NOTICE REGARDING PRIVACY OF PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED, AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Federal regulations developed under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIP AA) requires that Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. provide you with this Notice Regarding Privacy of Personal Health Information. The Notice describes (I) how Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may use and disclose your protected health information, (2) your rights to access and control your protected health information in certain circumstances, and (3) Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. duties and contact information.
I. Protected Health Information
“Protected health information” is health information created or received by your health care provider that contains information that may be used to identify you, such as demographic data. It includes written or oral health information that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health; the provision of health care to you; and your past, present, or future payment for health care.
II. The Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information in Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations
Your protected health information may be used and disclosed by Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. in the course of providing treatment, obtaining payment for treatment, and conducting health care operations. Any disclosures may be made in writing, electronically, by facsimile, or orally. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may also use or disclose your protected health information in other circumstances if you authorize the use or disclosure, or if state law or the HIPAA privacy regulations authorize the use or disclosure.
Treatment. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may use or disclose your protected health information in the course of providing or managing your health care as well as any related services. For the purpose of treatment, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may coordinate your health care with a third party. For example, we may disclose your protected health information to a pharmacy to fulfill a prescription for asthma medication, to an X-ray facility to order an X-ray, or to another physician who is administering your allergy shots, which we prepared. In addition, we may disclose protected health information to other physicians or health care providers for treatment activities of those other providers.
Payment. When needed, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. will use or disclose your protected health information to obtain payment for its services. Such uses or disclosures may include disclosures to your health insurer to get approval for a recommended treatment or to determine whether you are eligible for benefits or whether a particular service is covered under your health plan. When obtaining payment for your health care, we may also disclose your protected health information to your insurance company to demonstrate the medical necessity of the care or for utilization review when required to do so by your insurance company. Finally, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may also disclose your protected health information to another provider when that provider is involved in your care and requires the information to obtain payment.
Operations. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may use or disclose your protected health information when needed for the practice’s health care operations for the purposes of management or administration of the practice and for offering quality health care services. Healthcare review operations may include: (1) quality evaluations and improvement activities; (2) employee review activities and training programs; (3) accreditation, certification, licensing, or credentialing activities; (4) reviews and audits such as compliance reviews, medical management and general administration activities. For instance, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may use, as needed, protected health information of patients to review their treatment course when making quality assessments regarding allergy care or treatment. In addition, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may disclose your protected health information to another provider or health plan for their health care operations; (5) We may use your Health Information in order to contact you by phone, leaving patient related messages on your answering machine, or by mail (such as postcards or letters) to provide appointment reminders or to give information about other treatments or health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you, for example research related issues.
II.ADDITIONAL USES AND DISCLOSURES PERMITTED WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION OR AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT
In addition to treatment, payment, and health care operations, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may use or disclose your protected health information without your permission or authorization in certain circumstances, including:
When Legally Required. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. will comply with any Federal, state or local laws that require it to disclose your protected health information.
When there are Risks to Public Health. Princeton Allergy and Asthma Associates P.A. may disclose your protected health information for public purposes, including to, as permitted or required by law:
(1) Prevent, control, or report disease, injury, or disability;
(2) Report vital events such as birth or death;
(3) Conduct public health surveillance, investigations, and interventions
Collect or report adverse events and product defects, track FDA regulated products, enable product recalls, repairs, or replacements, and conduct post marketing surveillance;
Notify a person who has been exposed to a communicable disease or who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease; and
Report to an employer information about an individual who is a member of the workforce.
Abuse, Neglect or To Report Domestic Violence. As required or authorized by law or with the patients agreement, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may inform government authorities if it believed that a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
To Conduct Health Oversight Activities. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may disclose your protected health information to a health oversight agency for use in (1) audits; (2) civil, administrative, or criminal investigations, proceedings or actions; (3) inspections; (4) licensure or disciplinary actions; or (5) other necessary oversight activities as permitted by law. However, if you are the subject of an investigation, we will not disclose protected health information that is not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.
