NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
This page describes how medical information about you may be used
and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please
review it carefully.
GASTROENTEROLOGY CONSULTANTS, PC’S PURPOSE STATEMENT
The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
requires GASTROENTEROLOGY CONSULTANTS, PC to maintain the privacy
of an Individual’s Protected Health Information (PHI), and
to provide Individuals with notice of its legal duties and privacy
practices with respect to PHI. The following defines GASTROENTEROLOGY
OUR DUTY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
Individually identifiable information about your past, present,
or future health or condition, the provision of healthcare is considered
“Protected Health Information” (PHI). We are required
to extend certain protections to your PHI, and to give you this
Notice about our privacy practices that explains how, when and why
we may use or disclose your PHI. Except in specified circumstances,
we must use or disclose only the minimum necessary PHI to accomplish
the intended purpose of the use or disclosure.
We are required to follow the privacy practices described in this
Notice though we reserve the right to change our privacy practices
and the terms of this Notice at any time.
You may request a copy of the new Notice from any Center for Diagnostic
Imaging center or view the notice here.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
We use and disclose Protected Health Information for a variety of
reasons. We have a limited right to use and/or disclose your PHI
for purposes of treatment, payment and for our healthcare operations.
For uses beyond that, we must have your written authorization unless
the law permits or requires us to make the use or disclosure without
your authorization. If we disclose your PHI to an outside entity
in order for that entity to perform a function on our behalf, we
must have in place an agreement from the outside entity that it
will extend the same degree of privacy protection to your information
that we must apply to your PHI. However, the law provides that we
are permitted to make some uses/disclosures without your consent
or authorization. The following describes and offers examples of
our potential uses/disclosures of you PHI.
USES AND DISCLOSURES RELATING TO TREATMENT, PAYMENT, OR
Generally, we may use or disclose your PHI as follows:
For treatment: We may disclose your PHI to doctors, nurses, and
other healthcare personnel who are involved in providing your health
care. For example, your PHI will be shared among members of your
To obtain payment: We may use/disclose your PHI in order to bill
and collect payment for your healthcare services. For example, we
may contact your employer to verify employment status, and/or private
insurer to get paid for services that we delivered to you. We may
release information to collection agencies for the purpose of payment.
For healthcare operations: We may use/disclose your PHI in the
course of operating our center. For example, we may use your PHI
in evaluating the quality of services provided, or disclose your
PHI to our accountant or attorney for audit purposes.
Appointment reminders: Unless you provide us with alternative instructions,
we may send appointment reminders and other similar materials to
DISCLOSURE OF PHI
GASTROENTEROLOGY CONSULTANTS, PC does not disclose an Individual’s
health information to any organization or Individual, except for
the purpose of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. Such
? Contacting the Individual to provide appointment reminders or
information about treatment, treatment alternatives or other health-related
benefits and services that may be of interest.
? Disclosure to the Individual’s referring physician or physician
group for proposes of treatment.
? Disclosure to a group health plan, HMO, an insurance issuer for
purpose of payment and collection.
Study Cases - From time to time, GASTROENTEROLOGY CONSULTANTS,
PC may use selected images from an exam for study cases to be used
for training externally as well as internally. In such instances,
the images are de-identified, with identifying information removed
from the exam such as name, address, phone number, social security
number, email address, medical record number, account number and
other information so that it becomes “anonymous” in
the sense that it cannot be easily associated with the Individual.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PHI REQUIRING AUTHORIZATION
For uses and disclosures beyond treatment, payment and operations
purposes we are required to have your written authorization, unless
the use or disclosure falls within one of the exceptions described
below. Authorizations can be revoked at any time to stop future
uses/disclosures except to the extent that we may have already undertaken
an action in reliance upon your authorization.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PHI NOT REQUIRING CONSENT OR AUTHORIZATION
The law provides that we may use/disclose your PHI from records
without consent or authorization in the following circumstances:
When required by law: We may disclose PHI when a law requires that
we report information about suspected abuse, neglect or domestic
violence, or relating to suspected criminal activity, or in response
to a court order. We also must disclose PHI to authorities that
monitor compliance with these privacy requirements.
For public health activities: We may disclose PHI when we are required
to collect information about disease or injury, or to report vital
statistics to the public health authority.
For health oversight activities: We may disclose PHI to our corporate
office, the protection and advocacy agency, or another agency responsible
for monitoring the healthcare system for such purposes as reporting
or investigation of unusual incidents, and monitoring of the Medicaid
Relating to decedents: We may disclose PHI related to a death to
coroners, medical examiners or funeral directors, and to organ procurement
organizations relating to organ, eye, or tissue donations or transplants.
To avert threat to health or safety: In order to avoid a serious
threat to health or safety, we may disclose PHI as necessary to
law enforcement or other persons who can reasonably prevent or lessen
the threat of harm.
For specific government functions: We may disclose PHI of military
personnel and veterans in certain situations, to correctional facilities
in certain situations, to government benefit programs relating to
eligibility and enrollment, and for national security reasons, such
as protection of the President.
The only exceptions of disclosure are those sanctioned under the
HIPAA regulations that include, but are not limited to:
An Individual’s personal representative; for example, a minor’s
parent or guardian.
As required by the FDA or specialized government functions such
as national security and intelligence, or law enforcement custodial
To judicial and law enforcement; such as, court orders or subpoena,
locating or identifying suspected criminals and reporting relevant
information about victims of a crime.
If GASTROENTEROLOGY CONSULTANTS, PC reasonably believes the Individual
is a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, it will disclose
PHI to the appropriate government authority.
For a deceased Individual, disclosure to the executor of the Individual’s
estate, an administrator or other person authorized to act on the
deceased’s behalf, or to a coroner or medical examiner for
the purposes of identification or determining cause of death.