NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES:
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.
This notice is required by law to tell you how Delta Dental and its affiliates ("Delta Dental") protect the confidentiality of your health care information in our possession. Protected Health Information (PHI) is defined as any individually identifiable information regarding a patient's healthcare history; mental or physical condition; or treatment. Some examples of PHI include your name, address, telephone and/or fax number, electronic mail address, social security number or other identification number, date of birth, date of treatment, treatment records, x-rays, enrollment and claims records. Delta Dental receives, uses and discloses your PHI to administer your benefit plan or as permitted or required by law. Any other disclosure of your PHI without your authorization is prohibited.
We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this notice, but also comply with any stricter requirements under federal or state law that may apply to our administration of your benefits. However, we may change this notice and make the new notice effective for all of your PHI that we maintain. If we make any substantive changes to our privacy practices, we will promptly change this notice and redistribute to you within 60 days of the change to our practices. You may also request a copy of this notice anytime by contacting the address or phone number at the end of this notice. You should receive a copy of this notice at the time of enrollment in a Delta Dental program, and we will notify you of how you can receive a copy of this notice at least once every three years .
Permitted Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI
We are also permitted to use and/or disclose your PHI to comply with a valid authorization, to notify or assist in notifying a family member, another person, or a personal representative of your condition, to assist in disaster relief efforts, and to report victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. Other permitted uses and/or disclosures are for purposes of health oversight by government agencies, judicial, administrative, or other law enforcement purposes, information about decedents to coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors, for research purposes, for organ donation purposes, to avert a serious threat to health or safety, for specialized government functions such as military and veterans activities, for workers compensation purposes, and for use in creating summary information that can no longer be traced to you. Additionally, with certain restrictions, we are permitted to use and/or disclose your PHI for underwriting. We are also permitted to incidentally use and/or disclose your PHI during the course of a permitted use and/or disclosure, but we must attempt to keep incidental uses and/or disclosures to a minimum. We use administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to maintain the privacy of your PHI, and we must limit the use and/or disclosure of your PHI to the minimum amount necessary to accomplish the purpose of the use and/or disclosure.
Examples of Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI for Treatment, Payment or Healthcare Operations
Disclosures Without an Authorization
Disclosures Delta Dental Makes With Your Authorization
Your Rights Regarding PHI
You may not inspect or copy PHI compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, or PHI that is otherwise not subject to disclosure under federal or state law. In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed. Please contact the privacy office as noted below if you have questions about access to your PHI.
You have the right to request a restriction of your PHI. You have the right to ask that we limit how we use and disclose your PHI. We will consider your request but are not legally required to accept it. If we accept your request, we will put any limits in writing and abide by them except in emergency situations. You may not limit the uses and disclosures that we are legally required or allowed to make.
You have the right to correct or update your PHI. This means that you may request an amendment of PHI about you for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. If your PHI was sent to us by another, we may refer you to that person to amend your PHI. For example, we may refer you to your dentist to amend your treatment chart or to your employer, if applicable, to amend your enrollment information. Please contact the privacy office as noted below if you have questions about amending your PHI.
You have the right to request or receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at a different address. We will agree to a reasonable request if you tell us that disclosure of your PHI could endanger you. You may be required to provide us with a statement of possible danger, a different address, another method of contact or information as to how payment will be handled. Please make this request in writing to the privacy office as noted below.
You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your PHI. This right does not apply to disclosures for purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations or for information we disclosed after we received a valid authorization from you. Additionally, we do not need to account for disclosures made to you, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes. We do not need to account for disclosures made for national security reasons or certain law enforcement purposes, disclosures made as part of a limited data set, incidental disclosures, or disclosures made prior to April 14, 2003. Please contact the privacy office as noted below if you would like to receive an accounting of disclosures or if you have questions about this right.
You have the right to get this notice by e-mail. You have the right to get a copy of this notice by e-mail. Even if you have agreed to receive notice via e-mail, you also have the right to request a paper copy of this notice.
This notice is effective on and after July 1, 2006.