NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
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.
Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates (“BIMGA”) is required by law to maintain the privacy of Protected Health Information (“PHI”), to provide individuals with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI, and to notify affected individuals following a breach of unsecured PHI. PHI is information that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services. This Notice of Privacy Practices (“Notice”) describes how we may use and disclose PHI to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other specified purposes that are permitted or required by law. The Notice also describes your rights with respect to PHI about you.
Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates is required to follow the terms of this Notice. We will not use or disclose PHI about you without your written authorization, except as described in this Notice. We reserve the right to change our practices and this Notice and to make the new Notice effective for all PHI we maintain. Upon request, we will provide any revised Notice to you.
Your Health Information Rights
You have the following rights with respect to PHI about you:
Obtain a paper copy of the Notice upon request. You may request a copy of the Notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive the Notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy. To obtain a paper copy, contact us or you may send a written request to BIMGA addressed to the contact information below.
Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of PHI. You have the right to request additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of PHI about you by sending a written request on the standard “Request for Additional Privacy” form to: BIMGA addressed to the contact information below.
We are not required to agree to most restrictions, however we must agree to your request to restrict disclosure of PHI to a health plan if (A) the disclosure is for the purpose of carrying out payment or healthcare operations and is not otherwise required by law; and (B) the PHI pertains solely to a healthcare item or service for which you, or someone on your behalf other than the health plan, has paid us in full.
Inspect and obtain a copy of PHI. You have the right to access and copy PHI about you contained in a designated record set for as long as Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates maintains the PHI. The designated record set usually will include laboratory tests, prescription information, progress notes, and billing records. To receive a summary of PHI about you contact: Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates. To inspect or copy detailed PHI about you, you must send a written request on the standard “Authorization to Release Healthcare Information” form to: BIMGA addressed to the contact information below. We may charge you a fee for the costs of copying, mailing and supplies that are necessary to fulfill your request. We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain limited circumstances. If you are denied access to PHI about you, you may request that the denial be reviewed.
Request an amendment of PHI. If you feel that PHI we maintain about you is incomplete or incorrect, you may request that we amend it. You may request an amendment for as long as we maintain the PHI. To request an amendment, you must send a written request on the standard “Request for Amendment” to: BIMGA addressed to the contact information below.You must include a reason that supports your request. In certain cases, we may deny your request for amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with the decision and we may give a rebuttal to your statement. Receive an accounting of disclosures of PHI. You have the right to receive an accounting of the disclosures we have made of PHI about you for most purposes other than treatment, payment, or health care operations. The accounting will exclude certain disclosures, such as disclosures made directly to you,disclosures you authorize, disclosures to friends or family members involved in your care, and disclosures for notification purposes. The right to receive an accounting is subject to certain other exceptions, restrictions, and limitations. To request an accounting, you must submit a request in writing on the standard “Request for Accounting” form to: BIMGA addressed to the contact information below.Your request must specify the time period for which you wish an accounting, which may not be longer than six years. The first accounting you request within a 12 month period will be provided free of charge, but you may be charged for the cost of providing additional accountings. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time.
Request communications of PHI by alternative means or at alternative locations. For instance, you may request that we contact you about medical matters only in writing or at a different residence or post office box. To request confidential communication of PHI about you, you must submit a request in writing on the standard “Request for Additional Privacy” form. All completed forms must be submitted in person at Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates. Your request must state how or where you would like to be contacted. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. In the event of an emergency regarding your treatment, if we cannot reach you promptly using the alternative means or alternative location you requested, we may try to reach you by other means or at another location.
Examples of How We May Use and Disclose PHI
The following are descriptions and examples of ways we use and disclose PHI:
We will use PHI for treatment. For example, information obtained by the Physician will be used to plan your care and treatment, and may be used to monitor the effectiveness and compliance of your treatment plan. In addition, we may contact you to provide appointment reminders, information about treatment alternatives, educational information about current or new therapeutic products, or information about other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. We will document in your record information related to the medications dispensed to you and services provided to you.
