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Notice of Privacy Practices

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IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS OF HIPAA’S PRIVACY RULE, THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION
ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO IT. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

We respect our legal obligation to keep health information that might identify you private. We are obligated by law to provide you with notice of our
privacy practices. We are also required by law to notify affected individuals following a breach of any unsecured health information. This notice
describes how we protect your health information and what rights you have regarding it.

TREATMENT, PAYMENT, AND HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS

The most common reasons we would use or disclose your health information is for treatment, payment, or business operations. We routinely use and
disclose your medical information within the office on a daily basis. We do not need specific permission to use or disclose your medical information in
the following matters, although you have the right to request that we do not.

Examples of how we might use or disclose health information for treatment purposes might include:

    • Setting up or changing appointments including leaving messages with those at your home or office who may answer the phone or leaving

 

    • messages on answering machines, voice mails, text messages, or emails; calling your name out in a reception room environment; prescribing

 

    • glasses, contact lenses, or medications as well as relaying this information to suppliers by phone, fax or other electronic means including

 

    • initial prescriptions and requests from suppliers for refills; notifying you that your ophthalmic goods are ready, including leaving messages

 

    • with those at your home or office who may answer the phone, or leaving messages on answering machines, voice mails, text messages, or

 

    • emails; referring you to another doctor for care not provided by this office; obtaining copies of health information from doctors you have

 

    • seen before us; discussing your care with you directly or with family or friends you have inferred or agreed may listen to information about

 

    • your health; sending you postcards or letters or leaving messages with those at your home who may answer the phone or on answering

 

    • machines, voice mails, text messages, or emails reminding you it is time for continued care; at your request, we can provide you with a copy

 

    of your medical records via email transmission

Examples of how we might use or disclose health information for payment purposes might include:

    • Asking you about your vision or medical insurance plans or other sources of payment; preparing and sending bills to your insurance provider

 

    • or to you; providing any information required by third party payors in order to insure payment for services rendered to you; sending notices

 

    • of payment due on your account to the person designated as responsible party or head of household on your account with fee explanations

 

    • that could include procedures performed and for what diagnosis; collecting unpaid balances either ourselves or through a collection agency,

 

    attorney, or district attorney’s office

Examples of how we might use or disclose health information for business operations might include:

    • Financial or billing audits; internal quality assurance programs; participation in managed care plans; defense of legal matters; business

 

    • planning; certain research functions; informing you of products or services offered by our office; compliance with local, state, or federal

 

    • government agencies request for information; oversight activities such as licensing of our doctors; insurance audits; providing information

 

    regarding your vision status to the Department of Public Safety, a school nurse, or agency qualifying for disability status

USES AND DISCLOSURES FOR OTHER REASONS NOT NEEDING PERMISSION

In some other limited situations, the law allows us to use or disclose your medical information without your specific permission. Most of these
situations will never apply to you but they could

  • When a state or federal law mandates that certain health information be reported for a specific purpose
  • For public health reasons, such as reporting of a contagious disease, investigations or surveillance, and notices to and from the federal Food
    and Drug Administration regarding drugs or medical devices
  • Disclosures to government or law authorities about victims of suspected abuse, neglect, domestic violence, or when someone is or suspected
    to be a victim of a crime
  • Disclosures for judicial and administrative proceedings, such as in response to subpoenas or orders of courts or administrative hearings
  • Disclosures to a medical examiner to identify a deceased person or determine cause of death or to funeral directors to aid in burial
  • Disclosures to organizations that handle organ or tissue donations
  • Uses or disclosures for health related research
  • Uses or disclosures to prevent a serious threat to health or safety of an individual or individuals
  • Uses or disclosures to aid military purposes or lawful national intelligence activities
  • Disclosures of de-identified information
  • Disclosures related to a workman’s compensation claim
  • 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 and disclosures
  • Disclosure of information needed in completing a form from a school related vision screening, information to the Department of Public
    Safety, information related to certification for occupational or recreational licenses such as drivers or pilots license
  • Disclosures to business associates who perform health care operations for Midwest Eye Associates, Inc. and who commit to respect the
    privacy of your information
  • To contact you as part of our fundraising efforts, if any, though you will have the right to opt out of such communications
  • Unless you object, disclosure of relevant information to family members or friends who are helping you with your care or by their allowed
    presence cause us to assume you approve their exposure to relevant information about your health