For Judicial And Administrative Proceedings. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may disclose your protected health information for any judicial or administrative proceeding if the disclosure is expressly authorized by an order of a court or administrative tribunal as expressly authorized by such order or a signed authorization is provided.
For Law Enforcement Purposes. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may disclose your protected health information to a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes when:
(1) Required by law to report of certain types of physical injuries;
(2) Required by court order, court-ordered warrant, subpoena, summons or similar process;
(3) Needed to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness or for a missing person;
(4) Needed to report a crime in an emergency situation.
(5) You are the victim of a crime in specific limited instances; and
(6) Your death is suspected by the practice to be the result of criminal conduct.
To Coroners, Funeral Directors, and for Organ Donation. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may disclose protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner for the purpose of (1) identification, (2) determination of cause of death, or (3) performance of the coroner or medical examiner’s other duties as authorized by law. In addition, as permitted by law, we may disclose protected health information, including when death is reasonably anticipated, to a funeral director to enable the funeral director to carry out his or her duties. Protected health information may also be used and disclosed for the purpose of cadaveric organ, eye or tissue donation.
For Research Purposes. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may use or disclose your protected health information for research if such use or disclosure has been approved by an institutional review board or privacy board that has examined the research proposal and the research protocols which maintain the privacy of your protected health information.
To Prevent or Diminish A Serious and Imminent Threat To Health Or Safety. If in good faith Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. believes that use or disclosure of your protected health information is necessary to prevent or diminish a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public, we may use or disclose your protected health information as permitted under law and consistent with ethical standards of conduct.
For Specified Government Functions. As authorized by the HIPPA privacy regulations, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may use or disclose your protected health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military and veterans activities, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, medical suitability determinations, correctional institutions, and law enforcement custodial situations.
For Worker’s Compensation. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. will disclose your protected health information to comply with worker’s compensation laws or similar programs.
III. Uses and Disclosures Permitted With An Opportunity to Object
Subject to your objection, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may disclose your protected health information (I) to a family member or close personal friend if the disclosure is directly relevant to the person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care; or (2) when attempting to locate or notify family members or others involved in your care to inform them of your location, condition or death. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. will notify you verbally or in writing of such uses and disclosures of your protected health information as well as provide you with an opportunity to object in advance. Your agreement or objection to the uses and disclosures can be oral or in writing. If you do not object to these disclosures, the practice is able to infer from the circumstances that you do not object, or the practice determines, in its professional judgment, that it is in your best interest for the practice to disclose information that is directly relevant to the person’s involvement with your care, then the practice may disclose your protected health information. If you are incapacitated or in an emergency situation, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may exercise its professional judgment to determine if the disclosure is in your best interest and, if such a determination is made, may only disclose information directly relevant to your health care.
IV. Uses and Disclosures Authorized by You
Other than the circumstances described above, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. will not disclose your health information unless you provide written authorization. You may revoke your authorization in writing at any time except to the extent that the practice has taken action in reliance upon the authorization.
V. Your Rights
You have certain rights regarding your protected health information under the HIP AA privacy regulations. These rights include:
The right to inspect and copy your protected health information. For as long as the practice holds your protected health information, you may inspect and obtain a copy of such information included in a designated record set. A “designated record set” contains medical and billing records as well as any other records that your physician and the practice uses to make decisions regarding the services provided to you.
Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may deny your request to inspect or copy your protected health information if the practice determines in its professional judgment that the access requested is likely to endanger your life or safety or that of another person, or that it is likely to cause substantial harm to another person referred to in the information. You have the right to request a review of this decision.
In addition, you may not inspect or copy certain records by law, including; (1) information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or for use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding; and (2) protected health information that is subject to a law that prohibits access to protected health information. You may have the right to have a decision to deny access reviewed in some situations.
