Following is an explanation of your privacy rights as enumerated ad nauseum in the law commonly known as HIPAA. Why it has to be on websites which do not handle confidential patient information is anyone’s guess. Nonetheless, somebody in the Federal Government thought it would be a good idea, so here we go. First, the short version: 1) Doctors can share patient information with anyone who needs it. 2) Doctors can be punished by the Federal Government for sharing patient information with people who don’t need it.
Now for the version that cost taxpayers and doctors and hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars and took an army of lawyers and bureaucrats to figure out ways to complicate what should be common sense to any sane individual:
The provision of medical care requires the exchange and documentation of sensitive information about your health, lifestyle, and personal and family circumstances. Your chart may include this information in the form of written data, diagrams, photographs, etc. This data is maintained foremost to allow Dr. Andrew and his staff to provide you the best care we can. It also enables us to bill your insurance as a service to you. Finally, your medical information may be used for practice-based medical education or research. In such cases, no information is included that could be used to identify you personally.
Our commitment to you, in accordance with well-established legal requirements and professional standards, is to share only as much of your personal information with selected parties as is necessary for them to carry out their essential functions. Such parties include: 1) other physicians or practitioners consulted for diagnosis or treatment of your condition; 2) whoever pays your bill (insurance companies, for example); 3) technical assistants consulted for maintenance or processing of medical information; and 4) government authorities as required by law. We can also share health information about you for certain situations such as: 1) preventing disease; 2) helping with drug recalls; 3) reporting adverse reactions to drugs; 4) reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence; 5) preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety. The law requires us to obtain your permission to 1) use your information for marketing; 2) sell your information to another party; 3) or share psychotherapy notes. But you don’t have to worry about this because we don’t do psychotherapy and the only use we have for your personal information is to help you get well and stay well. You can ask for a list of the times we’ve shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why. By law, we are required to include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We’ll provide one free accounting per year. If you ask for another accounting within 12 months, you will be charged a reasonable fee.
Each party with any access to patient records is bound to maintain that information in the strictest of confidence and to limit its use to those functions outlined above. If you have any questions or concerns about the privacy of your medical information, please bring them to our attention.
Nothing in this website is to be construed as medical advice. See a doctor for that.