Neuroaxis Neurosurgical Associates, P.C. understands that the information we collect about you and your health is personal. We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of protected health information. This includes any individually identifiable information that we obtain from you or others that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health (which may include images), the health care you have received, or payment for your health care. As required by law, this Notice of Privacy Practices provides you with information about your rights and our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your protected health information. This Notice also describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. We must comply with the provisions of this Notice as currently in effect, although we reserve the right to change the terms of this notice from time to time and such revisions will apply to all protected health information we maintain.
PERMITTED USES AND DISCLOSURES
We can use or disclose your protected health information for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations. For each of these categories of use and disclosures, we have provided a description below. Any disclosures of your health information that are not indicated below, or for which the law does not require a written authorization, will require a written authorization from you. You may, pursuant to law, revoke that authorization, but the information may have been disclosed by the time you revoke such authorization.
Treatment: Means the provision, coordination or management of your health care, including consultation between healthcare providers regarding your care and referrals for health care from one healthcare provider to another. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because this may slow the healing process. The doctor may need to contact a physical therapist to create the exercise regimen appropriate to your care.
Payment: Means the activities we undertake to obtain reimbursement for the health care provided to you, including billing, collections and claims management, determinations of eligibility and coverage and utilization review activities. For example, prior to providing health care services, we may need to provide information to your third party payer about your medical condition to determine whether the proposed course of treatment will be covered. When we bill the third party payer for the services rendered to you, we can provide them with information regarding your care if necessary to obtain payment. Federal or state law may require us to obtain a written release from you prior to disclosing certain specially protected health information for payment purposes, and we will ask you to sign a release when necessary under applicable law.
Health care operations: Means the support functions of our practice related to treatment and payment, such as quality assurance activities, case management, receiving complaints, physician reviews, compliance programs, audits, business planning, development, management and administrative activities. For example, we may use your protected health information to evaluate the performance of our staff when caring for you. We may also combine health information about many patients to decide what additional services we should offer, what services are needed and whether certain new treatments are effective. In addition, we may remove information that identifies you so that others can use the de-identified information to study health care and healthcare delivery without learning who you are.
How else can we use or share your protected health information? We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways—usually in the furtherance of the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For example, we can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION RIGHTS
You have the following rights regarding the health information we have about you:
RIGHT to Inspect and Obtain Copies: You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of certain medical and billing information that may be used to make decisions about your care. We may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other supplies associated with your request.
RIGHT to Amend: If you feel that the health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend that information. We may deny your request to amend information that: (1) was not created by us, unless you provide a reasonable basis to believe that the originator of that information is no longer available to act upon your request for an amendment; (2) is not part of the health information kept by us; (3) is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect or copy; or (4) is determined to be accurate and complete. We must provide you with an amendment or reasons for denial in writing within 60 days of the request.
RIGHT to an Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right to request a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why. The list will not include releases of health information made (1) for purposes of providing treatment to you, obtaining payment for services, or operational purposes: (2) national security purposes; (3) to correctional and other law enforcement custodial situations; (4) based on your written authorization; (5) to person who is involved in your care; or (6) otherwise mandated by law. We will provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
RIGHT to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information we use or disclose about you for the purpose of treatment, payment or health care operations. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about the medication you are taking to your spouse or significant other. 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 with emergency treatment. There is one exception to this: You may request that we make no disclosure to your health insurer if you agree to pay for the treatment out of your pocket in full and will not seek insurance reimbursement for it.
RIGHT to Request Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your health matters in a certain way or at a certain location, if such is reasonable. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at a certain phone number or by mail.
RIGHT to Notice of Breach: We will let you know if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your protected health information.
RIGHT to a Paper Copy of this Notice: You have a right to a paper copy of this Notice, which you may request at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this Notice. This notice is also posted on our website.
CONTACT OR COMPLAINTS
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, or have a questions about the ways in which your protected health information is created, used or disclosed, please contact our Privacy Officer at (718) 459-7700 or (516) 419-4500.