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. If you have any questions about this Notice please contact our Privacy Contact who is the Manager of this location. WRA is required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information and to provide individuals with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information.
This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information (PHI) to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control your PHI. “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.
We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We may change the terms of our notice, at any time. The new notice will be effective for all PHI that we maintain at that time. Upon your request, we will provide you with any revised Notice of Privacy Practices by accessing our website (www.washingtonradiology.com), calling our office and requesting that a revised copy be sent to you in the mail or asking for one at the time of your next appointment.
This notice was published and becomes effective on April 14, 2003, revisions August 30, 2013, April 25, 2014.
You will be asked by WRA to sign a form stating that you have received this notice. WRA will use or disclose your PHI as described in this Section 1. Your PHI may be used and disclosed by WRA, 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 PHI may also be used and disclosed to pay your health care bills and to support the operation of WRA.
Following are examples of the types of uses and disclosures of your protected health care information that WRA is permitted to make. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but to describe the types of uses and disclosures that may be made by our office.
Treatment: We will use and disclose your PHI 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 that has already obtained your permission to have access to your PHI. We will also disclose PHI to other physicians who may be treating you. In addition, we may disclose your PHI from time-to-time to another physician or health care provider (e.g., a specialist or laboratory) who, at the request of your physician, becomes involved in your care.
Payment: Your PHI will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services. This may include certain activities that your health insurance plan may undertake before it approves or pays for the health care services we recommend for you such as: making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you for medical necessity, and undertaking utilization review activities. For example, obtaining approval for a hospital stay may require that your relevant PHI be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the hospital admission.
Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose, as-needed, your PHI in order to support the business activities of WRA. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training of medical students, licensing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities.
For example, we may disclose your PHI to medical school students that see patients at our office. In addition, we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name. We may also call you by name in the waiting room when your physician is ready to see you. We may also use your name and exam information for patient flow tracking in the office. We may use or disclose your PHI, as necessary, to contact you to remind you of your appointment.
We will share your PHI with third party “business associates” that perform various activities (e.g., billing, transcription services) for the practice. Whenever an arrangement between our office and a business associate involves the use or disclosure of your PHI, we will have a written contract that contains terms that will protect the privacy of your PHI.
We may use or disclose your PHI, as necessary, to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. We may also use and disclose your PHI for other educational activities. You may contact our Privacy Contact to request that these educational materials not be sent to you.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Based upon Your Written Authorization
Other uses and disclosures of your PHI will be made only with your written authorization, unless otherwise permitted or required by law as described below. You may revoke this authorization, at any time, in writing, except to the extent that WRA has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made With Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use and disclose your PHI in the following instances. You have the opportunity to agree or object to the use or disclosure of all or part of your PHI. If you are not present or able to agree or object to the use or disclosure of the PHI, then WRA may, using professional judgment, determine whether the disclosure is in your best interest. In this case, only the PHI that is relevant to your health care will be disclosed.
Others Involved in Your Healthcare: Unless you object, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend or any other person you identify, your PHI that directly relates to that person’s involvement in your health care. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment. We may use or disclose PHI to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or any other person that is responsible for your care, general condition or death. Finally, we may use or disclose your PHI to an authorized public or private entity to assist in disaster relief efforts and to coordinate uses and disclosures to family or other individuals involved in your health care.
Emergencies: We may use or disclose your PHI in an emergency treatment situation. If this happens, WRA shall try to obtain your consent as soon as reasonably practicable after the delivery of treatment. If WRA or another physician in the practice is required by law to treat you and the physician has attempted to obtain your consent but is unable to obtain your consent, he or she may still use or disclose your PHI to treat you.
Communication Barriers: We may use and disclose your PHI if WRA or another physician in the practice attempts to obtain consent from you but is unable to do so due to substantial communication barriers and the physician determines, using professional judgment, that you intend to consent to use or disclosure under the circumstances.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made Without Your Consent, Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use or disclose your PHI in the following situations without your consent or authorization. These situations include:
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures - We are also permitted to use or disclose your PHI without your written authorization for the following purposes: as required by law; for public health activities; health oversight activities; in cases of abuse or neglect; to comply with Food and Drug Administration requirements; research purposes; legal proceedings; law enforcement purposes; coroners; funeral directors; organ donation; criminal activity; military activity; national security; worker's compensation; when an inmate in a correctional facility; and if requested by the Department of Health and Human Services in order to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of the Privacy Rule.
Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your PHI and a brief description of how you may exercise these rights.
You have the right to inspect and copy your PHI. This means you may inspect and obtain a copy of your PHI, in paper or electronic format, that is contained in a designated record set for as long as we maintain the PHI. We have the right to charge a reasonable fee for paper or electronic copies as established by professional, state, or federal guidelines. Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records: psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, and PHI that is subject to law that prohibits access to PHI. 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 Privacy Contact if you have questions about access to your medical record. All requests to copy or inspect your PHI must be submitted in writing to our Privacy Contact.
You have the right to request a restriction of your PHI. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your PHI for the purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You may also request that any part of your PHI not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. In certain cases, we may deny your request for a restriction. You will have the right to request that we restrict communication to your health plan regarding a specific treatment or service that you, or someone on your behalf, has paid for in full, out-of-pocket. We are not permitted to deny this specific type of requested restriction. All requests to restrict your PHI must be submitted in writing to our 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. We may also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request. Please make this request in writing to our Privacy Contact.
You may have the right to request an amendment to your PHI. This means you may request an amendment of PHI about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. Please contact our Privacy Contact if you have questions about amending your medical record. All requests to amend your PHI must be submitted in writing to our Privacy Contact along with the reason the amendment is being requested.
You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your PHI. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. It excludes disclosures we may have made to you, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes. You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures that occurred after April 14, 2003 for a 6-year timeframe. You may request a shorter timeframe. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations. All requests should be submitted in writing to our Business Office Manager, 3015 Williams Drive, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22031.
You have the right to receive a privacy breach notice - You have the right to receive written notification if the practice discovers a breach of your unsecured PHI, and determines through a risk assessment that notification is required.
You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us, upon request, even if you have agreed to accept this notice electronically.
Maryland and DC patients only: We have chosen to participate in the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients, Inc.(CRISP), a statewide health information exchange. As permitted by law, your health information will be shared with this exchange in order to provide faster access, better coordination of care and assist providers and public health officials in making more informed decisions. You may “opt-out” and disable all access to your health information available through CRISP by calling 1-877-952-7477 or completing and submitting an Opt-Out form to CRISP by mail, fax or through their website at www.crisphealth.org.
You may complain to us or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us. You may file a complaint with us by notifying our privacy contact of your complaint. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
You may contact any of our Privacy Contacts listed below:
|2141 K Street, DC||Manager||202-223-9723|
|Chevy Chase, MD||Manager||301-654-4242|
or email us at PrivacyContact@wrapc.com for further information about the complaint process.