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Midwest Eye Consultants patient care services are provided: (a) in Ohio, by Midwest Eye Consultants Ohio, Inc., and (b) in Indiana, by Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C.; each of which is a separate corporation providing professional services, whose licensed healthcare professionals are not employed by or agents of Midwest Eye Consultants Holding Company, P.C.
Effective date of notice: 07/12/13
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C.
P.O. Box 549
Wabash, IN 46992
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.
MWEC respects its legal obligation to keep health information that identifies you as private. MWEC is obligated by law to give you notice of its privacy practices. This Notice describes how MWEC protects your health information and what rights you have regarding it.
TREATMENT, PAYMENT, AND HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS
The most common reason why MWEC uses or discloses your health information is for treatment, payment or health care operations. Examples of how MWEC uses or discloses information for treatment purposes are: setting up an appointment for you; testing or examining your eyes; prescribing glasses, contact lenses, or eye medications and faxing them to be filled; showing you low vision aids; referring you to another doctor or clinic for eye care of low vision aids or services, or getting copies of your health information from another professional that you may have seen before us. Examples of how MWEC uses or discloses your health information for payment purposes are: asking you about your health care plans or other sources of payment; preparing and sending bills or claims, or collecting unpaid amounts (either ourselves or through a collection agency or attorney). “Health care operations” mean those administrative or managerial functions that MWEC has to do in order to run its office. Examples of how MWEC uses or discloses your health information for health care operations are: financial or billing audits; internal quality assurance; personnel decisions; participation in managed care plans; defense of legal matters; business planning; and outside storage of our records.
MWEC routinely uses your health information inside its office for these purposes without any special permission. If MWEC needs to disclose your health information outside of its office for these reasons, it will usually not ask you for special written permission. MWEC will ask for special written permission in the following situations; contact lens prescriptions; access to medical records by the patient, access to medical records of a minor, mental health records, communicable diseases records, alcohol and drug abuse records, and health records to accident and sickness insurance companies.
USES AND DISCLOSURES FOR OTHER REASONS WITHOUT PERMISSION
In some limited situations, the law allows or requires MWEC to use or disclose your health information without your permission. Not all of these situations will apply to MWEC; some may never come up at MWEC at all. Such uses or disclosures are:
- when a state or federal law mandates that certain health information be reported for a specific purpose
- for public health purposes, such as contagious disease reporting, investigation or surveillance and or notices to and from federal Food and Drug Administration regarding drugs or medical devices, coordinating care in event of a disaster through Disaster Relief Organizations.
- disclosures to governmental authorities about victims of suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence
- uses and disclosures for health oversight activities, such as for the licensing of doctors, for audits by Medicare or Medicaid, or for investigation of possible violations of health care laws
- disclosures for judicial and administrative proceedings, such as in response to subpoenas or orders of courts or administrative agencies
- disclosures for law enforcement purposes, such as to provide information about someone who is or is suspected to be a victim of a crime; to provide information about a crime at our office, or to report a crime that happened somewhere else
- disclosure to a medical examiner to identify a dead person or to determine the cause of death; to funeral directors to aid in a burial, or to organizations that handle organ or tissue donations
- uses or disclosures for health related research
- uses and disclosures to prevent a serious threat to health or safety
- uses or disclosures for specialized government functions, such as for the protection of the president or high ranking government officials; for lawful national intelligence activities; for military purposes, or for the evaluation and health of members of the foreign service
- disclosures of de-identification information
- disclosures relating to worker’s compensation programs
- disclosures of a “limited data set” for research, public health, or health care operations
- incidental disclosures that are an unavoidable by-product of permitted uses or disclosures
- disclosures to “business associates” who perform health care operations for us and who commit to respect the privacy of your health information
Unless you objects, MWEC will also share relevant information about your care with your family or friends who are helping you with your eye care.
MWEC may call or write to remind you of scheduled appointments, or that it is time to make a routine appointment. MWEC may also call or write you to notify you of other treatments or services available at its office that may help you. Unless you tell MWEC otherwise, MWEC will mail you an appointment reminder on a postcard, and/or leave you a reminder message on your home answering machine or with someone who answers your phone if you are not home.
FUNDRAISING AND MARKETING
MWEC may use or disclose to a business associate or to an institutionally related foundation, demographic information and dates of care relating to you without your authorization. Upon receiving any written fundraising communication, you may elect to “opt out” of any further such communication. Any such elect shall be treated as a revocation of authorization. To make such election send a written request to the MWEC privacy officer at the address shown above. Your authorization will be obtained prior to MWEC sending any marketing material to you that will result in financial remuneration to MWEC.
OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES
MWEC will not make any other uses of disclosures of your health information unless you sign a written authorization. The content of the authorization is determined by federal law. Sometimes, MWEC may initiate the authorization process if the use or disclosure is its idea. Sometimes, you may initiate the process if it is your idea for MWEC to send your information to someone else. Typically, in this situation you will give MWEC a properly completed authorization
If MWEC initiates the process and asks you to sign an authorization form, you do not have to sign it. If you do not sign the authorization, MWEC cannot make the use or disclosure. If you do sign an authorization, you may revoke it at any time unless MWEC has already acted in reliance upon it. Revocations must be in writing. Send them to MWEC privacy officer at the address shown above.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
- Ask MWEC to restrict its uses and disclosures for purposes of treatment (except emergency treatment), payment or health care operations. MWEC does not have to agree to this, but if it agrees, MWEC must honor the restrictions that you want. To ask for a restriction, send a written request to the MWEC privacy officer at the address shown above.
- You can, however, request the MWEC restrict the disclosure of your PHI to a health plan if you have paid out-of-pocket fully and MWEC must honor it.
- Have access to an electronic copy of your healthcare records when PHI is maintained in electronic format
- Ask MWEC to communicate with you in a confidential way, such as by phoning you at work rather than home or by mailing health information to a different address. MWEC will accommodate these requests if they are reasonable. If you want to ask for confidential communications, send a written request to the MWEC privacy officer at the address shown above.
- Be notified if a breach of confidentiality occurs that involves your PHI
- Ask to see or to get photocopies of your health information. By law, there are a few limited situations in which MWEC can refuse to permit access or copying. For the most part, however, you will be able to review or have a copy of your health information within 30 days of asking us. You may have to pay for photocopies in advance. By law, MWEC can have one 30-day extension of time for us to give you access or photocopies if we send you a written notice extension. If you want to review or get photocopies of your health information send a written request to the MWEC privacy officer at the address shown above.
- Ask MWEC to amend your health information if you think it is incorrect or incomplete. If MWEC agrees, it will amend the information within 60 days from date requested. MWEC will send the corrected information to persons whom it knows received the wrong information, and to others whom you specify. If MWEC does not agree, you can write a statement of your position, and MWEC will include it with your health information along with any rebuttal it may write. Once your statement of position and/or MWEC’s rebuttal is included in your health information, it will send it along whenever it makes a permitted disclosure of your health information. By law, MWEC can have one 30-day extension to consider a request for amendment if it notifies you in writing of the extension. If you want to amend your health information, send a written request, which includes your reasons for the amendment, to the MWEC privacy officer shown above.
- Get a list of the disclosures MWEC has made of your health information within the past six years (or a shorter period). By law, the list will not include: disclosures for purposes of treatment, payment of health care operations; disclosures with your authorization; incidental disclosures; disclosures required by law; and some other limited disclosures. You are entitled to one such list per year without charge. If you want more frequent lists, you will have to pay for them in advance. MWEC will usually respond to your request within 30 days of receiving it, but by law we can have one 30-day extension of time if MWEC notifies you of the extension in writing. If you want a list, send a written request to the MWEC privacy officer at the address shown above.
- Get additional paper copies of this Notice of Privacy Practices upon request. It does not matter whether you previously received one. If you want additional paper copies, send a written request to the privacy officer at the address shown above.
OUR NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
By law, MWEC must abide by the terms of the Notice of Privacy Practices until it chooses to change it. MWEC reserves the right to change this notice at any time as allowed by law. If MWEC changes this Notice, the new privacy practices will apply to your health information that it already has, as well as to such information that MWEC may generate in the future. If MWEC changes its Notice of Privacy Practices, it will post the new notice in its office, have copies available in its office, and post it on its website if applicable.
If you think MWEC has not properly respected the privacy of your health information, you are free to complain to MWEC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. MWEC will not retaliate against you if you make a complaint. If you want to complain to MWEC, send a written complaint to the MWEC privacy officer at the address shown above. If you prefer you can discuss your complaint in person or by phone.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you want more information about MWEC’s privacy practices, write the MWEC privacy officer at the address shown at the beginning of this Notice.
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C. welcomes and encourages open discussion on its Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube pages. However, nothing placed on these sites is medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The contents of this site are not intended to be interpreted or relied upon as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This site is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified physician or other qualified health care professional. ALWAYS seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care professional. NEVER delay seeking medical advice or make determinations regarding treatment because of anything you have read upon this site. In an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
Anything written or posted upon our social media pages (including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube) in regard to diagnostic procedures, therapeutic options, treatment, surgeries, procedures, or medications is not endorsed or recommended by Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C.
While Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C. makes reasonable efforts to monitor and moderate content posted on our social media pages, we do not moderate all comments and cannot always respond in a timely manner to online requests for information.
Any and all opinions expressed are solely the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily the opinions of Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C. Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C. reserves the sole right to review, edit, and/or delete any comments at any time, for any or no reason.
Any links to other web sites provided on our social media pages (including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube) are provided only as a service to readers; such linkage does not constitute endorsement of those sites by Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C., and we cannot be responsible for the content of external web sites.
By submitting content to the Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C. social media pages (including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube), you understand and acknowledge that this information is available to the public, and that Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C. may use such information for internal and external promotional purposes. You agree to only submit content that does not violate the law or infringe any party’s rights, including any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of publicity, right of privacy, or other proprietary right. You agree not to submit any content or information that is inappropriate, profane, vulgar, harmful, defamatory, pornographic, obscene, tortious, indecent, unlawful, immoral, or otherwise objectionable. In addition, from time to time Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C. may promote or administer contests via its social media pages. Such contests will have separate rules that apply to your use of our social media pages in addition to this Social Media Policy. You understand and agree that Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C. may remove any posted content at any time, for any or no reason.
https://www.youtube.com/static?template=privacy_guidelines) make it impossible for Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C. to ensure the privacy of any content posted on this our social media pages. Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C. cannot be held responsible for any publication of personal information. BY SUBMITTING CONTENT VIA FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR YOUTUBE, YOU UNDERSTAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT ANY AND ALL INFORMATION POSTED IS OR MAY BE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC, AND YOU SHOULD HAVE NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY WITH RESPECT TO SUCH INFORMATION.
INFORMATION WE COLLECT
We use the information discussed above in a number of ways, such as:
- Responding to your requests and communicating with you;
- Managing your preferences;
- Performing analytics concerning your use of our online services, including your responses to our emails and the pages and advertisements you view;
- Providing you tailored content and marketing messages;
- Operating, evaluating and improving our business (including developing new products and services; improving existing products and services);
- For any other purposes that we may specifically disclose at the time you provide or we collect your information.
UNDERSTANDING WEB BEACONS, COOKIES, AND OTHER TRACKING TECHNOLOGIES
- “Cookies” are small amounts of data a website can send to a visitor’s web browser. They are often stored on the device you are using to help track your areas of interest. Cookies may also enable us or our service providers and other companies we work with to relate your use of our online services over time to customize your experience. Most web browsers allow you to adjust your browser settings to decline or delete cookies, but doing so may degrade your experience with our online services.
- Clear GIFs, pixel tags or web beacons – which are typically one-pixel, transparent images located on a webpage or in an email or other message – or similar technologies may be used on our sites and in some of our digital communications(such as email or other marketing messages). They may also be used when you are served advertisements or your otherwise intact with advertisements outside of our online services. These are principally used to help recognize users, assess traffic patterns and measure site or campaign engagement.
- Local Shared Objects, sometimes referred to as “flash cookies” may be stored on your hard drive using a media player or other software installed on your device. Local Shared Objects are similar to cookies in terms of their operations, but may not be managed in your browser in the same way.
You will see advertisements when you use many of our online services. These advertisements may be for our own products or services or for products and services offered by third parties. Which advertisements you see is often determined using the information we or our affiliates, service providers and other companies that we work with have about you, including information about your relationship with us. To that end, where permitted by applicable law, we may share with others the information we collect from and about you.
Online behavioral advertising (“OBA”) refers to the practice of collecting information from a computer or device regarding a visitor’s web-browsing activities across non-affiliated websites over time in order to deliver advertisements that may be of interest to that visitor based on their browsing history. Through OBA, we hope to deliver advertisements that are most likely to be of interest to you using information about your other web-browsing activities (i.e. the web pages you visit, search terms you enter, and the way you move through our online services on your computer or device) or your personal profile (i.e. demographic or location information). Certain companies we work with may set cookies and use related tracking technologies, such as the clear GIFs discussed above, throughout our online services or in our communications to support these OBA efforts. If you do not want your information collected and used by the companies we work with for OBA purposes, you can opt out of this form of OBA. There are two ways that you can opt out of OBA from certain ads on third-party websites. One way is through the cross-industry Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising managed by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA). To opt out of OBA, click on the following link and follow the instructions http://youradchoices.com. Another way to opt out of OBA is by clicking on the Advertising Options Icon featured on certain Midwest Eye Consultants ads on third-party websites.
LINKING TO THIRD-PARTY WEBSITES
CHANGES TO ONLINE POLICY
We may change this Online Policy from time to time. When we do, we will let you know by appropriate means such as posting the revised policy on this page. Any changes to this Online Policy will become effective when posted unless indicated otherwise.