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HIPAA - Privacy Officer

Hours:
  Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location:
  Lab Department.
Phone:
  (360) 257-9744
Scope of Service:
  The Privacy Officer acts as the point of contact for all patient privacy issues.

As a beneficiary of the Department of Defense Military Health System and TRICARE, one of the basic rights provided is access to quality healthcare. Another is the right to keep your healthcare information private. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 established healthcare standards or "privacy rules.” It also created the acronym, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

HIPAA requires that all U. S. military and civilian healthcare providers, hospitals and organizations follow these rules to protect the privacy of healthcare information from unauthorized disclosure or use. The new privacy rules took effect April 14, 2003.

Before then, to increase beneficiary awareness regarding the new privacy rules, each TRICARE sponsor listed as eligible in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) received a copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices in the mail.

Under the privacy rules, you have the right to receive a notice of MHS privacy practices from the Medical Treatment Facility (MTF); to access, review, and receive a copy of your personal medical record or health care information on file at the MTF you receive care to; request a change or correct an error in your medical record; know how, when and to whom your medical information is disclosed; file a grievance with the MTF you receive care at regarding a privacy concern; and finally, provide written instructions on your personal preferences regarding use and disclosure of your personal health information.

Your personal health care information may be disclosed to other healthcare providers such as specialists, pharmacists, or laboratory technicians who, at the request of your primary care manager, may need access to your private healthcare information to provide you with optimal care.

Permissible uses of healthcare information include treatment, payment for services provided, or Military Treatment Facility operations such as patient billing or appointment scheduling.

At Naval Hospital Oak Harbor, we have taken several measures to protect your privacy to include removal of patient names from all bulletin boards in patient accessible areas, installation of privacy screens and flatscreens in patient exam areas, securing of computer files, renovations to check-in areas, creation of new policies and procedures to safeguard your information, and maintained private offices for admissions and third party collections. Additionally, we are continuing to monitor and search for ways of enhancing your personal privacy even further.

MTFs may not share your personal healthcare information with outside sources for marketing, health care research, or any other reason without your knowledge and written consent.

Privacy officers are located at every MTF and serve as beneficiary advocates for privacy issues. They will respond to inquiries from TRICARE beneficiaries who may have questions or concerns regarding personal healthcare information or the new privacy rules. Privacy officers will ensure that private healthcare information remains accessible to beneficiaries and their providers and protected from unauthorized access.

Beneficiaries who have questions or concerns regarding their privacy rights may contact the Naval Hospital Oak Harbor's HIPAA Privacy Officer at (360) 257-9520.

For a copy of the MHS Notice of Privacy Practices click here: Notice of Privacy Practices. Additional information on TRICARE and the HIPAA privacy rule is also available at this site: MHS Privacy and Civil Liberties.