Carrie Barron, MD: Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Well-being Coaching
Notice of Privacy Practices
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.
This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information 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 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.
We will abide by the terms of this Notice, including any future revisions that we may make to the Notice as required or authorized by law. We reserve the right to change this Notice and to make the revised or changed Notice effective for health information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current Notice in our offices.
Note that we are required to notify you of certain unauthorized access, acquisition, or use of your medical information.
1. Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information For Which No Patient Authorization Is Required
Treatment: We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate, and 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 protected health information. We may also disclose protected health information to other physicians who may be treating you. For example, your protected health information may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred to ensure that the physician has the necessary information to diagnose or treat you.
Payment: Your protected health information 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.
Healthcare Operations: We may use or disclose your protected health information in order to support the business activities of our practice. These activities include, but are not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, training of medical students, licensing, marketing and fundraising activities, and conducting or arranging for other business activities.
For example, we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name and indicate the name of your physician. We may also call you by name in the waiting room when your physician is ready to see you. We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to contact you to remind you of your appointment.
We may share your protected health information with third party “business associates” that perform various activities for the practice.
We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to provide you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information Based upon Your Written Authorization
Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information 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 your physician or our practice has taken an action in reliance on the use or disclosure indicated in the authorization. Examples of uses and disclosures which require your authorization include uses or disclosures for certain marketing purposes.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made With Your Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use and disclose your protected health information in the following instances. You have the opportunity to agree or object to the use or disclosure of all or part of your protected health information. If you are not present or able to agree or object to the use or disclosure of the protected health information, then your physician may, using professional judgment, determine whether the disclosure is in your best interest. In this case, only the protected health information 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 protected health information 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.
Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures That May Be Made Without Your Authorization or Opportunity to Object
We may use or disclose your protected health information in the following situations without your authorization. These situations include:
Required By Law: We may use or disclose your protected health information to the extent that the use or disclosure is required by law. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law. You will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.
Public Health: We may disclose your protected health information for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability. We may also disclose your protected health information, if directed by the public health authority, to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority.
Communicable Diseases: We may disclose your protected health information, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.
Health Oversight: We may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections.
Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your protected health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, we may disclose your protected health information if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the governmental entity or agency authorized to receive such information. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.
Food and Drug Administration: We may disclose your protected health information to a person or company required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product defects or problems, biologic product deviations, track products; to enable product recalls; to make repairs or replacements, or to conduct post marketing surveillance, as required.
Legal Proceedings: We may disclose protected health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized), and in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.
Law Enforcement: We may also disclose protected health information, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes. Examples of these law enforcement purposes include (1) legal processes and otherwise required by law, (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes, and (3) pertaining to victims of a crime.
Coroners, Funeral Directors, and Organ Donation: We may disclose protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, determining cause of death or for the coroner or medical examiner to perform other duties authorized by law. We may also disclose protected health information to a funeral director, as authorized by law, in order to permit the funeral director to carry out their duties.
Research: We may disclose your protected health information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your protected health information.
Criminal Activity: Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, we may disclose your protected health information, if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. We may also disclose protected health information if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.
Military Activity and National Security: When the appropriate conditions apply, we may use or disclose protected health information of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits, or (3) to foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military services. We may also disclose your protected health information to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities, including for the provision of protective services to the President or others legally authorized.
Workers’ Compensation: Your protected health information may be disclosed by us as authorized to comply with workers’ compensation laws and other similar legally-established programs.
Inmates: We may use or disclose your protected health information if you are an inmate of a correctional facility and your physician created or received your protected health information in the course of providing care to you.
Required Uses and Disclosures: Under the law, we must make disclosures to you and when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.
Electronic Disclosure. Please note that Texas law requires that we provide you with notice that your medical information may be subject to electronic disclosure. That is, we may use and disclose your medical information electronically. For example, if your medical information is contained electronically in an electronic medical record with our offices, and another provider who is involved in your treatment requests a copy of your medical records, we may forward such records electronically.
2. Your Rights
Following is a statement of your rights with respect to your protected health information and a brief description of how you may exercise these rights.
You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information. You have the right to inspect and copy health information that may be used to make decisions about your care. We may deny your request to inspect and copy your health information in certain limited circumstances. If you are denied access to your health information, you may request that the denial be reviewed.
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 healthcare 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 of Privacy Practices. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. We do not have to agree to any restrictions except in situations where you request that we restrict disclosure of your medical information to a health plan and the disclosure is for the purpose of carrying out payment or health care operations and is not otherwise required by law to be disclosed and the medical information solely pertains to an item or service you, or another individual on your behalf, has paid us in full.
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. Please make this request in writing to our Privacy Officer.
You may have the right to have your protected health information amended. This means you may request an amendment of protected health information 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.
You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your protected health information. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions and limitations.
You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us, upon request.
If you have any questions regarding this Notice or wish to receive additional information about our privacy practices, please contact Dr. Barron. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our clinic or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).
To file a complaint with the Secretary of the DHHS contact the:
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint. A complaint must name the entity/person(s) that is the subject of the complaint and describe the acts or omissions believed to be in violation of the applicable standards, requirements, or implementation specifications stated by HIPAA, as outlined in this Notice. A complaint must be filed within 180 days of when the complainant knew or should have known that the act or omission complained of occurred, unless this time limit is waived by the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services for good cause shown. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.