You have been handed a Summary of West Georgia Eye Care Center’s Privacy Practices if you have been our patient during the past several years. We have provided thousands of these informational pamphlets to our patients and we continue to update them as pertinent information changes. Protecting your privacy is more to us than just compliance to a standard or a rule of healthcare. Protecting your privacy is one of the ways that we treat you the way we would like to be treated, or one of the ways we offer eye care according to The Golden Rule. The HIPAA Privacy Rule is the name given to the requirements set by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to insure privacy protections to individuals. The HHS operates a website for free information @ HHS.gov ( https://www.hhs.gov/about/index.html) and describes its role this way:
“It is the mission of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. We fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.”
To meet that goal, HHS established the HIPAA Privacy Rule to give individuals the right to be informed of the privacy practices of their health plans and most of their health care providers. The HIPAA Privacy Rule also provides individuals the right to be informed of their privacy rights with respect to their personal health information. At West Georgia Eye Care Center we are happy to provide every patient with our Summary of Privacy Practices. We will gladly explain its contents or answer any questions that you may have pertaining to your privacy rights. And because of the HIPPA Privacy Rule, it is very important that you, as the patient, authorize in writing what family members or guardians we are allowed to talk to regarding your care and/or financial matters. This is a point of frustration for many, but because of the privacy law, patients must tell us who we can talk to if necessary.
West Georgia Eye Care Center takes seriously its responsibility to provide proper protections, training, and monitoring to support its efforts in protecting our patients’ privacy. Employees of covered providers, like WGECC, are required to be trained annually on HIPAA to maintain proper vigilance. Conscientious protection and the highest quality staff-training is another reason why… It Matters Who You See!