Notice of Privacy Practices
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.
I. Who We Are
This Notice of Privacy Practices (“Notice”) describes the privacy practices of MATClinic Services, LLC and MATClinic Physicians Practice Group, LLC (and related entities) (“MATCLINICS”), its physicians, nurses, and other personnel. It applies to services furnished to you at all MATCLINICS locations (“we” or “us”).
II. Our Privacy Obligations
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information (“Protected Health Information” or “PHI”) and to provide you with this Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI. We are also obligated to notify you following a breach of unsecured PHI. When we use or disclose your PHI, we are required to abide by the terms of this Notice (or other notice in effect at the time of the use or disclosure).
III. Permissible Uses and Disclosures Without Your Written Authorization
In certain situations, which we describe in Section IV below, we must obtain your written authorization in order to use and/or disclose your PHI. However, we do not need any type of authorization from you for the following uses and disclosures:
A. Uses and Disclosures For Treatment, Payment and Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose PHI in order to provide treatments that you request, obtain payment for services provided to you and conduct any “Health Care Operations” as detailed below:
· Treatment. We may use and disclose your PHI in connection with treatments that you request. We may also disclose PHI to health care providers involved in your treatment.
· Payment. In most cases, we may use and disclose your PHI to obtain payment for services that we provide to you.
· Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose your PHI for any Health Care Operations, which include internal administration and planning and various activities that improve the quality and cost effectiveness of the services that we deliver to you. For example, we may use PHI to evaluate the quality and competence of our physicians, nurses and other workers.
We may also disclose PHI for health care fraud and abuse detection or compliance.
B. Disclosure to Relatives, Close Friends and Other Caregivers. We may use or disclose your PHI to a family member, other relative, a close personal friend or any other person identified by you when you are present for, or otherwise available prior to, the disclosure, if we (1) obtain your agreement; (2) provide you with the opportunity to object to the disclosure and you do not object; or (3) reasonably infer that you do not object to the disclosure.
If you are not present, or the opportunity to agree or object to a use or disclosure cannot practicably be provided because of your incapacity or an emergency circumstance, we may exercise our professional judgment to determine whether a disclosure is in your best interests. If we disclose information to a family member, other relative or a close personal friend, we would disclose only information that we believe is directly relevant to the person’s involvement with your care or payment related to your care. We may also disclose your PHI in order to notify (or assist in notifying) such persons of your location, general condition or death.
C. Public Health Activities. We may disclose your PHI for the following public health activities: (1) to report health information to public health authorities for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability; (2) to report child abuse and neglect to public health authorities or other government authorities authorized by law to receive such reports; (3) to report information about products and services under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; (4) to alert a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition; and (5) to report information to your employer as required under laws addressing work-related illnesses and injuries or workplace medical surveillance.
D. Victims of Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence. If we reasonably believe you are a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, we may disclose your PHI to a governmental authority, including a social service or protective services agency, authorized by law to receive reports of such abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
E. Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose your PHI to a health oversight agency that oversees the health care system and is charged with responsibility for ensuring compliance with the rules of government health programs such as Medicare or Medicaid.
F. Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. We may disclose your PHI in the course of a judicial or administrative proceeding in response to a legal order or other lawful process.
G. Law Enforcement Officers. We may disclose your PHI to the police or other law enforcement officials as required or permitted by law or in compliance with a court order or a grand jury or administrative subpoena.
H. Decedents. We may disclose your PHI to a coroner or medical examiner as authorized by law.
I. Organ and Tissue Procurement. We may disclose your PHI to organizations that facilitate organ, eye or tissue procurement, banking or transplantation.
J. Health or Safety. We may use or disclose your PHI to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to a person’s or the public’s health or safety.
K. Specialized Government Functions. We may use and disclose your PHI to units of the government with special functions, such as the U.S. military or the U.S. Department of State under certain circumstances.
L. Workers’ Compensation. We may disclose your PHI as authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with state law relating to workers’ compensation or other similar programs.
M. As Required By Law. We may use and disclose your PHI when required to do so by any other law not already referred to in the preceding categories.
IV. Uses and Disclosures Requiring Your Written Authorization
A. Use or Disclosure with Your Authorization. We must obtain your written authorization for most uses and disclosures of PHI for marketing purposes and disclosures that constitute the sale of PHI. Additionally, other uses and disclosures of PHI not described in this Notice will be made only when you give us your written authorization (“Authorization”).
