ASTHMA AND ALLERGY CENTER OF WHATCOM COUNTY | A MEDICAL SPECIALTY CLINIC SERVING BELLINGHAM AND WHATCOM COUNTY

 

 

Asthma
Childhood Asthma
Nasal - Sinus Disorders
Cough
Food Allergy
Hives/Rashes
Eczema
Bee Sting Allergy
Immune Dysfuntion

 

                    

 

Asthma & Allergy Center Notice of Privacy Policy

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.

The Asthma & Allergy Center of Whatcom County respects your privacy. We understand that your personal health information is very sensitive. The law protects the privacy of the health information we create and obtain in providing care and services to you. Your protected health information includes your symptoms, test results, diagnoses, treatment, health information from other providers, and billing and payment information relating to these services.

We will not use or disclose your health information to others without your authorization, except as described in this Notice, or as required by law.

1. Your health information rights.

      The health and billing records we create and store are the property of Asthma & Allergy Center of Whatcom County. The protected health information in it, however, generally belongs to you. You have a right to:

    • Receive, read, and ask questions about this Notice.
    • Ask us to restrict certain uses and disclosures. You must deliver this request in writing to us. We are not required to grant the request unless the request is to restrict disclosure of your protected health information to a health plan for payment or health care operations and the protected health information is about an item or service for which you paid in full directly.
    • Request and receive from us a paper copy of the most current Notice of Privacy Practices ("Notice").
    • Request that you be allowed to see and get a copy of your protected health information. You may make this request in writing. We have a form available for this type of request.
    • Have us review a denial of access to your health information—except in certain circumstances.
    • Ask us to change your health information that is inaccurate or incomplete. You may give us this request in writing. You may write a statement of disagreement if your request is denied. It will be stored in your medical record, and included with any release of your records.
    • When you request, we will give you a list of certain disclosures of your health information. The list will not include disclosures for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You may receive this information without charge once every 12 months. We will notify you of the cost involved if you request this information more than once in 12 months.
    • Ask that your health information be given to you by another confidential means of communication or at another location. Please sign, date, and give us your request in writing.
    • Cancel prior authorizations to use or disclose health information by giving us a written revocation. Your revocation does not affect information that has already been released. It also does not affect any action taken before we receive the revocation. Sometimes, you cannot cancel an authorization if its purpose was to obtain insurance.

      For help with these rights during normal business hours, please contact:

      Front office staff, Asthma & Allergy Center of Whatcom County, 360-756-2000.

2. Our responsibilities.

We are required to:

    • Keep your protected health information private.
    • Give you this Notice.
    • Follow the terms of this Notice for as long as it is in effect.
    • Notify you if we become aware of a breach of your unsecured protected health information.

      We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice, and to make the new privacy practices and notice provisions effective for all of the protected health information we maintain. If we make material changes, we will update and make available to you the revised Notice upon request. You may receive the most recent copy of this Notice by calling and asking for it, by visiting our office to pick one up, or by visiting our Web site, if we maintain one.

3. To ask for help or complain.

      If you have questions, want more information, or want to report a problem about the handling of your protected health information, you may contact:

      Front office staff, Asthma & Allergy Center of Whatcom County, 360-756-2000.

      If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may discuss your concerns with any staff member. You may also deliver a written complaint to our office manager at the Asthma & Allergy Center of Whatcom County.

      You may also file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

      We respect your right to file a complaint with us or with the OCR. If you complain, we will not retaliate against you.

4. How we may use and disclose your protected health information.

    • We may contact you to remind you about appointments.
    • We may use and disclose your health information to give you information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services.
    • Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of our health care team will be recorded in your medical record and used by members of our health care team to help decide what care may be right for you.
    • We may also provide information to health care providers outside our practice who are providing you care or for a referral. This will help them stay informed about your care.

For payment:

    • We bill you or the person you tell us is responsible for paying for your care if it is not covered by your health insurance plan.

For health care operations:

    • We may use your medical records to assess quality and improve services.
    • We may use and disclose medical records to review the qualifications and performance of our health care providers and to train our staff.
    • We may use and disclose your information to conduct or arrange for services, including:
        • Medical quality review by your health plan,
        • Accounting, legal, risk management, and insurance services; and
        • Audit functions, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs

 

For fund-raising communications:

      Some of the other ways that we may use or disclose your protected health information without your authorization are as follows.

    • Required by law: We must make any disclosure required by state, federal, or local law.
    • Business Associates: We contract with individuals and entities to perform jobs for us or to provide certain types of services that may require them to create, maintain, use, and/or disclose your health information. We may disclose your health information to a business associate, but only after they agree in writing to safeguard your health information. Examples include billing services, accountants, and others who perform health care operations for us.
        • To prevent or reduce a serious, immediate threat to the health or safety of a person or the public.
        • To public health or legal authorities:
          • To protect public health and safety.
          • To prevent or control disease, injury, or disability.
          • To report vital statistics such as births or deaths.
          • To report suspected abuse or neglect to public authorities.
    • Coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors: We may disclose protected health information to funeral directors and coroners consistent with applicable law to allow them to carry out their duties.
    • Organ-procurement organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose protected health information to organ-procurement organizations (tissue donation and transplant) or persons who obtain, store, or transplant organs.
    • Food and Drug Administration (FDA): For problems with food, supplements, and products, we may disclose protected health information to the FDA or entities subject to the jurisdiction of the FDA.
    • Workplace injury or illness: Washington State law requires the disclosure of protected health information to the Department of Labor and Industries, the employer, and the payer (including a self-insured payer) for workers’ compensation and for crime victims’ claims. We also may disclose protected health information for work-related conditions that could affect employee health; for example, an employer may ask us to assess health risks on a job site.

5. Uses and disclosures that require your authorization.

      Certain uses and disclosures of your health information require your written authorization. The following list contains the types of uses and disclosures that require your written authorization:

    • Psychotherapy Notes: if we record or maintain psychotherapy notes, we must obtain your authorization for most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes.
    • Marketing Communications: we must obtain your authorization to use or disclose your health information for marketing purposes other than for face to face communications with you, promotional gifts of nominal value, and communications with you related to currently prescribed drugs, such as refill reminders.
    • Sale of Health Information: disclosures that constitute a sale of your health information require your authorization.

      In addition, other uses and disclosures of your health information that are not described in this Notice will be made only with your written authorization. You have the right to cancel prior authorizations for these uses and disclosures of your health information by giving us a written revocation. Your revocation does not affect information that has already been released. It also does not affect any action taken before we receive the revocation. Sometimes, you cannot cancel an authorization if its purpose was to obtain insurance.

6. Web site

      We have a Web site that provides information about us. For your benefit, this Notice is on the Web site at the following address: www.AsthmaAllergyWhat.com

7. Effective date

      This Notice is effective as of September 23, 2013