USES OR DISCLOSURES TO PATIENT REPRESENTATIVES

It is the policy of Midwest Eye Associates, Inc. for our staff to take phone calls from individuals on a patient’s behalf requesting information about
making or changing an appointment; the status of eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other optical goods ordered by or for the patient. Midwest Eye
Associates, Inc. staff will also assist individuals on a patient’s behalf in the delivery of eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other optical goods. During a
telephone or in person contact, every effort will be made to limit the encounter to only the specifics needed to complete the transaction required. No
information about the patient’s vision or health status may be disclosed without proper patient consent. Midwest Eye Associates, Inc. staff and doctors
will also infer that if you allow another person in an examination room, treatment room, dispensary, or any business area within the office with you
while testing is performed or discussions held about your vision or health care or your account that you consent to the presence of that individual.

OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES

Uses and disclosures of your health information that involve the release of psychotherapy notes (if any), marketing, sale of your health information, or
other uses and disclosures not described in this notice or required by law will be made only if you sign an Authorization for Release of Identifying
Health Information. The content of this authorization is determined by federal law. The request for signing an authorization may be initiated by
Midwest Eye Associates, Inc. or by you as the patient. We will comply with your request if it is applicable to the federal policies regarding
authorizations. If we ask you to sign an authorization, you may decline to do so. If you do not sign the authorization, we may not use or disclose the
information we intended to use. If you do elect to sign the authorization, you may revoke it at any time. Revocation requests must be made in writing to
the Privacy Officer named at the beginning of this Notice.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION

The law gives you many rights regarding your personal health information

  • You may ask us to restrict our uses and disclosures for purposes of treatment (except in emergency care), payment, or business operations.
    This request must be made in writing to Privacy Officer named at the beginning of this Notice. We do not have to agree to your request, but
    if we agree, must honor the restrictions you ask for. We must agree to your request to restrict disclosure of your health information to a
    health plan if the disclosure is for the purpose of carrying out payment or health care operations and is not otherwise required by law and
    such information pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you have paid in full (or for which another person other than the
    health plan has paid in full on your behalf).
  • You may ask us to communicate with you in a confidential manner. Examples might be only contacting you by telephone at your home or
    using some special email address. We will accommodate these requests if they are reasonable and if you agree to pay any additional cost, if
    any, incurred in accommodating your request. Requests for special communication requests must be made to the Privacy Officer named at
    the beginning of this Notice.
  • You may ask to review or get copies of your health information. There are a very few limited situations in which we may refuse your access
    to your health information. For the most part we are happy to provide you with the opportunity to either review or obtain a copy of your
    medical information. All requests for review or copy of medical information must be made in writing to the Privacy Officer named at the
    beginning of this Notice.
  • You may ask us to amend or change your health care information if you think it is incorrect or incomplete. If we agree, we will make the
    amendment to your medical record within thirty (30) days of your written request for change sent to the Privacy Officer named at the
    beginning of this Notice. We will then send the corrected information to you or any other individual you feel needs a copy of the corrected
    information. If we do not agree, you will be notified in writing of our decision. You may then write a statement of your position and we will
    include it in your medical record along with any rebuttal statement we may wish to include.
  • You may request a list of any non-routine disclosures of your health information that we might have made within the past six (6) years (or a
    shorter period if you wish). Routine disclosures would include those used in your treatment, payment, and business operations of Midwest
    Eye Associates, Inc. These routine disclosures will not be included in your list of disclosures. You are entitled to one such list per year
    without charge. We may charge you a reasonable fee if you request more than one accounting in any 12-month period.
  • You may obtain additional copies of this Notice of Privacy Practices from our business office or online at our website address shown at the
    beginning of this Notice

CHANGING OUR NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

By law, we must abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices until we choose to substantially change the Notice. We reserve the right to
change this Notice at any time. If we change this Notice, the new privacy practices will apply to your existing health information as well as any
additional information generated in the future. If we change this Notice, we will post a new Notice in our office and on our website.

COMPLAINTS

If you think that anyone at Midwest Eye Associates, Inc. has not respected the privacy of your health information, you are free to complain to the
Privacy Officer named at the beginning of this Notice. We are more than happy to try to resolve any concern you may have in writing. If we cannot
resolve your concern at that level, you may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights or the
Missouri Attorney General’s Office. We will not retaliate against you if you make such a complaint.

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