The Effective Date of This Notice is April 14, 2003.
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.
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
This document describes the type of information we gather about you, with whom that information may be shared and the safeguards we have in place to protect it. You have the right to the confidentiality of your medical information and the right to approve or refuse the release of specific information except when the release is required by law, or permitted by law without your authorization.
If the practices described in this notice meet your expectations, there is nothing you need to do. If you prefer additional limitations on the use of your medical information, you may request them following the procedure below.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact our Privacy Officer at the address below.
The regulations also require that we make a good faith effort to obtain your written acknowledgement that you have received this Notice. This is why you will be asked to sign this form at the end.
Who Will Follow This Notice
This notice describes practices of all of the persons and entities in the Provider regarding the use of your medical information and that of:
- Any health care professional employed by the Provider who is authorized to enter information into your medical record.
- All departments and units of the Provider’s clinics or doctor’s offices you may visit.
- Any member of a volunteer group we allow to help you while you are in the clinic or office.
- All employees, staff and other personnel who may need access to your information.
- All entities, sites and locations of the Provider follow the terms of this notice. In addition, these entities, sites and locations may share medical information with each other for treatment, payment or health care operations purposes as described in this notice.
Our Pledge Regarding Medical Information
We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal. Protecting medical information about you is important. We create a record of the care and services you receive. We need this record to provide
you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by the Provider, whether made by health care professionals or other personnel.
This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
We are required by law to:
- keep confidential any medical information that concerns your condition or treatment, how your care is paid for and demographic information, if such information can be used to identify you;
- give you this notice of our policies, procedures and information privacy practices with respect to medical information about you; and
- follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.
In addition to federal law, Nevada law places more stringent restrictions on the disclosure and use of mental health information, genetic information, communicable disease information and blood and urine tests. Other federal regulations place more stringent requirements of drug and alcohol abuse information. We shall comply with those more stringent restrictions.
How We May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You
The following categories describe different ways that we may use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures we will try to give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed.
We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, training doctors, or other health care professionals who are involved in taking care of you.
For example, a doctor treating you for a brain aneurysm may need to know if you have high blood pressure because high blood pressure may have you at a higher risk for a rupture. Different health care professionals also may share medical Information about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the practice who may be involved in your medical care after you receive services from our practice or that provide services that are part of your care.
We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party.
For example, your insurance may need to know about surgery you received so they will pay us or reimburse you for the surgery. We may also use and disclose medical information about you to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your insurance will cover the treatment, or to undertake other tasks related to seeking payment for services provided. We may also disclose medical information to another health care provider who is or has been involved in your treatment, so that that provider may seek payment for services rendered.
For Health Care Operations Purposes
We may use and disclose medical information about you for health care operations purposes. This is necessary to make sure that all of our patients receive quality care.
For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you, or to otherwise manage and operate the Provider effectively. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, training doctors, medical students, and other hospital personnel for review and learning purposes. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of medical information so others may use it to study health care and health care delivery without learning who the specific patients are.
We may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care.
We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
Health-Related Benefits and Services
We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health- related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care
We may release medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. We may also tell your family or friends your condition and that you are in the hospital. In addition, we may disclose medical information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location.
Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another, for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with patients’ need for privacy of their medical information. Before we use or disclose medical information for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process, but we may, however, disclose medical information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project, for example, to help them look for patients with specific medical needs, so long as the medical information they review does not leave the office. Otherwise, we will almost always ask for your specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care at the office.
As Required By Law
We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety
We may use and disclose medical information 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. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
Organ and Tissue Donation
If you are an organ donor, we may release medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
Military and Veterans
If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities.
We may release medical information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Public Health Risks
We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:
- to prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
- to report births and deaths;
- to report child abuse or neglect;
- to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
- to notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
- to notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be
at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition;
- to notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient
has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
Health Oversight Activities
We may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the overall health care system, the conduct of government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Lawsuits and Disputes
We may disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful order from a court.
We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official as part of law enforcement activities; in investigations of criminal conduct or of victims of crime; in response to court orders; in emergency circumstances; or when required to do so by law.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors
We may release medical information 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 release medical information about our patients to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
Protective Services for the President, National Security and Intelligence Activities
We may release medical information 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, or for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release medical information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary (1) for the institution to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
Your Rights Regarding Medical Information About You
You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy
You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes.
To inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to our Privacy Officer at the address below. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request.
We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances. In some circumstances, if you are denied access to medical information, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed health care professional chosen by the Provider will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to Amend
If you feel that medical information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept.
To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to our Privacy Officer. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request.
We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
- Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
- Is not part of the “designated record set” kept by the Provider;
- Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect
and copy; or
- Is accurate and complete.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures
You have the right to request an “accounting of disclosures.” This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you. This accounting will not include many routine disclosures; including those made to you or pursuant to your authorization, those made for treatment, payment and operations purposes as discussed above, those made for national security and intelligence purposes and those made to correctional institutions and law enforcement in compliance with law.
To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to our Privacy Officer. Your request must state a time period that may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper, electronically). The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
Right to Request Restrictions
You have the right to request additional restrictions or limitations on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend.
However, we are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment.
To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to our Privacy Officer at the address below. In your request, you must tell us (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply.
Right to Request Confidential Communications
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail.
To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to our Privacy Officer. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted. If complying with your request entails additional expense over our usual means of communication, we may ask that you reimburse us for those expenses.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice
You have the right to a paper copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice.
To obtain a paper copy of this notice, please request one in writing from our Privacy Officer at the address below.
Changes To This Notice
We reserve the right to change our policies and practices concerning the privacy of your medical information and this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will always post a copy of the current notice in the main patient waiting areas. The notice will contain on the first page, the effective date.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the Provider or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with the Provider, contact our Privacy Officer at the address and phone number below. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
Other Uses of Medical Information
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, thereafter we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.
Contact the Provider’s Privacy Officer at
Sierra Neurosurgery Group
5590 Kietzke Lane
Reno, NV 89511