This is the web site of Ask the Pharmacist Group.

If you have any questions regarding this notice, you may contact our Privacy Officer at:

Joseph DiMatteo, NMD, CCN, DHPH, RPH
Ask the Pharmacist Group, PC
Attn: Privacy Officer
215 Allegheny Avenue
Oakmont, Pennsylvania 15139
Telephone 412-826-9500
Fax # 412-826-1884

or you can reach us by telephone at 877.275.7743

We care about your privacy. We respect the privacy of all your personal information and understand the need to protect it.

Our Commitment
We understand the delicate nature of certain health situations and will never disclose to anybody anything that we might come to know about our customers. We do not sell or otherwise share your information with any third party. We honor our customers’ requests not to receive solicitations from Joe.

General Information

The Information We Collect
In general, you can visit many of our web pages without telling us who you are or revealing any personal information about yourself. However, we receive and store certain types of information whenever you visit one of our sites. We may track the Internet domain address from which people visit us and analyze this data for trends and statistics, but individual users will remain anonymous, unless you voluntarily tell us who you are. We may use “cookies” that allow our system to recognize your browser and help us personalize your online experience.

We collect the e-mail addresses of those who communicate with us via e-mail, information volunteered by the consumer, such as survey information and/or site registrations.

The information we collect is used to notify consumers about updates to our website and used by us to contact consumers for marketing purposes.

If you do not want to receive e-mail from us in the future, please let us know by sending us e-mail at the above address.

If you supply us with your postal address on-line you may receive periodic mailings from us with information on new products and services or upcoming events. If you do not wish to receive such mailings, please let us know by calling us at the number provided above.

Please provide us with your exact name and address. We will be sure your name is removed from our list. We do not share your name and address with other organizations.

Persons who supply us with their telephone numbers on-line will only receive telephone contact from us with information regarding orders they have placed on-line.

In the course of our business, we may sell or buy stores, subsidiaries or other business units. Customer data may be transferred in a business transaction, but it will remain subject to our privacy policy.

With respect to Ad Servers: We do not partner with or have special relationships with any ad server companies.

Upon request we provide site visitors with access to transaction information (e.g., dates on which customers made purchases, amounts and types of purchases) that we maintain about them, communications that the consumer/visitor has directed to our site (e.g., e-mails, customer inquiries), contact information (e.g., name, address, phone number) that we maintain about them. Consumers can access this information by e-mail us at the above address.

Upon request we offer visitors the ability to have inaccuracies corrected in contact information, communications that the consumer/visitor has directed to the site. Consumers can have this information corrected by sending us e-mail at the above address.

We Care About the Safety of Children
We care about the safety of children and the privacy of their personal information. This site is intended for a general audience. You must be 18 years of age or older to register with us or to purchase from our site. We do not knowingly correspond with or market to children under the age of 18.

If you would like to learn about how to protect your children online, visit the FTC at: www.ftc.gov/privacy/privacyinitiatives/childrens.html.

Security
We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse or alteration of information that we have collected from you at our site. Please be aware that information that passes over the Internet is not all in our control. Therefore, we cannot offer any guarantees about the security of your data while it is in transmission. Use of the Internet in general carries a certain risk. After your personal information is transmitted to us, we will do everything we reasonably can to protect it.

Other Websites
We do not control the Privacy Policies of sites that may be linked to ours. If you have a question or concern about Privacy on a site, please be sure to read the policy of that site.

We Follow the Law
We share information with law enforcement if required to do so by law, by court order or by other legal processes.

Medical Information

Your Protected Nutritional and Health Information
We are required by the federal privacy rule to maintain the privacy of your nutritional/health information that is protected by the rule, and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your protected health care information. We are required to abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect.

Generally speaking, your protected health information is any information that relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition, the provision of nutritional care to you, or payment for nutritional care provided to you, and individually identifies you or reasonably can be used to identify you.

