You may call 217.528.7541 (toll-free 800.444.7541) and ask for the Privacy Office.
The Notice of Privacy Practices exists to inform patients of the following:
HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a federal law that was enacted to protect your health and billing information (known as PHI – Protected Health Information) and to create standardized rules and regulations for the transfer of that information. It defines who is allowed access to your information and for what purpose, and outlines circumstances which may require the disclosure of your information without your prior written consent.
HIPAA is complex and can be confusing. All of us at Springfield Clinic care deeply about your privacy, and take our role very seriously as a trusted keeper of your PHI. We want to ensure you know your rights and understand our role in protecting your information.
Below are some of our most commonly received questions regarding HIPAA and your privacy. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Privacy Office at 217.528.7541.
Verbal Authorization allows designated individuals to request verbal information regarding a patient in whose care they participate. It allows Springfield Clinic to orally discuss that patient's health care issues or account information with these approved individuals, including medication instructions and post-visit care. Authorized individuals are also able to set, change and cancel appointments on behalf of the patient and assist with pickup of certain items, such as disability forms and X-ray images.
The Verbal Authorization does not authorize release of a patient’s printed information; it only authorizes the verbal sharing of patient-related information.
To complete the Verbal Authorization form, simply fill out the Verbal Authorization form on this page or request the form from any Springfield Clinic receptionist. It can be filled out on the spot and submitted for processing. Processing takes approximately four days, after which the authorized individuals should have their appropriate access.
Unless there is a Verbal Authorization in place, our staff members are unable to confirm whether or not someone is a Springfield Clinic patient, or if they are or have been in a Springfield Clinic office.
The only exceptions are: 1) if a patient provides explicit instructions during that particular visit that the family member/friend is allowed access to see them or to be informed of their presence on site, or 2) if that person/service is providing transportation to the patient.
No. Only a legal representative is authorized by law to conduct business on behalf of and make decisions for the patient. Examples of legal representatives include:
In the instance of non-parental relatives accompanying minor patients in place of the legal representative, written consent to treat the patient is required from the custodial parent. These types of forms can generally be accessed at the reception desk and must be signed by the legal representative.
Upon request, Springfield Clinic reception staff may print out your information so you are able to verify it privately. If time and space allow, our staff can attempt to review this information with you in a more private location in the office.
As an exception to the rule, HIPAA allows for certain information to be included under “incidental disclosure.” This includes a person’s name on a sign-in sheet, or calling a person’s name out loud in a waiting room. Therefore, incidents such as these that fall under “incidental disclosure” are not HIPAA violations. It is important for clinical accuracy that Springfield Clinic offices ensure the treatment of the correct patient, and, as many patients may have common or similar names, it is necessary to use both one’s first and last names. We continuously work to protect your privacy and safety, and this is an issue we frequently review for improvement.
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