Orthopedic Associates of Dutchess County, P.C. has adopted the following policies and procedures for protection of the privacy of the people we serve. We respect your privacy. This is part of our code of ethics. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of “protected health information” (PHI) about you, to notify you of our legal duties and your legal rights, and to follow the privacy policies described below. “Protected health information” means any information that we create or receive that identifies you and relates to your health or payment for services to you.
We will use your protected health information and disclose it to others as necessary to provide treatment to you. We will provide only the minimum necessary information. Here are some examples:
- Various members of our staff may see your clinical record in the course of your care. This includes clinical assistant, nurses, physicians, and therapists.
- It may be necessary to send blood or tissue samples to a laboratory for analysis to help us evaluate your medical condition.
- We may contact you to remind you of appointments.
- We may contact you to tell you about treatment services that might be of benefit to you.
We will use or disclose your protected health information as needed to arrange for payment. For example, information about your diagnosis and the service we render is included in the bills that we submit to your health insurance plan. Your health plan may require health information in order to confirm that the service rendered is covered by your health plan and medically necessary. A health care provider that delivers service to you, such as a clinical laboratory, may need information about you in order to arrange for payment for its services.
HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS:
It may also be necessary to use or disclose protected health information for our health care operations or those of other organizations that have a relationship with you. For example, our staff reviews records to ensure we deliver appropriate treatment. Your health plan may wish to review your records to be sure that we meet national standards for quality of care.
Other Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
If there is an emergency, we will disclose your protected health information as needed to enable people to care for you.
DISCLOSURE TO YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, OR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES:
If you are an adult, you have the right to control disclosure of information about you to any other person, including family members or friends. If you ask us to keep your information confidential, we will respect your wishes. But if you don’t object, we will share information with family members, friends, or a personal representative involved in your care to enable them to help you.
DISCLOSURE TO HEALTH OVERSIGHT AGENCIES:
We are legally obligated to disclose protected health information to certain government agencies, including the Federal Department of Health and Human Services.
DISCLOSURES TO CHILD PROTECTION AGENCIES:
We are legally obligated to disclose protected health information as needed to comply with the state law requiring reports of suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect.
We will disclose information to workers’ compensation programs in connection with a claim for a work-related injury.
DISCLOSURES WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION:
Generally we do not disclose ANY information about patients receiving mental health services and chemical dependency services. There are other circumstances in which we may be required by law to disclose PHI on any patient without their permission. They may include:
- Pursuant to court order;
- To public health authorities;
- To law enforcement official in some circumstances;
- To correctional institutions regarding inmates;
- To federal officials for lawful military intelligence activities
- To coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors; and
- As otherwise required by law.
DISCLOSURES WITH YOUR PERMISSION:
No other disclosure of protected health information will be made unless you give written authorization for the specific disclosure.
No show/Cancellation Policy
Orthopedic Associates of Dutchess County is dedicated to providing the highest quality care to patients and want to thank you for the privilege of providing your care. Over the past few years, we are seeing an increase in the number of patients who fail to show up for their scheduled appointment or fail to call the office to cancel their scheduled appointment within a reasonable time frame. Every scheduled appointment that is missed jeopardizes the patient/physician relationship and prevents us from providing care to other patients in need. In an effort to correct this problem, effective February 18, 2009, Orthopedic Associates of Dutchess County is instituting an updated policy in which we reserve the right to discharge a patient after three “no show” appointments