Patient Privacy Policy

We are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information and to provide you with the Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information. Protected health information is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services.

Your protected health information may be used by your dentist for treatment, payment and health care operations as described without authorization from you. Your protected health information may be used and disclosed by your dentist, our office staff and others outside of our office that are involved in your care and treatment for the purpose of providing health care services to you.  Your protected health information may also be used and disclosed to pay your health care bills and to support the operation of the dentist’s practice. 

Treatment

We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. This includes the coordination or management of your health care with a third party, consultations with another dentist, or your referral to another dentist for your diagnosis and treatment.

Payment

Your protected health information will be used, as needed, to obtain or provide payment for your dental services, including disclosures to other entities.  This may include certain activities that your health insurance plan may undertake before it approves or pays for the services we recommend for you such as making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you, and undertaking utilization review activities.

Operations

We may use or disclose, as needed, your protected health information in order to support the business activities of our practice. These activities include, but are not limited to: quality assessment and improvement activities; reviewing the competence or qualifications of professionals; securing stop-loss or excess of loss insurance; obtaining legal services or conducting compliance programs or auditing functions; business planning and development; business management and general administrative activities, resolution of internal grievances; due diligence in connection with the sale or transfer of assets of your dentist’s practice; creating de-identified health information; and conducting or arranging for other business activities. 

We will share your protected health information with third party business associates that perform various activities (e.g., billing, transcription services, accounting services, legal services) for the practice. Whenever an arrangement between our office and a 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.

Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information will be made only with your written authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law. You may revoke this authorization, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that your dentist or the provider’s practice has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.

You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information.   This means you may inspect and obtain a copy of protected health information about you that is contained in your chart, including medical and billing records and any other records that your dentist and the practice uses for making decisions about you.

Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records: information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding; and protected health   information that is subject to law that prohibits access to protected health information. Depending on the circumstances, a decision to deny access may be reviewable. In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed. Please contact our office manager Cathy if you have questions about access to your dental records.

You have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations. You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice.  Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply.

Your dentist is not required to agree to a restriction that you may request.   If your dentist believes it is in your best interest to permit use and disclosure of your protected health information, your protected health information will not be restricted. If your dentist does agree to the requested restriction, we may not use or disclose your protected health information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment. With this in mind, please discuss any restriction you wish to request with our office. You may request a restriction by speaking with our office manager Cathy who is the privacy contact.

You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests.