Privacy Notice

What does HIPAA mean?

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It was put into place to protect patient privacy and also ensures the privacy of all accumulated health information that belongs to the patient. It was signed into law in 1996 under the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Healthcare providers nationwide were required to comply with the rules and regulations of privacy protection by April of 2003. Amherst Pediatrics is a HIPAA compliant facility.

What does it mean to me?

It means that your private health information is protected by federal law. You have rights regarding your personal information and it provides specific rules and regulations on who may have access to it.

Do I have to sign the HIPAA agreement papers every time I see a healthcare provider?

The HIPAA agreement states that you must be given the "Notice of Privacy Practices" statement which belongs to the facility that you have an appointment with. The notice states how the healthcare providers can use the information from your personal medical file and when and who they can give the information to. If you are a regular patient at a facility, you may only have to sign the HIPAA paperwork once and then it will become part of your file. Some facilities do require you to sign one at every visit, however. It depends on the policy of the facility.

Does my doctor have to sign the HIPAA agreement too?

Medical staff does have to sign an agreement at least once a year, stating that they are aware of the provisions of the law, that they understand these laws and that they will uphold these laws. These are kept on file at the facility at which they work. States may differ in their requirements, but the basic privacy laws must be upheld.

What are my rights under the federal HIPAA laws?

You can ask to see your records and to get copies of them You can have any corrections that you feel need to be made, included in your chart.

You will be notified if your health information needs to be shared with other healthcare providers or specialists, insurance companies or billing personnel. You can file complaints if you feel your privacy rights were violated in any way.

What kind of information does it protect?

It protects any kind of health information such as office visits, tests, and procedures, diagnosis, or other facets of medical care. This includes mental health information, therapy, counseling or other aspects of mental health care. Information that is spoken, printed or transmitted electronically all fall under the HIPAA privacy act.

Does my healthcare provider have the right to share my information?

Yes. Your healthcare provider does have the right to share your information:

  • with other healthcare professionals involved in your care 
  • for coordination of your healthcare with other specialties 
  • to report any information that affects public health, such as dog bites, gunshot wounds or infectious diseases 
  • with any family, friends or other people that YOU determine as acceptable, to help with your medical care or finances and billing 

Keep in mind that if you want your medical records from one office sent to another, you will have to sign a release form.

What if I want access to my health information?

You should be able to have access to all your health information whenever and wherever you want. This includes office visits, tests and lab results, and communication between healthcare providers. You also have the right to know who your information has been shared with.

Who gets to see my confidential health information?

Anyone directly involved in your care would have access to your information. Doctors, nurses, other medical personnel, billing offices and secretarial might all have legal access to it. Any specialists, personnel who perform lab tests and diagnostic tests, or any procedures either outpatient or inpatient may also have access to your records for the time that you are in their care. Basically, anyone who is necessary to provide the best medical care that you can receive.

Office Hours
Monday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Tuesday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Wednesday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Thursday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Friday:8:00 AM - 4:45 PM
Saturday:12:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Sunday:12:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Contact Us

Our Address
31 Hall Dr.
Amherst, MA 01002
Tel: (413) 253-3773
Fax: (413) 256-0215
Email: mail@amherstpeds.com

 

Please note temporary office hours
during the COVID-19 pandemic

Patient Care Hours:
Monday-Friday

8:00 AM - 4:45 PM: In-office and Telehealth visits
4:45 - 7:00 PM: Telehealth visits only

Sat-Sun
12:30 - 3:30
Telehealth visits only

Due to the pandemic, we ask that you please remain at home if you or your child is ill. If you have concerns about how your child is feeling, please contact us by sending a message through this patient portal. The clinicians will be able to respond to you during our regular hours. Calling the office may present a further delay in response times.

The COVID-19 situation is ever unfolding. We are dedicated to the safety of our patients and staff. Please refer to our website for updates on this changing situation.



* Please note: It is our policy that we do not approve referral requests for visits to outside urgent care centers during times that our office is open.

Holidays
We are open for urgent visits only on most Holidays. Our office is closed on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.