Columbia Eye Clinic respects your privacy. We understand that your personal health information is very sensitive. We will not disclose your information without your authorization or unless the law authorizes or requires us.
The law protects the privacy of the health information we create and obtain in providing our care and services to you. For example, your protected health information includes your symptoms, test results, diagnoses, treatment, health information from other providers, and billing and payment information relating to these services. Federal and state law allows us to use and disclose your protected health information for purposes of treatment, health care operations and to disclose this information for payment purposes.
Examples of Use and Disclosures of Protected Health Information for Treatment, Payment, and Health Operations
- Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of our health care team will be recorded in your medical record and used to help decide what care may be right for you.
- We may also provide information to others providing you care. This will help them stay informed about your care.
- If we request payment from your health insurance plan, health plans need information from us about your medical care. Information provided to health plans may include your diagnoses, procedures performed, or recommended care.
For health care operations:
- We use your medical records to assess quality and improve services.
- We may use and disclose medical records to review the qualifications and performance of our health care providers and to train our staff.
- We may contact you to remind you about appointments and give you information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services.
Your Health Information Rights
The health and billing records we create and store are the property of the Columbia Eye Clinic.
We are required to:
- Keep your protected health information private;
- Give you this Notice;
- Follow the terms of this Notice.
To Ask for Help or Make a Complaint
If you have questions, want more information, or want to report a problem about the handling of your protected health information, you may contact:
Columbia Eye Clinic
1920 Pickens Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Other Disclosures and Uses of Protected Health Information
Notification of Family and Others
Unless you object, we may release health information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. In addition, we may disclose health information about you to assist in disaster relief efforts.
You have the right to object to these uses or disclosure of your information. If you object, we will not use or disclose it.
We may use and disclose your protected health information without your authorization as follows:
- With Medical Researchersif the research has been approved and has policies to protect the privacy of your health information. We may also share information with medical researchers preparing to conduct a research project.
- To the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relating to problems with food, supplements, and products.
- To Comply With Workers Compensation Lawsif you make a workers compensation claim.
- For Public Health and Safety Purposes as Allowed or Required by Law:
- To prevent or reduce a serious, immediate threat to the health or safety of a person
- Or the public.
- To public health or legal authorities
- To protect public health and safety
- To prevent or control disease, injury, or disability
- To report vital statistics such as births or deaths.
- To Report Suspected Abuse or Neglect to public authorities.
- To Correctional Institutions if you are in jail or prison, as necessary for your health and the health and safety of others.
- For Law Enforcement Purposes such as when we receive a subpoena, court order, or other legal process, or you are the victim of a crime.
- For Health and Safety Oversight Activities. For example, we may share health information with the Department of Health.
- For Disaster Relief Purposes. For example, we may share health information with disaster relief agencies to assist in notification of your condition to family or others.
- For Work-Related Conditions That Could Affect Employee Health. For example, an employer may ask us to assess health risks on a job site.
- To the Military Authorities of U.S. and Foreign Military Personnel. For example, the law may require us to provide information necessary to a military mission.
- In the Course of Judicial/Administrative Proceedings at your request, or as directed by a subpoena or court order.
- For Specialized Government Functions. For example, we may share information for national security purposes.
Other Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
Uses and disclosures not in this Notice will be made only as allowed or required by law or with your written authorization.