Right to Notice

As a patient, you have the right to adequate notice of the uses and disclosures of your protected health information. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA), The Optometric Center of Columbus can use your protected health information for treatment, payment and health care operations.

a) Treatment. We may use or disclose your health information to a physician or other health care providers providing treatment to you.

b)Payment. We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for services we provide you.

c) Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose your health information in connection with our health care operations. Health care operations include quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing the competency or qualifications of health care professionals, evaluating provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.

Your Authorization

Most uses and disclosures that do not fall under treatment, payment or health care operations will require your written authorization. Upon signing, you may revoke your authorization (in writing) through our office at any time.

Emergency Situations

In the event of your incapacity or an emergency situation, we will disclose health information to a family member, or another person responsible for your care, using our professional judgment. We will only disclose health information that is directly relevant to the person's involvement in your health care.

Marketing

We will not use your health information for marketing communications without your written authorization.

Required by law

We may also use or disclose your health information when we are required to do so by law.

Abuse or Neglect

We may disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence or the victim of other crimes. We may disclose your health information to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to you or other people's health or safety.

National Security

We may disclose the health information of Armed Forces personnel to military authorities under certain circumstances. We may disclose health information to authorized federal officials required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence and other national security activities. We may disclose health information of inmates or patients to the appropriate authorities under certain circumstances.

Appointment Reminders

We may use or disclose your health information to provide you with appointment reminders via phone, email or letter.

Your Rights as a Patient

You have the right to restrict the disclosure of your protected health information (in writing). The request for restriction may be denied if the information is required for treatment, payment or health care operations.

Legal Requirements

The Optometric Center of Columbus is required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information. We are required to abide by the terms of this notice as it is currently stated, and we reserve the right to change this notice. The policies in any new notice will not be in effect until they are posted within our office.

Complaints

If you have complaints regarding the way your protected health information was handled, you may submit a complaint in writing to our office. You will not be retaliated against in any manner for a complaint.