures of de-identified information;
  • disclosures relating to worker’s compensation programs;
  • disclosures of a “limited data set” for research, public health, or health care operations;
  • incidental disclosures that are an unavoidable by-product of permitted uses or disclosures;
  • disclosures to “Business Associates who perform health care operations for us and who commit to respect the privacy of your health information.

Unless you object, we will all share relevant information about your care with your family or friends who are helping you with your eye care.  Upon your death, we may disclose to your family members or to other persons who were involved in your care or payment for heath care prior to your death (such as your personal representative) health information relevant to their involvement in your care unless doing so is inconsistent with your preferences as expressed to us prior to your death.

SPECIFIC USES AND DISCLOSURES OF INFORMATION REQUIRING YOUR AUTHORIZATION
The following are some specific uses and disclosures we may not make of your health information without your authorization:

  • Marketing activities. We must obtain your authorization prior to using or disclosing any of your health information for marketing purposes unless such marketing communications take the form of face-to-face communications we may make with individuals or promotional gifts of nominal value that we may provide. If such marketing involves financial payment to us from a third party your authorization must also include consent to such payment.
  • Sale of health information. We do not currently sell or plan to sell your health information and we must seek your authorization prior to doing so.
  • Psychotherapy notes. Although we do not create or maintain psychotherapy notes on our patients, we are required to notify you that we generally must obtain your authorization prior to using or disclosing any such notes.

APPOINTMENT REMINDERS
We may call, write, e-mail, or text to remind you of scheduled appointments, or that it is time to make a routine appointment.  In addition, we may contact you, either directly or through a Business Associate, to provide information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.  Unless you tell us otherwise, we will e-mail or text you an appointment reminder, and/or leave you a message on your voice mail or with someone who answers your phone if you are not home.  

OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES
We will not make any other uses or disclosures of your health information unless you sign a written “authorization form.”  The content of an “authorization form” is determined by federal law.  Sometimes, we may initiate the authorization process if the use or disclosure is our idea.  Sometimes, you may initiate the process if it’s your idea for us to send your information to someone else.  Typically, in this situation you will give us a properly completely authorization form, or you can use one of ours.

You may give us written authorization permitting us to use your health information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose.

If we initiate the process and ask you to sign an authorization form, you do not have to sign it.  If you do not sign the authorization, we cannot make the use or disclosure.  If you do sign one, you may revoke it at any time unless we have already acted in reliance upon it.  We may also be required to disclosure health information as necessary for purposes of payment for services received by you prior to the date your revoked your authorization.  Revocations must be in writing.  Send them to the office contact person named at the beginning of this Notice.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
The law gives you many rights regarding your health information.  You can:

  • Ask us to restrict our uses and disclosures for purposes of treatment (except emergency treatment), payment or health care operations.  We do not have to agree to do this, but if we agree, we must honor the restrictions that you want.  To ask for a restriction, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, fax or e-mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.
  • Ask us to restrict disclosure of your health information to a health plan if the disclosure is for the purpose of carrying out payment or health care operations and is not otherwise required by law and such information pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid in full (or for which another person other than the health plan has paid in full on your behalf).
  • Ask us to receive confidential communications of health information about you in any manner other than described in our authorization request form. You must make such requests in writing to the address above. However, we reserve the right to determine if we will be able to continue your treatment under such restrictive authorizations.
  • Ask to inspect or copy your health information.  You must make such requests in writing to the address above.  Copies are available by paper, fax, or e-mail.  By law, there are a few limited situations in which we can refuse to permit access or copying.  For the most part, however, you will be able to review or have a copy of your health information within 30 days of asking us (or 60 days if the information is stored off-site).  If you request a copy of your health information we may charge you a fee for the cost of copying, mailing or other supplies.  In certain circumstances we may deny your request to inspect or copy your health information, subject to applicable law. If we deny your request, we will send you a written explanation, and instructions about how to get an impartial review of our denial if one is legally available.  By law, we can have one 30 day extension of the time for us to give you access or photocopies if we send you a written notice of the extension. If you want to review or get photocopies of your health information, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, fax or e-mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.
  • Ask us to amend your health information if you think that it is incorrect or incomplete.  If we agree, we will amend the information within 60 days from when you ask us.  We will send the corrected information to persons who we know got the wrong information, and others that you specify.  We may deny your request to amend your health information if it is not in writing or does not provide a reason to support your request. We may also deny your request if the health information:  was not created by us, unless the person that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment, is not part of the health information kept by or for us, is not part of the information you would be permitted to inspect or copy, or is accurate and complete.  If we do not agree, you can write a statement of your position, and we will include it with your health information along with any rebuttal statement that we may write.  Once your statement of position and/or our rebuttal is included in your health information, we will send it along whenever we make a permitted disclosure of your health information.  By law, we can have one 30 day extension of time to consider a request for amendment if we notify you in writing of the extension.  If you want to ask us to amend your health information, send a written request, including your reasons for the amendment, to the office contact person at the address, fax or e-mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.
  • Get a list of the disclosures that we have made of your health information within the past six years (or a shorter period if you want).  By law, the list will not include:  disclosures for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations; disclosures with your authorization; incidental disclosures; disclosures required by law; and some other limited disclosures. You are entitled to one such list per year without charge.  If you want more frequent lists, you will have to pay for them in advance.  We will usually respond to your request within 60 days of receiving it, but by law we can have one 30 day extension of time if we notify you of the extension in writing.  Your request must state how you would like to receive the report (paper, electronically).If you want a list, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, fax or e-mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.
  • Ask us to designate another party to receive your health information. If your request for access of your health information directs us to transmit a copy of the health information directly to another person the request must be made by you in writing to the address above and must clearly identify the designated recipient and where to send the copy of the health information.
  • Get additional paper copies of the Notice of Privacy Practices upon request.  It does not matter whether you got one electronically or in paper form already.  If you want additional paper copies, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, fax or e-mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING BREACHES OF HEALTHCARE INFORMATION
A breach is the unauthorized acquisition, access, use, or disclosure of health information that compromises the security or privacy of your information.  If a breach occurs, it is your right to be notified and our office will notify you of any breaches.  In the event of a breach, our office will perform a risk assessment to determine the likelihood that health information has been compromised.  You have the right to and will receive notifications of breaches of any unsecured protected health information.

OUR NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
By law, we must abide by the terms of the Notice of Privacy Practices until we choose to change it.  We reserve the right to change this notice at any time as allowed by law.  If we change this Notice, the new privacy practices will apply to your health information that we already have as well as to such information that we may generate in the future.  If we change our Notice of Privacy Practices, we will post the new notice in our office and have copies available in our office, and post it on our website.

COMPLAINTS
If you think that we have not properly respected the privacy of your health information, you are free to complain to us or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights.  We will not retaliate against you if you make a complaint.  If you want to complain to us, send a written complaint to the office contact person at the address, fax or e-mail shown at the beginning of this Notice.  If you prefer, you can discuss your complaint in person or by phone.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you want more information about our privacy practices, call or visit the office contact person at the address or phone number shown at the beginning of this Notice.