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Privacy Statement

 

Arthritis Treatment Center
Practice Name

 

Effective Date of this Notice: 04/01/03


 


A. OUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR PRIVACY



Our practice is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your individually identifiable health information (IIHI). In conduction our business, we will create records regarding you and the treatment and services we provide to you. We are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of health information that identifies you. We also are required by law to provide you with this notice of our legal duties and the privacy practices that we maintain in our practice concerning your IIHI. By federal and state law, we must follow the terms of the notice of privacy practices that we have in effect at this time.



 

We realize that these laws are complicated, but we must provide you with the following important information:


How we may use and disclose your IIHI


Your privacy rights in your IIHI


Our obligations concerning the use and disclosure of your IIHI


The terms of this notice apply to all records containing your IIHI that are created or retained by our practice. We reserve the right to revise or amend this Notice of Privacy Practices. Any revision or amendment to this notice will be effective for all of your records that our practice has created or maintained in the past, and for any of your records that we may create or maintain in the future. Our practice will post a copy of our current Notice in our offices in a visible location at all times, and you may request a copy of our most current Notice at any time.


B. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS NOTICE, PLEASE CONTACT:



Marianne Morningstar, Office Manager, 71 Thomas Johnson Drive, Frederick, MD 21702, (301) 694-5800, extension 206.


C. WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION (IIHI) IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:



The following categories describe the different ways in which we may use and disclose your IIHI.


Treatment. Our practice may use you IIHI to treat you. For example, we may ask you to have laboratory tests (such as blood or urine tests), and we may use the results to help us reach a diagnosis. We might use your IIHI in order to write a prescription for you, or we might disclose your IIHI to a pharmacy when we order a prescription for you. Many of the people who work for our practice - including, but not limited to, our doctors and nurses - may use or disclose your IIHI in order to treat you or to assist others in your treatment. Additionally, we may disclose your IIHI to others who may assist you in care, such as your spouse, children or parents. Finally, we may also disclose your IIHI to other health care providers for purposes related to your treatment.


Payment. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI in order to bill and collect payment for the services and items you may receive from us. For example, we may contact your health insurer to certify that you are eligible for benefits (and for what range of benefits), and we may provide your insurer with details regarding your treatment to determine if your insurer will cover, or pay for, your treatment. We also may use and disclose your IIHI to obtain payment from third parties that may be responsible for such costs, such as family members. Also, we may use you IIHI to bill you directly for services and items. We may disclose your IIHI to other health care providers and entities to assist in their billing and collection efforts.


Health Care Operations. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI to operate our business. As examples of the ways in which we may use and disclose your information for our operations, our practice may use your IIHI to evaluate the quality of care you receive from us, or to conduct cost-management and business planning activities for our practice. We may disclose your IIHI to other health care providers and entities to assist in their health care operations.



OPTIONAL:


4. Appointment Reminders. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI to contact you and remind you of an appointment.


OPTIONAL:


5. Treatment Options. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI to inform you of potential treatment options or alternatives.


OPTIONAL:


6.  Health-Related Benefits and Services. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI to inform you of health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
 


OPTIONAL:



Release of Information to Family/Friends. Our practice may release your IIHI to a friend or family member that is involved in your care, or who assists in taking care of you. For example, a parent or guardian may ask that a baby sitter take their child to the pediatrician's office for treatment of a cold. In this example, the baby sitter may have access to this child's medical information.


Disclosure Required by Law. Our practice will use and disclose your IIHI when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law.


D.  USE AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR IIHI IN CERTAIN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES


The following categories describe unique scenarios in which we may use or disclose your identifiable health information:


1. Public Health Risks. Our practice may disclose your IIHI to public health authorities that are authorized by law to collect information for the purpose of:


maintaining vital records, such as births and deaths


reporting child abuse or neglect


preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability


notifying a person regarding potential exposure to a communicable disease


notifying a person regarding a potential risk for spreading or contracting a disease or condition


reporting reactions to drugs or problems with products or devices


notifying individuals if a product or device they may be using has been recalled


notifying appropriate government agency(ies) and authority(ies) regarding the potential abuse or neglect or an adult patient (including domestic violence); however, we will only disclose this information if the patient agrees or we are required or authorized by law to disclose this information


notifying your employer under limited circumstances related primarily to workplace injury or illness or medical surveillance.


