Notice of Privacy Practices
September 1, 2013
At Wilmington Pediatrics, the privacy of our patients’ medical records is important to us, and we are committed to treating and using protected health information about your child responsibly.
Please review this notice carefully. It describes how your child’s record is used and shared as well as how you can access and control your child’s health information.
When you seek care for your child at Wilmington Pediatrics – whether by phone or in-person – each encounter is documented in his/her medical record. Typically this record contains your child’s symptoms, examinations, test results, diagnoses, treatments, and plans for future care. Understanding what is in your child’s record and how this information is used helps you to ensure its accuracy and to make decisions about authorizing disclosure to others.
If you have any questions at any time about your child’s medical record, please contact our office.
How Your Protected Health Information is Used and Disclosed
We use your child’s medical record on a regular basis in the following ways:
1. For Treatment: In order to coordinate treatment or services for your child, we may disclose medical information to other healthcare personnel outside this office.
For example: When your child is referred to a specialist for advanced care, we will relay details of the care they received here.
In addition to formal communication with other doctors’ offices, we also share information about your child with pharmacies (prescription refills), hospitals (scheduling lab tests), and other health centers.
2. For Payment: We may share some of your child’s information with a third party, in order to receive payment for services.
For example: Following your child’s physical, we will notify your insurance company of the vaccines your child received.
3. For Healthcare Operations: In our efforts to run the office smoothly and ensure quality care, we may use your child’s medical information for internal reviews and procedures.
For example: In studying the accuracy of a diagnostic test for strep, we may track your child’s results.
We may also attempt to contact you directly (or via voicemail) to remind you of an appointment or to address a billing issue.
4. Without Prior Consent: There are some situations under which we may share information without your permission. These include cases of public health risk (e.g. contagious disease), personal safety (e.g. suicide risk), or legal action (as requested by law enforcement or court subpoena). While this information is usually not personally identifiable, you may contact our Privacy Officer, if you have additional concerns.
If you would like us to disclose health information to other parties that fall outside the scenarios listed above (for example, life insurance), we will need – for your protection – separate authorization from you. You may inquire about the procedures to grant such authorization by contacting our Privacy Officer at the number listed below.
We no longer require written consent to release immunization records to your child's school. We can accept verbal consent over the phone. We will document your consent in your child's medical record.
Regardless of the situation, please be assured that we will always handle your child’s information respectfully.
Your Rights Regarding Your Child’s Medical Information
Although your child’s health record is the physical property of Wilmington Pediatrics, the information belongs to you. You are entitled to access and control your child’s health record in the following ways:
- You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice of privacy practices.
- You have the right to request an electronic copy of your child's medical records.
- You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of your child’s medical record.
- You have the right to amend incorrect or incomplete health information.
- You have the right to a list of the disclosures we have made of your child’s medical information.
- You have the right to restrict which parties have access to your child’s information.
- You have the right to request specific ways that we may communicate with you. (For instance, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail.)
- If you choose to pay by cash, you can instruct us not to share information from this visit with your child's insurance company.
- Genetic testing is considered personal health information and will be treated as such.
To make a specific request or to learn more about these rights, please contact our Privacy Officer.
Once a child reaches adolescence, a parent’s access to certain privileged information is restricted. We welcome you to speak to either the Privacy Officer or your child’s pediatrician, if you have additional questions.
If you have questions and would like additional information, please contact our Privacy Officer:
Donna Mosher (978-988-6204)
If you believe your privacy has been violated, you may file a complaint with our Compliancy Officer:
Maureen Bonnell (978-988-6209)
You may also contact the Department of Health and Human Services or the Office of Civil Rights.
You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
Wilmington Pediatrics, Inc. is required by law to maintain the privacy of our patients’ protected health information (PHI) and to provide our patients with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI. We are required to abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect. This notice takes effect on July 1, 2013, and remains in effect until we replace it. We reserve the right to change the policies laid out in this notice. We will post a summary of the current notice in the office with its effective date in the top right-hand corner. You are entitled to a copy of the notice currently in effect.