Westside Chiropractic personnel will treat all patients receiving services with equality free from discrimination based on age, race, color, ancestry, cultural background, ethnic or national origin, religious or political beliefs, citizenship or immigration status, physical or mental disability, marital or parental status, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, economic status, education, veteran or military status, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
Notice of Patient Privacy Practices
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. If you have any questions about this Notice please contact our Privacy Officer, Anna K. Aungst.
This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out your treatment, collect payment for your care and manage the operations of this clinic. It also describes our policies concerning the use and disclosure of this information for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It describes your rights to access and control your protected health information. "Protected Health Information" (PHI) is information about you, including demographic information that may identify you, that relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services.
We are required by federal law to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We may change the terms of our notice at any time. The new notice will be effective for all protected health information that we maintain at that time. You may obtain revisions to our Notice of Privacy Practices by accessing our website www.DrAungst.com, calling the office and requesting that a revised copy be sent to you in the mail or asking for one at the time of your next appointment.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
By applying to be treated in our office, you are implying consent to the use and disclosure of your PHI by your doctor, our office staff and others outside of our office that are involved in your care and treatment for the purpose of providing health care services to you. Your protected health information may also be used and disclosed to bill for your health care and to support the operation of the practice. Your PHI may be disclosed verbally or in hard copy, electronic or digital form.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Based Upon Your Implied Consent
Following are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your PHI we will make, based on this implied consent. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive but to describe the types of uses and disclosures that may be made by our office.
Treatment: We will use and disclose your PHI to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. This includes the coordination or management of your health care with a third party that has already obtained your permission to have access to your PHI. For example, we would disclose your PHI, as necessary, to another physician who may be treating you. Your PHI may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred to ensure that the physician has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you.
In addition, we may disclose your PHI from time-to-time to another physician or health care provider (e.g. a specialist or laboratory) who, at the request of your doctor, becomes involved in your care by providing assistance with your health care diagnosis or treatment.
Payment: Your PHI will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. This may include certain activities that your health insurance plan may undertake before it approves or pays for the health care services we recommend for you such as making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you for medical necessity, and undertaking utilization review activities. For example, obtaining approval for chiropractic spinal adjustments may require that your relevant PHI be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for those services.
Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose, as needed, your PHI in order to support the business activities of this office. These activities may include, but are not limited to quality assessment activities, employee review activities and the training of chiropractic students.
For example, we may disclose your PHI to student chiropractic interns that see patients at our office. In addition, we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name and indicate your doctor. We may also call you by name in the reception area when your doctor is ready to see you. We may use or disclose your PHI, as necessary, to contact you to remind you of your appointment. We have open therapy/adjusting rooms from which conversations can be overheard. The doctor's treatment room has a door that can be closed should you desire that privacy during treatment or at any time to discuss your PHI or any personal issues.
It may be necessary at times to remove files from the Practice office for various reasons, such as taking your files to your attorney's office or to a health care provider that is co-treating you (by your authorized request and release), to a facility where you are confined or to your home where you are to be examined or treated. The privacy of PHI in patient files will be protected when the files are taken to and from the Practice office by placing the files in a box or brief case and kept within the custody of a doctor or employee of the Practice who is authorized to remove the files from the Practice’s office.
We will share your protected health information with third party "business associates" that perform various activities (e.g. billing, transcription services for the practice, computer software and hardware maintenance). Whenever an arrangement between our office and a business associate involves the use or disclosure of your PHI, we will have a written contract with that business associate that contains terms that will protect the privacy of your PHI.
We may use or disclose your PHI, as necessary, to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related products and services that may be of interest to you. We may also use and disclose your protected health information for other internal marketing activities. For example, your name and address may be used to send you a newsletter about our practice and the services we offer, or information about products or services that we believe may be beneficial to you. You may contact our Privacy Officer to request that these materials not be sent to you.
Uses and Disclosures of PHI That May Be Made Only With Your Written Authorization
Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information will be made only with your written authorization, unless otherwise required or permitted by law as described below.
