The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is a federal law designed to protect your privacy whenever your health care providers (including your Riverside Lactation consultant) have to discuss your case, or send information about you to different offices. I have to keep a file to record our consult, but I promise you that your private, protected health information (PHI) will be kept confidential.

I can freely share all the details of your PHI for the purposes of “treatment, payment, and health care operations.” That means that I can talk about your situation and discuss it with your other health care providers. If you are referred to other specialist, I can send the information on to them. I can also share your PHI with your health insurance company if they need it. The law also requires us to share your PHI under other very precise situations: for example, if a subpoena has been served on me, to turn over medical records, or a federal agency is investigating a complaint that I have not been protecting your privacy.

Any other time I share your PHI, it has to be with your specific authorization: You have to okay it in writing first. For example you may want me to send PHI about your consultation to the Human Resources Department where you work so they can reimburse you under their workplace lactation support program. When you do give me permission to turn over your PHI, I can give out only the minimum amount of information needed to get the job done. Under HIPAA, I can call or write you to remind you to come back for an appointment, or to tell you how you can get a product or service that might interest you and your family.

You have four rights under HIPAA:

1.Access (you can ask your Riverside Lactation consultant to see all the PHI she has about you)

2. Amendment (you can ask your Riverside Lactation consultant to change her files to amend inaccurate PHI)

3. Disclosure Accounting (you can ask to whom your Riverside Lactation consultant has given your PHI)

4. Restriction Request (you can put limits on your Riverside Lactation consultant’s use and sharing of your PHI)

My duty under HIPAA is to give you this notice so you understand I have promised to keep your PHI confidential. If I change this notice in the future, we‘ll give you a new copy.

Rachel Blumberg the owner of Riverside Lactation (and Lactation Consultant) is the Privacy Officer. My phone number is 703-409-2486. I will answer your questions or concerns about how I protect the privacy of your PHI.

You can complain if you think your privacy hasn’t been protected by your Riverside Lactation consultant and we have a duty to try to resolve things. I am the privacy officer, so first step would be to complain to me. I have a duty to address the complaint. We can’t penalize you for making a complaint. If we don’t address your complaint adequately, you can make a report to the Office of Civil Rights of the Federal Health and Human Services (HHS) Department to ask that a formal investigation be made. You can’t go to court and sue us over a HIPAA violation, but you can ask HHS to investigate.