Hearing Zone understands that your medical and health information are personal. Protecting your health information is important. We follow strict federal and state laws that require us to maintain the confidentiality of your health information.
OUR PRIVACY RESPONSIBILITIES:
Hearing Zone is required by law to:
- Maintain the privacy of your health information;
- Provide this notice that describes the ways we may use and share your health information; and
- Follow the terms of the notice currently in effect.
We reserve the right to make changes to this notice at any time and make the new privacy practices effective for all information we maintain. Current notices will be posted at all Hearing Zone locations. You may also request a copy of any notice from Hearing Zone Privacy Contact or by asking for one at the time of your next appointment.
HOW WE USE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION:
When you receive care from Hearing Zone, we may use your protected health information for treating you, billing for services, and conducting our normal business (known as health care operations ). Protected health information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services. Following are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health care information that our office permitted to make once you have signed our intake form:
Treatment – We keep records of the care and services provided to you. Health care providers use these records to deliver quality care to meet your needs. For example, we may share your health information with a specialist who will assist in your treatment.
Payment – We keep billing records that include payment information and documentation of the services provided to you. Your information may be used to obtain payment from you, your insurance company, or other third party. We may also contact your insurance company to verify coverage for your care or to notify them of upcoming services that may need prior notice or approval. For example, we may disclose information about the services provided to you to claim and obtain payment from your insurance company or Medicare.
Health Care Operations – We may use or disclose, as needed, your protected health information in order to support the business activities of our practice. These activities include, but are not limited to, customer service, training of staff and interns, marketing, and conducting other business activities. For example, we may call you by name in the waiting room when your healthcare provider is ready to see you.
OTHER SERVICES WE PROVIDE:
We may also use your health information to:
- Remind you when you’re hearing aid(s) warranty is due to expire or when your hearing aid(s) can be picked up. (If you do not wish to be notified, please contact the Privacy Contact)
- Share information with third parties who assist us with treatment, payment, and healthcare operations, i.e. doctors, specialists, nursing homes. All our Business Associates must protect your information by following our privacy practices.
- Share information with family/friends involved in your care or payment for your care, when appropriate.
- Share information with School District Audiologists who request information on students we have tested.
- Share information with Industrial firms who request that we test their employees and send results.
- Share information with Vocational Rehabilitation who request that we test their patients and send results.
- Tell you about health services and products that may benefit you.
- Provide care in an emergency treatment situation.
- We may use and disclose your protected health information if your healthcare provider attempts to obtain consent from you, but is unable to do so due to substantial communication barriers and determines that you intend to consent to use or disclosure under the circumstances.
SHARING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION:
There are limited situations when we are permitted or required to disclose health information without your signed authorization. These situations are:
- For public health purposes such as reporting communicable diseases, work-related illnesses, or other diseases and injuries permitted by law;
- To protect victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence;
- For health oversight activities such as investigations, audits, and inspections;
- For lawsuits and similar proceedings;
- When requested by law enforcement as required by law or court order;
- When otherwise required by law;
- For research approved by our review process under strict federal guidelines;
- To reduce or prevent a serious threat to public health and safety;
- For workers’ compensation or other similar programs if you are injured at work;
- For specialized government functions such as intelligence and national security.
All other uses and disclosures, not described in this notice, require your signed authorization. You may revoke your authorization at any time with a written statement.
YOUR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS:
You have the right to:
- Request restrictions on how we use and share your health information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. You may also request us not to disclose health information to family/friends who may be involved with your care. We will consider all requests for restrictions carefully, but are not required to agree to any restriction
- Request that we use a specific telephone number or address to communicate with you.
- Inspect and copy your health information, including medical and billing records. Fees may apply. Under limited circumstances, we may deny you access to a portion of your health information, and you may request a review of the denial.*
- Request corrections or additions to your health information.*
- Request an accounting of certain disclosures of your health information made by us, if any. The accounting does not include disclosures made for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations and some disclosures required by law. Your request must state the period of time desired for the accounting, which must be within the six years prior to your request and exclude dates prior to April 14, 2003.
- Request a paper copy of this notice even if you agree to receive it electronically.
Requests marked with a (*) must be made in writing. Contact Hearing Zone Privacy Contact for the appropriate form for your request.
If you would like further information about your privacy rights, are concerned that your privacy rights have been violated, or disagree with a decision that we made about access to your health information, contact:
Privacy Contact for Hearing Zone
Pocatello, ID 83202
(208) 238 0020
We will investigate all complaints and will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint. You may also file a written complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This notice was published and becomes effective on April 14, 2003.