Privacy

It is the policy of DE Consultants to strive to be in compliance with all federal and state medical practice and administrative guidelines. The following Notice of Privacy Practices and Health Care Disclosures Information (Effective Date: April 14, 2003) describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

How We Are Protecting Your Privacy

Our Obligation to You

We are committed to protecting the privacy of your health information. We strive to use only the minimum amount of your health information necessary for the purposes described in this Notice.

This Notice covers the following sites and people: all health care professionals authorized to enter information into your chart, all volunteers authorized to help you while you are here, all our employees and on-site contractors, all health care delivery facilities, and your professional doctor and others while they are providing care at this site.

We collect information from you and use it to provide you with quality care, and to comply with certain legal requirements. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information, and to give you this Notice of our legal duties, our privacy practices, and your rights. We are required to follow the terms of our most current Notice. When we disclose information to other persons and companies to perform services for us, we will require them to protect your privacy. There are other laws we will follow that provide additional protections, such as laws related to mental health, alcohol and other substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS.

Our privacy practices include, but are not limited to, the following actions to protect your personal health information:

  • Implementation of an office practice Compliance Plan that includes Privacy Protections
  • Training office staff in practices that protect your personal health information
  • Specific staff education in patient privacy practices—for example, speaking softly in areas that confidential information can be overheard
  • Development of office privacy practice policies with disciplinary consequences
  • Constructing a glass window at the reception desk to minimize the possibility of patient personal information being overheard in the reception area
  • Utilizing a more confidential sign-in procedure
  • Instituting staff access limitations to patient information in office computers
  • Placing patient charts in wall pockets in a manner that covers the patient’s name to protect patient privacy from another patient viewing a patient’s name as they pass by.

Current Disclosure Information

Current laws permit us to disclose and utilize your personal health information without your additional specific consent for the following health care purposes:

  • Treatment: We may use and disclose your health information to provide treatment or services, to coordinate or manage your health care, or for medical consultations or referrals. We may disclose your health information to doctors, nurses, technicians, and other personnel who are involved in taking care of you. We may share information about you to coordinate the different services you need, such as prescriptions, lab work, and x-rays. We may disclose information with your consent to family members, home health agencies, therapists, nursing homes, clergy and others. We may give information to your health plan or another provider to arrange a referral or consultation.
  • Payment: We may use and disclose your health information so that we can receive payment for the treatment and services that were provided. We may share this information with your insurance company or a third party used to process billing information. We may contact your insurance company to verify your benefits, to obtain prior authorization, and to provide information regarding your care to ensure payment. We may disclose information to third parties who may be responsible for payment, such as family members, or to bill you. We may disclose information to third parties that help us process payments, such as billing companies, claims processing companies, and collection companies.
  • Healthcare Operations: We may use and disclose your health information as necessary to operate our facility and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. We may use health information to evaluate the quality of services that you received, or the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may use health information to improve our performance or to find better ways to provide care. We may use health information to grant medical staff privileges to evaluate the competence of our health care professionals. We may use your health information to decide what additional services we should offer and whether new treatments are effective. We may disclose information to students and professionals for review and learning purposes. We may utilize health information from other health care facilities to evaluate our services and institute improvements. We may use health information for business planning, or disclose it to attorneys, accountants, consultants, and others. We may remove health information that identifies you so that others may use the de-identified information to study health care and health care delivery without learning who you are.
  • Appointment Reminders and Service Information: We may use or disclose your health information to contact you to provide appointment reminders, or to inform you about treatment alternatives or other health related services or benefits that may be of interest to you.
  • Individuals Involved in Your Care: We may give your health information to people involved in your care, such as family members or friends, unless you ask us not to. We may give your information to someone who helps pay for your care. We may disclose information to disaster relief organizations, such as the Red Cross, so they can contact your family.
  • Public Health Activities: We may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities whose official activities include preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability. For example, we must report certain information about births, deaths, and various diseases to government agencies. We may disclose health information to coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors as allowed by the law to carry out their duties. We may use or disclose health information to report reactions to medications, problems with products, or to notify people of recalls or products they may be using. We may use or disclose health information to notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting and spreading a disease.
  • Serious Threat to Health and Safety: We may disclose your health information when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety, or the health and safety of the public or another person. We will only disclose health information to someone reasonably able to help prevent or lessen the threat, such as law enforcement or government officials.
  • Required by Law, Legal Proceedings, Health Oversight Activities, and Law Enforcement: We will disclose your health information when we are required to do so by federal, state, and other law. For example, we are required to report victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, as well as patients with gunshot and other wounds. We will disclose your health information when ordered in a legal summons, or other lawful process. We may disclose health information to law enforcement officials to identify or locate suspects, fugitives, witnesses, victims or crime, or missing persons. We may disclose health information to a law enforcement official about a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct, or about criminal conduct that may have occurred at our facility. We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, inspections and licensure.
  • Specialized Government Functions: If you are in the military or a veteran, we will disclose your health information as required by command authorities. We may disclose health information to authorize federal officials for national security purposes, such as protecting the President of the United States or the conduct of authorized intelligence operations. We may disclose health information to make medical suitability determinations for Foreign Service.
  • Workers Compensation: We may disclose your health information as required by applicable workers compensation and similar laws.
  • Your Written Authorization: Other uses and disclosures of your health information not covered by this Notice, or the laws that govern us, will be made only with your written authorization. You may revoke your authorization in writing at any time, and we will discontinue future uses and disclosures of your health information for the reasons covered by your authorization. We are unable to take back any disclosures that we already made with your authorization and, we are required to retain the records of the care that we provided to you.

