Notice of Privacy Practices

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.

Your health record contains personal information about you and your health. The information about you that may identify you and that relates to your physical or mental health or condition and related health care services is referred to as Protected Health Information (“PHI”). This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your PHI in accordance with applicable law and the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. It also describes your rights regarding how you may gain access to and control your PHI.

We are required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI. We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We reserve the right to change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. Any new Notice of Privacy Practices will be effective for all PHI that we maintain at that time. We will provide you with a copy of the revised Notice of Privacy Practices by sending a copy to you in the mail upon request or providing one to you at your next appointment.

HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

For Treatment. Your PHI may be used and disclosed by those who are involved in your care for the purpose of providing, coordinating, or managing your health care treatment and related services. This may include providing information to your health plan or other providers to arrange for a referral or consultation.

For Payment. We may use and disclose your PHI to obtain payment for the treatment services provided to you. This will only be done with your authorization. Examples of payment-related activities are: making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, processing claims with your insurance company, reviewing services provided to you to determine medical necessity, or undertaking utilization review activities. If it becomes necessary to use collection processes due to lack of payment for services, we will only disclose the minimum amount of PHI necessary for purposes of collection.

For Health Care Operations. We may use or disclose, as needed, your PHI in order to support our business activities which may include appointment reminders or sharing your PHI with third parties that perform various business activities (e.g., billing or typing services) provided we have a written contract with the business that requires it to safeguard the privacy of your PHI.

Required by Law. Under the law, we must make disclosures of your PHI to you upon your request. In addition, we must make disclosures to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of investigating or determining our compliance with the requirements of the Privacy Rule.

Without Authorization. Applicable law and ethical standards permit us to disclose information about you without your authorization only in a limited number of other situations. The types of uses and disclosures that may be made without your authorization are those that are:

  • Required or permitted by Law, such as the mandatory reporting of child abuse or neglect, or suspicion of adult or domestic abuse, or mandatory government agency audits or investigations (such as the social work licensing board or the health department)
  • Required by Court Order
  • Necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of yourself, another person or the public. If information is disclosed to prevent or lessen a serious threat, it will be disclosed to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat, including the target of the threat.

Verbal Permission. We may use or disclose your information to family members that are directly involved in your treatment with your verbal permission.

With Authorization. Uses and disclosures not specifically permitted by applicable law will be made only with your written authorization, which may be revoked.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF MENTAL HEALTH, ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE INFORMATION

The confidentiality of mental health, alcohol and drug abuse records is protected by federal law and regulations. Generally, Mark MacDonald & Associates, PC may not disclose any information identifying that a patient is receiving treatment for alcohol or drug abuse unless one of the following conditions is met:

  • The patient gives written consent for disclosure.
  • The disclosure is allowed by a court order.
  • The disclosure is made to medical personnel in a medical emergency or to qualified personnel for research, audit or program evaluation.

The conditions above generally apply as long as the patient is not a threat to self or others. Further, protection does not apply to the disclosure of information to the authorities for suspected abuse or neglect (child or adult).

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR PHI

You have the following rights regarding PHI we maintain about you. To exercise any of these rights, please submit your request in writing to Parvine MacDonald, 600 W. Roosevelt Rd, Suite A2, Wheaton, IL 60187.

Right of Access to Inspect and Obtain a Copy. You have the right, which may be restricted only in exceptional circumstances, to inspect and copy PHI that may be used to make decisions about your care. Your right to inspect and copy PHI will be restricted only in those situations where there is compelling evidence that access would cause serious harm to you. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for copies. •

Right to Amend. You may make a written request to amend your health information. We are not required to agree to the amendment.

Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an accounting of certain of the disclosures that we make of your PHI. We may charge you a reasonable fee if you request more than one accounting in any 12-month period.

Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the use or disclosure of your PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations. We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree with the request, we will comply with your request except to the extent that disclosure has already occurred or if you are in need of emergency treatment. We are not required to give an accounting of information used or disclosed for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations.

Right to Request Confidential Communication. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location.

Right to a Copy of this Notice. You have the right to a copy of this notice.

COMPLAINTS

If you believe we have violated your privacy rights, you have the right to file a complaint in writing with our Privacy Officer, Parvine MacDonald, or with the Secretary of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201 or by calling (202) 619-0257. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

The effective date of this Notice is August 7, 2007