Patient Registration and Privacy

To ensure all patients of Primary Care Specialists are sufficiently informed and oriented into the medical home.  It is essential that all patient registration information be properly compiled and entered into the clinic’s electronic medical record system.

Registration:  All active and prospective patients must provide adequate demographic, medical history, and insurance information in order to become an active patient at Primary Care Specialists.

Orientation:  All new patients will participate in a patient orientation session prior to receiving services with a healthcare provider. The patients shall be informed about the obligations of being associated with a Patient Centered Medical Home.  Each will receive information about Primary Care Specialist’s operating hours, where to seek after-hours care, and how to communicate with their personal provider or other members of the care team.  Patients and family members will be advised that this information can also be found as follows:
•    From PCS staff
•    On the PCS website, www.pcsmem.com
•    In the clinic waiting room area

Privacy:  Each patient reserves the right to be informed of the privacy practices of their healthcare provider and personal information.  A Notice of Privacy Practices, as required by law, requires the clinic to inform the patient of the following:
•    Maintain the privacy of patient health information
•    Provide the patient with a notice of the legal duties and privacy practices regarding protected health information collected and maintained
•    Notify the patient in writing of a breach of unsecured medical information
•    Adhere to the terms of this notice

PCS reserves the right to change this notice and make the revised notice effective for medical information we already have about you, as well as any information we receive in the future.  Revised notices will be posted with the effective date on the clinic’s website at www.pcsmem.com.  At no time will PCS use or disclose a patient’s individually identifiable health information (IIHI) without their authorization, except for subsequent reasons granted by the federal privacy rules related to treatment, payment, or healthcare operations:
•    Management of your healthcare – (ex. Provide you with an appointment reminder)
•    Payment – (ex. Reimbursement for services you received)
•    Routine healthcare operations – (ex. Review your healthcare records to determine the efficiency of the services provided to you by another entity, such as a referred to specialist or hospital)

Uses of disclosure of a patient’s individually identifiable health information (IIHI) without their authorization for the following purposes when required to do so by federal, state, or local authorities, laws, rules, or regulations
•    Disclosures related to a work related illness or injury (i.e. workers’ compensation)
•    Disclosures in response to lawsuits and disputes
•    Disclosures to law enforcement officials (i.e. national security and intelligence activities; protective services for the President of the United States and other authorized persons; to alert a serious threat to health or safety)
•    Disclosures for health oversight activities (i.e. Food and Drug Administration)
•    Disclosures for special situations (i.e. organ and tissue donation; military and veterans; correctional institutions regarding inmates; coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors; public health risks such as reporting child abuse or neglect and reporting communicable diseases)

The patient will be required to provide written authorization before use or disclosure of their medical information in those situations not covered by this notice.  Reasons may include marketing or fundraising activities coordinated by a third party, etc.  Whenever permission is granted, the patient may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time.  Also, PCS may not disclose HIV test results, psychotherapy notes, alcohol or other drug abuse treatment records without the patient’s written authorization, unless required by law.

The patient maintains health information rights, which includes:
•    Requesting restrictions on treatment, payment, health information, or someone involved in your care (i.e. family member)
•    Receiving confidential communications (i.e. clinic contact you at work or by mail)
•    Inspecting and obtaining a copy of your health record
•    Amending your health record
•    Obtaining an accounting of disclosures of your health information (i.e. listing of health information disclosures PCS has made during the previous 6 years)
•    Obtaining a paper copy of the PCS privacy notice
•    Receiving a notice of breach (clinic notifies patient if we discover a breach of your unsecured protected health information)

**NOTE:  All Requests Must Be Submitted in Writing to the Facility**

Patients have the right to file a complaint if they believe their privacy rights have been violated with the facility or with Secretary of the State Department of Health and Human Services.  There will be no retaliation against any individual for filing a complaint.  To file a complaint with the clinic, submit your complaint to the Office Manager in writing.