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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 lactation consultant can freely share all the details of your personal health information for purposes of "treatment, payment and health care operations." That means the lactation consultant can talk to you about your situation, and discuss it with your other health care providers. If you are referred to other specialists, the lactation consultant can send the information on to them. The lactation consultant can also share information with your health insurance company if they need it.

The law also requires the lactation consultant 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 lactation consultant 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. at your office, so they can pay you back under their corporation 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.

Under HIPAA, the lactation consultant 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.

You have four rights under HIPAA:

  1. Access (you can ask the lactation consultant to see all the protected health information (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.

We have a Privacy Officer in this office, whose name and phone no. are: Wendy Haldeman M.N, R.N., C.L.C. (310)998-1981. This is the person who can answer your questions or concerns about how we protect your privacy.

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 Privacy Officer, who has a duty to try to patch things up. We can't penalize you for making a complaint. If the Privacy Officer doesn't address your complaint adequately, you can go over that person's head to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) 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 How to File a Complaint. You can't go to court and sue us over a HIPAA violation -- but you can ask HHS to investigate.

Notice of Privacy Practices, effective July 2004
©  Eliz. C. Brooks, JD, IBCLC (ecbrks@yahoo.com), July 2004

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