NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
This notice describes how health information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully. The privacy of your health information is important to us.
OUR LEGAL DUTY
We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of you health information. We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of you health information. 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 11-01-02, and will remain in effect until we replace it.
We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of the Notice at any time, provided such changes are permitted by applicable law. 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 information 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, 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 treatment, payment and healthcare operations. For example:
Treatment: We may use or disclose your health information to another physician or other healthcare provider providing treatment to you.
Payment: We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services we provide.
Healthcare Operations: We may use and disclose your health information in connection with our healthcare
operations, which include quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing the competence or qualifications of
healthcare professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation,
certification, licensing or credentialing.
Your Authorization: In addition to our use of your health information for treatment, payment or healthcare operations, you may give us written authorization to use your health information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us written authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosures permitted by your authorization 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 the Notice.
To Your Family and Friends: We must disclose your health information to you, as described in the Patient Rights section of the Notice. We may Disclose your health information to a family member, friend or other person to the extent necessary to help with your healthcare or with payment for your healthcare, 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 (including identifying or location) a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible 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 disclosures. In the event of your incapacity or emergency circumstances, we will disclose health information based on a determination using or professional judgment disclosing only health information that is directly relevant to the person’s involvement in your healthcare. We will also use our professional judgment and our experience with common 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 when we are required to do so by law.
Abuse or Neglect: 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 or the possible victim or other crimes. We may disclose your health information to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety of the 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 institution or law enforcement official having lawful custody of protected health information of inmate or patient under certain circumstances.
Appointment Reminders: We may use or disclose your health information to provide you with appointment reminders(such as voice-mails, messages, postcards or letters).
Access: You have the right to look at and/or receive copies of you health information, with limited exceptions.
You must make your request for access to your health information in writing.. You may send a written request to our office address listed below.
You may request that we provide your health information in a format other that photocopies. We will make every effort to use the format you request.
There will be a reasonable, cost-based, fee charged for any expenses. Photocopies are $2.00 for each page, if you request an alternate format, the charges will be based on the cost associated with that particular format. There will also be a $20.00 per hour charge for staff time involved, as well as the cost for any postage, if you want your information mailed to you.
At your request, we will prepare a summary and/or explanation of your health information. Contact us, using the information listed at the end of this Notice, for a full explanation of our fee structure.
Disclosure Accounting: You have the right to receive a list of instances in which we or our business associates disclosed your health information for purposes, other that treatment, payment, healthcare operations and certain other activities, for the last 6 years, but not before April 14, 2003. If you request this accounting more that once in a 12 month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests.
Restriction: You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your health information. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in an emergency).
Alternative Communication: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your health information by alternative means or to alternative locations. (You must make your request in writing.) Your request must specify the alternative means or location, and provide satisfactory explanation how payments will be handled under the alternative means or location you request.
Amendment: You have the right to request that we amend your health information. (Your request must be in writing, and it must explain why the information should be amended.) We may deny your request under certain circumstances.
Electronic Notice: If you receive this Notice on our Web site or by electronic mail (e-mail), you are entitled to receive this Notice in written form.
QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS
If you want more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, please contact us.
If you are concerned that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your health information or in response to a request you made to amend or restrict the use of disclosure of your health information or to have us communicate with you by alternative means or that alternative locations, you may complain to us using the contact information listed at the end of the Notice. You also may submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request.
We support your right to the privacy of your health information. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint with us or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Telephone: (281) 859-9073
Fax: (281) 859-0211
Email: [email protected]
Address: 8955 Highway 6 North, # 200
Houston, Texas 77095