This week we have another article of “housekeeping” so please bear with us. We want to take this time to address how we handle the privacy of our patients so as to better protect your sensitive medical information and so that you know what to do if you have questions or concerns regarding your information.
MaiLan and Remy take their privacy very seriously.
As it stands, we are bound by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) which puts limits in place not only on how we store and handle your information but also whom may have access to said information, but we also have our own policies in place to help provide more peace of mind to our patients.
As many of you know, when we receive a new patient we request a copy of their photo ID in order to ensure that the patient is who they say they are, we then place a copy of this ID in our patient files so that we are always able to confirm identification on follow up visits. In addition to this, we regularly search and provide updates to statewide databases in order to make sure that 1) there is no unknown medical history that could create a risk for our patients, and 2) no one is using our patients’ information to unlawfully obtain and abuse medications.
Lastly, we are not permitted, nor would we want to, discuss our patients with ANYONE outside of our medical staff and the patient themselves, not even to other physicians. If a patient and/or their primary physician (PCP) need us to communicate with a third party, we require that the patient signs a “release form” specifically indicating the scope of such communication. In fact, we will not even confirm that an individual is a patient of ours without such documentation, this is to protect your privacy. Signing such a release does not indicate anything other than your willingness to allow our prescribers to communicate with the person you identify, typically your primary physician, and does not constitute the admission that you are a patient of ours or that you received any medications from our office.
We apologize for the dry nature of this weeks article, however questions have been asked about our policies and we want to express just how fundamentally important it is to us that our patients are protected and receive the best possible medical care.