Notice of Privacy Practices - McFarland Clinic PC
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.
Date of Original Notice - April 14, 2003
Our Commitment to Your Privacy
McFarland Clinic PC is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your identifiable health information. In conducting 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.
- Provide you with this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices concerning your identifiable health information.
- Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect for all of your identifiable health information.
- Provide notice to affected individuals of a breach of unsecured protected health information.
This notice provides you with the following important information:
- How we may use and disclose your identifiable health information.
- Your rights regarding your identifiable health information.
- Our duties regarding information about your health.
The terms of this notice apply to all records containing your identifiable health information that are created or retained by our practice. We reserve the right to revise or amend our Notice of Privacy Practices. Our practice will post a copy of our current notice in a prominent location in our offices, as well as on our website at www.mcfarlandclinic.com.
Our Duties Regarding Information About Your Health Information
- We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information.
- We will provide you with this notice of our legal duties and health information privacy practices, and abide by the terms of this notice.
- We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
- We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.
How We May Use and Disclose Your Health Information
Every visit you make to McFarland Clinic PC is recorded. Usually, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment and a plan for future care or treatment. This is referred to as your medical record.
We may use your identifiable health information to:
- Plan your medical care and treatment.
- Communicate with other health professionals who may contribute to your care.
- Provide to you or a third-party payer documentation that services billed were actually provided.
We may disclose your identifiable health information to pharmacies, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare personnel who may use or disclose this information in order to treat you or to assist others in your treatment. Additionally, we may disclose your identifiable health information to others who may assist in your care, including but not limited to your spouse, children, or parents.
McFarland Clinic PC may use and disclose your identifiable health information 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 we may provide your insurer with details regarding your treatment to determine if your insurer will cover or pay for your treatment. We may also use and disclose your identifiable health information to obtain payment from third parties that may be responsible for these costs, including but not limited to family members. We may also use your identifiable health information to bill you directly for services and items.
3. Healthcare Operations
McFarland Clinic PC may use and disclose your identifiable health information to operate our business. These uses and disclosures are necessary for our business activities and to make sure our patients are receiving quality services. As examples, our practice may use your identifiable health information to evaluate the quality of care you receive from us, or to conduct cost management and business planning activities for our practice.
4. Health Information Exchanges
We may access, use and disclose your health information via electronic queries and both to and from other providers who have a relationship to your treatment. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, the electronic query functionality of Epic CareLink and Epic CareEverywhere. If you do not want to have your health information shared with the electronic health exchanges McFarland participates in, you can contact our Privacy Office to Opt out.
5. Business Associates
McFarland Clinic PC may contract with other organizations or people, known as business associates, to assist us in performing services or operate our business. Your health information may be shared with them as long as they have agreed to protect your information in the same manner as the clinic.
6. Required by Law
McFarland Clinic PC will use and disclose your identifiable health information when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law.
7. Public Health Risks
McFarland Clinic PC may disclose your identifiable health information to public health authorities who are authorized by law to collect information to prevent or control disease, injury or disability, report births and deaths, report child abuse or neglect and notify a person who may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition.
8. Health Oversight Activities
McFarland Clinic PC may disclose your identifiable health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These can include investigations, inspections, audits, surveys, licensure and disciplinary actions; civil, administrative and criminal procedures or actions; or other activities necessary for the government to monitor governmental programs, compliance with civil rights laws and healthcare systems in general.
9. Lawsuits and Similar Proceedings
McFarland Clinic PC may use and disclose your identifiable health information in response to a court or administrative order if you are involved in a lawsuit or similar proceeding. We may also disclose your identifiable health information in response to a discovery request, subpoena or other lawful 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.
10. Law Enforcement
McFarland Clinic PC may disclose identifiable health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena.
11. Deceased Patients
McFarland Clinic PC may release identifiable health information to a medical examiner or coroner to identify a deceased individual or to identify the cause of death. If necessary, we may also release information to funeral directors as necessary in order for them to carry out their duties.
12. Organ and Tissue Donations
McFarland Clinic PC may release your identifiable health information to organizations that handle organ, eye or tissue procurement for transplantation, including organ donation banks, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation if you are an organ donor.
McFarland Clinic PC may use and disclose your identifiable health information for research purposes in certain limited circumstances. There are times when your health information may be reviewed by research staff or a clinic provider if it is believed you may be interested in or benefit from a research study. Your identifiable health information will not be disclosed outside of McFarland Clinic PC for research purposes without your written permission or making sure your privacy is protected. Health information about you that has had identifying information removed may be used for research without your consent.