You must submit a written request to Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates Privacy Officer, Jodie Nini, to inspect and copy your health information. We may charge you a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other costs incurred by the practice in complying with your request, .50 cents per page. We also require 48 hours notice to have your medical records available for review. Please contact our Privacy Officer if you have questions about access to your medical record at the number given on the last pages of this Notice.
The right to request a restriction on uses and disclosures of your protected health information. You may request that Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. not use or disclose specific sections of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations. Additionally, you may request that the practice not disclose your health information to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice. In your request, you must specify the scope of restriction requested as well as the individuals for which you want the restriction to apply. Your request should be directed to the practice’s Privacy Officer.
Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may choose to deny your request for a restriction, in which case the practice will notify you of its decision. Once we agree to the requested restriction, Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may not violate that restriction unless use or disclosure of the relevant information is needed to provide emergency treatment. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may terminate the agreement to a restriction in some instances.
The right to request to receive confidential communications from Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. by alternative means or at an alternative location. You have the right to request that Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. communicates with you through alternative means or at an alternative location. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. will make every effort to comply with reasonable requests. However, we may condition our compliance by asking you for information regarding the procurement of payment or specific information regarding an alternative address or other method of contact. You are not required to provide an explanation for your request. Requests should be made in writing to the practice’s Privacy Officer.
The right to request an amendment of your protected health information. During the time that Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. holds your protected health information, you may request an amendment of your information in a designated record set. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. may deny your request in some instances. However, should we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us. In turn, we may develop a rebuttal to your statement within 60 days of the initial request. If we do so, we will provide you with a copy of the rebuttal. Requests for an amendment must be submitted in writing to the Privacy Officer. Your written request must supply a reason to support the requested amendments.
The right to request an accounting of certain disclosures. You have the right to request an accounting of Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. disclosures of your protected health information made for purposes other than treatment, payment or health care operations as described in this Notice. We are not required to account for disclosures (I) which you requested, (2) which you authorized by signing an authorization form, (3) for a facility directory, (4) to friends or family members involved in your care, and (5) certain other disclosures the practice is permitted to make without your authorization. The request for an accounting must be made in writing to our Privacy Officer and should state the time period for which you wish the accounting to include, up to a six-year period. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. is not required to provide an accounting for disclosures that take place prior to April 14, 2003. The practice will not charge you for the first accounting you request of any l2-month period. Subsequent accountings may require a fee based on the practice’s reasonable costs for compliance of the request. We require 30 days notice for such requests.
The right to obtain a paper copy of this Notice. Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. will provide a separate paper copy of this Notice upon request even if you have already been given a copy of it, or have agreed to review it electronically.
VI. The Practice’s Duties
Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. is required to ensure the privacy of your health information and to provide you with this Notice of your rights and the practice’s duties and procedures regarding your privacy. The practice must abide by the terms of this Notice, and may be amended periodically. The practice reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all protected health information that Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. collects and maintains. If the practice alters its Notice, we will provide a copy of the revised Notice through regular mail or in-person contact.
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you have the right to relate complaints to Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A., and to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. You may provide complaints to Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates P.A. verbally or in writing. Such complaints should be directed to our Privacy Officer. Our office encourages you to relate any concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information and you will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint.
You may contact Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates’ Privacy Officer, Jodie Nini, regarding our duties and your rights under the HIPAA privacy regulations. The Privacy Officer can provide information regarding issues related to this Notice by request. Complaints to the practice should be directed to Jodie Nini at the following address
Princeton Allergy & Asthma Associates 24 Vreeland Drive Skillman, NJ 08558
ATTN. Jodie Nini, Privacy Officer
The Privacy Officer can be contacted by telephone at (609) 921-2202.
The address of the Secretary of Health and Human Services is located below.
Secretary Thomas Thompson US Dept. of Heath and Human Services 200 Independence Ave., SW Washington DC, 20201
This notice is effective on April 14, 2003