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Notice of Privacy Practices at the UW Autism Center

Effective September 27th, 2004 - 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.

Summary

UW Autism Center has a responsibility to protect the privacy of your health information. You have certain rights:

  • You may request restricted use of your health information. (Note: Your request will be considered but we may not be able to agree to your request.)
  • You may ask us to contact you in an alternative way.
  • You may view and receive copies of your health record.
  • You may ask for an amendment to your record.
  • You may ask for a list of disclosures of your health information.
  • You may make complaints related to the privacy of your health information.
  • You may tell us not to share information with your family members.

We follow certain rules for using and disclosing your health information:

  • Your personal health information is used and disclosed to perform treatment, obtain payment, or carry out operational activities.
  • We may also use and disclose your information to teach and train staff and students.
  • We may use and disclose your information to conduct research. An Institutional Review Board must approve research projects.
  • We may use and disclose your health information when otherwise required or allowed by law or when you give us written authorization.

The law provides extra protection for certain health information:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases information
  • Drug and alcohol abuse treatment records
  • Mental health records
  • HIV/AIDS

Overview

We recognize our responsibility for safeguarding the privacy of your health information. This notice provides information regarding use and disclosure of protected health information by UW Autism Center when services are provided within the UW Autism Center. This notice also describes your rights and our obligations for using your health information and informs you about laws that provide special protections for your health information. It also explains how your protected health information is used and how, under certain circumstances, it may be disclosed. It tells you how any changes in this notice will be made available to you.

The Providers

UW Autism Center is composed of a single entity. Certain individuals or offices within the University of Washington provide support functions to UW Autism Center that might include the use of health information. For example, the University provides risk management and information system support services to the UW Autism Center. When providing these support services, University staff maintain and protect the confidentiality of your health information. Occasionally, non-UW clinicians participate in and provide services to patients within the UW Autism Center described in this notice. When this occurs, protected health information is shared between the entities or providers as necessary for treatment, payment, and certain health care operations.

Protected Health Information

This notice applies to health information – created or received by the UW Autism Center – that identifies you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental condition, the care provided or the past, present or future payment for your health care. This information, often contained in your health or medical record, among other purposes, serves as

  • A means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care.
  • The legal record describing the care you received.
  • A means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided.
  • A tool in educating health professionals.
  • A source of data for medical research.
  • A source of information for public health officials.
  • A source of data for facility planning and marketing.
  • A tool we use to monitor, evaluate and continually work to improve the care we render and the outcomes we achieve.

Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used and disclosed helps you to

  • Ensure accuracy in the record.
  • Better understand who, what, when, where, and why others may access your health information.
  • Make a more informed decision when authorizing disclosures to others.

Use and Disclosure of Your Protected Health Information Without Your Authorization

Here are some examples of how we may use and disclose protected health information without your authorization:

  1. Treatment
    We use and disclose your health information to provide treatment. For example, your physician uses your information to determine whether specific diagnostic tests, therapies, and medications should be ordered. Nurses, technicians, students, or other personnel may need to know and/or discuss your health problems to carry out treatment and to understand how to evaluate your response to treatment. * We may disclose your health information to another one of your treatment providers in the community, unless the provider is not currently providing treatment to you and you direct us in writing not to make the disclosure.


  2. Payment
    We may use your health information for payment purposes. For example, we may use your information to prepare claims for payment for services. If you have health insurance and we bill your insurance directly, we will have to include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, procedures, and supplies used so that we can be compensated for the treatment provided; however, we will not disclose your health information to a third-party payor without your authorization except when allowed by law.


  3. Health Care Operations
    We may use and disclose your health information to carryout health care operations. For example, we use and disclose health information from patients to monitor and improve our health services. Also, authorized staff may look at portions of your record to perform administrative activities.


  4. Staff and Student Training
    We may use and disclose your information to teach and train staff and students. One example of this is when teaching clinicians review patient health information with trainees or practicum students.


  5. Conduct Research
    We may use and disclose your information for research. If the information is individually identifiable, an Institutional Review Board will review
    each request to use or disclose your information for research. If it is not identifiable information, it may also go through this process. This is aboard that reviews research at UW Autism Center to make sure that projects are as safe as possible. In some cases, your health care information might be used or disclosed for research without your consent. For example, a researcher might review medical charts to see if wearing a bicycle helmet was a factor in how serious bicycle injuries are.

Disclosure to and Notification of Family, Friends, or Others

Unless you object, your health care provider will use his or her professional judgment to provide relevant protected health information to your family member, friend, or another person that you indicate has an active interest in your care or the payment for your health care or for notifying these individuals of your location, general condition or death.

Use and Disclosure that Requires Your Authorization

Other than the uses and disclosures described above, we will not use or disclose your protected health information without your written authorization. If you provide us with written authorization, you may revoke that authorization at any time unless disclosure is required for us to obtain payment for services already provided, we have otherwise relied on the authorization or the law prohibits revocation. Also, in some situations, federal and state laws may provide special protections for certain kinds of protected health information, such as drug or alcohol treatment records. When required by those laws, we may contact you to receive written authorization to use or disclose that information.

Heightened Confidentiality of Your Patient Health Information

Special state and federal protections apply to certain classes of patient health information. For example, additional protections may apply to sexually transmitted diseases information, drug and alcohol abuse treatment records, mental health records, and HIV/AIDS. When required by law, the UW Autism Center will obtain your authorization before releasing this type of information.

Your Individual Rights Regarding Patient Health Information

You have specific individual rights as to the use and disclosure of your protected health information. To contact the UW Autism Center and exercise your rights, you may contact

UW Autism Center
Center on Human Development and Disability
Box 357920
Seattle, WA 98195-7920
206.221.6806

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