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Privacy Policy

Effective: September 4, 2013

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

Boulder Valley Vision Therapy, P.C.

Jennifer S. Simonson, OD, FCOVD

1790 30th Street, Suite #311

Boulder, CO 80301

Tel: 303-443-2257 Fax: 303-443-4599 Email: bouldervt@yahoo.com

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THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED

AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.

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We respect our legal obligation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to keep health information that identifies you private. We are obligated by law to give you notice of our privacy practices. This Notice describes how we protect your health information and what rights you have regarding it.

TREATMENT, PAYMENT, AND HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS

The most common reason why we use or disclose your health information is for treatment, payment or health care operations. Examples of how we use or disclose information for treatment purposes are: setting up an appointment for you; testing or examining your eyes; prescribing glasses, contact lenses, or eye medications and faxing them to be filled; referring you to another doctor or clinic for eye care or low vision aids or services; or getting copies of your health information from another professional that you may have seen before us. Examples of how we use or disclose your health information for payment purposes are: asking you about your health or vision care plans, or other sources of payment; preparing and sending bills or claims; and collecting unpaid amounts (either ourselves or through a collection agency or attorney). “Health care operations” mean those administrative and managerial functions that we have to do in order to run our office. Examples of how we use or disclose your health information for health care operations are: financial or billing audits; internal quality assurance; personnel decisions; participation in managed care plans; defense of legal matters; and business planning.

USES AND DISCLOSURES FOR OTHER REASONS WITHOUT PERMISSION In some limited situations, the law allows or requires us to use or disclose your health information without your permission. Not all of these situations will apply to us; some may never come up at our office at all. Such uses or disclosures are:

  • When a state or federal law mandates that certain health information be reported for a specific purpose;
  • For public health purposes, such as contagious disease reporting, investigation or surveillance; and notices to and from the federal Food and Drug Administration regarding drugs or medical devices;
  • Disclosures to governmental authorities about victims of suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence;
  • Uses and disclosures for health oversight activities, such as for the licensing of doctors; for audits by Medicare or Medicaid; or for investigation of possible violations of health care laws;
  • Disclosures for judicial and administrative proceedings, such as in response to subpoenas or orders of courts or administrative agencies;
  • Disclosures for law enforcement purposes, such as to provide information about someone who is or is suspected to be a victim of a crime; to provide information about a crime at our office; or to report a crime that happened somewhere else;
  • Disclosure to a medical examiner to identify a dead person or to determine the cause of death; or to funeral directors to aid in burial; or to organizations that handle organ or tissue donations;
  • Uses or disclosures for health related research;
  • Uses and disclosures to prevent a serious threat to health or safety;
  • Uses or disclosures for specialized government functions, such as for the protection of the president or high ranking government officials; for lawful national intelligence activities; for military purposes; or for the evaluation and health of members of the Foreign Service;
  • Disclosures of de-identified information;
  • Disclosures relating to worker’s compensation programs;
  • Disclosures of a “limited data set” for research, public health, or health care operations;
  • Incidental disclosures that are an unavoidable by-product of permitted uses or disclosures;
  • Disclosures to “business associates” who perform health care operations for us and who commit to respect the privacy of your health information in accordance with HIPAA;

Unless you object, we will also share relevant information about your care with your personal representatives who are helping you with your eye care.

APPOINTMENT REMINDERS

We may call or write to remind you of scheduled appointments, or that it is time to make a routine appointment. We may also call or write to notify you of other treatments or services available at our office that might help you. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will leave you a reminder message on your home answering machine or with someone who answers your phone if you are not home.

OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES

We will not make any other uses or disclosures of your health information unless you sign a written “authorization form.” The content of an “authorization form” is determined by federal law. Sometimes, we may initiate the authorization process if the use or disclosure is our idea. Sometimes, you may initiate the process if it’s your idea for us to send your information to someone else. Typically, in this situation you will sign and complete an authorization form. If we initiate the process and ask you to sign an authorization form, you do not have to sign it. If you do not sign the authorization, we cannot make the use or disclosure. If you do sign one, you may revoke it at any time unless we have already acted in reliance upon it. Revocations must be in writing. Send them to the office contact person named at the beginning of this Notice.

We do not use your health information for marketing purposes, we do not sell or plan to sell your health information and we do not create or maintain psychotherapy notes on our patients.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION

The law gives you many rights regarding your health information. You can:

  • ask us to restrict our uses and disclosures for purposes of treatment (except emergency treatment), payment or health care operations. We are not required to agree to these requests, but if we agree, we must honor the restrictions that you want. To ask for a restriction, send a written request to the office contact person at the address or fax shown at the beginning of this Notice.
  • restrict disclosure of your health information to a health plan if the disclosure is for the purpose of carrying out payment or health car operations and is not otherwise required by law and such information pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid in full.
  • ask us to communicate with you in a confidential way, such as by phoning you at work rather than at home or by mailing health information to a different address. We will accommodate these requests if they are reasonable, and if you pay us for any extra cost. If you want to ask for confidential communications, send a written request to the office contact person at the address or fax shown at the beginning of this Notice.
  • inspect or copy your health information. If you want to review or get photocopies of your health information, send a written request to the office contact person at the address or fax shown at the beginning of this Notice. By law, there are a few limited situations in which we can refuse to permit access or copying. Normally you will be able to review or have a copy of your health information within 30 days of providing a written request. You may have to pay for photocopies in advance at a rate of $0.15 per page.

. · amend your health information if you think that it is incorrect or incomplete. If you want to ask us to amend your health information, send a written request, including your reasons for the amendment, to the office contact person at the address or fax shown at the beginning of this Notice. If we agree, we will amend the information within 60 days from when you ask us. If we deny your request, you can write a statement of your position, and we will include it with your health information along with any rebuttal statement that we may write. Once your statement of position and/or our rebuttal is included in your health information, we will send it along whenever we make a permitted disclosure of your health information.

  • receive an accounting of disclosures that we have made of your health information within the past six years (or a shorter period if you want). By law, the list will not include: disclosures for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations; disclosures with your authorization; incidental disclosures; disclosures required by law; and some other limited disclosures. You are entitled to one such list per year without charge. If you want more frequent lists, you will have to pay for them in advance. We will usually respond to your request within 60 days of receiving it, but by law we can have one 30 day extension of time if we notify you of the extension in writing. If you want a list, send a written request to the office contact person at the address or fax shown at the beginning of this Notice.
  • Designate another party to receive your health information. You may give us written authorization permitting us to disclose your health information to anyone for any purpose. Provide a written request and clearly identify the designated recipient and their current contact information.

OUR NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

By law, we must abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices until we choose to change it. We reserve the right to change this notice at any time as allowed by law. If we change this Notice, the new privacy practices will apply to your health information that we already have as well as to such information that we may generate in the future. If we change our Notice of Privacy Practices, we will post the new notice in our office and have copies available in our office.

COMPLAINTS

If you think that we have not properly respected the privacy of your health information, you are free to complain to us or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights. We will not retaliate against you if you make a complaint. If you want to complain to us, send a written complaint to compliance officer Amy Zeiger, COVT or to clinic director Jennifer S. Simonson, OD, FCOVD at the address or fax shown at the beginning of this Notice. If you prefer, you can discuss your complaint in person or by phone.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you want more information about our privacy practices, contact us at the address or phone number shown at the beginning of this Notice. Notice Revised and Effective: September 4, 2013.

 

 

 

Privacy Contact Officer: Amy Zeiger, COVT