We maintain protocols to ensure the security and confidentiality of your personal information. We have physical security in our building, passwords to protect databases, compliance audits, and virus/intrusion detection software. Within our practice, access to your information is limited to those who need it to perform their jobs. At the offices of Valley Health Team Inc, we are committed to treating and using protected health information about you responsibly. This Notice of Privacy Policies describes the personal information we collect, and how and when we use or disclose that information. It also describes your rights as they relate to your protected health information. This Notice is effective April 14, 2003, and applies to all protected health information as defined by federal regulations.
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Each time you visit Valley Health Team Inc, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as a:
Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to: ensure its accuracy; better understand who, what, when, where, and why others may access your health information; and make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.
Our practice is required to:
We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. We will keep a posted copy of the most current notice in our facility containing the effective date in the top, right-hand comer. In addition, each time you visit our facility for treatment, you may obtain a copy of the current notice in effect upon request.
We will not use or disclose your health information in a manner other than described in the section regarding Examples Of Disclosures For Treatment, Payment, And Health Operations, without your written authorization, which you may revoke as provided by 45 CPR 164.508(b)(5), except to the extent that action has already been taken.
If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact our practice's Privacy Officer, Soyla Griffin, at (559) 693-2462.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can either file a complaint with Soyla Griffin, or with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OCR). There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint with either our practice or the OCR. The address for the OCR regional office for California is as follows:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
50 United Nations Plaza - Room 322
San Francisco, CA 94102
We will use your health information for treatment.
We may provide medical information about you to health care providers, our practice personnel, or third parties who are involved in the provision, management, or coordination of your care.
Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your health care team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. Your medical information will be shared among health care professionals involved in your care.
We will also provide your other physician(s) or subsequent health care provider(s) (when applicable) with copies of various reports that should assist them in treating you.
We will use your health information for payment.
We may disclose your information so that we can collect or make payment for the health care services you receive.
If you participate in a health insurance plan, we will disclose necessary information to that plan to obtain payment for your care.
We Will Use Your Health Information for Regular Health Operations.
We may disclose your health information for our routine operations. These uses are necessary for certain administrative, financial, legal, and quality improvement activities that are necessary to run our practice and support the core functions.
Members of the quality improvement team may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case ' and others like it. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and service we provide and to reduce healthcare costs.
We may disclose medical information to provide appointment reminders (e.g., contacting you at the phone number you have provided to us and leaving a message as an appointment reminder).
Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information to a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director.
We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.
As required by law, we may disclose your health information to· public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.
We may disclose information to researchers when their research has been approved and the researcher has obtained a required waiver from the Institutional Review Board/Privacy Board, who has reviewed the research proposal.
Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs for the purpose of donation and transplant.
We may disclose health information as required by law. This may include reporting a crime, responding to a court order, grand jury subpoena, warrant, discovery request, or other legal process, or complying with health oversight activities, such as audits, investigations, and inspections, necessary to ensure compliance with government regulations and civil rights laws.
We may disclose health information for military and veterans affairs or national security and intelligence activities.
There are some services provided in our organization through contacts with business associates. Some examples are billing or transcription services we may use. Due to the nature of business associates' services, they must receive your health information in order to perform the jobs we've asked them to do. To protect your health information, however, when these services are contracted we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
We may contact you to provide information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you (e.g., to notify you of any new tests or services we may be offering).
We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects, or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.
We may disclose information to your personal representative (person legally responsible for your care and authorized to act on your behalf in making decisions related to your health care).
We may disclose your information when we believe in good faith that this is necessary to prevent a serious threat to your safety or that of another person. This may include cases of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
Unless you object, health professionals, using their best judgment, may disclose to a family member or close personal friend health information relevant to that person's involvement in your care or payment related to your care. We may notify these individuals of your location and general condition.
Unless you object, we may disclose health information about you to an organization assisting in a disaster relief effort. For all non-routine operations, we will obtain your written authorization before disclosing your personal information. In addition, we take great care to safeguard your information in every way that we can to minimize any incidental disclosures.
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