IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE AUTHORIZATION TO DISCLOSE PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
The Attorney General of Texas has adopted a standard Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information in accordance with Texas Health & Safety Code § 181.154(d). This form is intended for use in complying with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Privacy Standards (HIPAA) and the Texas Medical Privacy Act (Texas Health & Safety Code, Chapter 181). Covered Entities may use this form or any other form that complies with HIPAA, the Texas Medical Privacy Act, and other applicable laws.
Covered entities, as that term is defined by HIPAA and Texas Health & Safety Code § 181.001, must obtain a signed authorization from the individual or the individual’s legally authorized representative to electronically disclose that individual’s protected health information. Authorization is not required for disclosures related to treatment, payment, health care operations, performing certain insurance functions, or as may be otherwise authorized by law. (Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 181.154(b),(c), § 241.153; 45 C.F.R. §§ 164.502(a)(1); 164.506, and 164.508).
The authorization provided by use of the form means that the organization, entity or person authorized can disclose, communicate, or send the named individual’s protected health information to the organization, entity or person identified on the form, including through the use of any electronic means.
Definitions - In the form, the terms “treatment,” “healthcare operations,” “psychotherapy notes,” and “protected health information” are as defined in HIPAA
(45 CFR 164.501). “Legally authorized representative” as used in the form includes any person authorized to act on behalf of another individual. (Tex. Occ. Code § 151.002(6); Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 166.164, 241.151; and Tex. Probate Code § 3(aa)).
Health Information to be Released - If “All Health Information” is selected for release, health information includes, but is not limited to, all records and other information regarding health history, treatment, hospitalization, tests, and outpatient care, and also educational records that may contain health information. As indicated on the form, specific authorization is required for the release of information about certain sensitive conditions, including:
• Mental health records (excluding “psychotherapy notes” as defined in HIPAA at 45 CFR 164.501).
• Drug, alcohol, or substance abuse records.
• Records or tests relating to HIV/AIDS.
• Genetic (inherited) diseases or tests (except as may be prohibited by 45 C.F.R. § 164.502).
Note on Release of Health Records - This form is not required for the permissible disclosure of an individual’s protected health information to the individual or the individual’s legally authorized representative. (45 C.F.R. §§ 164.502(a)(1)(i), 164.524; Tex. Health & Safety Code § 181.102). If requesting a copy of the individual’s health records with this form, state and federal law allows such access, unless such access is determined by the physician or mental health provider to be harmful to the individual’s physical, mental or emotional health. (Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 181.102, 611.0045(b); Tex. Occ. Code § 159.006(a); 45§ 164.502(a)(1)). If a healthcare provider is specified in the “Who Can Receive and Use The Health Information” section of this form, then permission to receive protected health information also includes physicians, other health care providers (such as nurses and medical staff) who are involved in the individual’s medical care at that entity’s facility or that person’s office, and health care providers who are covering or on call for the specified person or organization, and staff members or agents (such as business associates or qualified services organizations) who carry out activities and purposes permitted by law for that specified covered entity or person. If a covered entity other than a healthcare provider is specified, then permission to receive protected health information also includes that organization’s staff or agents and subcontractors who carry out activities and purposes permitted by this form for that organization. Individuals may be entitled to restrict certain disclosures of protected health information related to services paid for in full by the individual (45 C.F.R. § 164.522(a)(1)(vi)).
Authorizations for Sale or Marketing Purposes - If this authorization is being made for sale or marketing purposes and the covered entity will receive direct or indirect remuneration from a third party in connection with the use or disclosure of the individual’s information for marketing, the authorization must clearly indicate to the individual that such remuneration is involved. (Tex. Health & Safety Code §181.152, .153; 45 C.F.R. § 164.508(a)(3), (4)).
Charges - Some covered entities may charge a retrieval/processing fee and for copies of medical records.
(Tex. Health & Safety Code § 241.154).
Right to Receive Copy - The individual and/or the individual’s legally authorized representative has a right to receive a copy of this authorization.
Limitations of this form - This authorization form shall not be used for the disclosure of any health information as it relates to: (1) health benefits plan enrollment and/or related enrollment determinations (45 C.F.R. § 164.508(b)(4)(ii), .508(c)(2)(ii); (2) psychotherapy notes (45 C.F.R. § 164.508(b)(3)(ii); or for research purposes (45 C.F.R. § 164.508(b)(3)(i)). Use of this form does not exempt any entity from compliance with applicable federal or state laws or regulations regarding access, use or disclosure of health information or other sensitive personal information (e.g., 42 CFR Part 2, restricting use of information pertaining to drug/alcohol abuse and treatment), and does not entitle an entity or its employees, agents or assigns to any limitation of liability for acts or omissions in connection with the access, use, or disclosure of health information obtained through use of the form.
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.
PLEASE REVIEW CAREFULLY.
THE PRIVACY OF YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT TO US.
OUR LEGAL DUTY
We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of your health information. We are also required to give you this Notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your health information. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this Notice while it is in effect. This notice takes effect April 14, 2003 and will remain in effect until we replace it.