2. Health Oversight Activities. Our practice may disclose your IIHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. Oversight activities can include, for example, investigations, inspections, audits, surveys, licensure and disciplinary actions; civil, administrative, and criminal procedures or actions; or other activities necessary for the government to monitor government programs, compliance with civil rights laws and the heal care system in general.


3.  Lawsuits and Similar Proceedings. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI in response to a court or administrative order, if you are involved in a lawsuit or similar proceeding process by another party involved in the dispute, but only if we have made an effort to inform you of the request or to obtain an order protecting the information the party has requested.


4. Law Enforcement. We may release IIHI if asked to do so by a law enforcement official.
Regarding a crime victim in certain situations, if we are unable to obtain the person's agreement


Concerning a death we believe has resulted from criminal conduct


Regarding criminal conduct at our offices


In response to a warrant, summons, court order, subpoena or similar legal process


To identify/locate a suspect, material witness, fugitive or missing person


In an emergency, to report a crime (including the location of the victimsas) of the crimes, or the description, identity or location of the perpetrator).


OPTIONAL:

 

5. Deceased Patients. Our practice may release IIHI to a medical examiner or coroner to identify a deceased individual or to identify the cause of death. If necessary, we also may release information in order for funeral directors to perform their jobs.



OPTIONAL:

 

6. Organ and Tissue Donation. Our practice may release your IIHI to organizations that handle organ, eye, or tissue procurement or transplantation, including organ donation banks, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation if you are an organ donor.



OPTIONAL:

 

7. Research. Our practice may use and disclose you IIHI for research purposes in certain limited circumstancess. We will obtain your written authorization to use your IIHI for research purposes except when an IRBB or Privacy Board has determined that the waiver of your authorization satisfies the following: (i) the use or disclosure involves no more than a minimal risk to the individual's privacy based on the following: (A) an adequate plan to protect the identifiers from improper use and disclosure; (B) an adequate plan to destroy the identifiers at the earliest opportunity consistent with the research (unless there is a health or research justification for retaining the identifiers or such retention is otherwise required by law); and CAC) adequate written assurances that the PHI will not be re-used or disclosed to any other person or entity (except as required by law) for authorized over site of the research study, or for other research for which the use or disclosure would otherwise be permitted; (ii) the research could not practicably be conducted without the waiver; and (iii) the research could not practicably be conducted without access to and use of the PHI.


8.  Serious Threats to Health or Safety. Our practice may use and disclose your IIHI when necessary to reduce or prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of another individual or the public. Under these circumstances, we will only make disclosures to a person or organization able to help prevent the threat.


9.  Military. Our practice may disclose your IIHI if you are a member of the U.S. or foreign military forces (including veterans) and if required by the appropriate authorities.


10. National Security. Our practice may disclose your IIHI to federal officials for intelligence and national security activities authorized by law. We also way disclose your IIHI to federal officials in order to protect the President, other officials in order to protect the President, other officials or foreign heads of state, or to conduct investigations.


11. Inmates. Our practice may disclosure your IIHI to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials if you are an inmate or under the custody of a law enforcement officials if you are an inmate or under the custody of a law enforcement official. Disclosure for these purposes would be necessary: (a) for the institution to provide health care services to you, (b) for the safety and security of the institution, and/or (c) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of other individuals.


12.  Workers' Compensation. Our practice may release your IIHI for workers' compensation and similar programs.



E.   YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR IIHI

You have the following rights regarding the IIHI that we maintain about you:


  
Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that our practice communicate with you about your health and related issues in a particular manner or at a certain location. For instance, you may ask that we contact you at home, rather than work. In order to request a type of confidential communications, you must make a written request to Marianne Morningstar, 71 Thomas Johnson Drive, Frederick, MD 21702, (301) 694-5800, specifying the requested method contact, or the location where you with to be contacted. Our practice will accommodate reasonable requests. You do not need to give a reason for your request.