Your nutritional and billing records at our practice are examples of information that usually will be regarded as your protected health information.

USES AND DISCLOSURES OF YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION

Nutritional counseling, treatment, payment, and health care operations

This section describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information for nutritional counseling, payment, and health care operations purposes. The descriptions include examples. Not every possible use or disclosure for counseling, payment, and health care operations purposes will be listed.

Nutritional counseling and treatment
We may use and disclose your protected health information for our counseling purposes as well as the treatment purposes of other health care providers. Counseling includes the provision, coordination, or management of health care services to you by Joe DiMatteo. Some examples of counseling uses and disclosures for treatment include:

– We may share and discuss your nutritional/medical information with a physician to whom we have referred you for care.
– We may share and discuss your nutritional/medical information with a with whom we are consulting regarding your care.
– We may share and discuss your nutritional/medical information with an outside laboratory or health care facility where we have referred you for testing.
– We may share and discuss your nutritional/medical information with an outside home health agency or other health care provider to whom we have referred your for services and products.
– We may share and discuss your nutritional/medical information with a hospital or other health care facility who are admitting or treating you.
– We may share and discuss your nutritional/medical information with another health care provider who seeks this information for the purpose of treating you.
– We may call clients by name when it is time for them to go to the consultation room.
– We may contact you regarding test results.
– We may contact you to provide appointment reminders.

Payment
We may use and disclose your protected health information for our payment purposes as well as the payment purposes of other health care providers and health plans. Payment uses and disclosures include activities conducted to obtain payment for the care provided to you or so that you can obtain reimbursement for that care, for example, from your health insurer. Some examples of payment uses and disclosures include:

– Sharing information with your health insurer to determine whether you are eligible for coverage or whether proposed treatment is a covered service.
– Submission of a claim form to your health insurer.
– Providing supplemental information to your health insurer so that your health insurer can obtain reimbursement from another health plan under a coordination of benefits clause under your insurance agreement.
– Sharing your demographic information (for example, your address) with other health care providers who seek this information to obtain payment for health care services provided to you.
– Mailing you bills in envelopes with our practice name and return address.
– Provision of a bill to a family member or other person designated as responsible for payment for services rendered to you.
– Providing nutritional/medical records and other documentation to your health insurer to support the necessity of a health service.
– Allowing your health insurer access to your nutritional/medical record for a medical necessity or quality review audit.
– Providing consumer reporting agencies with credit information (your name and address, date of birth, security number, payment history, and our name and address.
– Providing information to a collection agency or our attorney for purposes of securing payment of a delinquent account.
– Disclosing information in a legal action for purposes of securing payment of a delinquent account.

Health care operations
We may use and disclose your protected health information for our health care operation purposes as well as certain health care operation purposes of other health care providers and health plans. Some examples of health care operation purposes include:

– Quality assessment and improvement activities.
– Health care fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs.
– Conduction of other medical review, legal services, and auditing functions.
– Other business management and general administrative activities, such as compliance with the privacy rule and resolution of patient grievances.

Uses and disclosures for other purposes

We may use and disclose your protected health information for other purposes. This section generally describes those purposes by category. Each category includes one or more examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. Some examples fall into more than one category, not just the one under which they are listed.

Individuals involved in care or payment for care
We may disclose your protected health information to someone involved in your care or payment for your care, such as a spouse, a family member, or a close friend. For example, if you have surgery, we may discuss nutritional options to enhance healing, etc.

Health oversight activities
We may use and disclose protected health information for purposes of health oversight activities authorized by law. These activities could include audits, inspections, investigations, licensure actions, and legal proceedings. For example, we may comply with a Drug Enforcement Agency inspection of client records.

Judicial and administrative proceedings
We may use and disclose protected health information in judicial and administrative proceedings in response to a court order or subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process. For example, we may comply with a court order to testify in a case at which your nutritional/medical condition is at issue.

