NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICE
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED
AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW CAREFULLY.
We respect our legal obligation to keep health Information that identifies you private. We are obligated by law to give you notice of our privacy practices. This Notice describes how we protect your health Information and what rights you have regarding that information.
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 them to be filled; referring you to another doctor or clinic for eye care or low vision aids or services; or getting copies of your health information from another professional that you may have seen before us. Examples of how we use or disclose your health information for payment purposes are: asking you about your health/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 disclose 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 may call or write to remind you of scheduled appointments, or that it is time to make a routine appointment. We may also call or write to notify you of other treatments or services available at our office that might help you. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will mail you an appointment reminder on a postcard, and/or leave you a reminder message on your home answering machine 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.” 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 completed authorization form, or you can use one of ours.
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.
•Ask us to communicate with you in a confidential way, such as by phoning you at work rather than at home, by mailing health information to a different address, or by using email to your personal email address. We will accommodate these requests If they are reasonable.
•Ask to see or to get photocopies of your health information
•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. 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.
•Get additional paper copies of this Notice of Privacy Practices upon request. It does not manor whether you got one electronically or in paper form already.
OUR NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
By law, we must abide by the terms of this 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.
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 or fax shown at the beginning of this Notice. If you prefer, you can discuss your complaint in person or by phone.