NOTICE OF PRIVACY
I. 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.
II. WE HAVE A LEGAL DUTY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR
PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION ("PHI").
This notice explains how we use and disclose your protected health
information ("PHI" for short). We are required by law to
protect the privacy of PHI, and to provide you with this notice and
follow the privacy practices described in it.
PHI includes information that we create or receive about your
past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition,
the provision of health care to you, or the payment for health care
provided to you.
We may change the terms of this notice and our privacy practices
at any time. Any change we make will apply to the PHI
we already have as well as to any new PHI we create or
receive. When we change our practices, we will promptly
change this notice and post it in the main reception areas of our
offices and on our web site at www.esclab.com.
III. HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PHI.
We use and disclose PHI for many different reasons. Below,
we describe the different reasons and give you some examples.
A. Use and Disclosure of PHI for Treatment,
Payment, or Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose PHI for
the following reasons:
1. For treatment. We may use and
disclose PHI to physicians, nurses, and others who provide you with
health care services or who are involved in your care. For example,
your information will be disclosed to the physician who ordered
your lab work, his designated employees, and other healthcare
workers involved in your healthcare.
2. For payment. We may use and
disclose PHI in order to bill and collect payment for the services
we provide to you. For example, we may disclose PHI to your
health plan to get paid for the health care services we provide to
you. We may also disclose PHI to billing companies and
companies that process our health care insurance claims.
3. For health care operations. We may
use and disclose PHI in order to operate our laboratories.
For example, we may use PHI in order to evaluate the quality of
health care services that you receive, or to evaluate the health
care professionals who provide health care services to you.
We may also disclose PHI to our accountants, attorneys, and others
in order to make sure we are complying with the laws that affect
us. We will obtain your consent before disclosing your PHI
for the purposes of our health care operations if state law
requires us to do so.
B. Other Uses of PHI.
We may also use and disclose your PHI for the following
1. Reports required by law. We may
disclose PHI when we are legally required to do so. For
example, we may use PHI to make mandatory reports to various
government agencies about communicable diseases and problems with
medical and other products.
2. Health oversight. We may disclose
your PHI to government agencies authorized by law to license,
audit, inspect, or investigate health care providers and the health
3. Research. We may use and disclose
your PHI for research purposes, provided that certain procedures
set by state and federal law are followed.
4. To avoid harm. Consistent with
state law, we may disclose PHI to the police or other appropriate
persons in order to avoid a serious threat to the health or safety
of a patient, another person, or the public.
5. Appointment reminders. We may use
PHI to give you appointment reminders.
6. Work Related Injuries &
Illnesses. If we provide health care services to you for a
work-related injury, we may release PHI about you to workers'
compensation or similar programs that provide benefits for purposes
of work-related injuries or illness, as permitted by state law.
7. Legal proceedings. We may disclose
PHI pursuant to a valid court order, search warrant, and, under
certain circumstances, in response to a subpoena or other discovery
8. As required by law. We will
disclose PHI when we are required to do so by federal or state
C. When Our Use or
Disclosure of PHI Requires Your Prior Written Authorization.
We must ask for your written authorization for any use or
disclosure of PHI not described in sections III-A or III-B
above. Examples of this are marketing or research when
authorization has not been made by other means. If you
authorize us to use or disclose your PHI, you can later withdraw
the authorization and stop any future use or disclosure of your PHI
based on it. You can withdraw an authorization by written
request addressed to Director, East Side Clinical Laboratory, 10
Risho Avenue, East Providence, Rhode Island 02914.
IV. YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR PHI.
A. Your Right to Request
Limits on Our Use and Disclosure of PHI. You may ask that we
limit how we use and disclose your PHI. We will consider your
request but are not legally required to agree to it. If we
agree to your request, we will comply with your limits, except in
B. Your Right to Choose How
We Send PHI to You. You may ask that we send information to
you at a different address (for example, to your work address
rather than your home address) or by different means (for example,
by mail instead of telephone). We will agree to your request,
as long as we can easily provide the information in the way you
C. Your Right to View and
Get a Copy of Your PHI. You have the right to view or obtain
a copy of your PHI. Your request must be in writing.
However, there are some circumstances in which we may deny your
request. If we deny your request, we will tell you, in
writing, our reason(s) for the denial and explain what appeal
rights, if any, you have.
If you request a copy of your PHI, we may charge a fee for it if
permitted to do so by law. Instead of providing the PHI you
requested, we may offer to give you a summary or explanation of the
PHI, as long as you agree to it, and to the associated cost, in
D. Your Right to a List of
the Disclosures We Have Made. You have the right to an
accounting of instances in which we disclosed your PHI to
others. Some disclosures will not be listed, however.
For example, the list will not include disclosures made for the
purpose(s) of treatment, payment, or health care operations, or
disclosures that you authorized or that were made directly to
We will report disclosures made within the six years prior to
your request, unless you request a shorter timeframe.
However, our obligation to account for disclosures begins with
disclosures made after April 13, 2003.
If you ask for more than one accounting within a twelve-month
period, we may charge you a fee for every accounting provided after
the first one. For a list of disclosures you must submit a
request to Pam Erickson, Quality Assurance Manager.
E. Your Right to Correct or
Update Your PHI. If you feel that there is a mistake in your
PHI, or that important information is missing, you may request a
correction. Your request must be in writing and include the
reason for the request. Your request must be made to Pam
Erickson, Quality Assurance Manager.
We may deny your request for a variety of reasons. If we
deny your request, we will inform you in writing of the reason(s)
for the denial and explain your rights regarding responding to the
If we agree to your request, we will change your PHI, inform you
of the change, and tell others who need to know about the change to
F. Your Right to a Paper
Copy of This Notice. You have the right to a paper copy of
this notice, even if you agreed to receive it electronically.
You may request a paper copy at any time.
V. PERSON TO CONTACT FOR
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS NOTICE OR TO FILE A COMPLAINT ABOUT OUR
If you have any questions about this notice, wish to exercise
any of the rights explained in it or file a complaint about our
privacy practices, feel that we may have violated your privacy
rights, or disagree with a decision we made about your PHI, please
contact East Side Clinical Laboratory's Privacy
Officer, Pam Erickson at (401) 455-8400.
You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will not
retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
VI. EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS NOTICE.
This notice is effective as of April 14, 2003, and supersedes
any and all prior versions of this notice.