Notice of Privacy Practices of the Lactation Consultant
East Bay Lactation Associates
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 CAREFULL Y .
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law designed to protect your privacy whenever your health care providers (like the lactation consultant) have to discuss your case, or send information about you to you different offices. We have to keep a file to record our consult – but we promise that the private, protected health information (PHI) in it will be kept confidential.
We can freely share all the details of your protected health information for purposes of “treatment, payment and health care operations.” That means we can talk to you about your situation, and discuss it with your other health care providers. If you are referred to other specialists, we can send the information on to them. We can also share information with your health insurance company if they need it.
The law also requires us to share your information under other, very precise, situations: for example, if a subpoena has been served on us to turn over medical records or a federal agency is investigating a complaint that we have not been protecting your privacy.
Any other time we share your personal health information, it has to be with your specific authorization: you have to okay it, in writing, first. For example, you may want us to send information about your consultation to the Human Resource Department at your office, so they can pay you back under their corporate lactation support program. When you do give us permission to turn over information about you, we can give out only the minimum amount of information needed to get the job done.
Under HIPAA, we can call or write you to remind you to come back for an appointment, or to tell you how you can get a product or service that might interest you or your family.
You have four rights under HIPAA:
(1) Access (you can ask the lactation consultant to see all of the PHI she has about you);
(2) Amendment (you can ask the lactation consultant to change her files to amend inaccurate PHI);
(3) Disclosure Accounting (you can ask to whom the lactation consultant has given your PHI) and;
(4) Restriction Request (you can put limits on the lactation consultant’s use and sharing of your PHI).
Our duty under HIPAA is to give you this notice, so you understand we have promised to keep your private health information confidential. If we change this notice in the future, we’ll give you a new copy.
Molly Brannigan is the Privacy Officer for East Bay Lactation Associates. Her name and phone number are: Molly Brannigan (510) 525-1155. She will answer your questions or concerns about how we protect the privacy of your health information.
You can complain if you think your privacy has not been protected by the lactation consultant. First you’d have to complain to Molly Brannigan, our Privacy Officer; she has a duty to try to patch things up. We can’t penalize you for making a complaint. If she doesn’t address your complaint adequately, you can go to the Office of Civil Rights of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, to ask that a formal investigation be made. You can get all the details from them by calling (toll free) 1-800-368-1019, or see their website at www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacyhowtofile.htm. You can’t go to court and sue us over a HIPAA violation – but you can ask HHS to investigate.