Notice of Privacy Practices
Robert A. Schulman, M.D.
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.
Our Legal Duty
We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of your health information. We are also required to give you this Notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your health information. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this Notice while it is in effect. This Notice takes effect August 1, 2010, and will remain in effect until we replace it.
We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time, provided such changes are permitted by applicable law. We reserve the right to make the changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our Notice effective for all health information that we maintain, including health information we created or received before we made the changes. In the event we make a material change in our privacy practices, we will change this Notice and provide it to you at your next visit, or it can be viewed in the office.
You may request a copy of our Notice at any time. For more information about our privacy practices, or for additional copies of this Notice, please contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice.
Uses and Disclosures of Personal Information
We use health information about you for treatment, to obtain payment for treatment, for administrative purposes, and to evaluate the quality of care and service that you receive. Your health information is contained in a medical record that is the physical property of Robert A. Schulman, M.D.
How We May Use or Disclose Your Health Information
We may use or disclose your health information to other healthcare providers providing treatment to you for:
- the provision, coordination, or management of health care and related services by health care providers;
- consultation between health care providers relating to a patient;
- the referral of a patient for health care from one health care provider to another; or
- appointment reminders and recall information.
We may use and disclose your health information to others for purposes of processing and receiving payment for treatment and services provided to you. This may include:
- billing and collection activities and related data processing;
- actions by a health plan or insurer to determine or fulfill its responsibilities for coverage and provision of benefits under its health plan or insurance agreement, determinations of eligibility or coverage, adjudication or subrogation of health benefits claims;
- medical necessity and appropriateness of care reviews, utilization review activities; and
- disclosure to consumer reporting agencies of information relating to collection of payments.
For Health Care Operations
We may use and disclose health information about you for operational purposes. For example, your health information may be disclosed to:
- evaluate the performance of our staff;
- assess the quality of service, products, and care in your case and similar cases;
- learn how to improve our facility and services;
- conduct training programs or credentialing activities; and
- determine how to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the products, service, and care we provide.
Appointments, Treatment, and Quality Assurance
We may use your information to provide appointment reminders or recall notices (such as voicemail or email messages, postcards, or letters) or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits, products, and services that may be of interest to you. We may also contact you to conduct our own surveys about the quality of the products and services we provide.
To You, Your Family, and Friends
We must disclose your health information to you, as described in the Your Health Information Rights section of this Notice. We may disclose your health information to a family member, friend, or other person to the extent necessary to help with your healthcare or with payment for your healthcare, but only if you agree that we may do so or, if you are not able to agree, if it is necessary in our professional judgment.
Persons Involved in Care
We may use or disclose health information to notify, or assist in the notification of (including identifying or locating) a family member, your personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, of your location or your general condition. If you are present, then prior to use or disclosure of your health information, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to such uses or disclosures. In the event of your incapacity or emergency circumstances, we will disclose health information based on a determination using our professional judgment disclosing only health information that is directly relevant to the person’s involvement in your healthcare. We will also use our professional judgment and our experience with common practice to make reasonable inferences of your best interest in allowing a person to pick up herbs or supplements, medical supplies, photos, or other similar forms of health information.
Required by Law
We may use and disclose information about you as required by law. For example, we may disclose information for the following purposes:
- for judicial and administrative proceedings pursuant to legal authority;
- to report information related to victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence;
- to assist law enforcement officials in their law enforcement duties; or
- to assist public health officials to avert a serious threat to the health or safety of you or any other person.
Health information may be disclosed to funeral directors or coroners to enable them to carry out their lawful duties.
We may use your health information for research purposes, but only when protocols have been established to ensure the privacy of your health information.
Your health information may be used or disclosed in order to comply with laws and regulations related to Worker Compensation
Marketing Health Products or Services
We will not use your information for marketing communications; however, we may provide you with information regarding products and services that we offer related to your health care needs. We will never sell your health information.
In addition to our use of your health information for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations, you may give us written authorization to use your health information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it was in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your health information for any reason except those described in this Notice.
Your Health Information Rights
You have the right to review or get copies of your health information, with limited exceptions. You may request that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies. We will use the format you request unless we cannot practicably do so. You may be asked to make a request in writing to obtain access to your health information. You may obtain a form to request access by using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice. We will charge you a reasonable cost-based fee for expenses such as copies and staff time. You may also request access by sending us a letter to the address at the end of this Notice setting forth the specific information to which you desire access. If you request an alternative format, provided that it is practicable for us to produce the information in such format, we will charge a cost-based fee for providing your health information in that format. If you prefer, we will prepare a summary or an explanation of your health information for a fee. Contact us using the information listed at the end of the Notice for a full explanation of our fee structure.
You have the right to receive a list of instances in which we disclosed your health information for purposes other than treatment, payment, healthcare operations, where you have provided an authorization and certain other activities, for the last 6 years. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12-month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests.
You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your health information. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in an emergency).
You have the right to request in writing that we communicate with you about your health information by alternative means or to alternative locations. Your request must specify the alternative means or location, and provide satisfactory explanation how payments will be handled under the alternative means or location you request.
You have the right to request that we amend your health information. Your request must be in writing, and it must explain why the information should be amended. We may deny your request under certain circumstances. You may obtain a form to request an amendment to your health information by using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice.
If you receive this Notice on our Web site or by electronic mail (e-mail), you are entitled to receive this Notice in written form.
Questions and Complaints
If you want more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, please contact us. If you are concerned that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your health information or in response to a request you made to amend or restrict the use or disclosure of your health information or to have us communicate with you by alternative means or at alternative locations, you may complain to us using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice. You may also submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request. We support your right to the privacy of your health information. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint with us or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If you have any questions or complaints, please contact:
Robert A. Schulman, M.D.
95 Montgomery Dr, Suite 120
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Phone: (415) 839-8399
Fax: (866) 280-2348