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.
OUR LEGAL DUTY
We are required by applicable federal and state laws to maintain the privacy of your health infor- mation. We are also required to give you this Notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your health information. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this Notice while it is in effect. This Notice takes effect April 14, 2003, and will remain in effect until we replace it.
We reserve the right to make changes to this Notice at any time, provided such changes are permit- ted by applicable law, and to make such changes effective for all health information we may al- ready have about you. We reserve the right to make the changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our Notice effective for all health information that we maintain, including health in- formation we created or received before we made the changes. Before we make a significant change in our privacy practices, we will change this Notice and make the new Notice available upon request.
You may request a copy of our Notice at any time. For more information about our privacy prac- tices, or for additional copies of this Notice, please contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION
We use and disclose health information about you for the purposes of treatment, payment, and health care operations. For example:
Treatment: HIPAA allows us to use and disclose your health information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and related services. BCC will not disclose your protected health informa- tion without your written or (in rare cases) verbal authorization for release of information, except in cases of emergency.
Payment: We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services we pro- vide to you.
Health care operations: We may use and disclose your health information in connection with our health care operations. Health care operations include quality assessment and improvement activi- ties, reviewing the competence or qualifications of health care professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, accreditation, certification, licensing, or credentialing activities.
Your authorization: in addition to our use of your health information for treatment, payment, or health care operations, you may give us additional written authorization to use your health infor- mation or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may re-voke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosures permitted by your au- thorization while it was in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your health information for any reason except those described in this Notice.
To your family and friends: We must disclose your health information to you, as described in the Patient Rights section of this Notice. We may disclose your health information to a family member, friend, or other person to the extent necessary to help with your health care or with payment for your health care, but only if you agree that we may do so.
Persons involved in care: We may use or disclose health information to notify or assist in the notification of a family member (including identifying or locating), your personal representative or another person responsi- ble for your care, of your location, your general condition, or death. If you are present, then prior to use or disclosure of your health information, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to such uses or dis- closures. In the event of your incapacity or emergency circumstances, we will disclose health information based on a determination using our professional judgment disclosing only health information that is directly relevant to the person’s involvement in your health care. We will also use our professional judgment and our experience with common medical practice to make reasonable inferences of your best interest in allowing a person to pick up filled prescriptions, medical supplies, x-rays, or other similar forms of health information. Marketing health-related services: We will not use your health information for marketing communications without your written authorization.
Required by law: We may use or disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we reasona- bly believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, or the possible victim of other crimes. We may disclose your health information to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety of others.
National security: We may disclose to military authorities the health information of Armed Forces personnel under certain circumstances. We may disclose to authorized federal officials health information required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities. We may disclose to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials having lawful custody of protected health information of inmates or patients under certain circumstances.
Appointment reminders: We may use or disclose your health information to provide you with appointment reminders (such as voicemail messages, postcards, or letters).
Access: You have the right to inspect or copy your health information, with limited exceptions. You may re- quest that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies. We will use the format you request unless we cannot practically do so. You must make a request in writing to obtain access to your health information. You may obtain a form to request access from us directly, or by using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice. We will charge you a reasonable fee for document production expenses. If you request an al- ternative format, we will charge a reasonable fee for providing your health information in that format. Disclosure of Accounting: You have the right to receive a list of instances in which we or our business asso- ciates disclosed your health information for purposes, other than treatment, payment, health care operations, and certain other activities, for the last six years.