HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices of the Lactation Consultant
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.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law designed to protect your privacy whenever your health care providers (like the lactation consultant) have to discuss your case, or send information about you to different offices. We have to keep a file to record our consult – but we promise that the private, protected health information in it will be kept confidential.
The LC can freely share all the details of your personal health information for purposes of “treatment, payment and health care operations.” That means the LC can talk to you about your situation, discuss it and/or share information with your other health care providers and/or specialists you are referred to, and the LC can also share information with your health insurance company if they need it. Also, the LC can call or write you to remind you to come back for an appointment, or to tell you how you can get a product or service that might interest you and your family.
The law also requires the LC to share your information under other, very precise situations: for example, if a subpoena has been served on this office, to turn over medical records ... or a federal agency is investigating a complaint that we have not been protecting your privacy.
Any other time the LC shares your personal health information, it has to be with your specific authorization: you have to okay it, in writing, first. For example, you may want us to send information about your consultation to the Human Resources Dept. where you work, so they can pay you back under their workplace lactation support program. When you do give us permission to turn over information about you, we can give out only the minimum amount of information needed to get the job done.
You have four rights under HIPAA:
(1) Access (you can ask the lactation consultant to see all the PHI she has about you);
(2) Amendment (you can ask the lactation consultant to change her files to amend inaccurate PHI);
(3) Disclosure Accounting (you can ask to whom the lactation consultant has given your PHI) and
(4) Restriction Request (you can put limits on the lactation consultant’s use and sharing of your PHI).
Our duty under to HIPAA is to give you this notice, so you understand we have promised to keep your private health information confidential. If we change this notice in the future, we’ll give you a new copy. Leah Jolly acts as the privacy officer of Bay Area Breastfeeding & Education. Her number is 713-496-2223. She can answer your questions or concerns about how your privacy is protected.
You can complain if you think your privacy hasn’t been protected by the lactation consultant. First, you’d have to bring your complaint to the IBCLC who has a duty to try to patch things up. We can’t penalize you for making a complaint. If we don’t address your complaint adequately, you can go over our heads to the Office of Civil Rights of the federal Health and Human Services Dept., to ask that a formal investigation be made. You can get all the details from them by calling (toll free) 1-800-368-1019; or, see their website at www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacyhowtofile.htm. You can’t go to court and sue us over a HIPAA violation -- but you can ask HHS to investigate.
© ECB JD IBCLC FILCA, July 2009, adapted with permission by Misti Ryan, BSN, RN, CCE
How we use your personal information On our website you many give us personal information about you, such as your name, your contact email and other contact details on various places on our website. The information you give us is absolutely safe with us. We will never rent, sell, share or otherwise disclose your personal information to third parties, with the exception of sharing with health care providers as explained above. We might contact you from time to time regarding your inquiries, purchases or services you have subscribed to. We may also send you promotional announcements from time to time about new products or services you might find useful. You may also opt out from receiving information from us at any time and ask us to remove your contact information from our database.