We will use PHI for payment. For example, we will contact your health insurer to determine whether it will pay for the services provided by us and the amount of your copayment. We will bill you or your health insurer for the cost of services provided to you. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as the services you received.
We will use PHI for health care operations. For example, BIMGA may use information in your health record to monitor the quality of care you receive from us while we are providing treatment to you. This information will be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the health care and service we provide.
We also are permitted or required to use or disclose PHI for the following purposes; however, some of these disclosures may never occur at our practice.
Business associates: There are some services provided by us through contracts with business associates. For example, we may contract with a third party to perform ancillary services for us. We may disclose PHI about you to our business associate so that they can perform the job we have asked them to do and bill you or your third-party payor for services rendered. To protect PHI about you, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard the PHI.
Communication with individuals involved in your care or payment for your care: Health professionals such as Physicians, using their professional judgment, may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any person you identify, PHI relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care.
Abuse, Neglect And Other Related Circumstances: We may disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We may also disclose the information to avert a serious health crisis that could affect you or the health or the safety of others.
Worker’s compensation: We may disclose PHI about you as authorized by and as necessary to comply with laws relating to worker’s compensation or similar programs established by law.
Public health: As required by law, we may disclose PHI about you to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.
Law enforcement: We may disclose PHI about you for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena or other legal process.
As required by law: We must disclose PHI about you when required to do so by law.
Health oversight activities: We may disclose PHI about you to an oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include audits, investigations, and inspections, as necessary for our licensure and for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Judicial and administrative proceedings: If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose PHI about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose PHI about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the requested PHI.
Research: We may disclose PHI about you to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your information.
Coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors: We may release PHI about you to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also disclose PHI to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties.
Organ or tissue procurement organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose PHI about you to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.
Notification: We may use or disclose PHI about you to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, your location, and your general condition.
Correctional institution: If you are or become an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose PHI to the institution or its agents when necessary for your health or the health and safety of others. To avert a serious threat to health or safety: We may use and disclose PHI 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.
Military and veterans: If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release PHI about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release PHI about foreign military personnel to the appropriate military authority.
National security and intelligence activities: We may release PHI about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
Protective services for the President and others: We may disclose PHI about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.
Other Uses and Disclosures of PHI:
Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates will obtain your written authorization before using or disclosing PHI about you for purposes other than those provided for above or as otherwise permitted or required by law. Your authorization is required for uses and disclosures of PHI for marketing purposes or disclosures that constitute a sale of PHI. You may revoke an authorization in writing at any time. Within five (5) days of the receipt of the written revocation, we will stop using or disclosing PHI about you, except to the extent that we have already taken action in reliance on the authorization.
Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates’ Employees:
We may disclose PHI about you for a work-related illness or injury or a workplace-related medical surveillance.
If you are a minor who has lawfully provided consent for treatment and you would like BIMGA, to the extent permitted by your state’s laws, to treat you as an adult for purposes of access to and disclosure of records related to such treatment, please notify the Physician.
For More Information or to Report a Problem:
If you have questions or would like additional information about the Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates privacy practices, please contact:
Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates
755 N. 11th Street, Suite P5200,
Beaumont, TX 77702
(409) 898 – 2994
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint in writing by submitting a standard “Complaint” form to the Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates’ Practice Administrator or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint.
Effective Date: This Notice is effective as of April 14, 2003. Revised as of March 19, 2015.
Texas Law Supplement
The following Texas law supplements the listed “Examples of How We May Use and Disclose PHI,” except as otherwise permitted or required by law:
We will only release your confidential record to you, your agent, or to:
- a practitioner or another Physician if, in the Physician’s professional judgment, the release is necessary to protect your health and well being;
- the medical board or another state or federal agency authorized by law to receive the record;
- a law enforcement agency engaged in investigation of a suspected violation of the controlled substances laws, or the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970;
- a person employed by a state agency that licenses a practitioner, if the person is performing the person’s official duties; or an insurance carrier or other third party payor authorized by the patient to receive the information.
- an insurance carrier or other third party payor authorized by the patient to receive the information