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Porter Ranch, CA 91326

Notice of Privacy Practices

As a health care provider in California, we, at Nu Vela Laser and Vein Center, understand that we must comply with many health information privacy laws. These laws provide a level of confidentiality regarding patient information for treatment and healthcare operations. At the state level in California, there is the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA), the Patient Access to Health Records Act (PAHRA), and other laws. At the federal level, on the other hand, there is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules. These rules were promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in 2003 to create a national standard to protect individuals’ medical records and other protected health information.

We, at Nu Vela Laser and Vein Center, realize that these laws are complicated, but we must provide you with the following important information on a) use and disclosure of your health information b) your rights regarding your health information.

If you have any questions after reading this notice on our health information privacy policies, please contact Raffi Dishakjian, MD, at the office. You may also talk to our front desk receptionist at (818) 832-4500 for further information.

Use and Disclosure of Your Health Information

In compliance with the current laws, we, at Nu Vela Laser and Vein Center, are commited to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of your health information. In general, we use or release your health information, without your permission, for the pupose of treatment, payment, or healtcare operations, and we ask for your written permission before we release your personal health information or sensitive information to other individuals, organizations and establishments, or post your recognizable videos or before/after photos online. Your written permission, called an “authorization.” must be dated and must state what information can be released, to whom, and for what purpose.

However, as required by the law, there are circumstances that may require us to disclose your health information, without your permission, to the following:

  • A board, commission, public health authorities, or health oversight agencies that are authorized by law to collect information about your health.
  • Authorized law enforcement officials.
  • A court in compliance with an administrative order.
  • Federal officials for intelligence and national security activities, when authorized by law.
  • Domestic or foreign military authorities, if required.
  • Correctional institutions or law enforcement officials if you are an inmate or under the custody of a law enforcement official.
  • Workers Compensation and similar programs.
  • An arbitrator or arbitration panel, when arbitration is lawfully requested by either party.
  • A medical examiner, forensic pathologist, or coroner, when lawfully requested in the course of an investigation.

In addition, we may use and disclose information about your health to prevent or reduce the risk, when necessary, a threat to your health or the health  and safety of another idividual (such as when donating an organ) or the public. Note that We will not sell your health information without your prior written authorization and we will only make the disclosure to a person or organization that is very likely to be able to prevent the threat.

On the other hand, in the event that this medical practice is sold or merged with another organization, your health information/record will become the property of the new owner. However, you will have the right to request that copies of your health information and medical records be transferred to another physician or practice.

Finally, we will obtain your written authorization for uses and disclosures that are not identified by this notice or permitted by applicable law.

Your Rights Regarding Your Health Information

Although medical records are the property of the hospital, or physician, patients in California and throughout the States have many right that are listed below:

  • You have a right to inspect or obtain copies of your medical and billing records.
  • You may request a correction, or add an addendum to your medical record, if you believe it is incorrect or incomplete. Note that you must provide us with a reason that supports your request for amendment.
  • You can also ask us to limit how we use or release your information for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. But we are not required to agree to all of your requests.
  • You can stop your employer from receiving most health information about you. We ask for your written permission before we give your employer health information about you.
  • You have the right to request that we restrict our disclosure of your health information to only certain individuals, such as friends and family members who are involved in your care or paying your bills.
  • You have the right to take back your written authorization any time when you change your mind.
  • You can ask for a list of agencies and organizations, if any, with whom we have shared your health information for the past six years, provided the list excludes those involved in your treatment or payment for a treatment.
  • In case you have a legal guardian, or you have granted someone medical power of attorney, we will allow the assigned person (after making sure he/she has the authority) to exercise your rights and make choices on your behalf about your health information.
  • You have the right to take back your written authorization any time when you change your mind.
  • You have the right to a copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices. To obtain a copy of the notice, you can print it online, or contact our front desk receptionist for a copy.
  • You have the right to provide an authorization, submitted in writing, for uses and disclosures that are not identified by this notice or permitted by applicable law.
  • You have the right to request that your before and after photos are not posted online, or shown to other patients, provided your identity is recognizable.
  • You have the right to request that our practice communicates with you about your health and related issues in a specific manner or at a certain location. For example, you may ask that we call you at a certain phone number, send information to a particular email address or by mail to your home address. We will accommodate reasonable requests, provided they are submitted in writing and specify how or where you wish to receive these communications.
  • You have the right to file a complaint. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our vein center or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Note that OCR can impose civil and criminal fines, but cannot award money damages to an individual. We assure you that you will not be penalized for filing a complaint.

It should be pointed out that you must submit your requests and complaints in writing either to R. Dishakjian, MD, or our front desk receptionist. Note that we are not required to agree to all your requests. For example, we reserve the right to share or post online photos taken from you, provided your identity will remain unknown. However, if we do agree to your requests, we are bound by our agreement, except when otherwise required by law, or in emergencies. The address of OCR is: Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Health & Human Services90 7th Street, Suite 4-100San Francisco, CA 94103. The complaint form can also be found on the internet at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacyhowtofile.htm.