Patient Privacy Policy

Your health information is safe with us. By law, we are required to keep all your protected health information private and to give you notice of our legal duties and privacy practices related to protected health information.

What is protected health information? These are the specific details about you, including demographics, which are related to your past, present or future physical or mental health, condition or related health care services.

We may need to use this information for treatment, payment or health care without authorization from you. Our professional and trusted staff may have to disclose your protected health information to services outside of our office that are involved in your care and treatment for the purpose of providing the optimal health care to you. In some cases, it may also be used and disclosed to support the operation of the practice and to pay your health care bills.

Treatment

In order to best treat and care for your dental needs, Higson Dental Group will use and disclose your protected health information to maximize your health care and any related services. In certain situations this could mean coordinating with a third party, another dentist or specialist, consultant or referral about our diagnosis and need for dental care.

Payment

When pertinent, we will use or disclose your protected health information to obtain or provide payment for your dental services. For example, we may need to release details about your treatment to an insurance agency to determine eligibility for coverage and to review services provided to you.

Operations

In order to evolve as a business and to improve our service to our clients we may use or disclose, as needed, your protected health information to support activities including but not limited to: quality assessment and improvement activities; reviewing the professional competence or qualifications; 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 administrative activities, resolution of internal grievances; due diligence in connection with the sale or transfer of assets of the practice; creating de-identified health information; and conducting or arranging for other business activities.

This also includes sharing protected health information with third party businesses that perform activities such as billing, transcription services, accounting services and legal services for the practice. In the case of your protected health information being disclosed or used by a business associate, we’ll present a written contract with the terms that will protect your privacy.

If there is another circumstance where we would share your protected health information we’ll ensure your written authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law. You may cancel, in writing, at any time, except in a situation whereby your dentist or the provider’s practice has taken action and requires the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.

You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of your protected health information that we have on file, including any medical, billing records or other documentation that our office may use for making health related decisions about you.

However, by law, you may not request 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.

Denied access can be challenged and you may have the right to have this decision revoked depending on the circumstances. If you have questions about access to dental records, please contact our office manager.

That said, you also have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information, meaning that we would not be allowed to disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations. You can also restrict access to your protected health information to friends or family members who may be involved in your care, or for notification purposes as described in this notice. In this instance, you must state the specific restriction request and to whom it applies. We have the right to deny this restriction if we believe it is in your best interest to permit and disclose your protected health information. If your dentist approves of your restriction, we are not permitted to use or share your protected health information for any reason unless in the case of an emergency treatment. We recommend you discuss any restriction requests with our office.

You have the right to request confidential records from us by alternative means or at an alternative location.