B. Revocation of Your Authorization. You may withdraw (revoke) your Authorization (except to the extent that we have taken action in reliance upon it) by delivering a written statement to the Privacy Officer identified below.
V. Your Rights Regarding Your Protected Health Information
A. For Further Information; Complaints. If you would like more information about your privacy rights, if you are concerned that we have violated your privacy rights, or if you disagree with a decision that we made about access to your PHI, you may contact our Privacy Officer. You may also file written complaints with the Director, Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Upon request, the Privacy Officer will provide you with the correct address for the Director. We will not retaliate against you if you file a complaint with us or the Director.
B. Right to Request Additional Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction on the uses and disclosures of your PHI (1) for treatment, payment and health care operations purposes, and (2) to individuals (such as a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person identified by you) involved in your care or with payment related to your care. For example, you have the right to request that we not disclose your PHI to a health plan for payment or health care operations purposes, if that PHI pertains solely to a health care item or service for which we have been involved and which has been paid out of pocket in full. Unless otherwise required by law, we are required to comply with your request for this type of restriction. For all other requests for restrictions on use and disclosures of your PHI, we are not required to agree to your request, but will attempt to accommodate reasonable requests when appropriate. If you wish to request additional restrictions, please contact our Privacy Officer.
C. Right to Receive Confidential Communications. You may request, and we will accommodate, any reasonable written request for you to receive your PHI by alternative means of communication or at alternative locations.
D. Right to Inspect and Copy Your Health Information. You may request access to your client file and billing records maintained by us in order to inspect and request copies of the records. Under limited circumstances, we may deny you access to a portion of your records. If you would like to access your records, please contact our Privacy Officer. If you request copies, we will charge you a cost-based fee, consistent with applicable state law.
E. Right to Amend Your Records. You have the right to request that we amend PHI maintained in your client file or billing records. If you desire to amend your records, please contact our Privacy Officer. We will comply with your request unless we believe that the information that would be amended is accurate and complete or other special circumstances apply.
F. Right to Receive An Accounting of Disclosures. Upon request, you may obtain an accounting of certain disclosures of your PHI made by us during any period of time prior to the date of your request provided such period does not exceed six years. If you request an accounting more than once during a twelve (12) month period, we will charge you a cost-based fee, consistent with applicable law. We will inform you in advance of any fee and provide you with an opportunity to withdraw or modify the request.
G. Right to Receive A Copy of this Notice. Upon request, you may obtain a copy of this Notice, either by email or in paper format. Please submit your request to:
503 Albemarle Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 220-0720
VI. Effective Date and Duration of This Notice
A. Effective Date. This Notice is effective on February 12, 2018.
B. Right to Change Terms of this Notice. We may change the terms of this Notice at any time. If we change this Notice, we may make the new notice terms effective for all Protected Health Information that we maintain, including any information created or received prior to issuing the new notice. If we change this Notice, we will post the new notice in MATCLINICS locations and on our Internet site at www.matclinics.com. You also may obtain any new notice by contacting the Privacy Officer.
VII. Privacy Officer
You may contact the Privacy Officer at:
503 Albemarle Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 220-0720
Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records
Federal law imposes additional restrictions on certain substance use disorder treatment “Part 2” programs (Programs). The confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records maintained by these Programs is protected by special federal law and regulations, in addition to HIPAA. Generally, such a Program may not say to a person outside the Program that a patient attends the Program, or disclose any information identifying a patient as having or having had a substance use disorder unless:
1. The patient consents in writing:
2. The disclosure is allowed by a court order; or
3. The disclosure is made to medical personnel in a medical emergency or to qualified personnel for research, audit, or program evaluation.
Violation of the federal law and regulations governing substance use disorder patient records by a Program is a crime. Suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities in accordance with federal regulations:
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland
36 S. Charles Street, 4th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
You can also contact:
SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857
Federal law and regulations do not protect any information about a crime committed by a patient either at the Program or against any person who works for the Program or about any threat to commit such a crime. Federal laws and regulations also do not protect any information about suspected child abuse or neglect from being reported under state law to appropriate state or local authorities.
Please refer to 42 U.S.C. 290dd-3 and 42 U.S.C. 290ee-3 and 42 CFR Part 2 for more information.