Your Information. Your Rights. Our Responsibilities.

This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

1. Our Duty to Safeguard Your Protected Health Information.

We understand that medical information about you is personal and confidential. Be assured that we are committed to protecting that information. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information and to provide you with this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information. We are required by law to abide by the terms of this notice, and we reserve the right to change the terms of this notice. We will post a revised notice and make paper electronic copies of this Notice of Privacy Practices for Protected Health Information available upon request. We are required by law to notify you in the event of a breach of your protected health information.

Your Rights:

You have the right to:

  • Get a copy of your paper or electronic medical record
  • Correct your paper or electronic medical record
  • Request confidential communication
  • Ask us to limit the information we share
  • Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared your information
  • Get a copy of this privacy notice
  • Choose someone to act for you
  • File a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated

Your Choices:

You have some choices in the way that we use and share information as we:

  • Tell family and friends about your condition
  • Provide disaster relief
  • Include you in a hospital directory
  • Provide mental health care
  • Market our services
  • Raise funds

II. How We May Use and Disclose Your Protected Health Information.

For uses and disclosures relating to treatment, payment, or health care operations, we do not need an authorization to use and disclose your medical information:

For Treatment: We may disclose your medical information to doctors, nurses, and other health care personnel who are involved in providing your health care. We may use your medical information to provide you with medical treatment or services. For example, your doctor may be providing treatment for a fracture and need to make sure that you don’t have any other health problems that could interfere. The doctor might use your medical history to determine what method of treatment {such as a drug or surgery) is best for you. Your medical information might also be shared among members of your treatment team, or with your pharmacist(s).

To Obtain Payment: We may use and/or disclose your medical information in order to bill and collect payment for your health care services or to obtain permission for an anticipated plan of treatment. For example, in order for Medicare or an Insurance company to pay for your treatment, we must submit a bill that identifies you, your diagnosis, and the services provided to you. As a result, we will pass this type of health information on to an insurer to help receive payment for your medical bills.

For Health Care Operations: We may use and/or disclose your medical information in the course of operating our practice. For example, we may use your medical information in evaluating the quality of services provided, or disclose your medical information to our accountant or attorney for audit purposes. In addition, unless you object, we may use your health information to send you appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits that may be of interest to you. For example, we may look at your medical record to determine the date and time of your next appointment with us and then send you a reminder to help you remember the appointment. Or, we may look at your medical information and decide that another treatment or a new service may interest you.

To Help with Community Outreach: Furthermore, we may want to use information found in your medical record, such as your name, address, phone number and treatment dates, to contact you for our fundraising purposes. For example, in order to provide more charity care or otherwise improve the health of your community, we may want to raise additional money and therefore may contact you for a donation. You have the right to opt out of these communications at any time.

To Comply with the Law and Address Workers’ Compensation, Law Enforcement, and Other Government Requests: We may disclose your medical information to law enforcement or other specialized government functions in response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process.

We may disclose medical information when a law requires that we report information about suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence, or relating to suspected criminal activity, or in response to court orders. We must also disclose medical information to authorities who monitor compliance with these privacy requirements.

In order to avoid a serious threat to health or safety, we may disclose medical Information to law enforcement or other persons who can reasonably prevent or lessen the threat of harm, or to help with the coordination of disaster relief efforts.

We may disclose your medical information as authorized by law relating to workers compensation or similar programs.

We may disclose your medical information in the course of certain judicial or administrative proceedings.

To Help with Public Health and Safety Issues: We may disclose medical information when we are required to collect information about disease or injury, or to report vital statistics to the public health authority. We may also disclose medical information to the protection and advocacy agency, or another agency responsible for monitoring the health care system for such purposes as reporting or investigation of unusual incidents.

To Work with a Medical Examiner, Organ Procurement Organization, or Funeral Director: We may disclose medical information relating to an individual death to coroners, medical examiners or funeral directors, and to organ procurement organizations relating to organ, eye, or tissue donations or transplants.

To Do Research: In certain circumstances, we may disclose medical information to assist medical/psychiatric research.

To Comply with Privacy Rules: If people such as family members, relatives, or close personal friends are involved in your care or helping you pay your medical bills, we may release important health information about you to those people. We may also share medical information with these people to notify them about your location, general condition, or death.

Other uses and disclosures of your medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. If you provide permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission in writing at any time. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided you.

III. Your Rights Regarding Your Medical Information.

You have several rights with regard to your health information. If you wish to exercise any of these rights, please contact the Privacy Officer. A short list of your rights are listed on page one, and below we have elaborated on your rights. Specifically, the following:

  • You have the right to ask that we limit how we use or disclose your medical information. For example, for services you request no insurance claim be filed and for which you pay privately, you have the right to restrict disclosures for these services for which you paid out of pocket. You have the right to ask that we send you information at an alternative address or by an alternative means. We will consider your request, but we are not legally bound to agree to the restriction. We will agree to your request as long as it is reasonably easy for us to do so. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing, Attn: Privacy Officer. We will not ask you the reason for your request. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
  • With a few exceptions (such as psychotherapy notes or information gathered for judicial proceedings), you have a right to inspect and copy your protected health information if you put your request in writing. If we deny your access, we will give you written reasons for the denial and explain any right to have the denial reviewed. We may charge you a reasonable fee if you want a copy of your health information. You have a right to choose what portions of your information you want copied and to have prior information on the cost of copying.
  • If you believe that there is a mistake or missing information in our record of your medical information you may request that we correct or add to the record. Your request must be in writing and give a reason as to why your health information should be changed. Any denial will state the reasons for denial and explain your rights to have the request and denial, along with any statement in response that you provide, appended to your medical information. If we approve the request for amendment, we will amend the medical information and so inform you.
  • In some limited circumstances, you have the right to ask for a list of the disclosures of your health information we have made during the previous six years. The list will not include disclosures made to you; for purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations, for which you signed an authorization, or for other reasons for which we are not required to keep a record of disclosers. There will be no charge for up to one such list each year. There may be a charge for more frequent requests.
  • You have a right to receive a paper copy of this Notice and/or an electronic copy from our website, If you have received an electronic copy, we will provide you with a paper copy of the notice upon request.

IV. Questions and Complaints.

If you want more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact us at the office via phone or by mail.

If you think we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your medical information, we encourage you to speak or write to our Privacy Officer. You also may file a written complaint with the Secretary of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services at the Office for Civil Rights’ Region IV office. We will provide the mailing address at your request.

We will take no retaliatory action against you if you make any complaints, whether to us or to the Department of Health and Human Services. We support your right to the privacy of your health information.

If you have questions about this Notice or any complaints about our privacy practices, please contact our Privacy Officer, either by phone or in writing at:

John G. Atwater, MD-PA
Sheree Ewar, ARNP
Attn: Privacy Officer
1260 37th street Suite 102
Vero Beach, FL 32960
(772) 213-9809

Effective Date: This notice was effective of February 25, 2019.