Notice of Private Policies

This notice describes the medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

This practice uses and discloses healthy information about you for treatment, to obtain payment for treatment, for administrative purposes, and to evaluate the quality of care that you receive.

This notice describes our privacy practices. You can request a copy of this notice at any time. For more information about this notice or our privacy practices and policies, please contact our office.

Treatment, Payment, Health Care Operations

We are permitted to use and disclose your medical information to those involved in your treatment. For example, your care may require the involvement of a specialist. When we refer you to a specialist, we will share some or all of your medical information with that physician to facilitate the delivery of care.

We are permitted to use and disclose your medical information to bill and collect payment for the service provided to you. For example, we may complete a claim form to obtain payment from you insurer or HMO. The form will contain medical information, such as a description of the medical service provided to you, that your insurer or HMO needs to approve payment to us.

Health Care Operations
We are permitted to use or disclose your medical information for the purposes of health care operations, which are activities that support this practice and ensure that quality care is delivered.

For example, we may ask another physician to review this practice’s charts and medical records to evaluate our performance so that we can ensure that only the best health care is provided by this practice.

Disclosures That Can Be Made Without Your Authorization
There are situations in which we are permitted by law to disclose or use your medical information without your written authorization or an opportunity to object. In other situations we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing any identifiable health information about you. If you choose to sign an authorization to disclose information, you can later revoke that authorization, in writing, to stop future uses and disclosures. However, any revocation will not apply to disclosures or uses already made or taken in reliance on that authorization.

Public Health, Abuse or Neglect, and Health Oversight
We may disclose your medical information for public health activities. Public health activities are mandated by federal, state, or local government for the collection of information about disease, vital statistics (like births and death), or injury by a public health authority. We may disclose medical information, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition. We may disclose your medical information to report reactions to medications, problems with products, or to notify people of recalls or products they may be using.

We may also disclose medical information to a public agency authorized to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. Texas law requires physicians to report child abuse or neglect. Regulations also permit the disclosure of information to report abuse or neglect of elders or the disabled.

We may disclose your medical information in the course of judicial or administrative proceedings in response to an order of the court ( or the administrative decision-maker) or other appropriate legal process. Certain requirement must be met before the information is disclosed.

If asked by a law enforcement official, we may disclose your medical information under limited circumstances provided that the information:

We may also release information if we believe the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen an imminent threat to the health or safety of a person.

Workers’ Compensation
We may disclose your medical information as required by the Texas workers’ compensation law.

If you are an inmate or under the custody of law enforcement, we may release your medical information to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release is permitted to allow the institution to provide you with medical care, to protect your health or the health and safety of others, or for the safety and security of the institution.

Military, National security and Intelligence Activities, Protection of the President
We may disclose your medical information for specialized governmental functions such as separation or discharge from military service, requests as necessary by appropriate military command officers (if you are in the military), authorized national security and intelligence activities, as well as authorized activities for the provision of protective services for the President of the United Sates, other authorized government officials, or foreign head of state.

Research, Organ Donation, Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors
When a research project and its privacy protections have been approved by an institutional Review Board or privacy board, we may release medical information to researchers for research purposes. We may release medical information to organ procurement organizations for the purpose of facilitating organ, eyes, or tissue donation if you are a donor. Also, we may release your medical information to a coroner or medical examiner to identify a deceased or a cause of death. Further, we may release your medical information to a funeral director where such a disclosure is necessary for the director to carry out his duties.

Required by Law
We may release your medical information where the disclosure is required by law.

Your Rights Under Federal Privacy Regulations
The United States Department of Health and Human Services created regulations intended to protect patient privacy as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ( HIPAA ). Those regulations create several privileges that patients may exercise. We will not retaliate against a patient that exercises their HIPAA rights.

Requested Restrictions
You may request that we restrict or limit how your protected health information is used or disclosed for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. We do NOT have to agree to this restriction, but if we do agree, we will comply with your request except under emergency circumstances.

To request a restriction, submit the following in writing: (a) The information to be restricted, (b) what kind of restriction you are requesting (i.e. on the use of information, disclosure of information or both), and (c) to whom the limits apply. Please send the request to the address and person listed below.

We can refuse to provide some of the information you ask to inspect or ask to be copied if the information

We can refuse to provide access to or copies of some information for other reasons, provided that we provide a review of our decision on your request. Another licensed health care provider who was not involved in the prior decision to deny access will make any such review.

Texas law requires that we are ready to provide copies or a narrative within 15 days of your request. We will inform you of when the records are ready or if we believe access should be limited. If we deny access, we will inform you in writing.

HIPAA permits us to charge a reasonable cost based fee. The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners ( TSBME ) has set limits on fees for copies of medical records that under some circumstance may be lower than the charges permitted by HIPAA. In any event, the lower of the fee permitted by HIPAA or the fee permitted by the TSBME will be charged.

Amendment of Medical Information
You may request an amendment of your medical information in the designated record set. Any such request must be made in writing to the person listed below. We will respond within 60 days of your request. We may refuse to allow an amendment if the information:

Even if we refuse to allow an amendment, you are permitted to include a patient statement about the information at issue in your medical record. If we refuse to allow an amendment we will inform you in writing. If we approve the amendment, we will inform you in writing, allow the amendment to be made and tell others that we know have the incorrect information.

Accounting of Certain Disclosures
The HIPAA privacy regulations permit you to request, and us to provide, an accounting of disclosures that are other than for treatment, payment, health care operations, or made via an authorization signed by you or your representative. Please submit any request for an accounting to the person listed below. Your first accounting of disclosures ( within a 12 –month period ) will be free. For additional requests within that period we are permitted to charge for the cost of providing the list. If there is a charge we will notify you and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request before any cost are incurred.

Appointment Reminders, Treatment, Alternatives, and Other Health-related Benefits
We may contact you by telephone, mail, or both to provide appointment reminders, information about treatment alternatives, or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.

If you are concerned that your privacy right have been violated, you may contact the person listed below. You may also send a written complaint to the United Stated Department of Health and Human Services. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint with the government or us. The contact information for the United State Department of Health and Human Services is:

 U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
HIPAA Complaint
7500 Security Blvd , C5-24-04
Baltimore , MD 21244 

Our promise to you
We are required by law and regulation to protect the privacy of your medical information, to provide you with this notice of our privacy practices with respect to protected health information, and to abide by the terms of the notice of privacy practices in effect.

Questions and Contact Person for Request
If you have any questions or want to make a request pursuant to the rights described above, please contact:

Office Manager
8278 Bellaire #A
Houston , TX 77036
Phone (713) 272-8858
Fax (713) 995-6142

This is effective on the following date: April 14, 2003

We may change our policies and this notice at any time and have those revised policies apply to all the protected health information we maintain. If or when we change our notice, we will post the new notice in the office where it can be seen.