Privacy Policy

Privacy Statement

MedLink Georgia is committed to providing high-quality care that is fair, responsive, and accountable to the needs of our patients and their families. We are committed to working with our patients and their families with our goals to not only provide appropriate health care and related services but also to address any concerns they may have regarding such services. We encourage all of our patients to be aware of their rights and responsibilities and to take an active role in managing and improving their health and strengthening their relationships with our health care team.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO

  • Receive high-quality care based on professional standards of practice, regardless of your (or your family’s) ability to pay for such services.
  • Obtain services without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or preference, marital status, or socioeconomic status.
  • Be treated with courtesy, consideration, and respect by all MedLink Georgia staff, at all times and under all circumstances, and in a manner that respects your dignity and privacy.
  • Expect that MedLink Georgia will maintain the confidentiality of information in your electronic health record.
  • Receive information regarding the availability of support services, including translation, transportation, and education services.
  • Receive sufficient information to participate fully in decisions related to your health care. If you are unable to participate fully, you have the right to be represented by parents, guardians, family members or other designated surrogates.
  • Ask for and receive information regarding your financial responsibility for services.
  • Develop advance directives and be assured that all health care providers will comply with those directives in accordance with the law.
When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights.

This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.

Get a copy of your health and claims records
  • You can ask to see or get a copy of your health and claims records and other health information we have about you. Ask us how to do this.
  • We will provide a copy or a summary of your health and claims records, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee.
Ask us to correct health and claims records
  • You can ask us to correct your health and claims records if you think they are incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this.
  • We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing within 60 days
Request confidential communications
  • You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address.
  • We will consider all reasonable requests and must say “yes” if you tell us you would be in danger if we do not.
Ask us to limit what we use or share
  • You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our operations.
  • We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care. Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information
  • You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why.
  • We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make).
  • We’ll provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
Get a copy of this privacy notice
  • You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.
  • We will consider all reasonable requests and must say “yes” if you tell us you would be in danger if we do not.
Choose someone to act for you
  • If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
  • We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.
File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated
  • You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us at MedLink Georgia Privacy Officer, P. O. Box 459, Colbert, GA 30628, or by phone at 706-788-3234.
  • You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/.
  • We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO

  • Provide complete and accurate health, medical, and insurance information including an advance directive if appropriate.
  • Be considerate and respectful of other patients and MedLink staff.
  • Ask questions when in doubt.
  • Communicate changes in your health and/ or condition to your care team.
  • Follow your providers’ instructions or discuss with them any obstacles you may have in complying with your prescribed treatment plan.
  • Keep all scheduled appointments and arrive on time.
  • Actively participate in planning your care.
  • Advise MedLink Georgia of any concerns, problems, or dissatisfaction with services provided or the manner in which (or by whom) they were furnished.
  • Understand to the best of your ability your health benefits and any exclusions, deductibles, copayments, and treatment costs while making a good faith effort to meet financial obligations, including promptly paying for services provided. Known copayments are expected to be paid prior to services being rendered. If outstanding balances exceed $100.00, you will be referred to the Practice Manager or representative to discuss making payment arrangements. Balances left unpaid may be referred to an outside collection agency.
  • Use electronic means (patient portal) appropriately to access your patient information.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please request to speak to the Practice Manager. If you feel your question or concern has been unresolved, please contact the MedLink Georgia Administrative office at either comments@medlinkga.org or 706-788-3234.

YOUR CHOICES

You have some choices in the way that we use and share information as we

  • Answer coverage questions from your family and friends
  • Provide disaster relief
  • Market our services and sell your information

OUR USES AND DISCLOSURES

We may use and share your information as we

  • Help manage the health care treatment you receive
  • Run our organization
  • Pay for your health services
  • Administer your health plan
  • Help with public health and safety issues
  • Do research
  • Comply with the law
  • Respond to organ and tissue donation requests and work with a medical examiner or funeral director
  • Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
  • Respond to lawsuits and legal actions

For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.

In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to
  • Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in payment for your care
  • Share information in a disaster relief situation
  • If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example, if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety

OUR USES AND DISCLOSURES

How do we typically use or share your health information?

We typically use or share your health information in the following ways
Help manage the health care treatment you receive.
  • We can use your health information and share it with professionals who are treating you. Example: A doctor sends us information about your diagnosis and treatment plan so we can arrange additional services. Run our organization
We can use and disclose your information to run our organization and contact you when necessary.
  • We are not allowed to use genetic information to decide whether we will give you coverage and the price of that coverage. This does not apply to long-term care plans. Example: We use health information about you to develop better services for you.
Pay for your health services s
  • We can use and disclose your health information as we pay for your health services. Example: We share information about you with your dental plan to coordinate payment for your dental work.
  • Administer your plan – We may disclose your health information to your health plan sponsor for plan administration. Example: Your company contracts with us to provide a health plan, and we provide your company with certain statistics to explain the premiums we charge.
How else can we use or share your health information?
  • We are allowed or required to share our information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes.

For more information see www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.

Help with public health and safety issues
  • We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:
  • Preventing disease
  • Helping with product recalls
  • Reporting adverse reactions to medications
  • Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
  • Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety
Do research
  • We can use or share your information for health research.
Comply with the law
  • We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy law.
Respond to organ and tissue donation requests and work with a medical examiner or funeral director
  • We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations.
  • We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
  • Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
We can use or share health information about you
  • For workers’ compensation claims
  • For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official
  • With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law
  • For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services Respond to lawsuits and legal actions We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:
  • Marketing purposes
  • Sale of your information
  • The majority of cases that include psychotherapy notes
In the case of Fundraising
  • We may contact you about fundraising topics, but you may ask us to discontinue these contacts.

OUR RESPONSIBILITIES

We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information. We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information. We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.

We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.

For more information see www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html.

CHANGES TO THE TERMS OF THIS NOTICE

We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, on our website, and we will mail a copy to you.