We may disclose health information to the following parties:

  • Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions
  • Carefirst BlueCross BlueShield
  • Cintas Document Management
  • Commercial Insurance Carriers
  • Consulting Physicians
  • CSRS, Inc.
  • Esoterix
  • Federal & State Government Agencies
  • Hologic
  • Internet Global
  • LabCorp
  • Medeflow Inc.
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Quest Diagnostic

Your Rights Regarding Your Health Information

Right to Obtain a Copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices

We will post a copy of our current Notice in our offices. A copy of our current Notice will be available in our waiting areas or upon request.

Right to See and Copy Your Health Record

You have the right to review and receive a copy of your health record or your billing record. To do so, please contact the office where you received treatment, or the Privacy Officer listed below. You may be required to make your request in writing. If you would like a copy of your health record, a fee may be charged for the cost of copying or mailing your record, as permitted by law.

In certain situations, we may deny your request. If we do, we will tell you, in writing our reasons for the denial and explain your right to have the denial reviewed.

Right to Update Your Health Record

If you believe that any important information is missing from or inaccurate in your health record, you have the right to request that we add an amendment to your record. Your request must be in writing, and it must contain the reason for your request. To submit your request, please contact the office where you received treatment, the Privacy Officer listed below or your physician. Please note, even if we accept your amendment, we will not delete any information already in your records.

Right to Get a List of the Disclosures We Have Made

You have the right to request a list of the disclosures that we have made of your health information. The list will not contain disclosures we have made for the purpose of treatment, payment, and health care operations. It will not contain disclosures that were authorized by you, and certain disclosures excluded by law. A request for disclosures must be in writing.

Right to Request a Restriction on Certain Uses or Disclosures

You have the right to request that we limit how we use and disclose your health information. We will consider your request, but we are not legally required to accept it. If we do accept it, we will comply with your request, except if you need emergency treatment. Your request must be in writing, signed and dated by you.

Right to Choose How You Receive Your Health Information

You have the right to request that we communicate with you in a certain way, such as by mail or fax, or at a certain location, such as a home address or post office box. We will try to honor your request if we reasonably can. Your request must be in writing, and it must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.

How to Contact Us

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint in writing at the address listed below. We will take no retaliatory action against you if you file a complaint about our privacy practices. You can file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Service, Office of Civil Rights at 150 S. Independence Mall West Suite 372 Public Ledger Building, Philadelphia, PA 19106 or if you have questions about this notice or would like to exercise your privacy rights, please contact us:

Diabetes and Endocrine Consultants, Levy, Sharon, Misra & Yu, P.C.
Attn: Privacy Officer
12070 Old Line Centre, Suite 102
Waldorf, Maryland 20602
Metro: (301) 870-4100
Local: (301) 645-0008

Changes to this Notice of Privacy Practices

We reserve the right to change this Notice. We reserve the right to make the revised notice effective for pre-existing medical information as well as any future information. You have a right to read any and all Privacy Practice Notices.