Privacy Policy

Houston Mind and Brain

Houston Mind and Brain is a HIPAA compliant medical institution. We receive, collect and store any information you enter on our website or provide us in any other way. We may use software tools, such as cookies, to measure and collect session information, including page response times, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information, and methods used to browse away from the page. We also collect personally identifiable information (including name, email, communications); payment details (including credit card information), comments, feedback, recommendations, and personal profile. We collect this information via questionnaires, emails you send us, cookies or through your healthcare provider.

We collect this information to:

  1. Provide and operate our services;

  2. Provide our patients with accurate support tailored to their wellbeing.

  3. Be able to contact our Visitors and Users with general or personalized service-related notices and promotional messages.

  4. Create aggregated statistical data and other aggregated and/or inferred Non-personal Information, which we use to better improve our services.

  5. To send to your insurance company to receive compensation for our services.

  6. Comply with any applicable laws and regulations.
     

We reserve the right to modify this privacy policy at any time, so please review it frequently. Changes and clarifications will take effect immediately upon their posting on the website. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here that it has been updated, so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we use and/or disclose it. 

USES AND DISCLOSURES OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION (PHI)

Information that can be used to identify an individual that is directly related to that individual’s health and is used by a covered entity in electronic transactions and maintained or transferred in any medium (including paper documents) is considered PHI.  HMB (Houston Mind and Brain) uses and discloses PHI about its patients for purposes of treatment, payment, and healthcare operations.

Treatment: HMB may disclose information about you to a physician, nursing service, or other healthcare professional involved in your care.

Payment: It may be necessary to use and disclose your healthcare information in order to obtain payment for services rendered to you or for pre-authorization purposes.  This includes workmen’s compensation benefits.  HMB will restrict the disclosure of PHI to health plans when the patient pays for product/service 100% out-of-pocket.

Healthcare Operations: HMB may use or disclose your healthcare information as it pertains to our healthcare operations.  Examples of this would be for the purposes of Performance Improvement, outcomes, analysis, evaluating professional staff performance, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.

Business Associates: HMB may disclose your PHI to persons or organizations that perform a service for or on behalf of HMB that requires the use or disclosure of PHI.  Such persons or organizations are business associates of HMB.

Legal Requirements: When required by federal, state or local law, we may use or disclose your healthcare information.  This may include response to a court-ordered subpoena, lawsuit proceedings, and compliance with civil rights and the health care system in general.  If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of law enforcement, we may disclose information for certain purposes.  For example, we may disclose information necessary to provide you with healthcare.

Marketing Related Services: HMB does not sell patient data to third party sources for marketing or fundraising purposes.  HMB may provide you with marketing materials in a face-to-face encounter. We may also contact you to give you information about certain health-related products and services that may be of interest to you.  However, a patient may opt-out of all communications of this nature by contacting HMB.

Public Health Risks: HMB may disclose PHI to public health authorities that are authorized by law to collect information for the purpose of reporting suspected abuse, neglect or maintaining vital records such as birth or death.  Also, PHI may be disclosed in order to notify patients of potential exposure to communicable disease or the risk of spreading or contracting a disease.

National Security: HMB may disclose your PHI to federal officials for intelligence or national security purposes.  If you are a member of the military your PHI may be disclosed if required by appropriate command authorities.

Family and Friends: HMB may disclose your PHI to family or friends involved in your care, however, a signed authorization or legal document must be on record prior to disclosure.  In instances where a patient’s authorization is unable to be obtained and good faith effort was made to determine if release of information is in the patient’s best interests, HMB staff will use their professional judgment to disclose and will only disclose PHI required for immediate care or service.

Patient Authorization: In addition to HMB’s use of your PHI for purposes of treatment, payment and healthcare operations, the patient may also give signed authorization to disclose PHI to any individual or entity.  However, disclosure is not a guarantee and it will be HMB’s discretion whether or not to proceed with the disclosure.

