Policy for Protected Health Information
Doctors Laboratory, Inc. values the privacy of its patients and is committed to protecting the confidentiality of their laboratory test results and other protected health information that we collect or create as part of our diagnostic testing activities. We ask that you carefully read the information given below so that you will understand our commitment to the privacy of our patients’ protected health information. If you have any questions or would like to request a full copy of our Policy for Protected Health Information please contact our Privacy Officer, Garland E. Pendergraph, PhD, JD at 229-671-2222 or 800-342-7552, Extension 2222 or by sending a letter to 2906 Julia Drive, Valdosta, GA 31602.
Listed below are several ways we may use and disclose your protected health information. Please be assured that Doctors Laboratory, Inc. will only use or disclose the minimum amount of your protected health information that we consider necessary to perform our work or complete an activity. In certain situations we will make every effort to inform you if a request has been made for your protected health information.
- We will disclose your laboratory results to your physician and other health care professionals who need access to your laboratory results to treat you.
- We will disclose your protected health information to such entities as insurance companies and health plans so that we may get paid for our services.
- We may use or disclose your laboratory results when we are performing in-house quality checks on our testing or developing normal reference ranges for tests that we perform.
- We may disclose your protected health information to other companies or accrediting agencies who need your protected health information so they may provide specific services to us. By contract, these “business associates” must maintain the privacy and security of any protected health information we provide them or which they may create on our behalf.
- We may use or disclose your protected health information for purposes that are authorized or required by federal or state law such as government oversight, auditing, or licensure; reporting communicable disease results to the public health department; or as required by court orders or subpoenas.
- In addition to the above, Doctors Laboratory, Inc. may disclose your protected health information for military or veterans activities, national security or intelligence purposes, and as necessary, to comply with requirements of workers’ compensation or similar programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses.
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you have certain rights which are briefly discussed below:
- You, or your authorized or designated personal representative, have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of your laboratory results. Please be aware that there are situations where state law may prohibit a patient’s access to their protected health information.
- You have the right to request amendments to your protected health information. Note, however, that Doctors Laboratory, Inc. is not required to comply with your request.
- You have the right to request an accounting of your protected health information that was disclosed by Doctors Laboratory, Inc. This request may cover a period of up to six years prior to your written request. It may not include any disclosures made prior to April 14, 2003, the date that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act went into effect. By law certain disclosures, for example those for treatment and payment, are exempt.
- You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your protected health information. Bear in mind that Doctors Laboratory, Inc. is not required to agree to your request.
- You have the right to request that your protected health information be sent to an alternate address. Once again, please understand that Doctors Laboratory, Inc. does not have to comply with your request.
- If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you have the right to register a complaint with Doctors Laboratory, Inc. at the address given above or the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Any of our laboratories or patient service centers will provide contact information for the Secretary of HHS.
- You have the right to request and receive a full copy of our Policy for Protected Health Information.