Notice of Health Information Privacy Practices
This notice describes how health information about you may be used or disclosed by Kidney Specialists of Southern Nevada (KSOSN) and how to access this information.
Effective Date December 16, 2022
Please review this notice carefully
If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact KSOSN’s Privacy Officer, Bette Schnur.
Our Pledge Regarding Your Health Information
We understand that health information about you and your health care is personal. We are committed to protecting your health information about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive from us. We do so to provide you with quality care and to comply with any legal or regulatory requirements.
This Notice applies to all the records generated or received by KSOSN, whether we documented the health information, or another healthcare provider forwarded it to us. This Notice will tell you the ways in which we may use or disclose health information about you. This Notice also describes your rights to the health information we keep about you and describes certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of your health information.
Our pledge regarding your health information is backed up by federal and state law. The privacy and security provisions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”) require us to:
- Make sure that health information that identifies you is kept private;
- Provide to you this Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to health information about you;
- Follow the terms of the Notice that is currently in effect; and
- Notify you following a breach of your unsecured protected health information. California law also requires this notification.
How We May Use and Disclose Health Information About You
The following categories describe different ways that we may use or disclose health information about you. Unless otherwise noted each of these uses and disclosures may be made without your permission. For each category of use or disclosure, we will explain what we mean and give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, unless we ask for separate authorization, all the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.
For Treatment: We may use health information about you to provide you with health care treatment and services. We may disclose health information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, health students, volunteers or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you. They may work at our offices, at a hospital if you are hospitalized under our supervision, or at another doctor’s office, lab, pharmacy, or other health care provider to whom we may refer you for consultation, to take x-rays, to perform lab tests, to have prescriptions filled, or for other treatment purposes. For example, a doctor treating you may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process. We may provide that information to a physician treating you at another institution.
For Payment: We may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive from us may be billed to and payment collected from you, an insurance company, a government program such as state Medicaid agency or Medicare, or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health insurance plan information about your office visit so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the visit. Alternatively, we may need to give your health information to the state Medicaid agency so that we may be reimbursed for providing services to you. In some instances, we may need to tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.
For Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose health information about you for the operations of our healthcare practice. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run our practice and make sure that all our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use health information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine health information about many patients to decide what additional services we should offer, what services are not needed, whether certain new treatments are effective, or to compare how we are doing with other healthcare providers and to see where we can make improvements. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of health information so others may use it to study healthcare delivery without learning who our specific patients are.
To Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care: Unless you have told us in writing that you do not want us to do so (see also Special Protections for Minors below), we may release health information about you to family members or others involved in your health care. We may also give health information to someone who helps pay for your care. In the rare situation of a natural or similar disaster, we may disclose health information about you to an organization assisting in disaster relief efforts so that your family can be notified about your status, location, and condition.
Research: There may be situations where we want to use and disclose health information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the efficacy of one medication over another.
As Required by Law: We will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state, or local law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety: We may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
Organ and Tissue Donation: We may release health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye, or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary, to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
Military and Veterans: If you are a member of the armed forces or are separated/discharged from military services, we may release health information about you as required by military command authorities or the Department of Veterans Affairs as may be applicable. We may also release health information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authorities.
Workers’ Compensation: We may release health information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses.
Public Health Activities: We may disclose health information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:
- To prevent or control disease, injury, or disability.
- To report births and deaths.
- To report child abuse or neglect of children, elders, and dependent adults.
- To report reactions to medications or problems with products.
- To notify people of recalls of products they may be using.
- To notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition.
- To notify the appropriate government authority if we believe you have been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Lawsuits and Disputes: If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose health information about you in response to an order issued by a court or administrative tribunal. We may also disclose health information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or another lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only after efforts have been made to tell you about the request and you have time to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
Law Enforcement: We may release health information to law enforcement officials:
- In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons, or similar process.
- To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person when asked by law enforcement officials or those assisting them (e.g., missing person announcements on TV, radio, newspapers, Amber alerts.)
- If you are the victim of a crime and (1) you consent or (2) we are unable to obtain your consent because of your incapacity or another emergency.
- About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct.
- In an instance of criminal conduct at our facility; and
- In emergency circumstances to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description, or location of the person who committed the crime.
- Coroners, Health Examiners, and Funeral Directors: We may release health information to a coroner or health examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release health information about patients to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
Inmates: If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release health information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary: (1) for the institution to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
Special Categories of Information: In some circumstances, your health information may be subject to restrictions that may limit or preclude some uses or disclosures described in this notice. For example, there are special restrictions on the use or disclosure of certain categories of information (e.g., tests for HIV or treatment for mental health conditions, or alcohol and drug abuse). Government health benefit programs, such as Medicaid, may also limit the disclosure of beneficiary information for purposes unrelated to the program.
Uses of Health Information Requiring an Authorization
The following uses and disclosures of health information will be made only with your written permission:
- Uses and disclosures of protected health information for marketing purposes.
- Use and disclosures that constitute the sale of your protected health information.
- Other uses and disclosures of health information not covered by this Notice or the laws that apply to us.
If you provide us with permission to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose health information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission and that we are required to retain the records of the care that we provided to you.
Your Rights Regarding Health Information About You
You have the following rights regarding the health information we maintain about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy: You have certain rights to inspect and copy health information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes health and billing records. To inspect and copy health information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing on a form provided by us to: the manager of the KSOSN clinic where you received health services. If you request a copy of your health information, we may charge a fee for the costs of locating, copying, mailing or other supplies and services associated with your request.
Right to Amend: If you feel that the health information, we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as we keep the information. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing on a form provided by us and submitted to KSOSN’s Privacy Officer.
We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not submitted on the form provided by us and does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
- Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment.
- Is not part of the health information kept by or for our practice.
- Is not part of the information that you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
- Is accurate and complete.
Any amendment we make to your health information will be disclosed to those with whom we disclose information as previously specified.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right to request a list (accounting) of any disclosures of your health information we have made, except for uses and disclosures for treatment, payment, and health care operations, as previously described.
Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care. For example, you could ask that we not disclose information about a procedure you had. Although we will try to accommodate your request for restrictions, we are not required to do so if it is not feasible for us to ensure our compliance with the law or if we believe it will negatively affect the care, we may provide you. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment. To request a restriction, you must make your request on a form that we will provide you. In your request, you must tell us what information you want to limit and to whom you want the limits to apply. However, we are required to agree to any request by you to restrict disclosures of protected health information to health insurers if you have fully paid for your health services pertaining to such disclosures using your own money.
Right to Request Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about health matters in a certain manner or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail to a post office box. During our registration process, we will ask you how you wish to receive communications about your health care or for any other instructions on notifying you about your health information. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice: You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this Notice at any time upon request, even if you have received the Notice electronically. You may also obtain a copy of this Notice at our website www.ksosn.com.
Changes to This Notice
We reserve the right to change this Notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed Notice effective for health information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current Notice in our health centers and on our website. The Notice contains the effective date on the first page.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with us, contact the Privacy Officer at the telephone number and address at the beginning of this Notice. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
1294 S Jones Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89146
United States Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Civil Rights, Hubert Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue S.W., Room 509
Washington, D.C. 20201
Kidney Specialists of Southern Nevada will ensure that the care you receive will in no way be impacted if you decide to file a complaint.