Notice of Health Information Practices – HIPAA
This notice describes how information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
Understanding Your Health Record/Information
Each time you visit a hospital, physician, or other healthcare provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnosis, treatment, and plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as a:
- basis for planning your care and treatment
- means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care
- legal document describing the care you received
- means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided
- a tool in educating health professionals/students
- tool in integrating new technical skills or products in your care
- a source of data for medical research
- a source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of the nation
- a source of date for facility planning and marketing
- a tool with which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render and the outcomes we achieve
Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to:
- ensure its accuracy
- better understand who, what, when, where, and why others may access your health information
- make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others
Your Health Information Rights
Although your health record is the physical property of the healthcare practitioner or facility that compiled it, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:
- request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information as provided by 45 CFR 164.522
- obtain a paper copy of the notice of information practices upon request
- inspect and obtain a copy of the health record as provided for in 45 CFR 164.524
- amend your health record a provided in 45 CFR 164.528
- obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information as provided in 45 CFR 164.528
- request communications of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations
- revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken
This organization is required to:
- maintain the privacy of your health information
- provide you with a notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you
- abide by the terms of this notice
- notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction
- accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations
We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. Should our information practices change, we will mail a revised notice to the address you have supplied us.
We will not use or disclose your health information without your authorization, except as described in this notice.
For More Information or to Report a Problem
If you have any questions and would like additional information you may contact the Privacy Officer at 661-725-4847
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the Privacy Officer or with the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint.
Examples of Disclosures for Treatment, Payment and Health Operations We will use your health information for treatment.
For example: Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your healthcare team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. Your physician will document in your record his or her expectations of the members of your healthcare team. Members of your healthcare team will then record the actions they took and their observations. In that way, the physician will know how you are responding to treatment. We will also provide your primary physician or a subsequent healthcare provider with copies of the various reports that should assist him or her in treating you once discharged from the hospital or from our care.
We will use your health information for payment.
For example: Members of the medical staff may use your information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and services we provide.
Business Associates: There are some services provided in our organization through contracts with business associates. Examples include physician services in the emergency room department and radiology, certain laboratory tests and hospital admission and copy services. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your health information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we have asked them to do and bill you or your third-party payer for services rendered. To protect your health information, however, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
Notification: We may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, your location and general condition.
Communication with family: Health professionals, using their best judgment, may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify, health information relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care.
Research: We may disclose information to researchers when their research has been approved and established protocols have been put into place to ensure the privacy of your health information.
Funeral Directors/Coroner: We may disclose health information to coroner’s offices or to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties.
Organ procurement organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.
Marketing: We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
E-mail: We may contact you via e-mail as part of pre-operative workup and post-operative care.
Fund raising: We may contact you as part of a fund raising effort such as charity or promotional walks.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects, or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.
Workers compensation: We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.
Public health: As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability.
Correctional institution: Should you be an inmate of a correctional facility, we may disclose to the institution or agents thereof health information necessary for your health and the health and safety of other individuals.
Law enforcement: We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena.
Federal law makes provision for your health information to be released to an appropriate health oversight agency, public health authority or attorney, provided that a work force member or business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or have otherwise violated professional or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more patients, workers or the public.
Effective Date: April 01, 2003
We are required to abide by the terms of the Notice of Health Information Practices currently in effect. We reserve the right to change the terms of our Notice of Health Information Practices and to make the new notice provisions effective for all health information that we maintain. Revisions to our Notice of Health Information Practices will be posted on the effective date and you may request a written copy of the Revised Notice from this office.
You have the right to file a formal, written complaint with us at the address below, or with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights, in the event you feel your privacy rights have been violated. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
For more information about our Privacy Practices, please contact:
Privacy Official Central Valley Bariatrics
10 Congress Street, Suite 300
Pasadena, CA 91105
For more information about HIPAA, or to file a complaint:
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Office of Civil Rights
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
(877) 696-6775 toll free