Privacy practices at START (NPP)
This notice describes the privacy practices of START Center for Cancer Care, which at the current time has four locations. All locations will follow the terms of this notice and may share health information with each other for treatment, payment, or health care operations purposes as described in this notice.
Our pledge regarding health information
We understand that health information about patients is personal. We are committed to protecting the security of that information, called protected health information (PHI), and to prevent its disclosure without your authorization.
We create a record of the care and services that patients receive from us. We need this record to provide patients with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all records of patient care generated by START Center for Cancer Care, whether made by a physician or by others working in this practice. This notice tells you about the ways in which we may use and disclose our patients’ PHI. We also describe rights to the PHI that we keep about patients and explain the obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of our patients’ PHI.
By law, we are required to:
Make sure that health information that identifies our patients is kept private
Provide you with this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI
Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect
Notify you if there is a security breach of protected health information (PHI) except when the PHI is encrypted and is disposed of securely
How we may use and disclose your PHI
The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose health information. Within each category, we have provided a list of examples.
For Treatment: We may use health information about our patients to provide them with health care treatment or services. We may disclose health information about our patients to physicians, nurses, technicians, health students, or other personnel who are involved in the delivery of their care. These healthcare providers may work at our offices; at the hospital if patients are hospitalized under our supervision; or at another physician’s office, lab, pharmacy, or other health care provider where we may have referred a patient for x-rays, laboratory tests, prescriptions, or other treatment purposes. For example, a physician treating a patient for arthritis may need to know if that individual has diabetes because diabetes may impact the healing process. In addition, the physician may need to tell the dietitian at the hospital if the patient has diabetes so that we can arrange for appropriate meals. We may also disclose health information about our patients to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status, and location.
For Payment: We may use and disclose information about treatment and services we provide to patients for billing purposes. The information may include monies that we have received from the individual who guarantees payment, from an insurance company, or from a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about your office visit so the plan will either pay us or reimburse you for the visit. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment before we provide it to you in order to obtain prior approval, if required, or to determine if your plan will cover the treatment. If we provide a service to you for which you pay in full out-of-pocket and you request that we not send PHI to your insurance company, we are obligated to comply with your request except when the information is needed to comply with the law.
For Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose protected health information about you for the operation of our health care practice. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run our practice and to make sure that all our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use health information in a general review of our treatments and services or, more specifically, to evaluate staff performance. We may also combine the health information of many patients to decide what improvement we could make, what additional services we should offer, what services are not needed, or whether certain new treatments are effective. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of health information so others may use it to study health care delivery without learning the identities of our specific patients.
Marketing: If applicable, we will seek and obtain your prior written authorization for all written communications to you regarding treatment and healthcare operations where we have received financial remuneration from (or on behalf of) a third party in exchange for sending the communication; and the communication is intended to encourage purchase or use of a product or service.