Understanding Your Health Record
Your Health Information Rights
Scheduling an Appointment
You can call us Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm.
To call our West Columbia, St. Andrews or Lexington Office, call 803.794.4585. To call our Columbia Northeast office, call 803.462.2300.
Preparing for Your Appointment
If you are a new patient, please complete and submit our online New Patient Forms. Or, you may arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment and complete printed forms in our office. Either way, bring your insurance cards, a list of any prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and vitamins/ supplements that you take, a list of your most pressing concerns regarding your digestive system problems and payment for your visit. We accept cash, personal checks, Visa, MasterCard & American Express.
Services provided by Consultants in Gastroenterology and the South Carolina Endoscopy Centers will be filed to your insurance company, provided we are given sufficient information. You will be asked to pay your deductible, co-payments or 20% of your office visit fees at the time of service. You are responsible for any balance that remains after your insurance benefits. If you need to verify coverage by your insurance plan, please check with your insurance carrier before your appointment.
We do participate with several managed care insurers. Please call our business office to verify our status with your carrier. The deductible and/or co-payment are expected at the time of service. If your insurance requires a referral, please contact your primary care physician to request one.
Our office participates with Medicare. Patients are responsible for the deductible and co-insurance at the time of service. If you have secondary coverage to Medicare, we will file that claim for you.
Routine Refill Options
For routine prescriptions, request your prescription through your pharmacist. If they need further authorization, they will contact us.
Non-Routine Refill Options
For non-routine refills, call our office.
Understanding Your Health Record & Information
We keep a recording of all your visits with documentation of your symptoms, examinations, test results, diagnoses and treatments. This information is your medical health record. It serves as a basis for planning your care and treatment, allows us to effectively communicate with the many health professionals involved in your overall care, legally describing your care, verification to third-party payers of services provided and educating health professionals.
Your Health Information Rights
Although your health record is the property of Consultants in Gastroenterology and the South Carolina Endoscopy Centers, you have the right to obtain a printed copy of our health record notice, inspect and receive a copy of your health information at a nominal charge, request that we amend your health information, request an accounting of disclosures, make communication directives and revoke disclosure authorizations for disclosure of health information.
Our Responsibilities with Your Privacy
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.
Uses and Disclosures
We will use your health information for treatment.
For example: Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your health care team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. Members of the health care team will then document the actions they took and their observations. We will also provide your physician or a subsequent health care provider with copies of various reports that should assist him or her in treating you for any subsequent conditions that may arise.
We will use your health information for payment.
For example: A bill may be sent to you or a third-party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, treatments, and supplies used.
We will use your health information for regular health care operations.
For example: The physicians and members of your healthcare team may use information in your health record to evaluate the quality of care you received as well as the care received by others similar to you. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and service we provide.
Business associates: There are some services provided in our organization through contacts with business associates. Examples include claims processing or administration; data analysis, processing or administration; utilization review; quality assurance; billing; benefit management; practice management; re-pricing; legal services; actuarial services; website services; accounting; consulting; data aggregation; management; administrative; accreditation; and financial. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your health information to our business associate so that they can perform the work we require them to do. To protect your health information, however, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
Notification: We may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, of your location, information about your general condition, or death.
Communication with family: Health professionals, using their best judgment, may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify, health information relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care.
Appointment Reminders and Treatment Alternatives: We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
Research: We may disclose information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information. We will obtain a written authorization from you to disclose information for other research purposes.
Funeral directors: We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law allowing them to carry out their duties.
Organ procurement organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.
Fundraising: We may contact you as part of a fund-raising effort. You have the right to opt-out of receiving any such communications.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects, or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.
Public health: Under South Carolina law, we may disclose your health information to the health department in order to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability.
Correctional institution: Should you be an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution or its agents health information necessary for your health and the health and safety of other individuals.
Law enforcement: We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena.
Federal and state laws make provisions for your health information to be released to appropriate health authorities or attorney, provided that a member of our staff or business associate believes in good faith that we have engaged in unlawful conduct or have otherwise violated professional or clinical standards and are potentially endangering one or more patients, workers or the public.
Other Uses and Disclosures Require Your Authorization
All other uses and disclosures of your information will only be made with your written authorization. If you change your mind after authorizing a use or disclosure of your information, you may submit a written revocation of the authorization at any time.
Your Health Information Rights
You have certain rights under federal privacy laws and rules. These include:
- The right to request restrictions on the use and disclosure of your protected health information;
- The right to receive confidential communications concerning your medical condition and treatment;
- The right to inspect and copy your protected health information (for a nominal fee);
- The right to request an amendment of your protected health information;
- The right to receive an accounting of how and to whom your protected health information has been disclosed;
- The right to receive a printed copy of this notice upon request
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information, and we will maintain your privacy consistent with those legal obligations. In addition, we are required by law to provide you with our Privacy Notice legally-required notice, abide by the terms of our Privacy Notice currently in effect, notify you when we are unable to comply with a requested restriction and accommodate your reasonable requests.
We also are required by law to notify you following a breach of your unsecured protected health information.
Right to Revise Privacy Practices
Requests for Restrictions on Protected Health Information
You have the right to request that we restrict uses and disclosures of protected health information about you: 1) to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations; 2) in providing the “Notification” described above or; 3) in providing the “Communication With Family” described above.
However, we are not required to agree to a particular restriction, unless you have requested that we restrict the disclosure of protected health information to a health plan and a) the disclosure is for the purpose of carrying out payment or health care operations and is not otherwise required by law; and b) the protected health information pertains solely to a health care item or service for which you, or a person other than the health plan on your behalf, has paid us in full.
For More Privacy Information or to Report a Problem
If you have questions or need more information, call Doreen Edmondson, Administrator and Privacy Officer, at 803.794.4585. If you feel your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with our Privacy Officer or send your complaint to: Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Health & Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington, DC 20201.
This Privacy Notice is effective as of September 23, 2013.