Patient Policies and HIPAA

Janet D. Pearl, MD, MSc

Suffering From Pain?

We Can Help

Suffering From Pain?

We Can Help

Patient Policies

  • Prescriptions are NOT provided on the first visit. We do not prescribe opioids to those who are using marijuana or who are on benzodiazepine medications.
  • Prescription refill requests require a 48 hour notice.
  • Prescriptions will not be written or called in after business hours.
  • Appointment cancellations require a 48 hour notice.
  • More than one appointment cancellation without proper notice may result in discharge from the practice.
  • Compliance with your treatment plan is expected. YOU are part of the team that is working to help you get better;

WE ALL have to do our part.

HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices

To download our HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices click here

HIPAA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES FOR PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION. 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 COMPLETE SPINE AND PAIN CARE, (508) 665-4344 x 422.

WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE: This notice describes our facility’s privacy practices and that of:

  • Any physician or health care professional authorized to enter information into your medical chart.
  • All locations, departments and units of our medical practice.
  • All employees, staff and other office personnel.

All these individuals, sites and locations follow the terms of this notice. In addition, these individuals, sites and locations may share medical information with each other or with third party specialists for treatment, payment or office operations purposes described in this notice.

OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION:

We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting medical information about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive at our facility. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by our facility. This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.

We are required by law to:

  • Maintain the privacy of your Personal Health Information;
  • Provide you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your Personal health Information;
  • Follow the terms of this notice;
  • Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction; and
  • Accommodate reasonable requests.

The main reasons for which we may use and disclose your Personal Health Information are to evaluate and process any requests for coverage and claims for benefits you may make, or in connection with other health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you. The following describes these and other use and disclosures, together with some examples:

For Treatment. We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to the facility’s office personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the facility or elsewhere. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside our facility who may be involved in your care after you leave the facility, such as family members or others we use to provide services that are part of your care, provided you have consented to such disclosure. These entities include third-party physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies or clinical labs with whom the office consults or makes referrals.

For Payment. We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at our office may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or third parties such as credit card entities, banks, and financing companies. For example, we may need to give your health plan (or other third parties such as credit card entities etc.) information about procedures you receive at the facility so they will pay us or reimburse you for the services. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.

For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose medical information about you for your internal operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run our facility and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information about you to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many patients to decide what additional services the facility should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to our physicians, staff and other office personnel for review and learning purposes.

Individuals Involved in your Care or Payment for your Care. We may release medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care, provided you have consented to such disclosure. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. In addition, we may disclose medical information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location.

Where Required by Law or for Public Health Activities. We disclose Personal Health Information when required by federal, state or local law. Examples of such mandatory disclosures include notifying state or local health authorities regarding particular communicable diseases, or providing Personal Health Information to a governmental agency or regulator with health care oversight responsibilities. We may also release Personal Health Information to a coroner or medical examiner to assist in identifying a deceased individual or to determine the cause of death.

To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may disclose Personal Health Information to avert a serious threat to someone’s health or safety. We may also disclose Personal Health Information to federal, state or local agencies engaged in disaster relief as well as to private disaster relief or disaster assistance agencies to allow such entities to carry out their responsibilities in specific disaster situations.

For Health-Related Benefits or Services. We may use Personal Health Information to provide you with information about benefits available to you under your current coverage or policy and in limited situations, about health-related products or services that may be of interest to you.

For Law Enforcement or Specific Government Functions. We may disclose Personal Health Information in response to a request by a law enforcement official made through a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process. We may disclose Personal Health Information about you to federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.

When Requested as Part of a Regulatory or Legal Proceeding. If you or your estate is involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose Personal Health Information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose Personal Health Information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the Personal Health Information requested. We may disclose Personal Health Information to any governmental agency or regulator with whom you have filed a complaint or as part of a regulatory agency examination.

Abuse or Neglect. We believe abuse or neglect to be a serious issue. We may disclose your Personal Health Information to a public health authority authorized to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. We may also disclose your information if, in our best judgment, we believe you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. When disclosing Personal Health Information in cases of abuse or neglect, we will follow applicable state and federal laws.

Public Health & Communicable Diseases. We are permitted to disclose your Personal Health Information for public health purposes or to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. Examples may include disclosure to prevent or controlling disease, or injury. We are permitted to disclose your PHI, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease. We may disclose your information if said person may be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.

Research & Health Oversight. We are permitted to disclose your Personal Health Information to researchers when an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal, as well as established protocols to ensure the privacy of your information has approved their research. We are permitted to disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections.

Legal Proceedings. We are permitted to disclose Personal Health Information in connection with any judicial or administrative proceeding, subpoena, or in responding to a court order or tribunal.

Law Enforcement. We may also disclose Personal Health Information, under lawful conditions to law enforcement. Permitted law enforcement purposes include: (1), legal processes and otherwise required by law; (2), limited information requests for identification and location purposes; (3), pertaining to victims of a crime; (4), suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct; (5), in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of our practice; and (6), medical emergency associated with a crime.

Organ Donation, Coroners, & Funeral Directors. We are permitted to disclose Personal 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. Disclose may be made in reasonable anticipation of death. PHI may be used and disclosed for cadaveric organ, eye or tissue donation purposes.

Military Activity and National Security. We are permitted to use or disclose Personal Health Information of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel under the following circumstances: (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 are also permitted to disclose your 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.

Data Breach Notification Purposes. We may use or disclose your Personal Health Information to provide legally required notices of unauthorized access to or disclosure of your health information.

Inmates or Individuals in Custody. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release Health Information to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be if necessary: (1) for the institution to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) the safety and security of the correctional institution.

