Notice of Privacy Practices
The following describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.
Treatment: Your health information may be used by staff members or disclosed to other health care professionals for the purpose of evaluating your health, diagnosing medical conditions, and providing treatment. For example, results of laboratory tests and procedures will be available in your medical record to all health professionals who may provide treatment or who may be consulted by staff members.
Payment: Your health information may be used to seek payment from your health plan, from other sources of coverage such as automobile insurer, or from credit card companies that you may use to pay for services. For example, your health plan may request and receive information on the dates of services, the services provided, and the medical condition being treated.
Health care operations: Your health information may be used as necessary to support the day-to-day activities and management of our operations. For example, information on the services you recieved may be used to support budgeting and financial reporting, and activities to evaluate and promote quality.
Law enforcement:Your health information may be disclosed to law enforcement agencies, without your permission, to support government audits and inspections, to facilitate law enforcement investigations, and to comply with government mandated reporting.
Public health reporting: Your health information may be disclosed to public health agencies as required by law. For example, we are required to report certain communicable diseass to the state's public health department.
Other uses and disclosures require your authorization. Disclosure of your health information or its use for any purpose other than those listed above require your specific written authorization. If you change your mind after authorizing a use or disclosure of your information you may submit a written revocation of the authorization. However, your decision to revoke the authorization will not affect or undo any use or disclosure of information that occurred before you notified us of your decision.
Additional uses of information
Appointment reminders: Your health information may be used by our staff to send you appointment reminders.
Information about treatments: Your health information may be used to send you information on the treatement and management of your medical condition that you may find of interest. We may also send you information describing other health-related goods and services that we believe may be of interest to you.
Individual rights: You have cetain rights under the federal privacy standards. These include:
» The right to request restrictions on the use and disclosure of your protected health information
» The right to receive confidential communications concerning your medical condition and treatment
» The right to inspect and copy your protected health information
» The right to amend or submit corrections to your protected health information
» The right to receive an accounting of how and to whom your protected health information has been disclosed
» The right to receive a printed copy of this notice
Drs. Wright, Belkin, and Sager's Duties:
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information and to provide you with this notice of privacy practice. We also are required to abide by the privacy policies and practices that are outlined in this notice.
Right to revise privacy practices: As permitted by law, we reserve the right to amend or modify our privacy policies and practices. These changes in our policies and practices may be required by changes in federal and state aws and regulations. Whatever the reason for these revisions, we will provide you with a revised notice on your next office visit. The revised policies and practices will be applied to all protected health information that we maintain.
Requests to inspect protected health information As permitted by federal regulation, we require that requests to inspect or copy protected health information be submitted in writing. You may obtain a form to request acces to your records by contacting our privacy officer.
Complaints: If you would like to submit a comment or complaint about our privacy practices, you can do so by sending a letter outlining you concerns to:
Robert S. Wright, MD
Richard A. Belkin, MD
Jeffrey S. Sager, MD
2403 Castillo Street, Suite 206
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated you should call the matter to our attention by sending a letter describing the cause of your concern to the same address.
You will not be penalized or otherwise retaliated against for filing a complaint
Patients of the Santa Barbara Pulmonary Associates have the right to expect certain standards of care and consideration.
Respect and Dignity
All patients have the right to:
» considerate, respectful care at all times.
» express religious or cultural concerns related to treatment.
» present a complaint and know that it will not affect the care provided.
» be examined in private surroundings.
» request that a member of the same sex be present during an examination.
» ask their doctor or staff questions regarding their illness, condition or treatment.
» ask their doctor or staff why a procedure is being recommended and what are the probable results and risks.
» refuse treatment.
» ask their doctor or staff about medical alternatives.
» examine and receive an explanation of their medical bill, regardless of how payment is made.
Privacy and Confidentiality
All patients have the right to:
» expect that their medical records will remain confidential.
» authorize a release of information (e.g., to a family physician).
» have their medical record read only by individuals directly involved in their treatment or monitoring for the quality of their care; by the billing department and by other individuals only with the patient's written authorization or that of a legally authorized representative.
» expect all communications and other records pertaining to their care, including the source of payment for treatment, to be treated as confidential.