HABIT LIFESTYLE MEDICINE PRIVACY POLICIES
This document outlines your protected health information, how it may be used, and what your rights are. Please review carefully and ask any questions prior to signing. Questions about this notice can be directed to Habit Lifestyle Medicine’s Privacy Officer, Lorne Friesen (contact information is listed below).
OUR PLEDGE REGARDING PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION:
We, Habit Lifestyle Medicine, understand that protected health information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting health information about you. This Notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by Habit Lifestyle Medicine, whether made by Habit Lifestyle Medicine personnel or your personal doctor or other health care provider. This Notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose protected health information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of protected health information. The law requires us to:
- make sure that protected health information that identifies you is kept private
- notify you about how we protect protected health information about you
- explain how, when, and why we use and disclose protected health information
- follow the terms of the Notice that is currently in effect
We are required to follow the procedures in this Notice. We reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make new notice provisions effective for all protected health information that we maintain by:
- making copies of the revised Notice available upon request
- posting the revised Notice on our website.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose protected health information without your written authorization.
For Treatment: We may use protected health information about you to coordinate or manage your treatment or services. We may disclose protected health information about you to other members of the Habit Lifestyle Medicine team including doctors, nurses, nutritionists, exercise professionals, health coaches, technicians, medical students, or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you. Habit Lifestyle Medicine staff may also share protected health information about you so we can order health services provided by others such as prescriptions, lab work, sleep assessments and x-rays. We also may disclose protected health information about you to people outside Habit Lifestyle Medicine who may be involved in your medical care such as your family physician. We may use and disclose protected health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at Habit Lifestyle Medicine. We may use and disclose protected health information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives or health-related benefits or services.
For Payment for Services: We may use and disclose protected health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at Habit Lifestyle Medicine may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about the services you received at Habit Lifestyle Medicine so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the service. We may also tell your health plan about the services 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 protected health information about you for Habit Lifestyle Medicine health care operations, such as our quality assurance and improvement activities, case management, coordination of care, business planning, customer services and other activities. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the practice, manage health care costs, and make sure that all of our clients receive quality care. We may also combine protected health information about many Habit Lifestyle Medicine clients to decide what additional services Habit Lifestyle Medicine should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, and other Habit Lifestyle Medicine personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the protected health information we have with protected health information from other health care facilities to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. We will remove information that identifies you from this set of protected health information so others may use it to study healthcare and healthcare delivery without learning who the specific clients are. We may also contact you as part of a fundraising effort. Subject to applicable law, in some limited situations the law allows or requires us to use or disclose your health information for purposes beyond treatment, payment, and operations. However, some of the disclosures set forth below may never occur at our facilities.
As Required By Law: We will disclose protected health information about you when required to do so by federal or provincial law.
Research: We may disclose your protected health information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board or privacy board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your information.
Health Risks: We may disclose protected health information about you to a government authority if we reasonably believe you are a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will only disclose this type of information to the extent required by law, if you agree to the disclosure, or if the disclosure is allowed by law and we believe it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to you or another person.
Judicial and Administrative Proceedings: If you are involved in a lawsuit or dispute, we may disclose your information in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose health information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made, either by us or the requesting party, to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
Business Associates: We may disclose information to business associates who perform services on our behalf (such as billing companies); however, we require them to appropriately safeguard your information.
Public Health: As required by law, we may disclose your protected health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety: We may use and disclose protected 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.
Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These activities include audits, investigations, and inspections, which may be necessary for licensure and for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Law Enforcement: We may release protected health information as required by law, or in response to an order or warrant of a court, a subpoena, or an administrative request. We may also disclose protected health information in response to a request related to identification or location of an individual, victims of crime, decedents, or a crime on the premises.
Organ and Tissue Donation: If you are an organ donor, we may release protected health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors: We may release protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also disclose protected health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to enable them to carry out their duties.
Correctional Institutions and Other Law Enforcement Custodial Situations: If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release protected health information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official as necessary for your or another person’s health and safety.
Worker’s Compensation: We may disclose information as necessary to comply with laws relating to worker’s compensation or other similar programs established by law.
YOU CAN OBJECT TO CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES. Unless you object, or request that only a limited amount or type of information be shared, we may use or disclose protected health information about you in the following circumstances:
- We may share with a family member, relative, friend, or other person identified by you protected health information directly relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment for your care. We may also share information to notify these individuals of your location, general condition or death.
- We may share information with a public or private agency for disaster relief purposes. Even if you object, we may still share this information if necessary for the emergency circumstances.
If you would like to object to use and disclosure of protected health information in these circumstances, please call or write to the Habit Lifestyle Medicine Privacy Officer listed below on this Notice.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.
You have the following rights regarding protected health information we maintain about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy: You have the right to inspect and copy protected health information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records. To inspect and copy protected health information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to the Habit Lifestyle Medicine Privacy Officer. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a reasonable fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request, and we will respond to your request no later than 30 days after receiving it. There are certain situations in which we are not required to comply with your request. In these circumstances, we will respond to you in writing, stating why we will not grant your request and describe any rights you may have to request a review of our denial.
Right to Amend: If you feel that protected health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend or supplement the information. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to the Habit Lifestyle Medicine Privacy Officer. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request. We will act on your request for an amendment no later than 60 days after receiving the request. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request, and will provide a written denial to you. 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 protected health information kept by Habit Lifestyle Medicine
- Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy, or
- We believe is accurate and complete
Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the protected health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations or to persons involved in your care. We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to Habit Lifestyle Medicine’s Privacy Officer.
Right to Request Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to Habit Lifestyle Medicine’s Privacy Officer. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice: You have the right to a paper copy of this Notice at any time by contacting Habit Lifestyle Medicine’s Privacy Officer.
OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES
We will obtain your written authorization before using or disclosing your protected health information for purposes other than those provided for above (or as otherwise permitted or required by law). You may revoke this authorization in writing at any time. Upon receipt of the written revocation, we will stop using or disclosing your information, except to the extent that we have already taken action in reliance on the authorization.
YOU MAY FILE A COMPLAINT ABOUT OUR PRIVACY PRACTICES
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with Habit Lifestyle Medicine’s Privacy Officer, or file a written complaint with the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia. A complaint to the Commissioner should be filed within 180 days of the occurrence of the complaint or violation. If you file a complaint, we will not take any action against you or change our treatment of you in any way.
CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Law)
CASL is a law that sets the rules for Commercial Electronic Messages (CEM), establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out penalties for violations.
We collect your email address in order to:
- Register you in our Electronic Medical Record and Client Portal and other digital tools we use to provide care for you
- Send information, respond to inquiries, and/or other requests or questions
- Process online bookings and to send information, updates, and reminders pertaining to online bookings
- We may also send you additional information related to your product and/or service
- Send periodic commercial electronic messages to clients with whom we have a pre-existing business relationship (i.e. the recipient purchased or leased good or services within the previous two years)
In accordance with CASL, we agree to the following:
- We will only send messages up for up to 2 years after the business relationship began
- CEMs will contain the following:
- Information identifying the person who sent the message and/or the person on whose behalf it was sent;
- Information enabling the recipient to contact the sender of the message, and;
- A valid unsubscribe mechanism allowing the recipient to stop receiving CEMs from the sender.
The unsubscribe mechanism will enable the recipient to remove themselves from the mailing list and will be effective not more than 10 days after the request is made.
Links to Other non Habit Lifestyle Medicine Web Sites
Privacy Policies for:
Habit Lifestyle Medicine Privacy Officer:
Name: Lorne Friesen
Mailing address: PO Box 40, Cobble Hill, BC, V0R 1L0