Requesting Restrictions You have the right to request a restriction in our use or disclosure of your IIHI for treatment, payment or health care operations. Additionally, you have the right to request that we restrict our disclosure of your IIHI to only certain individuals involved in your care or the payment for your care, such as family members and friends. We are not required to agree to your request; however, if we do agree, we are bound by our agreement except when otherwise requested by law, in emergencies, or when the information is necessary to treat you. In order to request a restriction in our use or disclosure of your IIHI, you must make your request in writing to Marianne Morningstar, 71 Thomas Johnson Drive, Frederick, MD 21702, (301) 694-5800. Your request must describe in a clear and concise fashion: the information you wish restricted;  whether you are requesting to limit our practice's use, disclosure or both; and to whom you want the limits to apply.


Inspection and Copies. You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the IIHI that may be used to make decisions about you, including patient medical records and billing records, but not including psychotherapy notes. You must submit your request in writing to Marianne Morningstar, 71 Thomas Johnson Drive, Frederick, MD 21702, Fax: (301) 694-0187, in order to inspect and/or obtain a copy of your IIHI. Our practice may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, labor and supplies associated with your request. Our practice may deny your request to inspect and/or copy in certain limited circumstances; however, you may request a review of our denial. Another licensed health care professional chosen by use will conduct reviews.


Notice Of Privacy Practices

As Required by the Privacy Regulations Created as a Result of the

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

 

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU (AS A PATIENT OF THIS PRACTICE) MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED, AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO YOUR INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION.

 


Arthritis Treatment Center

71 Thomas Johnson Drive

Frederick, Maryland  21702
301-694-5800 Phone ~ 301-694-0187 Fax

 

“My pain began around 1995.  I didn’t come to the Arthritis Treatment Center until 1997.  I was in severe pain when I came into the office.  My husband had taken over the cooking at home.  I couldn’t do anything.  I wasn’t sleeping at night because of my pain.  I couldn’t even get from my bed to the bathroom, because I hurt so bad.  I was constantly tired and I was to the point where I was tired of being tired!!  The pain really started to really get to me when I couldn’t even play with my grandchildren.  Then God granted me a miracle.  I came to an open house that was held at ATC.  I signed up that night to come in as a new patient.  After coming in to see Dr. Wei, I slowly started to feel better.  I can not only get on the floor to play with my grandson, but I am taking care of him!  You don’t know how much that means to me!  I have received nothing but help from Dr. Wei.  I guess one of the best things about coming to see Dr. Wei is that he lets me participate in the decisions about what goes on with my body.  He doesn’t just tell me what we’re going to do like some other doctors I’ve been to – he actually discusses these decisions with me.  I recommend Arthritis Treatment Center to anyone who complains about arthritis.”
Shirley Cunningham -
Hagerstown, Maryland
 
 
“My shoulders were aching often when I would do housework or my gardening.  My muscles felt tense and achy.  I wasn’t sure what was causing this pain.  I noticed a big change since my first examination, diagnosis, and prescribed medicines.  Everyone at the Arthritis Treatment Center is so nice and kind.  I’m so sorry I didn’t come here sooner.  I kept putting off going to the doctors because I was so busy.  I’m sorry I didn’t make a better effort.  I’ve gotten along wonderfully well with everyone.”
Alice Charity -
Frederick, Maryland
 
“I would wake up at night with pain so intense that I had to get out of bed.  The pain was in my shoulders and up into my neck.  It comes on all of a sudden.  I had picked up my grandson a few times and that could have caused the pain or it could be my arthritis.  I am overly cautious when I would get out of bed.  I would be very careful and try not to move anything but would kick in any time.  The pain went on for four or five days before I went to see Dr. Wei.  Dr. Wei recommended high frequency stimulation treatments for me to try.  Excellent!  It really did the job.  After the second treatment I felt 95% better.  By the end of the fifth treatment I felt fine!  I have no pain and no problems at night.  I’ve resumed everything as normal.  I’m even going to join a gym!  It’s great to know my insurance is taking care of the payment for me too!”
Nancy Hendrickson -
Frederick, Maryland
 
“My neck was really bothering me.  I had three months of physical therapy from another doctor.  Dr. Wei ordered an MRI and found two vertebrae were degenerated.  Dr. Wei decided I needed a neck traction device.  It certainly has been a blessing!  I feel great!”
John Cassell -
Hagerstown, Maryland


 

 
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