Coroners and medical examiners
We may use and disclose protected health information for purposes of providing information to a coroner or medical examiner for the purpose of identifying a deceased client, determining a cause of death, or facilitation their performance of other duties required by law.

Workers’ compensation and similar programs
We may use and disclose protected health information as authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers’ compensation or similar programs, established by law, that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness without regard to fault. For example, this would include submitting a claim for payment to your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier if we consult with you regarding a work injury.

Business associates
Certain functions of the practice are performed by a business associate such as an accounting firm or law firm. We may disclose protected health information to our business associates and allow them to create and receive protected health information on our behalf. For example, we may share with our accounting company information regarding your payment for care.

Creation of de-identified information
We may use protected health information about you in the process of de-identifying the information. For example, we may use your protected health information in the process of removing those aspects which could identify you so that the information can be disclosed to a researcher without your authorization.

Incidental disclosures
We may disclose protected health information as a by-product of an otherwise permitted use or disclosure. For example, other customers or clients may overhear your name being called while waiting for your appointment.

Uses and disclosures with authorization

For all other purposes which do not fall under a category listed above, we will obtain your written authorization to use or disclose your protected health information. Your authorization can be revoked at any time except to the extent that we have relied on the authorization.

CLIENT PRIVACY RIGHTS

Further restriction on use or disclosure
Your have a right to request that we further restrict use and disclosure of your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment, or consultation operations, to someone who is involved in their care or the payment for your care, or for notification purposes. We are not required to agree to a request for a further restriction.

To request a further restriction, you must submit a written request to our privacy officer. The request must tell us:

– What information that you want restricted
– How you want the information restricted
– To whom you want the restriction to apply

Confidential communication
You have a right to request that we communicate your protected health information to you by a certain means or at a certain location. For example, you might request that we only contact you by mail or at work. We are not required to agree to requests for confidential communications that are unreasonable.

To make a request for confidential communications, you must submit a written request to our privacy officer. The request must tell us how or where you want to be contacted. In addition, if another individual or entity is responsible for payment, the request must explain how payment will be handled.

Accounting of disclosures
You have a right to obtain, upon request, an accounting of certain disclosures of your protected health information by us. This right is limited to disclosures within 6 years of the request, and other limitations. Also, in limited circumstances, we may charge you for providing the accounting. To request an accounting, you must submit a written request to our privacy officer. The request should designate the applicable time period.

Inspection and copying
You have a right to inspect and obtain a copy of your protected health information that we maintain in a designated records set. This right is subject to limitations and we may impose a charge for the labor and supplies involved in providing copies.

To obtain copies of your protected health information, we must submit a written request to our privacy officer. The request must:

– Describe the nutrition/health information to which access is requested.
– State how you want to access the information, such as inspection, pick-up of copy, mailing of copy.
– Specify any requested form or format, such as paper copy
– Include the mailing address, if applicable.

Right to amendment
You have a right to request that we amend protected health information that we maintain about you in a designated records set if the information is incorrect or incomplete. This right is subject to limitations. To request an amendment, you must submit a written request to our privacy officer. The request must specify each change that you want and provide a reason to support each requested change.

Paper copy of privacy notice
You have a right to receive, upon request, a paper copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices. To obtain a paper copy, contact our privacy officer.

Updating Our Privacy Notice
We may decide to update our privacy policy, partially or in its entirety, at any time. We further reserve the right to make any change effective for all protected health information that we maintain at this time of the change, including information that we created or received prior to the effective date of the change.

We will post a notice on our website and in the waiting room for the practice, with an effective date for the new policy. At any time patients may review the current notice by contacting our privacy officer. The policy will be reviewed from time to time, or as required by changes in the law.

Legal effect of This Notice
This notice is not intended to create contractual or other rights independent of those created in the federal privacy rule.

We Care About What You Think
If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us at the above addresses or phone number.

Effective Date
The effective date for this policy is Aug 12, 2009.