This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information (PHI) to carry out our treatment, payment and health care operations (TPO), and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes our rights to access and control your protected health information. “Protected health information” is information about you, including demographic 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.

1. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information

Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information: Your protected health information may be used and disclosed by your physician, our office staff, and others outside of our office that are involved in your care and treatment for the purpose of providing health care services to you, billing you for health care services and submitting claims for insurance reimbursement, supporting the operation of the physician’s practice, and any other use required by law.

Treatment: We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate, and manage your health care and any related services. This includes the coordination or management of your health care with a third party. For example, your protected health information may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred to ensure that the physician has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you.

Payment: Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. For example, obtaining approval for a hospital stay may require that your relevant protected health information be disclosed to the health plan provider.

Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose, as needed, your protected health information in order to support the business activities of the practice. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, licensing, and conducting or arranging other business activities. For example, we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name and indicate whether there have been any changes in your insurance information. You may also be called by name when the physician is ready to see you. We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to remind you of your appointment.

We may use or disclose your protected health information in certain situations without your authorization. These situations include the following: as required by law; public health issues as required by law; communicable diseases; health oversight; abuse or neglect; Food and Drug Administration requirements; legal proceedings; law enforcement; coroners, funeral directors, and organ donation; research; criminal activity; military activity and national security: Workers’ Compensation; inmates; required uses and disclosures. Under the law, we must make disclosures to you when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of Section 164.500.

Other permitted and required uses and disclosures will be made only with your consent, authorization or opportunity to object, unless required by law.

You may revoke this authorization, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that your physician or the practice has already taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.

2. Your Rights

Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your protected health information

You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information. Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records; psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding; protected health information that is subject to law that prohibits access to protected health information.

You have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations. You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply.

Your physician is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. If the physician believes it is not in your best interest to restrict use and disclosure of your protected health information, your protected health information will not be restricted. You then have the right to use another healthcare provider.

You have the right to request confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us; upon request, even if you have agreed to accept this notice alternatively i.e. electronically.

You may have the right to have your physician amend your protected health information. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of such rebuttal.

You have the right to receive an accounting of all disclosures that we have made, if any, of your protected health information. We have the right to change the terms of this notice and will inform you of any such changes. You then have the right to object or withdraw as provided in this notice.

You have the right to register complaints You may register a complaint with this office if you suspect that your privacy rights have been violated. We will investigate the complaint and inform you of the findings. This office will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us.

Our privacy officer is Dr. Oghenesume D. Umugbe.