January 20, 2022
AS REQUIRED BY THE PRIVACY REGULATIONS CREATED AS A RESULT OF THE HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1996 (HIPAA), THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU (AS A PATIENT OF A HAPPIER LIVING PROVIDER) MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION.
PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
A. Our commitment to your privacy:
Happier Living is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your health information. In conducting our business, we will create records regarding you and the treatment and services we provide to you. We are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of protected health information that identifies you (“PHI”). We also are required by law to provide you with this Notice of our legal duties and the privacy practices that we maintain concerning your PHI.
We realize that these laws are complicated, but we must provide you with the following important information:
- How we may use and disclose your PHI,
- Your privacy rights in your PHI,
- Our obligations concerning the use and disclosure of your PHI.
The terms of this Notice apply to all records containing your PHI that are created or retained by Happier Living. We reserve the right to revise or amend this Notice. Any revision or amendment to this Notice will be effective for all of your records that Happier Living has created or maintained in the past, and for any of your records that we may create or maintain in the future.
B. If you have questions about this Notice, please contact:
Happier Living, 12301 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 512, Los Angeles CA 90046, 1.888.68.HAPPY.
C. We may use and disclose your PHI in the following ways:
- Treatment. Happier Living may use your PHI to treat you. For example, we may ask you to have laboratory tests (such as blood or urine tests), and we may use the results to help us reach a diagnosis. We might use your PHI in order to write a prescription for you, or we might disclose your PHI to a pharmacy when we order a prescription for you. Many of the people who work for our Happier Living – including, but not limited to, our doctors and nurses – may use or disclose your PHI in order to treat you or to assist others in your treatment.
- Payment. Happier Living may use and disclose your PHI in order to bill and collect payment for the services and items you may receive from us. For example, we may contact your health insurer to certify that you are eligible for benefits (and for what range of benefits), and we may provide your insurer with details regarding your treatment to determine if your insurer will cover, or pay for, your treatment.
- Health care operations. Happier Living may use and disclose your PHI to operate our business. As examples of the ways in which we may use and disclose your information for our operations, Happier Living may use your PHI to evaluate the quality of care you received from us, or to conduct cost-management and business planning activities for Happier Living. We may disclose your PHI to other health care providers and entities to assist in their health care operations.
- Appointment reminders. Happier Living may use and disclose your PHI to contact you and remind you of an appointment.
- Treatment options and Health-related benefits and services. Happier Living may use and disclose your PHI to inform you of potential treatment options or alternatives. Happier Living may use and disclose your PHI to inform you of health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
- Individuals involved in your care or payment for your care. When appropriate, we may share your PHI with a person who is involved in your medical care or payment for your care, such as your family or a close friend. We also may notify your family about your location or general condition or disclose such information to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort.
- Disclosures required by law. Happier Living will use and disclose your PHI when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law.
- Psychotherapy Notes. Psychotherapy notes have additional protections and, in certain cases, are subject to additional requirements and restrictions related to disclosures to you and third parties.
D. Use and disclosure of your PHI in certain special circumstances:
The following categories describe unique scenarios in which we may use or disclose your PHI:
- Public health risks. Our practice may disclose your PHI to public health authorities that are authorized by law to collect information for the purpose of:
- Maintaining vital records, such as births and deaths,
- Reporting child abuse or neglect,
- Preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability,
- Notifying a person regarding potential exposure to a communicable disease,
- Notifying a person regarding a potential risk for spreading or contracting a disease or condition,
- Reporting reactions to drugs or problems with products or devices,
- Notifying individuals if a product or device they may be using has been recalled,
- Notifying appropriate government agency(ies) and authority(ies) regarding the potential abuse or neglect of an adult patient (including domestic violence); however, we will only disclose this information if the patient agrees or we are required or authorized by law to disclose this information,
- Notifying your employer under limited circumstances related primarily to workplace injury or illness or medical surveillance.
- Health oversight activities. Happier Living may disclose your PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. Oversight activities can include, for example, investigations, inspections, audits, surveys, licensure and disciplinary actions; civil, administrative and criminal procedures or actions; or other activities necessary for the government to monitor government programs, compliance with civil rights laws and the health care system in general.
- Lawsuits and similar proceedings. Happier Living may use and disclose your PHI in response to a court or administrative order, if you are involved in a lawsuit or similar proceeding. We also may disclose your PHI in response to a discovery request, subpoena or other lawful process by another party involved in the dispute, but only if we have made an effort to inform you of the request or to obtain an order protecting the information the party has requested.
- Law enforcement. We may release PHI if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
- Regarding a crime victim in certain situations, if we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement,
- Concerning a death we believe has resulted from criminal conduct,
- Regarding criminal conduct at our offices,
- In response to a warrant, summons, court order, subpoena or similar legal process,
- To identify/locate a suspect, material witness, fugitive or missing person,
- In an emergency, to report a crime (including the location or victim(s) of the crime, or the description, identity or location of the perpetrator).
- Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. We may release Health Information to a coroner or medical examiner. We also may release Health Information to funeral directors as necessary for their duties.
- Research. Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose PHI for research. Before we use or disclose PHI for research, the project will go through a special approval process. Even without special approval, we may permit researchers to look at records to help them identify patients who may be included in their research project or for other similar purposes, as long as they do not remove or take a copy of the PHI.
- Serious threats to health or safety. Happier Living may use and disclose your PHI when necessary to reduce or prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of another individual or the public. Under these circumstances, we will only make disclosures to a person or organization able to help prevent the threat.
- Military. Happier Living may disclose your PHI if you are a member of U.S. or foreign military forces (including veterans) and if required by the appropriate authorities.
- National security. Happier Living may disclose your PHI to federal officials for intelligence and national security activities authorized by law. We also may disclose your PHI to federal and national security activities authorized by law. We also may disclose your PHI to federal officials in order to protect the president, other officials or foreign heads of state, or to conduct investigations.
- Inmates. Happier Living may disclose your PHI to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials if you are an inmate or under the custody of a law enforcement official. Disclosure for these purposes would be necessary: (a) for the institution to provide health care services to you, (b) for the safety and security of the institution, and/or (c) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of other individuals.
- Workers’ compensation. Happier Living may release your PHI for workers’ compensation and similar programs.
E. Your rights regarding your PHI:
You have the following rights regarding the PHI that we maintain about you:
- Confidential communications. You have the right to request that Happier Living communicate with you about your health and related issues in a particular manner or at a certain location. For instance, you may ask that we contact you at home, rather than work. In order to request a type of confidential communication, you must make a written request to email@example.com specifying the requested method of contact, or the location where you wish to be contacted. Happier Living will accommodate reasonable requests. You do not need to give a reason for your request.
- Requesting restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the PHI we use or disclose for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the PHI we disclose to someone involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend.
- To request a restriction, you must make your request, in writing, to Happier Living. We are not required to agree to your request unless you are asking us to restrict the use and disclosure of your PHI to a health plan for payment or health care operation purposes and such information you wish to restrict pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid us “out-of-pocket” in full. If we agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment.
a. 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 PHI 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.
- Inspection and copies. You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the PHI that may be used to make decisions about you, including patient medical records and billing records, with limited exceptions. You must submit your request in writing to Happier Living, 12301 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 512, Los Angeles CA 90025, 888.68.HAPPY in order to inspect and/or obtain a copy of your PHI. Happier Living may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, labor and supplies associated with your request. Happier Living may deny your request to inspect and/or copy in certain limited circumstances; however, you may request a review of our denial.
a. Right to an electronic copy. If your PHI is maintained in an electronic format (known as an electronic medical record or an electronic health record), you have the right to request that an electronic copy of your record be given to you or transmitted to another individual or entity. We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for the labor associated with transmitting the electronic medical record.
- Amendment. If you feel that PHI we have is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for our office. To request an amendment, you must make your request, in writing, to the Privacy Officer at 12301 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 512, Los Angeles CA 90025, firstname.lastname@example.org.
a. Addendum. All of our patients have the right to provide Happier Living with a written addendum with respect to any item or statement in his or her records that the patient believes to be incomplete or incorrect. Happier Living is obligated to attach the addendum to the patient’s records and will include the addendum if Happier Living makes a disclosure of the allegedly incomplete or incorrect portion of the patient’s records to any third party.
- Accounting of disclosures. You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures we made of your PHI for six years prior to the date of your request. To request an accounting of disclosures, you must make your request, in writing, to the Privacy Officer at 12301 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 512, Los Angeles CA 90025, email@example.com.
- Right to get notice of a Breach. You have the right to be notified upon a Breach of any of your unsecured PHI.
- Right to a paper copy of this notice. You are entitled to receive a paper copy of this Notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this Notice at any time. To obtain a paper copy of this Notice, contact Happier Living, 12301 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 512, Los Angeles CA 90025, firstname.lastname@example.org, 888.68.HAPPY
- Right to file a complaint. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with Happier Living or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with Happier Living, contact Happier Living, 12301 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 512, Los Angeles CA 90025, email@example.com, 888.68.HAPPY. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
- Right to provide an authorization for other uses and disclosures. Happier Living will obtain your written authorization for uses and disclosures that are not identified by this Notice or permitted by applicable law. Any authorization you provide to us regarding the use and disclosure of your PHI may be revoked at any time in writing. After you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose your PHI for the reasons described in the authorization.
This Notice Applies To: The Happier Living health care providers, which, together, make up the Happier Living affiliated covered entity (“Happier Living”).
Again, if you have any questions regarding this Notice, please contact Happier Living, 12301 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 512, Los Angeles CA 90025, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.888.68.HAPPY.