HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices

Confidentiality of your health care information

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

This notice is required by law to tell you how Delta Dental and its affiliates ("Delta Dental") protect the confidentiality of your health care information in our possession. Protected Health Information (PHI) is defined as any individually identifiable information regarding a patient's health care history; mental or physical condition or treatment. Some examples of PHI include your name, address, telephone and/or fax number, electronic mail address, social security number or other identification number, date of birth, date of treatment, treatment records, x-rays, enrollment and claims records. Delta Dental receives, uses and discloses your PHI to administer your benefit plan or as permitted or required by law. Any other disclosure of your PHI without your authorization is prohibited.

We follow the privacy practices described in this notice and federal and state privacy requirements that apply to our administration of your benefits. Delta Dental reserves the right to change our privacy practice effective for all PHI maintained. We will update this notice if there are material changes and redistribute it to you within 60 days of the change to our practices. We will also promptly post a revised notice on our website. A copy may be requested anytime by contacting the address or phone number at the end of this notice. You should receive a copy of this notice at the time of enrollment in a Delta Dental program and will be informed on how to obtain a copy at least every three years.

Permitted uses and disclosures of Your PHI

Uses and disclosures of your PHI for treatment, payment or health care operations

Your explicit authorization is not required to disclose information about yourself for purposes of health care treatment, payment of claims, billing of premiums, and other health care operations. If your benefit plan is sponsored by your employer or another party, we may provide PHI to your employer or that sponsor to administer your benefits. As permitted by law, we may disclose PHI to third party affiliates that perform services for Delta Dental to administer your benefits and who have signed a contract agreeing to protect the confidentiality of your PHI, and have implemented privacy policies and procedures that comply with applicable federal and state law.

Some examples of disclosure and use for treatment, payment or operations include processing your claims, collecting enrollment information and premiums, reviewing the quality of health care you receive, providing customer service, resolving your grievances, and sharing payment information with other insurers. Additional examples include the following:

  • Uses and/or disclosures of PHI in facilitating treatment. For example, Delta Dental may use or disclose your PHI to determine eligibility for services requested by your provider.
  • Uses and/or disclosures of PHI for payment. For example, Delta Dental may use and disclose your PHI to bill you or your plan sponsor.
  • Uses and/or disclosures of PHI for health care operations. For example, Delta Dental may use and disclose your PHI to review the quality of care provided by our network of providers.

Other permitted uses and disclosures without an authorization

We are permitted to disclose your PHI upon your request or to your authorized personal representative (with certain exceptions), when required by the U. S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with law, and when otherwise required by law. Delta Dental may disclose your PHI without your prior authorization in response to the following:

  • Court order;
  • Order of a board, commission, or administrative agency for purposes of adjudication pursuant to its lawful authority;
  • Subpoena in a civil action;
  • Investigative subpoena of a government board, commission, or agency;
  • Subpoena in an arbitration;
  • Law enforcement search warrant; or
  • Coroner's request during investigations

Some other examples include: to notify or assist in notifying a family member, another person, or a personal representative of your condition; to assist in disaster relief efforts; to report victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to appropriate authorities; for organ donation purposes; to avert a serious threat to health or safety; for specialized government functions such as military and veterans activities; for workers' compensation purposes; and, with certain restrictions, we are permitted to use and/or disclose your PHI for underwriting, provided it does not contain genetic information. Information can also be de-identified or summarized so it cannot be traced to you and, in selected instances, for research purposes with the proper oversight.

Disclosures Delta Dental makes with your authorization

Delta Dental will not use or disclose your PHI without your prior written authorization unless permitted by law. You can later revoke that authorization in writing to stop the future use and disclosure. The authorization will be obtained from you by Delta Dental or by a person requesting your PHI from Delta Dental.

Your rights regarding PHI

You have the right to request an inspection of and obtain a copy of your PHI.

You may access your PHI by contacting Delta Dental at the address at the bottom of this notice. You must include (1) your name, address, telephone number and identification number and (2) the PHI you are requesting. Delta Dental may charge a reasonable fee for providing you copies of your PHI. Delta Dental will only maintain that PHI that we obtain or utilize in providing your health care benefits. Most PHI, such as treatment records or X-rays, is returned by Delta Dental to the dentist after we have completed our review of that information. You may need to contact your health care provider to obtain PHI that Delta Dental does not possess.

You may not inspect or copy PHI compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, or PHI that is otherwise not subject to disclosure under federal or state law. In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed. Please contact the privacy office as noted below if you have questions about access to your PHI.

You have the right to request a restriction of your PHI.

You have the right to ask that we limit how we use and disclose your PHI, however you may not restrict our legal or permitted uses and disclosures of PHI. While we will consider your request, we are not legally required to accept those requests that we cannot reasonably implement or comply with during an emergency. If we accept your request, we will put our understanding in writing.

You have the right to correct or update your PHI.

You may request to make an amendment of PHI we maintain about you. In certain cases we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. If your PHI was sent to us by another, we may refer you to that person to amend your PHI. For example, we may refer you to your dentist to amend your treatment chart or to your employer, if applicable, to amend your enrollment information. Please contact the privacy office as noted below if you have questions about amending your PHI.

You have the right to opt out of Delta Dental using your PHI for fundraising and marketing.

Delta Dental does not use your PHI for either marketing or fundraising purposes. If we change our practice, we must give you the opportunity to opt-out.

You have the right to request or receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at a different address.

Alternate or confidential communication is available if disclosure of your PHI could endanger you. You may be required to provide us with a statement of possible danger, as well as specify a different address, or another method of contact. Please make this request in writing to the address noted at the end of this notice.

You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your PHI.

You have a right to an accounting of disclosures with some restrictions. This right does not apply to disclosures for purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations or for information we disclosed after we received a valid authorization from you. Additionally, we do not need to account for disclosures made to you, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes. We do not need to account for disclosures made for national security reasons or certain law enforcement purposes or disclosures made as part of a limited data set. Please contact us at the number at the end of this notice if you would like to receive an accounting of disclosures or if you have questions about this right

You have the right to get this notice by email.

A copy of this notice is posted on the Delta Dental website. You may also request an email copy or paper copy of this notice by calling our Customer Service number listed at the bottom of this notice.

You have the right to be notified following a breach of unsecured protected health information.

Delta Dental will notify you in writing, at the address on file, if we discover we compromised the privacy of your PHI.

Complaints

You may file a complaint to Delta Dental and/or to the U. S. Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe that Delta Dental has violated your privacy rights. Complaints to Delta Dental may be filed by notifying the contact below. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint

Contact

You may contact Delta Dental at 866-530-9675, or you may write to the address listed below for further information about the complaint process or any of the information contained in this notice.

Delta Dental

P.O. Box 997330
SacramentoCA  95899-7330

This notice is effective on and after July 1, 2013.