You may request a copy of our Notice at any time. For more information about our privacy practices, or for additional copies of this information listed at the end of this notice, please contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION
We use and disclose health information about you for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. For Example:
Treatment: We may use or disclose your health information to a physician or other healthcare provider providing treatment to you.
Payment: We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services we provide to you.
Healthcare Operations: We may use and disclose your health information in connection to our healthcare operations. Healthcare operations include quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing the competence or qualifications of healthcare professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.
Your Authorization: In addition to our use of your health information for treatment, payment or healthcare operations, you may give us written authorization to use your health information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it was in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your health information for any reason except those described in this Notice.
To Your Family and Friends: We must disclose your health information to you, as described in the Patient Rights section of this Notice. We may disclose your health information to a family member, friend or other person to the extent necessary to help you with your healthcare or with payment for your healthcare, but only if you agree that we may do so.
Persons Involved with Care: We may use or disclose health information to notify, or assist in the notification of (including identifying or locating) a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care, of your location, your general condition, or death. If you are present, then prior to use or disclosure of your health information, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to such uses or disclosure. In the event of your incapacity or emergency circumstances, we will disclose health information based on a determination using our professional judgment disclosing only health information that is directly relevant to the person’s involvement in your healthcare. We will also use our professional judgment and our experience with common practice to make reasonable inferences of your best interest inallowing a person to pick up filled prescriptions, medical supplies, X-rays, or other similar forms of health information.
Marketing Health-Related Services: We will not use your health information for marketing communications without your written authorization.
Required by Law: We may use or disclose your health information when we are required to do so by law.
Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence or the possible victim of other crimes. We may disclose your health information to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of others.
National Security: We may disclose to military authorities the health information of Armed Forces personnel under circumstances. We may disclose to authorized federal officials, health information required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities. We may disclose to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials having lawful custody of protected health information of inmates or patients under certain circumstances.
Appointment Reminders: We may use or disclose your health information to provide you with appointment reminders (such as voicemail messages, postcards, or letters).
Access: You have the right to look at or get copies of your health information, with limited exceptions. You may request that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies. We will use the format you request unless we cannot practicably do so. (You must make a request in writing to obtain access to your health information. You may obtain a form to request access by using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice. We will charge you a reasonable cost-based fee for expenses such as copies and staff time. You may also request a copy by sending us a letter to the address at the end of this Notice. If you request copies, we will charge you According to our Medical Record fees to locate and copy your health information, and postage of you want the copies mailed to you. If you request an alternative format, we will charge a cost-based fee for providing your health information in that format. If you prefer, we will prepare a summary or an explanation of your health information for a fee. Contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice for a full explanation of our fee structure).
Disclosure Accounting: You have the right to receive a list of instances in which we or our business associates disclose your health information for purposes, other that treatment, payment, healthcare operations and certain other activities, for the last 6 years, but not before April 14, 2003. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12-month period, we may charge you reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests.
Restriction: You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your health information. We are not required to agree with these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in an emergency).
Alternative Communication: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your health information by alternative means or to alternative locations. (You must make your request in writing.) Your request must specify the alternative means or location, and provide satisfactory explanation how payments will be handled under the alternative means or location your request.
Electronic Notice: If you receive this Notice on your Website or by electronic mail (e- mail), you are entitled to receive this notice in written form.
Questions, Compliments or Complaints
If you want more information about our privacy practices or have any questions or concerns, please contact us.
If you are concerned that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your health information or in response to a request you made to amend or restrict the use or disclosure of your health information or to have us communicate with you by alternative means or at alternative locations you may complain to us using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice. You may also submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request.
We support your right to the privacy of your health information. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint with us or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Contact Officer: Patient Liaison
Telephone: (210) 928-4894 Fax: (210) 928-4806
Address: PO Box 240490 San Antonio, TX 78224
PATIENT FINANCIAL POLICY
Thank you for choosing South Alamo Medical Group (SAMG) as your health care provider. We are committed to building a successful physician-patient relationship with you and your family. Your clear understanding of our Patient Financial Policy is important to our professional relationship. Please understand that payment for services is a part of that relationship. Please ask if you have any questions about our fees, our policies, or your responsibilities. It is your responsibility to notify our office of any patient information changes (i.e. address, name, insurance information, phone contact and email, etc.)
Co-Pays, Deductibles, and Co-insurance:
The patient is expected to present an insurance card at each visit. All co-payments and past due balances are due at time of check-in unless previous arrangements have been made with a billing coordinator. We accept cash, credit cards, or check. Post-dated checks will NOT be accepted
Insurance is a contract between you and your insurance company. In most cases, we are NOT a party of this contract. We will bill your primary insurance company as a courtesy to you. To properly bill your insurance company, we require that you disclose all insurance information including primary and secondary insurance, as well as, any change of insurance information. Failure to provide complete insurance information may result in patient responsibility for the entire bill. Although we may estimate what your insurance company may pay, it is the insurance company that makes the final determination of your eligibility and benefits. If your insurance company is not contracted with us, you agree to pay any portion of the charges not covered by insurance, including but not limited to those charges above the usual and customary