Disclosures of psychotherapy notes
Uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information for marketing purposes;
Disclosures that constitute a sale of Protected Health Information;
Other uses and disclosures not described in the Notice of Privacy Practices will be made only with authorization from the individual.
You may revoke any of these authorizations, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that your doctor or the practice has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made With Your Authorization or Opportunity to Object
In the following instance where we may use and disclose your PHI, you have the opportunity to agree or object to the use or disclosure of all or part of your PHI. If you are not present or able to agree or object to the use or disclosure of the PHI, then your doctor may, using professional judgment, determine whether the disclosure is in your best interest. In this case, only the PHI that is relevant to your health care will be disclosed.
Others Involved in Your Healthcare: Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your protected health information that directly relates to that person's involvement in your health care. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment. We may use or disclose protected health information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care of your location or general condition. Finally, we may use or disclose your PHI to an authorized public or private entity to assist in disaster relief efforts and to coordinate uses and disclosures to family or other individuals involved in your health care.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and, Disclosures That May Be Made Without Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use or disclose your protected health information in the following situations without your consent or authorization. These situations include:
Required By Law: We may use or disclose your PHI to the extent that the law requires the use or disclosure. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law. You will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.
Public Health: We may disclose your PHI for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability. We may also disclose your PHI, if directed by the public health authority, to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority.
Communicable Diseases: We may disclose your protected health information, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.
Health Oversight: We may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws.
Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your protected health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, we may disclose your PHI if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the governmental entity or agency authorized to receive such information. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.
Legal Proceedings: We may disclose PHI in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized), in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.
Law Enforcement: We may also disclose PHI, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes. These law enforcement purposes include (I) legal process and otherwise required by law, (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes, (3) pertaining to victims of a crime, (4) suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct, (5) in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of the Practice, and (6) medical emergency (not on the Practice's premises) and it is likely that a crime has occurred.
Workers' Compensation: We may disclose your protected health information, as authorized, to comply with workers' compensation laws and other similar legally-established programs.
Required Uses and Disclosures: Under the law, we must make disclosures to you and when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of Section 164.500 et. seq.
Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your protected health information and a brief description of how you may exercise these rights.
You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of your protected health information. This includes the PHI about you that is contained in a designated record set for as long as we maintain the protected health information. A "designated record set" contains medical and billing records and any other records that your doctor and the Practice uses for making decisions about you.
Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or obtain a copy of the following records;
psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, and protected health information that is subject to law that prohibits access to PHI. Depending on the circumstances, a decision to deny access may be reviewed. In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed. Please contact our Privacy Officer, if you have questions about access to your medical record.
You have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your PHI for the purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You have the right to restrict certain disclosures of your PHI to a health plan when you pay out of pocket in full for the healthcare delivered by our office. You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. Your request must be in writing and state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. You may opt out of fundraising communications in which our office participates.
Your provider is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request. If the doctor believes it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your protected health information, your PHI will not be restricted. If your doctor does agree to the requested restriction, we may not use or disclose your PHI in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment. With this in mind, please discuss any restriction you wish to request with your doctor.
You may request a restriction by presenting your request, in writing to the staff member identified as "Privacy Officer" at the top of this form. The Privacy Officer will provide you with a "Restriction of Consent" form. Complete the form, sign it, and ask that the staff provide you with a photocopy of your request initialed by them. This copy will serve as your receipt.
You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests. We may also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request. This request must be made in writing.
You may have the right to have your doctor amend your protected health information. This means you may request an amendment of protected health information about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. Please contact our Privacy Officer if you have questions about amending your medical record.
You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your PHI. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations as described in this Notice of Privacy practices. It excludes disclosures we may have made to you, to family members or friends involved in your care, pursuant to a duly executed authorization or for notification purposes. You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures that occurred after April 14, 2003. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limits.
You have the right to be notified by our office of any breech of privacy of your PHI.
You may complain to us, or the Secretary of Health and Human Services, if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. To do so, go to: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/filing-a-complaint/complaint-process/index.html
Or you may file a written complaint directly with us or by notifying our Privacy Officer Anna K. Aungst at 503-546-5665.
This notice was published and becomes effective on February 15, 2020.