1140 Thorndike Street, Palmer, MA
Phone: 413-283-2946

Dr. Gary Wolf, Optometrist
Hours:
Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri:
8am-5pm
Tuesdays:
8am-6pm
Sat & Sun:
Closed
Closed for lunch 12pm-1pm

Privacy Policy

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.

We respect our legal obligation to keep health information that identifies you private. We are obligated by law to give you notice of our privacy practices. This notice describes how we protect your health information and what rights you have regarding it.

Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations

The most common reason why we use or disclose your health information is for treatment, payment or health care operations. Examples of how we use or disclose information for treatment purposes are: setting up an appointment for you; testing or examining your eyes; prescribing glasses, contact lenses, or eye medications and faxing them to be filled; showing you low vision aids or services; referring you to another doctor or clinic for eye care or low vision aids or services; or getting copies of your health information from another professional that you may have seen before us. Examples of how we may use or disclose your health information for payment purposes are: asking you about your health or vision care plans, or other sources of payment; preparing and sending bills or claims; and collecting unpaid amounts (either ourselves or through a collection agency or attorney). “Health care operations” means those administrative and managerial functions that we have to do in order to run our office. Examples of how we use or disclose your health information for health care operations are: financial or billing audits; internal quality assurance; personnel decisions; participation in managed care plans; defense of legal matters; business planning; and outside storage of our records.

We routinely use your health information inside our office for these purposes without any special permission. If we need to disclose your health information outside of our office for these reasons, we usually will not ask you for special written permission.

We will ask for special written permission in the following situations: when required by state and federal laws, or when your records or private information is requested by others and your authorization is required.

Uses and disclosures for other reasons without permission

In some limited situations, the law allows or requires us to use or disclose your health information without your permission. Not all of these situations will apply to us; some may never come up at our office at all. Such uses or disclosures are:

when a state or federal law mandates that certain health information be reported for a specific purpose.
for public health purposes, such as contagious disease reporting, investigation or surveillance; and notices to and from the federal Food and Administration regarding or medical devices;
disclosures to governmental authorities about victims of suspected abuse, neglect or domestic ;
uses and disclosures for health oversight activities, such as for licensing of doctors; for audits by Medicare or Medicaid; or for investigation of possible violation of health care laws;
disclosures for judicial and administrative proceedings, such as in response to subpoenas or orders of courts or administrative agencies;
disclosures for law enforcement purposes, such as to provide information about someone who is suspected to be a victim of a crime; to provide information about a crime at our office; or to report a crime that happened somewhere else; disclosure to a medical examiner to identify a person or to determine the cause of ; or to funeral directors to aid in burial; or to organizations that handle organ or tissue donations;
uses or disclosures for health related research;
uses and disclosures to prevent a serious threat to health or safety;
uses or disclosures for specialized government functions, such as for the protection of the president or high ranking government officials; for lawful national intelligence activities; for military purposes; or for the evaluation and health of members of the foreign service;
disclosures of de-identified information;
disclosures relating to workers compensation programs;
disclosures of a “limited data set” for research, public health, or health care operations;
incidental disclosures that are an unavoidable by-product of permitted uses or disclosures;
disclosures to “business associates” who perform health care operations for us and who commit to respect the privacy of your health information;
disclosures mandated by laws governing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
Unless you object, we will also share relevant information about your care with your family or friends who are helping you with your eye care.

Appointment Reminders

We may call or write to remind you of scheduled appointments, or that it is time to make a routine appointment. We may also call or write to notify you of other treatments or services available at our office that might help you. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will mail you an appointment reminder on a post card, and/or leave you a message on your home answering machine or with someone who answers your phone if you are not home.

Other Uses and Disclosures

We will not make any other uses or disclosures of your health information unless you sign a written “authorization form”. The content of an “authorization form” is determined by federal law. Sometimes we may initiate the authorization process if the use of disclosure is our idea. Sometimes, you may initiate the process if it’s your idea for us to send your information to someone else. Typically, in this situation you will give us a properly completed authorization form, or you can use one of ours.

If we initiate the process and ask you to sign an authorization form, you do not have to sign it. If you do not sign the authorization, we cannot make the use or disclosure. If you do sign one, you may revoke it at any time unless we have already acted upon it. Revocations must be in writing. Send them to the office contact person named at the end of this Notice.

Your rights regarding your health information

The law gives you many rights regarding your health information. You can:

ask us to restrict our uses and disclosures for purposes of treatment (except emergency treatment), payment or health care operations.
We do not have to agree to this, but if we do agree, we must honor the restrictions that you want. To ask for a restriction, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, or E Mail shown at the end of this Notice.
ask to see or to get photocopies of your health information. By law, there are a few limited situations in which we can refuse to permit access or copying. For the most part, however, you will be able to review or have a copy of your health information within 30 days of asking us (or 60 days if the information is stored off-site). You may have to pay for photocopies in advance. If we deny your request, we will send you a written explanation, and instructions on how to get an impartial review of our denial if one is legally available. By law, we can have one 30 day extension of the time for us to give you access or photocopies if we send you a written notice of the extension. If you want to review or get photocopies of your health information, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, E mail shown at the end of this Notice.
get a list of the disclosures that we have made of your health information within the past six years (or a shorter period if you want). By law the list will not include: disclosures for purpose of treatment, payment or healthcare operations; disclosures with your authorization; incidental disclosures; disclosures required by law; and some other limited disclosures. You are entitled to one such list per year without charge. If you want more frequent lists, you will have to pay for them in advance. We will usually respond to your request within 60 days of receiving it, but by law we can have one 30 day extension of time if we notify you of the extension in writing. If you want a list, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, or E mail shown at the end of this Notice.
get additional paper copies of this Notice of Privacy Practices upon request. It does not matter wheather you got one electronically or in paper form already. If you want additional paper copies, send a written request to the office contact person at the address, or E mail shown at the end of this Notice.
Our Notice of Privacy Practices

By law, we must abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices until we choose to change it. We reserve the right to change this Notice at any time as allowed by law. If we change this Notice, the new privacy practices will apply to your health information that we already have as well as to such information that we may generate in the future. If we change our Notice of Privacy Practices, we will post the new notice in our office, have copies available in our office, and post it on our Web site.

 

If you think we have not properly respected the privacy of your health information, you are free to complain to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights. We will not retaliate against you if you make a complaint. If you want to complain to us, send a written complaint, or  Email to the office contact person listed at the end of this notice. If you prefer, you can discuss your complaint in person or on the phone.

Office Contact Person:

Cindy;   Email arap@crocker.com      Tel. 413-283-2946