Frequently Asked Questions
Affordable Quality Care
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.
This Notice of Privacy Practices is provided to you as a requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
We are strongly committed to protecting your medical information, also referred to as Protected Health Information. We create a medical record about your care because we need the record to provide you with appropriate treatment and to comply with various legal requirements. We transmit some medical information about your care in order to obtain payment for the services you receive, and we use certain information in our day-to-day operations. This Notice will let you know about the various ways we use and disclose your Protected Health Information. This Notice describes your rights and our obligations with respect to the use or disclosure of your Protected Health Information.
Understanding Your Health Record/Information
Each time you visit a hospital, physician, or other health care provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information often referred to as your health or medical records, serves as a:
Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to:
Protected Health Information is individually identifiable health information. This information relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services; to the past, present, or future payment for such health care services; and includes demographic information such as your age, address, or email address. Affordable Quality Care is required by law to do the following:
We reserve the right to change this Notice. We reserve the right to make the revised Notice effective for Protected Health Information we already have about you, as well as any Protected Health Information we create or receive in the future. You may obtain another Notice of Privacy Practices by asking your practitioner for a copy at your next appointment or by sending a written request for a copy to the Affordable Quality Care Privacy Officer at the address listed below.
How we may use or disclose your Protected Health Information
The following categories describe the ways that we may use and disclose your medical information, including sensitive information such as mental health, communicable disease, and drug and alcohol abuse information. In order to assure compliance with Oklahoma law, we will obtain your general consent to use and disclose your medical information. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed.
If you are concerned about a possible use or disclosure of any part of your medical information, you may request a restriction. Your right to request a restriction is described in the section below regarding patient rights.
Oklahoma law only permits disclosure of communicable disease information, (such as HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis, etc.) under the following circumstances:
For example: Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your healthcare team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. Your physician will document in your record his or her plan for your care. Members of your health care team will then record the actions they took and their observations. In that way, the physician will know how you are responding to treatment.
We also will provide a physician or a subsequent health care provider with copies of various reports that should assist him or her in treating you outside of this practice. For example: A physician we would refer you to for specialized care.
We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information in order to bill and obtain payment for health care services provided to you. For example, a bill may be sent to you or a third-party, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, procedures, and supplies used. We may disclose medical information about you to another health care entity or provider so that it may obtain payment for services provided.
We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information in connection with our business operations. These operations include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, development of clinical guidelines, reviewing the qualifications and performance of practitioners and other health care professionals, training activities, legal services, and auditing functions, business planning, and development and business management and general administrative operations of our facilities. We may share your Protected Health Information with third-party business associates that perform various activities (e.g., collections, transcription services) for our facilities. Whenever an arrangement between our facility and our business associate involves the use or disclosure of your Protected Health Information, we will have a written contract that contains terms that will protect the privacy of your Protected Health Information.
We may disclose your medical information to other entities that provide services to or for Affordable Quality Care that require the release of patient medical information. However, we will make these disclosures only if we have received satisfactory assurance that the other entity will properly safeguard your medical information. For example: We may contract with another entity to provide billing services.
We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related products and services that may be of interest to you.
We may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name. We may also call you by name in the waiting room when your practitioner is ready to see you.
If we decide to sell this practice or merge or combine with another practice, we may share your Protected Health Information with prospective buyers or new owners.
We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information to the extent that the use or disclosure is required by Federal, State, or local law.
We may disclose your Protected Health Information for public health activities to public health authorities who are legally authorized to receive such information. These activities include, but are not limited to, preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability; reporting vital events; and conducting public surveillance, public health investigations, and public health interventions, including notifying persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition.
We may disclose Protected Health Information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections, licensure and disciplinary actions, and civil, administrative, and criminal proceedings or actions. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs, and compliance with the civil rights laws.
We may disclose your Protected Health Information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, we may disclose your Protected Health Information to a governmental entity or agency authorized by law to receive reports of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, including a social service or protective services agency. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
We may disclose to the FDA Protected Health Information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects, or post-marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.
We may disclose Protected Health Information about you in response to an order by a court or administrative tribunal. We may also disclose Protected Health Information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful processes by a party to a judicial or administrative proceeding, but only if efforts have been made to notify you about the subpoena, discovery request or legal process, or to obtain an order from the court or administrative tribunal protecting the information requested.
We may disclose your Protected Health Information in response to a court order, a court-ordered subpoena, warrant or summons, or similar process authorized by law. Also, in response to a request from a law enforcement official, we may disclose Protected Health Information for the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person; or pertaining to a known or suspected victim of a crime. Finally, we may disclose Protected Health Information to a law enforcement official:
We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. Under certain circumstances, we may also disclose Protected Health Information if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.
If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release Protected Health Information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release Protected Health Information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority. Finally, we may release Protected Health Information about you to authorized federal officials so that they may:
If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release Protected Health Information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official if necessary:
We may disclose your Protected Health Information as required by military command authorities if you are a member of the armed forces.
All other uses and disclosures of your Protected Health Information that are not described above will be made only with your written authorization. You may revoke your authorization, at any time, in writing. You understand that we cannot take back any use or disclosure we may have made under the authorization before we received your written revocation and that we are required to maintain a record of the medical care that has been provided to you. The authorization is a separate document, and you will have the opportunity to review any authorization before you sign it. With the exception of research-related treatment, we will not condition your treatment on whether or not you sign any authorization.
Your Rights Regarding Your Protected Health Information
Although your personal health record is the physical property of the health care practitioner, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:
For More Information or to Report a Problem
If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact the Affordable Quality Care's Privacy Officer at (405) 217-9997.
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us. These complaints must be submitted in writing, and you may send it to the Privacy Officer or Administration. You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. There will be no retaliation for filing a claim.