Notice of Privacy Practices

Cardiovascular Care 
1635 N. George Mason Drive, Suite 150 
Arlington, VA 22205

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES 
(Effective Date: 1/04/05)

This notice describes how medical information (Protected Health Information, PHI and/or Electronic Protected Health Information, EPHI) about you may be used and disclosed and how you may gain access to this information. Please review it carefully. We are required by Federal Law to provide you with the information detailed below, according to specified format and content. If you have any questions about this notice, please contact our Privacy Officer at the address/phone number listed above.

Each time you visit Cardiovascular Care ["The Practice,"] your medical record is updated to record your symptoms, exam and test results, diagnosis, treatment and recommendations for future treatment. We are required by law to ensure that your medical information is kept private, give you this Notice of Privacy Practices, and follow the terms of the notice that are currently in effect. We may change the terms of our notice, at any time. Any revision or amendment to this notice will be effective for all of your records that our practice has created or maintained in the past, and for any of your records that we may create or maintain in the future. Our practice will post a copy of our current Notice in our offices in a visible location at all times.

HOW THE PRACTICE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU 
The following examples provide different ways that The Practice may use and disclose medical information about you without your authorization. Your protected health information may be used and disclosed by your physician, The Practice's staff, and others outside of The Practice involved in providing health care services to you. Each category below gives examples as to how The Practice may use and disclose your protected health information.

Treatment: The Practice may use medical information about you to provide, coordinate or manage your medical treatment or services. For example, information obtained by your nurse or physician will be recorded and used to determine the best course of treatment for you. This information may be shared with other healthcare providers involved in your healthcare diagnosis or treatment.

Payment: The Practice may use and disclose medical information about you to receive payment for your healthcare services. For example, we may send a bill to you, an insurance company, or a third party such as family members. The information on the bill may include information that identifies you and the health care services you received. We may also communicate with your health insurance carrier to get prior approval for a treatment or to determine if a treatment is covered under your plan.

Health Care Operations: The Practice may use and disclose medical information about you in order to support the business activities, which we call "health care operations" of the practice. For example; Members of the medical staff and/or members of a quality improvement team may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it as a means to continually improve the quality of the healthcare and service we provide.

Business Associates: The Practice may use a third party to perform various functions necessary to the practice (e.g., billing and transcription). The Practice requires that third parties sign contracts stating they will protect your information.

Appointment Reminders: We may use and disclose medical information when we contact you by phone, to include a message left on your voicemail, or a mailed postcard to remind you of an appointment.

As Required By Law: The Practice will disclose medical information when required to do so by federal, state or local law, in response to a court order, valid subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process.

Military and Veterans: The Practice may release medical information of patients in the armed forces as required by military command authorities.

Workers' Compensation: The Practice may release medical information about you to comply with workers' compensation laws.

Health Oversight: The Practice may disclose your health information to a state or federal health oversight agency, which is authorized by law to oversee our operations.

Public Health: The Practice may disclose medical information about you for public health reasons. Some common reasons for disclosure are to prevent or control disease, injury or disability.

Law Enforcement: When legal requirements are met, The Practice may release medical information about you if asked to do so by a law enforcement official, for example; for legal processes that are required by law or concerning victim(s) of a crime.

National Security: The Practice may disclose your medical information to federal officials for intelligence and national security activities authorized by law.

Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors: Medical information may be released to a coroner or medical examiner, as authorized by law, for identification purposes or to determine the cause of death.

Inmates: If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or in the custody of a law enforcement official, The Practice may release medical information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official.

SPECIAL SITUATIONS 
Emergencies/Communication Barriers:
The Practice may disclose your health information in the event of an emergency health situation or if significant communication barriers exist and the physician determines, using professional judgment that you intend to consent to use or disclosure under the circumstances.

Family and Others Involved in your Care or Payment for your Care: Using our best judgment, The Practice may disclose health information about you to a family member, relative or friend involved in your medical care or the payment of your care.

Organ and Tissue Donation: If you are an organ donor, The Practice may release medical information to organizations engaged in the procurement, banking or transplantation of organs in order to aid in the organ or tissue donation and transplantation.

Marketing of Treatment Alternatives, Benefits and Services: We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. If you do not want to be included in this service, please notify our Privacy Officer in writing.

Research: The Practice may disclose medical information to researchers if an institutional review board has approved the research proposal and protocols are in place to ensure the privacy of your medical information.

YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION AND YOUR RIGHTS 
Your health record is the physical property of your healthcare provider. The information, however, belongs to you. Your legal rights with regard to your health record are detailed below.

Right to Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that our practice communicate with you about your health and related issues in a particular manner or at a certain location. For instance, you may ask that we contact you at home, rather than work. We will accommodate reasonable requests. You must make a written request to our Privacy Officer.

Right to Inspect and Copy: You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of your medical record. This typically includes medical and billing records. Our practice may deny your request to inspect and/or copy in certain limited circumstances; however, you may request a review of our denial. If you would like to inspect your medical information, you must submit your written request to our Privacy Officer. You will be contacted and an appointment arranged for review of the records in the presence of an Office Representative. If you would like to request a copy of your medical information, you must submit your written request to the Privacy Officer. You will be charged a fee for the cost of copying, mailing and other costs associated with your request.

Right to Obtain an Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right to request an accounting of certain disclosures we have made (if any) of your health information, which do not fall under the routine disclosures stipulated for payment, treatment and/or healthcare operations or for which you have not additionally authorized in writing. To request an accounting of such disclosures, please submit your written request to our Privacy Officer.

Right to Have Amend your Protected Health Information: This means you may request an amendment of protected health information about you in a designated record set if you believe it is incorrect or incomplete for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases we may deny your request for an amendment. If we do so, 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.

Right to Obtain a Paper Copy of This Notice: Upon request, and at any time, The Practice will provide you with a paper copy of this Notice.

Right to Provide an Authorization for Other Uses and Disclosures: The Practice will obtain your written authorization for uses and disclosures that are not identified by this Notice or permitted by applicable law.

PRACTICE OBLIGATIONS REGARDING YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION AND YOUR RIGHTS 
Pursuant to your written request(s) regarding your medical information and rights, please be advised that the law requires that The Practice respond to your request(s) within thirty (30) days. 

COMPLAINTS 
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may contact our Privacy Officer at the address/phone number listed above without fear of retribution. All complaints must be submitted in writing and will be handled confidentially. The Privacy Officer will contact you within 10 business days of receipt of your complaint.

Should you feel further assistance is warranted, you may contact the Office for Civil Rights/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at 150 S. Independence Mall West-Suite 372, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3499, or call the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at (215) 861-4441; (215) 861-4440 (TDD), (215) 861-4431 FAX.

 


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