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.
At Connect Hearing, Inc. (“Connect Hearing”, “we”, “our”, or “us”), we strive to provide the best service to our patients. As participants in your health care we are required by applicable law to maintain the privacy of your “protected health information.” As used in this Notice, “protected health information” is information under our control that reasonably can be used to identify a patient and that relates to that patient’s physical or mental health condition, provision of health care, or payment for such health care.
This Notice describes how we may use and disclose protected health information for treatment, payment or healthcare operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your right to access and control your protected health information. This Notice describes the privacy practices of Connect Hearing and its workforce. Any hearing care professional authorized to enter information into your record with Connect Hearing and all employees, staff and other members of our workforce will follow the terms of this Notice. We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice currently in effect. We are also required by law to provide you with notice following a breach of your unsecured protected health information.
Generally, when this Notice uses the words, “you” or “your,” it is referring to the patient who is the subject of protected health information. However, when this Notice discusses rights regarding protected health information, including rights to access or authorize the disclosure of protected health information, “you” and “your” may refer to a patient's personal representative. If you have questions about this Notice, please contact our Privacy Office as described below.
Uses of protected health information without your authorization
We may disclose your protected health information without your written authorization for the following purposes:
For Treatment: We may use and disclose your protected health information, including hearing test findings, in order to ensure that you receive proper medical treatment. For example, we may share your protected health information to another physician or health care provider involved in your care. We also may contact you about treatment alternatives and options.
For Payment: We may use and disclose your protected health information to obtain payment for services that were provided to you. For example, we may share your protected health information so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for your hearing care services. We may also contact your health plan about a treatment you may receive to determine whether your plan will pay part of the cost of your hearing care device.
For Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose your protected health information for our health care operations. Health care operations are activities that are necessary to run our offices, maintain licensure, and to make sure that our visitors receive quality information on services and products. For example, we may:
We may also disclose your protected health information without your written authorization for other purposes, as permitted or required by law. This includes:
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care: With your permission, we may discuss your hearing care with family members or other individuals involved in your medical care or payment for that care. We encourage you to identify persons involved in your care that you wish information to be shared with. You have the right to restrict or refuse any of these uses or disclosures.
Business Associates: At times, we must provide your protected health information to outside vendors (business associates) so they may help us operate more efficiently. For example, we may provide your name, address, and other information to a company that helps us mail important health communications to you. These business associates are required to adhere to federal and state laws regarding the protection of your protected health information; they are also under contractual obligations with us to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
Workers' Compensation: We may release your protected health information for workers' compensation or similar programs that provide benefits for work related injuries or illness as required or permitted by law if you are injured at work.
Public Health Activities: We are also permitted to disclose your protected health information for certain purposes that have been determined to benefit the public as a whole. For example, we may:
Judicial and Administrative Proceedings: We may disclose your protected health information pursuant to a court ordered subpoena or discovery request, or for law enforcement purposes as permitted by law once we have met all administrative requirements and any applicable state law requirements.
Government functions: We may disclose your protected health information to various departments of the government such as the U.S. military or the U.S. Department of State as required by law.
Research: We may disclose your protected health information for research purposes, when such research is approved by an institutional review board with established rules to ensure privacy.
Health or Safety: We may disclose your protected health information to avert a serious threat to someone's health or safety, including the disclosure of your protected health information to government or disaster relief or agencies to allow such agencies to carry out their responsibilities in response to specific disaster situations.
Compliance with Law: We may also disclose your protected health information when required to investigate or determine our compliance with law.
We must obtain a signed authorization to use or disclose your protected health information in those situations not otherwise described in this Notice. The form will describe what information will be disclosed, to whom, for what purpose, and when. These situations can include:
You have the right to revoke your authorization, in writing, at any time, except to the extent we have taken action in reliance upon it. We do not generally receive copies of or access to any psychotherapy notes, however if copies are obtained, they cannot and will not be released without your authorization.