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Privacy Policy

Notice of Privacy Practices
Arizona Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates, P.C

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.

We are required by law to provide you with this notice that explains  our  privacy  practices  with  regard  to  your  medical information   and   how   we   may   use   and   disclose   your protected  health  information  for  treatment,  payment,  and for  health  care  operations,  as  well  as  for  other  purposes that  are  permitted  or  required  by  law.  You  have  certain rights   regarding   the   privacy   of   your   protected   health information and we also describe them in this notice.

Ways in Which We May Use and Disclose your Protected Health Information

The following paragraphs describe different ways that we use  and  disclose  your  protected  health  information. We have provided an example for each category, but these examples  are not  meant  to  be exhaustive.  We assure  you that  all  of   the  ways  we  are  permitted  to  use  and disclose your health information fall within one of these categories.


We will use and disclose your protected health information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related services. We will also disclose your health information to other physicians who may be  treating you. Additionally, we may from time to time disclose your health information to another physician who we have requested to be involved in your care. For example – we would disclose your health information to a specialist to whom we have referred you for a diagnosis to help in your treatment.


We will use and disclose your protected health information to obtain payment for the health care services we provide you, for example –  we may include information with  a  bill  to  a  third  party  payer  that  identifies  you,  your diagnosis,   procedures   performed,   and   supplies   used   in rendering the service.

Health  Care  Operations

We  will  use  and  disclose  your protected   health   information   to   support   the   business activities of our practice. For example – we may use medical information about you to review and evaluate our treatment and  services  or  to  evaluate  our  staff’s  performance  while caring   for  you.  In  addition,  we  may  disclose  your  health information to third party business associates who perform billing, consulting, or transcription services for our  practice.

Other Ways We May Use and Disclose Your Protected Health Information

Appointment  Reminders

We  will  use  and  disclose  your protected health information to contact you as a reminder about scheduled appointments or treatment.

Treatment Alternatives

We will use and disclose your protected  health  information  to  tell  you  about  or  to recommend  possible  alternative  treatments  or  options that may be of interest to you.

Others Involved in Your Care

We will use and disclose your protected health information to a family member, a relative, a close friend, or any other person you identify that is involved in your medical care or payment for care with written permission.


We will use and disclose your protected health information to researchers provided the research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols   to ensure the privacy of your health information.

As required  by Law

We will use and disclose your protected health information   when required  to by  federal,  state, or local law. You will be notified of any such  disclosures.

To Avert a Serious Threat to Public Health or Safety

We will use and disclose your protected health information to a public health authority that is permitted to collect or receive  the  information  for  the  purpose  of  controlling disease,  injury,  or  disability.  If  directed  by  that  health authority, we will also disclose your health information to a  foreign  government  agency  that  is  collaborating  with the public health authority.

Your Health Information Rights

Although your health record is the physical property of the health  care  practitioner  or  facility  that  compiled  it,  the information belongs to you. You have the right to:

A Paper Copy of This Notice

You have the right to receive a paper copy of this  notice upon request. You may obtain a copy by asking our receptionist at your next visit or by calling and asking us to mail you a copy.

Inspect and Copy

You have the right to inspect and copy the protected health information that we maintain about you in our designated record set for as long as we maintain that  information,  this designated  record set includes  your medical and  billing  records, as  wen  as any other records we use for  making  decisions  about  you.  We  may  charge you  a  fee for  the  costs  of  copying,  mailing,  or  other supplies used in fulfilling your request.

If you wish to inspect or copy your medical information, you  must  submit  your  request  in  writing  to  our  Privacy Officer, c/o Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates, P.C., 10599  N. Tatum  Blvd., Suite F-150,  Paradise  Valley, Arizona 85253. You may mail in your request, or bring it to our office. We will have 30 days to respond to your request for information that we maintain at our practice site. If the information is stored off site, we are allowed up to 60 days to respond but must inform you of this delay.

Request Amendment

You have the right to request that we amend your medical information if you feel that it is incomplete or inaccurate. You must make this request in writing  to  our  practice  manager,  stating  exactly  what information    is    incomplete    or   inaccurate    and    your reasoning that supports your request.

We are permitted  to deny your request if it is not in writing, or does not include a reason to support that request. We may also deny your request if:

– The information was not created by us, or the person who  created  it  is  no  longer  available  to  make  the amendment;

-The  information  is  not  part  of  the  record  which  you are permitted to inspect and copy;

-The information is not part of the designated record set kept by this practice; or if it is the opinion of the health    care    provider    that    the    information    is accurate and complete.

Request   Restrictions

 You   have   the   right   to   request   a restriction  or  limitation  of  how  we  use  or  disclose  your medical information for treatment, payment, or health care operations. For example — you could request that we not disclose information  about a prior  treatment to a family member  or friend  who may  be involved in your care or payment for care. Your request must be made in writing to our practice manager. We are not required to agree to your request if we feel it is in  your  best  interest  to  use  or  disclose  that  information. However, if we do agree, we will comply with your request unless that information is needed for emergency treatment.

An Accounting of Disclosures

You have the right to request a list of the disclosures of  your health information we have made outside of our practice that  were not for treatment, payment, or health care operations. Your request  must  be made  in  writing  and  must  state  the  time  period  for  the requested  information.  You  may  not  request  information for  any  dates  prior  to  April  14,  2003 (the  compliance  date for  the federal  regulation)  nor for a period  of  time greater than six years (our legal obligation to retain information). Your first request for a list of disclosures within a 12 month period will be free. If you request an additional list within 12 months  of  the  first  request,  we  may  charge  you  a  fee  or the  costs  of  providing  the  subsequent  list.  We  will  notify you   of   such   costs   and   afford   you   the   opportunity   to withdraw your request before any costs arc incurred.

Request Confidential Communications

You have the right to request how we communicate with you to preserve your privacy.  For example –  you  may  request  that  we call  you only at your work number, or by mail at a special address or postal box. Your request must be made in writing  and must specify how or where we are to contact you. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.

File  a  Complaint

If  you  believe  we  have  violated  your medical information  privacy  rights, you  have the right  to file  a complaint  with  our practice  manager  or  directly  to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint, write our manager, you must make it in writing  within   180   days   of   the   suspected  violation. Provide as much detail as you can about the suspected violation and send it to Arizona Arthritis  and know that there  would be  no  retaliation for  your filing a complaint.

Uses or Disclosures not covered

Uses or disclosures of your health information not covered by  this  notice  or  the  laws  that  apply  to  us  may  only  be made with your written authorization in. You may revoke such  authorization  in  writing  at any  time and  we  will  no longer   disclose   health   information   about   you   for   the reasons  stated  in  your  written  authorization.  Disclosures made   in   reliance   on   the   authorization   prior   to   the revocation are not affected by the revocation.

For More Information

If  you have questions  or  would  like additional  information, you may contact our practice manager at


Effective Date: 04/14/03