Privacy Policy

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 CAREFULLY

PARTLOW, HARBIN & POIST OB-GYN, M.D., P.C. (Hereafter referred to as “PHP”) is required by federal law to maintain the privacy of your individually identifiable health information and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices.  We will not use, release or disclose your health information except as specifically described in this Notice of Privacy Practices (“Privacy Notice”), unless specifically authorized by you in writing.  In providing professional medical services to you, we will create, maintain and store your protected health information.  This Privacy Notice applies to protected health information included as a part of your medical records generated by “PHP”.

Examples of disclosures for treatment, payment and health operations: The following categories describe the ways we may use, release and disclose your health information for treatment, payment and healthcare operations without the need for an additional and specific signed authorization from you.

Treatment:  We will use your protected health information in the provision and coordination of your healthcare.  For example, we may disclose all or any portion of your medical record information as part of your care and continued treatment to your attending physician, consulting physician(s), nurses, technicians, and other healthcare providers who have legitimate need for such information.

Payment:  “PHP” may release protected health information about you for the purpose of determining coverage, billing, claims management, medical data processing and reimbursement.  For example, the information may be released to an insurance company, third party payor or other entity (or their authorized representatives)  involved in the payment of your medical bill and may include copies or excerpts of your medical record, which are necessary for payment of your account.

Routine Healthcare Operations:  “PHP” may use and disclose your protected health information during routine healthcare operations.  These operations may include quality assurance, utilization review, medical review, internal auditing, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities, management and administration of “PHP”, and educational purposes.  

Appointment Reminders:  “PHP” may se and disclose protected health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment, medical care or follow-up at “PHP” and may leave a message for you at the number that “PHP” has listed for you.  

Health-Related Business, Services and Treatment Alternatives:  “PHP” may use and disclose your medical information to tell you of health-related benefits or services provided by “PHP” that may be of interest to you and your particular medical needs.

Regulatory Agencies: “PHP” may disclose your medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law including, but not limited to, licensure, certification, audits, investigations and inspections.  

Law Enforcement/Litigation:  “PHP” may disclose your medical information to a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena or court order.

Public Health:  As required by law, “PHP” may disclose your medical information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability.  

Serious Threat to Health or Safety:  “PHP” may use and disclose protected medical information when necessary to reduce or prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of another individual or the public.  Disclosures will only be made to a person or organization able to prevent the threat.  

Military/Veterans/National Security: “PHP” may disclose your protected medical information as required by military command authorities, if you are a member of the armed forces.  In addition, “PHP” may disclose your protected medical information to federal officials for intelligence and national security activities authorized by law.  

Required by Law:  “PHP” will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by law.  

Coroners, Medical Examiners, Funeral Directors: “PHP” may release your medical information to a coroner, medical examiner or to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.  

Business Associates:  “PHP” may use and disclose certain medical information about you to business associates of “PHP”.  A business associate is an individual or entity under contract with “PHP” to perform or assist “PHP” in a function or activity, which requires the use or disclosure of medical information.  The law also requires “PHP” to obtain reasonable, written assurances from its business associates that they will also protect the confidentiality of your medical information.

Research: “PHP” may use or disclose your medical information for research purposes in certain limited circumstances.  

Workers Compensation:  “PHP” may be required under Alabama Law to release medical information about you for workers compensation or similar programs.  

Inmates:  If you are an inmate of a correctional institute or under the custody of a law enforcement officer, “PHP” may release your medical record information to the correctional institute or law enforcement official.

YOUR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS

You have the following rights concerning your medical information.  

Right to Confidential Communication:  You have the right to request that ”PHP” communicate with you about your health and related issues in a particular manner or at a certain location.  “PHP” will accommodate reasonable requests.  

Right to Inspect and Copy:  You have the right to inspect and copy your medical information including patient medical records and billing information.  Consistent with federal law, “PHP” may deny access to certain medical information most notably, psychotherapy notes.  

A reasonable cost based charge for copying, labor, mailing and supplies may be assessed.  If a summary of the medical records is requested, a fee may be assessed as well.  In certain limited circumstances, “PHP” may deny your request to inspect and copy; however, you may request a review of your denial.  

Right to Amend:  You have the right to amend your medical record information if you believe it to be incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete as long as the information is created by, kept and maintained by or for our medical practice.  

You must request an amendment in writing and include the reasons supporting your request for amendment.  “PHP”’ however, may not agree to honor your request for an amendment.  

Right to an Accounting:  You have the right to obtain a statement or an “accounting” of “PHP’”s use or disclosure of your protected health information.  A request for an accounting must be made in writing.  

Right to Request Restrictions:  You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your medical information.  “PHP” may not agree to honor your request for restrictions; however, if we do agree, we are bound by our agreement except when otherwise required by law, in emergencies, or when the information is necessary to treat you.  

Right to Receive Copy of this Notice:  You have the right to receive a paper copy of this Notice, upon request.  

Right to Revoke Authorization:  You have the right to revoke any authorization allowing “PHP” to use or disclose your medical information except to the extent that action has already been taken by “PHP” in reliance upon that authorization.  

Please note that to exercise any of the privacy rights described herein, you must complete a written request and send it to: Privacy Officer, Partlow, Harbin & Poist Ob-Gyn, M.D., P.C. “PHP” will carefully review each patient request and respond within thirty (30) days.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REPORT A PROBLEM: If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact:                 
“PHP”’s Privacy Officer at                                                                                              
205-349-4131  

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may also file a complaint with “PHP” or with the Office of Civil Rights.  

To file a complaint with “PHP”, please contact:
Privacy Officer
Partlow, Harbin & Poist Ob-Gyn, M.D., P.C.
701 University Boulevard East
Suite 502 Tuscaloosa, AL  35401  

For complaints involving covered entities located in Alabama:
Region IV, Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 3B70
61 Forsyth Street, SW Atlanta, GA 30303-8909
Voice Phone (404) 562-7886  FAX (404) 562-7881                     
TDD (404) 331-2867

All complaints must be submitted in writing.

There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint or expressing a concern.  

Changes to this Notice: “PHP” will abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect.  “PHP” reserves the right to change the terms of its Privacy Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all individually identifiable health information that it maintains.  

PRIVACY NOTIVE EFECTIVE DATE:  This effective date of the Privacy Notice is April 14, 2003.