14. Health-Related Services
McFarland Clinic PC may use your health information to contact you with information about upcoming appointments, health-related benefits and services, and treatment alternatives, including research studies, that may be of interest to you.
15. Serious Threats to Health or Safety
McFarland Clinic PC may use and disclose your identifiable health information 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 disclosure to a person or organization able to help prevent the threat.
McFarland Clinic PC may disclose your identifiable health information if you are a member of U.S. or foreign military forces (including veterans) if required by the appropriate military command authorities.
17. National Security
McFarland Clinic PC may disclose your identifiable health information to federal officials for intelligence and national security activities authorized by law. We may also disclose your identifiable health information to federal officials in order to protect the President, other officials or foreign heads of state, or to conduct investigations.
McFarland Clinic PC may disclose your identifiable health information to correctional institutions or 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.
19. Workers’ Compensation
McFarland Clinic PC may disclose your identifiable health information to comply with laws relating to workers’ compensation or similar programs.
Your Rights Regarding Your Identifiable Health Information
1. Confidential Communications
You have the right to request that your protected health information be provided by alternative means or at alternative locations. Any such request should be submitted in writing to: Privacy Office, McFarland Clinic, PO Box 3014, Ames, IA 50010.
You have the right to request a limit on the information we disclose about your identifiable health information to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, such as a family member. Your request must describe in a clear and concise manner, (a) the information you wish restricted, and (b) to whom you want the limits to apply.
This request must be submitted in writing to: Privacy Office, McFarland Clinic, PO Box 3014, Ames, IA 50010. We are not required to agree to your requested restriction or limitation; but if we do agree, we are bound by our agreement except when otherwise required by law, in emergencies, or when the information is necessary to treat you. We are required to contact and notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction.
3. Health Plan Restrictions
Effective September 23, 2013, you have the right to request a restriction on disclosure of your health information to a health plan (for purposes of payment or health care operations) in cases where you paid out-of-pocket, in full, for the items received or services rendered. This request must be submitted in writing to: Privacy Office, McFarland Clinic, PO Box 3014, Ames, IA 50010. We will comply with any restriction request if (1) except as otherwise required by law, the disclosure is to the health plan for purposes of carrying out payment or health care operations (and is not for purposes of carrying out treatment); and (2) the health information pertains solely to items received or services rendered for which you have paid out-of-pocket.
4. Inspection and Copies
You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the identifiable health information 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 or use our Release of Information form. 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 copy in certain limited circumstances, such as where disclosure would reasonably endanger the life or physical safety of you or another person. If you are denied access to information about your health, you may request that the denial be reviewed.
You have the right to request an amendment to your health information if you believe it is incorrect or incomplete. The request must be in writing and submitted to: Privacy Office, McFarland Clinic, PO Box 3014, Ames, IA 50010. You must provide us with a reason that supports your request for amendment. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that is, (a) accurate and complete, (b) not part of the identifiable health information kept by or for our practice, (c) not part of the identifiable health information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy, (d) not created by us unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment.
6. Accounting of Disclosures
You have the right to request an accounting of certain disclosures of information about your health that we have made, if any. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or health care operations, or as otherwise permitted or required by law. This request must be in writing and submitted to: Privacy Office, McFarland Clinic, PO Box 3014, Ames, IA 50010. You have a right to receive specific information about these disclosures that occur after April 14, 2003. The first list you request within a 12-month period is free of charge, but our practice may charge you for additional lists within the same 12-month period. We will notify you of the cost involved with additional requests, and you may withdraw your request before you incur any costs.
7. Paper Copy of this Notice
You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice at any time.
8. Authorization for Other Uses and Disclosures
McFarland Clinic PC will obtain your written authorization for uses and disclosures not identified by this notice or permitted by the Privacy Rule. Your authorization is required for uses and disclosures of the following:
- Psychotherapy notes if McFarland Clinic PC records or maintains such notes
- Communications for the purpose of marketing products or services of a third party if McFarland Clinic receives financial subsidies from that party for facilitating the communication
- Selling of patient lists or health information to a third party
You may revoke authorizations as described in this notice at any time. The request must be in writing and submitted to: Privacy Office, McFarland Clinic, PO Box 3014, Ames, IA 50010. After you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose your identifiable health information for the reasons described in the authorization. This will only apply to future releases and cannot apply if the provider has taken action on it.
For More Information and to File a Complaint
If you have questions and would like additional information, or if you want to file a complaint with our practice, contact Administration at 515-239-4452 and ask for the Privacy Office. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a written complaint with our Privacy Office and with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
Revised 2005; 2013; 2014; 2016; 2022