Other Uses of Personal Health Information. Other uses and disclosures of Personal Health Information not covered by this notice and permitted by the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization or that of your legal representative. If we are authorized to use or disclose Personal Health Information about you, you or your legally authorized representative may revoke that authorization in writing, at any time, except to the extent that we have taken action relying on the authorization or if the authorization was obtained as a condition of obtaining your Health Insurance coverage. You should understand that we will not be able to take back any disclosures we have already made with authorization.

Your Rights Regarding Personal Health Information we Maintain About you:

The following are your various rights as a consumer under HIPAA concerning your Personal Health Information:

Right to Inspect and Copy Your Personal Health Information. In most cases, you have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the Personal Health Information that we maintain about you. To inspect and copy Personal Health Information, you must submit your request in writing to the applicable administrator listed above. We will normally respond to your request within 30 days of receipt unless the information to which you request access is located off site, in which case, it may take us up to 60 days to respond. If for some reason we are unable to respond within the time frames just stated, we will, prior to the expiration of the 30-day or 60-day period, notify you in writing why we are unable to respond and the date by which we will respond. In no case will our response be given later than 30 days after the expiration of the date that it would have been due had we not given notice. To receive a copy of your Personal Health Information, you may be charged a fee (as permitted by federal or state law) for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. However, certain types of Personal Health Information will not be made available for inspection and copying. This includes psychotherapy notes; and also includes Personal Health Information collected by us in connection with, or in reasonable anticipation of any claim or legal proceeding or laboratory results that are subject to law that prohibits access. In very limited circumstances we may deny your request to inspect and obtain a copy of your Personal Health Information or we may deny your request with respect to only some of the information in your Medical Record. If your request is denied, you will be notified in writing why we denied the request. That same notice will also explain to you your rights to request a review of that denial and how to exercise those rights. Finally, we will also advise you how you may make a complaint to us or to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. If your request is denied only in part, we will provide you with access to the remaining information in your Medical Record. If we do, you may request that the denial be reviewed. The review will be conducted by an individual chosen by us who was not involved in the original decision to deny your request. We will comply with the outcome of that review.

Right to Amend Your Personal Health Information. If you believe that your Personal Health Information is incorrect or that an important part of it is missing, you have the right to ask us to amend your Personal Health Information while it is kept by or for us. You must provide your request and your reason for the request in writing, and submit it to the applicable administrator listed above. We may deny your request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason that supports the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend Person Information that: is accurate and complete; was not created by us unless the person or entity that created the Personal Heath Information is no longer available to make the amendment; is not part of the Personal Health Information kept by or for us; or is not part of the Personal Health Information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy. Our response regarding such request will follow the same procedures set forth above for accessing your records. The same complaint procedures should also be following in the event your request to amend your records is denied.

Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request a list of the disclosures we have made of Personal Health Information about you. This list will not include disclosures made for treatment, payment, health care operations, for purposes of national security, made to law enforcement or to corrections personnel, or made pursuant to your authorization or made directly to you. To request this list you must submit your request in writing to the applicable administrator listed above. Your request must state the time period from which you want to receive a list of disclosures. The time period may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper or electronically). We will respond to your request for an accounting within 60 days after receipt unless we notify you in writing prior to the expiration of the 60-day period why we are unable to respond within that time frame and specify the date on which we will respond, which will not be later than 90 days after receipt of your request. The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. We may charge you for responding to any additional requests. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.

Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on Personal Health Information we use of disclose about you for: 1) treatment, payment or health care operations; or 2) that we disclose to someone who may be involved in your care or payment for your care, like a family member or friend; or 3) for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. While we will consider your request, we are not required to agree to it. If we do agree to it, we will comply with your request once your account has been paid in full and the terms of the following section “Out-of-Pocket Payments” are met. To request a restriction, you must make your request in writing to the applicable administrator listed above. In your request, you must tell us (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply (for example, disclosures to your spouse or parent). We will not agree to restrictions on Personal Health Information uses or disclosures that are legally required, or which are necessary to administer our business.

Out-of-Pocket-Payments. If you paid out-of-pocket (or in other words, you have requested that we not bill your health plan) in full for a specific item or service, you have the right to ask that your Personal Health Information with respect to that item or service not be disclosed to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations, and we will honor that request.

Right to Request Confidential Communication. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about Personal Health Information in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to the applicable administrator listed above and specify how or where you wish to be contacted. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.

Right to File a Complaint. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with us, please contact us at Complete Spine and Pain Care, c/o Chief Administrative Officer, 600 Worcester Rd, Ste 301, Framingham, MA 01702 (508) 665-4344 x 422 or compliance@completepaincare.com. All complaints must be submitted in writing or by calling our main office (508) 665-4344 x 422 or by emailing compliance@completepaincare.com. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint. If you have questions as to how to file a complaint, please contact us at Complete Spine and Pain Care, c/o Chief Administrative Officer, 600 Worcester Rd, Ste 301, Framingham, MA 01702,  (508) 665-4344 x 422 or compliance@completepaincare.com.

Additional Information

Changes to This Notice. We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice at any time. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for Personal Health Information we already have about you as well as any Personal Health Information we receive in the future. If we do make such changes, we will post a copy of the revised notice in the reception area of all our facilities and in other areas of our facilities where we provide health care services and on our website. You may obtain a copy of the current notice by calling our Chief Administrative Officer at (508) 665-4344 x 422 and requesting a copy, or by requesting a copy from any of our health care professionals with whom you have contact or emailing compliance@completepaincare.com.

Other Uses of Medical Information. Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice that apply to use will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.

We maintain an Electronic Health Records system; you have the right to receive an electronic copy of your Medical Records. You have the right to obtain a hard copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices.

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Janet-Pearl-MD

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