Minors: If you are an unemancipated minor under Texas law, there may be circumstances in which I disclose health information about you to a parent, guardian, or other person acting in place of the parent, in accordance with my legal and ethical responsibilities.

PATIENT RIGHTS REGARDING THEIR PHI

Confidential Communication: You have the right to request that HMB communicate with you about your health and related issues in a particular manner or location.  A written request must be made and HMB will attempt to accommodate all reasonable requests.

Requesting Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction in our use and disclosure of your PHI.  Additionally, you have the right to request that HMB limit the disclosures of your PHI to family and friends.  HMB is not required to abide by your request but every effort will be made to accommodate.  Your request must be made in writing and specify clearly the information that you want restricted if there are limits to the use and disclosure and to whom the limits apply.

Inspection and Copies: Within 30 calendar days from written request, you have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the PHI that is used to make decisions about you.  Records will be available by appointment only and during HMB operating business hours.  HMB has the right to charge for hard copies and/or electronic copies of medical records in compliance with STATUTE 146.83 (3f).

Amendment: You may ask HMB to amend your PHI if you believe it is incorrect or incomplete.  To request an amendment you must submit, in writing, the reasons why the PHI should be amended.  Requests for amendment may be denied by HMB if the request is for information that is undeniably correct, not part of the original records, information not created by HMB or if the amended information was not part of the PHI which you were permitted to inspect.

Accounting Disclosures: All HMB patients have the right to request an ‘accounting of discloses’ which is a list of certain disclosures HMB has made of your PHI.  To obtain this accounting of disclosures, a written request must be submitted.  Requests must state a time period and cannot exceed 6 years prior.  Charges for requests may be issued for information greater than 12 months old.  Individuals have a right to be notified when a breach of their unsecured PHI has occurred.  HMB will notify clients in writing when, through formal risk analysis, a breach has been determined to be medium-to-high risk.

Descendents: A decedent's PHI is protected for 50 years after the individual's death.  After that point, the information is no longer considered PHI.

Right to Paper Copy: You are entitled to a paper copy of HMB’s privacy policies.  If you receive this notice via a summary, our website or e-mail, you may contact HMB’s corporate offices at 832-699-7922 for a paper copy.

Right to File Complaint: If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with HMB or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  All complaints must be made in writing and there will be no penalty for doing so.

Right to Provide Authorization: HMB will obtain your written authorization for uses and disclosures that are not identifiable by this notice or permitted by applicable law.  Any authorization you provide to HMB regarding the use and disclosure of your PHI may be revoked at any time in writing.  After you revoke your authorization, HMB will no longer use or disclose your PHI.  However, HMB is required to retain your records of care.

To Request Information or File a Complaint

 

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a written complaint by mailing it or delivering it to me. You may complain to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) by writing to Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington, D.C. 20201; by calling 1-(800) 368-1019; or by sending an email to OCRprivacy@hhs.gov. I cannot, and will not, make you waive your right to file a complaint as a condition of receiving care from us or penalize you for filing a complaint with HHS.

Revisions to this Notice

I reserve the right to amend the terms of this Notice. If this Notice is revised, the amended terms shall apply to all health information

that I maintain, including information about you collected or obtained before the effective date of the revised Notice. If the revisions

reflect a material change to the use and disclosure of your information, your rights regarding such information, my legal duties, or

other privacy practices described in the Notice, I will promptly distribute the revised Notice, post it in the waiting area of my office, and make copies available to my patients and others.

Summary

HMB patients have the right to expect that their PHI will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be disclosed to entities outside the realm of care and/or payment.  As your health care provider, HMB respects your expectation of privacy and has instituted safeguards within the organization to meet this expectation.  Patient records are secured and protected through various internal processes and procedures.

Consent and authorization to disclose PHI must be granted by the patient prior to performing services or submitting for third party payment of services.  Consent to disclose PHI is obtained through patient authorization on the Consent for Assignment form, a signed work order receipt, order receipt confirmation (in the case of mail order shipment) and/or a signed Authorization for Disclosure of Health Information form. 

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