Privacy Practices

Rheumatology Associates of Baltimore is committed to assuring the security and safety of your health and personal information.  The practice has adopted the following privacy practices.

 

Protected health information (PHI) about you is maintained as a written and/or electronic record of your visits and/or contacts for healthcare services with our practice.  Specifically, PHI is information about you, including demographic information that may identify you and relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental condition and related healthcare services.

 

Rheumatology Associates of Baltimore is required to follow specific rules on maintaining the confidentially of your PHI, using your information,  and disclosing or sharing your information with other healthcare professionals involved in your care and treatment.  This notice describes your rights to access and control your PHI.  It also describes how we follow applicable rules, how we use and disclose your PHI to provide treatment, obtain payment for services rendered, manage our healthcare operations, and for other purposes that are permitted by law.

 

What follows is a statement of your rights under the privacy rule with regard to your PHI.  Please feel free to discuss any questions surrounding this with our staff. 

 

You have the right to receive, and we are required to provide you with, a copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices.  We are required to follow the terms of this notice.  We reserve the right to change the terms of our notice, at any time.  Upon your request, we will provide you with a revised Notice of Privacy Practices.  The notice will also be posted in a conspicuous location within the practice.

 

You have the right to authorize other use and disclosure.  This means you have the right to authorize any use or disclosure of PHI that is not specified within this notice.  For example, we need your written authorization to use or disclose your PHI for marketing purposes, for most uses or disclosure of psychotherapy notes, or if we intended to sell your PHI.  You may revoke an authorization at any time by providing the request in writing, except to the extent that your healthcare provider or our practice has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization.

 

You have the right to request an alternative means of confidential communication. You have the right to ask us to contact you about medical matters using an alternative method (i.e. patient portal, cell phone) and to a destination (i.e. alternate address, alternate phone number) designated by you.  You must inform us in writing, using a form provided by our practice how you wish to be contacted if other than the address/phone number that we have on file.  We will follow all reasonable requests.

 

You have the right to inspect and copy your PHI.  This means that you may inspect, and obtain a copy of your healthcare record.  If your record is maintained electronically, you have the right to request a copy in electronic format.  We have the right to charge a reasonable fee for paper or electronic copies as established by professional, state, or federal guidelines.

 

You have the right to request a restriction of your PHI.  You may ask us, in writing, not to use or disclose any part of your PHI for the purposes of treatment, payment, or healthcare operations.  If we agree to the requested restriction, we will abide by it, except in emergency circumstances when the information is needed for your treatment.  In certain cases, we may deny your request for a restriction.  You will have the right to request in writing 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.

 

You may have the right to request an amendment to your protected health information.  You may request an amendment of your PHI for as long as we maintain this information.  In certain cases, however, your request may be denied.

 

You have the right to request disclosure accountability.  This means that you may request a listing of disclosures that we have made of your PHI to entitled or persons outside of our office.

 

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.

 

If you have questions regarding your privacy rights, please contact our practice manager at 410-494-1888.

 

 

How We May Use or Disclose Protected Health Information

 

Treatment 

We will use and disclose your PHI to provide, coordinate, or manage your healthcare and any related services.  This includes the coordination or management of your care with a third party.  For example, your PHI may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred, hospitals, referring physicians, laboratories, etc. to ensure that the healthcare provider has the necessary information to diagnose and/or treat you.

Payment

Your PHI will be used, as needed, to obtain payment for your health care services.  For example, obtaining approval for a diagnostic test, procedure, injection, medication, infusion, etc. may require that your relevant protected health information be disclosed to the health plan to obtain approval for the procedure.

Healthcare Operations

We may use or disclose, as needed, your protected health information in order to support the business activities of your physician’s practice.  These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment, employee review, training of medical students, licensing, etc.  For example, we may disclose your PHI to a medical resident that rotates through our office.  We may call you by name in the waiting room when your physician is ready for the appointment, and to inform you about treatment alternatives or other health related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. 

 

We may disclose your PHI in the following situations without your authorization.  These situations include:  as required by law, public health issues as required by law, communicable diseases, health oversight, abuse or neglect, food and drug administration requirements, legal proceedings, law enforcement, criminal activity, worker’s compensation and other required uses and disclosures.  Under the law, we must make disclosures to you upon your written requests.  In addition, under the law, we must disclose your PHI when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements.

 

Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures will be made only with your consent, authorization or opportunity to object unless required by law.  We may not sell your PHI without your authorization.  We may not use or disclose most psychotherapy notes contained in your PHI.  We will not disclose any of your PHI that contains genetic information that will be used for underwriting purposes.

 

We have chosen to participate in the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients, Inc. (CRISP), a state-wide 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

 

COMPLAINTS:

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 practice manager of your complaint.  We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

 

Practice Manager:Brian Bartholomay,   410-494-1888,  bbartholomay@rheumatology-associates.com

Rheumatology Associates of Baltimore, LLC

1220B E Joppa Road

Suite 310

Baltimore, MD 21286

For Life-Threatening Emergencies Call 911

© 2019 by Rheumatolgoy Associates of Baltimore, LLC.

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