Orthodontic Care of Georgia (OCG) practices (“we,” “our,” “us”), like all other medical or dental practices, are required by applicable laws to provide privacy of your health information. OCG is also required to give you this notice about our privacy practices in regards to your rights concerning your health information. We will follow the privacy practices that are described below in this notice. This notice went into effect January 31st, 2021. The policy will remain in effect until modified or replaced by OCG.
We reserve the right to make changes to our privacy practices and the terms of this notice. Provided such changes are permitted by applicable federal and state laws.
We reserve the right to make changes in our privacy practices and the terms of our notice including, and not limited to, any effective health information that we maintain. This includes health information we created and/or received before we made the changes to the policy.
Before OCG makes significant changes to our privacy practices, we will modify this notice accordingly and make the revised notice available when requested.
You may request a copy of our notice at any time. Please contact us for more information about our privacy practices or to obtain additional copies of this notice.
Health Information - Use & Disclosure.
OCG uses and discloses health information about you for treatment, payment, and health related standard operating procedures. For example:
We may need to use or disclose patient health information to a physician, dentist, dental auxiliaries, and additional healthcare providers providing treatment to you.
We may use and disclose your health information in order to obtain payment for treatments, services OCG provided to you or a family member.
We may use and disclose your health information with a connection to our healthcare operations. Healthcare operations include quality assurance and development activities, analyzing the qualifications and/or competence of healthcare professionals, evaluating healthcare practitioners and/or healthcare provider performances, operating training programs, certification, accreditation, licensing or credentialing activities.
In addition to OCG’s use of your health information for treatments, payments or additional healthcare operations, you may provide us with written authorization to use your health information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you provide OCG with authorization, you may void it in writing at any time.
Your revocation will not affect, in any way, the use or disclosures allowed by your authorization during effective dates. Unless you give OCG a written authorization, we cannot disclose or use your health information for any reason except those described in this notice.
To Your Family and Friends
OCG must disclose personal health information to you in accordance with the Patient Rights section of this notification. We may also disclose personal health information to a family member, friend or other authorized person, but only to the extent necessary to aid in your healthcare or with payments for your healthcare treatments or services. This will only be done if you agree that we may do so.
Persons Involved in Care
OCG may use or disclose health information to notify (identifying or locate) a family member, a representative or other persons responsible for your care. This includes notification of your location, your health condition, and/or death.
If you are present prior to the use or disclosure of your health information, OCG will allow you to object to those uses or disclosures. In an event that you are incapacity or during emergency circumstances OCG can disclose your health information. This is based on decisions made by our healthcare professionals' judgments about disclosing only the health information directly relevant to the person involved in your healthcare. OCG and its representatives will also use their professional judgment and experience to make reasonable decisions of your best interest when allowing a person to obtain prescriptions, dental supplies, X-rays, or other similar forms of your health information.
Marketing Health-Related Services
OCG will use patient information internally when offering goods,treatments and services believed to be of interest. We may use Patient Information when contacting you about inquiries or surveys in regards to your patient experience at any of the OCG location(s) visited. We may use your information for the prospect of future treatments, services and/or improvements needed to continue as your healthcare service provider. We may also create and use collected patient information not personally identifiable to understand more about the attributes and interests of our OCG’s patients.
We may employ additional third-party marketing service providers to send email or other communications to you on OCG’s behalf. This includes patient satisfaction surveys, advertisements and commonly used marketing outreach tools. These service providers will be prohibited from using your email address or additional contact information for any other purpose than to send communications and marketing on our behalf.
It is OCG’s objective to only send email communications that would be helpful to you. When providing us with your email address or contact information, as part of the registration or appointment setting process, we will place you on our list of patients. This qualifies you to receive informational and promotional emails. In addition, patients and/or visitors to OCG’s website are given the opportunity to “opt-in” to receive electronic promotional communications. by selecting the option to receive promotional emails from us on our website.
Every time you receive a promotional email communication an “opt-out” or “unsubscribe” will be provided. By following the instructions provided in the unsubscribe link your email will be removed from promotional email communications.
- Measure usage and popularity of various web pages on our site to help make information more applicable to visitors needs and easy for you to access; and
- Provide better functionality for online appointing, payment processing and other functions that we believe would be pertinent and valuable to visitors.
For example: two types of cookies used are “session” cookies and “persistent” cookies. Session cookies are stored temporarily and are automatically removed once you leave the website.
Persistent cookies stay on your computer or device until you delete them by clearing your PC or device browsing history.
OCG will not use your health information for fundraising activities without written consent.
Required by Law
OCG may use or disclose health information when required by law to do so.
Abuse or Neglect
We may disclose health information to the proper authorities if it is reasonably believed that you are a potential victim of domestic violence, abuse or neglect. We may disclose your information if we reasonably believe you are the possible victim of other crimes. We may disclose your health information to the when necessary to avert serious threats to your health and safety or the health and safety of others.
OCG may disclose to the proper military authorities health information of any Armed Forces personnel under certain circumstances. This disclosure includes federal officials health information as required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence and additional national security endeavors. We may disclose to a correctional institution or law enforcement official having lawful custody of protected health information of an inmate or patient under certain circumstances.
OCG may use and/or disclose health information to provide you with appointment reminders. These reminders include phone calls, voicemail messages, postcards, emails, text messages or letters.
You have the right to look at or get copies of your health information, with limited exceptions. You may request that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies. We will use the format you request unless we cannot practicably do so. We may charge a fee for producing dental records and X-rays as allowed by law.
You have the right to receive a list of instances in which we or our business associates disclosed your health information for purposes other than treatment, payment, healthcare operations and certain other activities for the last 6 years, but not before April 14, 2003. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12-month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests.
You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your health information. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in an emergency). When you pay in full outside of your insurance plan for services you may request that we restrict this information and not disclose it to your healthcare plan or insurer.
We will provide you with notification of a breach of unsecured PHI as required by law.
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your health information by alternative means or to alternative locations. This request must be in writing. Your request must specify the alternative means or location, and provide satisfactory explanation of how payments will be handled under the alternative means or location you request.
You have the right to request that we amend your health information. This request must be in writing, and it must explain why the information should be amended. We may deny your request under certain circumstances.
If you received this notice on our web site or by electronic mail (e-mail), you are also entitled to receive this notice in written form.
Questions and Concerns
If you would like additional information about OCG’s privacy practices or have questions, Orthodontic Care of Georgia’s may be reached at 888-764-5355. If you are concerned that we may have violated your privacy rights, or if you disagree with a decision we made about access to your health information or our handling of your response to a request you made to amend or restrict the use or disclosure of your health information, or to have us communicate with you by alternative means or at alternative locations, you may send your concerns to Orthodontic Care of Georgia, 6801 Governors Lake Pkwy Bldg 200, Norcross, GA 30071. You also may submit written concerns to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request.
OCG supports your right to maintain the privacy of your health information. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint with us or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.