Effective: 13 May 2020
This policy describes how we may use and/or disclose any of your personal health information, and how you can gain access to this information. If you have any questions, please contact our clinic.
In compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), we are required by law to:
Maintain the privacy of your health information
Give you notice of our duties and privacy practices regarding your personal health information
Follow the terms of our current policy
HOW WE MAY USE AND/OR DISCLOSE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
Except for the following purposes, we will use and disclose your personal health information only with your written permission. This permission may be revoked at any time, in writing.
Treatment: We may use and disclose your health information for your treatment and to provide you with treatment-related care services. For example, we may disclose your health information to doctors, nurses, technicians, or other personnel (including people outside our clinic) who require it and are involved in your medical care.
Payment: We may use and disclose your health information so that we may bill and receive payment from you, an insurance company, or a third party provider for the treatment and services you received.
Appointment Reminders, Treatment Alternatives, and Health Related Benefits and Services: We may use and disclose your health information to contact you and to remind you that you have an appointment with us. We may also use and disclose your health information to tell you about treatment alternatives or health-related
benefits and services that may be of interest to you. We will not, however, send you communications about health-related or non health-related products or services that are subsidized by a third party without your authorization.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care: When appropriate, we may share your health information 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.
Research: Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose your health information for research. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health of patients who received one treatment to those who received another for the same condition. Before we use or disclose your health information for research, the project will go through an approval process, but prior to that, we may permit researchers to look at records to help them identify patients who may be included in their research project, as long as they do not remove or copy the health information.
Marketing: Health information may be used for marketing communications, but you have the right to opt out of receiving such communications. Except for the exceptions detailed above, uses and disclosures of your health information for marketing purposes require your authorization if we receive any financial remuneration for making the communication.
As Required by Law: We will disclose your health information when required to do so by federal, provincial, or civic law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety: We may use and disclose your health information when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Disclosures will only be made to someone who may help prevent the threat.
Business Associates: We may disclose your health information to our business associates that perform functions on our behalf or provide us with services if the information is necessary for such functions or services. All of our business associates are obligated to protect the privacy of your information and are not allowed to use or disclose any information other than as specified in our contract.
Military and Veterans: If you are a member of the armed forces (domestic or foreign), we may release your health information as required by military command authorities (domestic or foreign).
Workers’ Compensation: We may release your health information for WorkSafe BC or similar programs, with relation to work-related injuries or illness.
Public Health Risks: We may disclose your health information for public health activities. This would generally include disclosures to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability; report births and deaths; report child abuse or neglect; report reactions to medications or problems with products; notify people of recalls of products they may be using; a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition; and the appropriate governing authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure and are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Lawsuits: If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose your health information in response to a court or administrative order. We also may disclose your health information in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
Law Enforcement: We may release your health information, if asked by a law enforcement official, if the information is:
In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
Limited information to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material sitness, or missing person;
About the victim of a crime even if, under certain very limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement;
About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
About criminal conduct on our premises; and
In an emergency to report a crime, the location of the crime or the victims, or the identity, description, or location of the person who committed the crime.
Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors: We may release your health information to a coroner or medical examiner if necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or to determine cause of death. We may also release your health information to funeral directors as necessary for their duties.
National Security and Intelligence Activities: We may release health information to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
Inmates or Individuals in Custody: If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release your health information to the correctional institution or the law enforcement official. This release would be necessary:
If the institution requires it for your health care;
To protect the health and safety of yourself or others; or
For the safety and security of the correctional institution.
You have the following rights regarding your personal health information:
Right to Inspect and Copy: You have the right to inspect and copy your health information that may be used to make decisions about your care or payment of care. This includes medical and billing records, other than psychotherapy notes. To inspect and copy this health information, you must make your request in writing to our clinic.
Right to Amend: If you feel that the health information 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 clinic. To request an amendment, you must make this request in writing to our clinic.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures we made of health information for purposes other than treatment, payment, and health care operations, or for which you provided written authorization. This request must be made in writing to our clinic.
Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information we use or disclose for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose to someone involved in your care or the payment for your care, such as a family member or friend. To request a restriction, you must make your request in writing to our clinic. We are not required to agree to all such requests. If we agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment.
Right to Request Confidential Communication: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you by mail or at work. To
request confidential communications, you must make a written request to our clinic specifying how and where you wish to be contacted. We will accommodate reasonable requests.
Right to a Paper Copy of this Policy: You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you
have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy upon presentation of a written request.
Right to Electronic Records: You have the right to receive a copy of your electronic health records in electronic form.
Right to Breach Notification: You have the right to be notified if there is a breach of privacy such that your health information is disclosed or used improperly or in an unsecured way.
CHANGES TO THIS POLICY
We reserve the right to change this policy and make the new policy apply to healthy information that we already have as well as any information we receive in future.
We will post a copy of our current notice at our clinic. This notice will have the effective date on the first page.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our clinic or the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. All complaints must be made in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.