You are here:

Notice of Privacy Practices

This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.

PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY

Department of Health Duties

The Department of Health is required by law to maintain
the privacy of your protected health information. This
Notice of Privacy Practices tells you how your protected
health information may be used and how the department keeps
your information private and confidential. This notice explains
the legal duties and practices relating to your protected health
information. As part of the department’s legal duties this Notice of
Privacy Practices must be given to you. The department is
required to follow the terms of the Notice of Privacy Practices
currently in effect.


The Department of Health may change the terms of its notice.
The change, if made, will be effective for all protected health
information that it maintains. New or revised notices of privacy
practices will be posted on the Department of Health website at
www.myflorida.com and will be available by email and at all
Department of Health buildings.

Uses and Disclosures of your protected
health information

Protected health information includes demographic and
medical information that concerns the past, present, or
future physical or mental health of an individual.
Demographic information could include your name, address,
telephone number, social security number and any other means
of identifying you as a specific person. Protected health
information contains specific information that identifies a person
or can be used to identify a person.

Protected health information is health information created or
received by a health care provider, health plan, employer, or
health care clearinghouse. The Department of Health can act as
each of the above business types. This medical information is
used by the Department of Health in many ways while performing
normal business activities.

Your protected health information may be used or disclosed
by the Department of Health for purposes of treatment, payment,
and health care operations. Health care professionals use medical

information in the clinics or hospital to take care of you. Your
protected health information may be shared, with or without your
consent, with another health care provider for purposes of your
treatment. The Department of Health may use or disclose your health information for case management and services. The Department of Health clinic or hospital may send the medical information to insurance companies, Medicaid, or community agencies to pay for the services provided to you.

Your information may be used by certain department
personnel to improve the department’s health care operations.
The department also may send you appointment reminders,
information about treatment options or other health-related
benefits and services.

Some protected health information can be disclosed without
your written authorization as allowed by law. Those
circumstances include:

  • Reporting abuse of children, adults, or disabled persons.
  • Investigations related to a missing child.
  • Internal investigations and audits by the department’s
    divisions, bureaus, and offices.
  • Investigations and audits by the state’s Inspector General and Auditor General and the legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.
  • Public health purposes including vital statistics, disease
    reporting, public health surveillance, investigations, interventions and regulation of health professionals.
  • District medical examiner investigations.
  • Research approved by the department.
  • Court orders, warrants, or subpoenas.
  • Law enforcement purposes, administrative investigations, and judicial and administrative proceedings.

Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information by the department will require your written authorization. This authorization will have an expiration date that can be revoked by you in writing. These uses and disclosures may be for marketing and for research purposes. Certain uses and disclosure of psychotherapist notes will also require your written authorization.

Individual Rights

You have the right to request the Department of Health to restrict the use and disclosure of your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment, or health care operations. You may also limit disclosures to individuals involved with your care. The department is not required to agree to any restriction.

You have the right to be assured that your information will
be kept confidential. The Department of Health may mail or call
you with health care appointment reminders. We will make
contact with you in the manner and at the address or phone
number you select. You may be asked to put your request in
writing. If you are responsible to pay for services, you may
provide an address other than your residence where you can
receive mail and where we may contact you.

You have the right to inspect and receive a copy of your
protected health information. Your inspection of information
will be supervised at an appointed time and place. You may be
denied access as specified by law. If access is denied, you have
the right to request a review by a licensed health care
professional who was not involved in the decision to deny access.

This licensed health care professional will be designated by the
department. You have the right to correct your protected health
information. Your request to correct your protected health
information must be in writing and provide a reason to support
your requested correction. The Department of Health may deny
your request, in whole or part, if it finds the protected health
information:

  • Was not created by the department,
  • Is not protected health information,
  • Is by law not available for your inspection, or
  • Is accurate and complete.

If your correction is accepted, the department will make the
correction and tell you and others who need to know about the
correction. If your request is denied, you may send a letter
detailing the reason you disagree with the decision. The
department will respond to your letter in writing. You also may file
a complaint, as described below in the section titled Complaints.

You have the right to receive a summary of certain
disclosures the Department of Health may have made of your
protected health information. This summary does not include:

  • Disclosures made to you.
  • Disclosures to individuals involved with your care.
  • Disclosures authorized by you.
  • Disclosures made to carry out treatment, payment, and health care operations.
  • Disclosures for public health.
  • Disclosures for health professional regulatory purposes.
  • Disclosures to report abuse of children, adults, or disabled.
  • Disclosures prior to April 14, 2003.

This summary does include disclosures made for:

  • Purposes of research, other than those you authorized in writing.
  • Responses to court orders, subpoenas, or warrants.
    You may request a summary for not more than a 6-year period from the date of your request.

If you received this Notice of Privacy Practices electronically,
you have the right to a paper copy upon request.

Complaints

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file
a complaint with the: Department of Health’s Inspector General at
4052 Bald Cypress Way, BIN A03/ Tallahassee, FL 32399-1704/
telephone 850-245-4141 and with the Secretary of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence
Avenue, S.W./ Washington, D.C. 20201/ telephone 202-619-0257 or toll free 877-696-6775. The complaint must be in writing, describe the acts or omissions that you believe violate your privacy rights, and be filed within 180 days of when you knew or should have known that the act or omission occurred. The Department of Health will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

For Further Information

Requests for further information about the matters covered by
this notice may be directed to the person who gave you the notice, to the director or administrator of the Department of Health
facility where you received the notice, or to the Department of
Health, Inspector General at 4052 Bald Cypress Way, BIN A03/
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1704/ telephone 850-245-4141.

Legal Disclaimer