Privacy Policy

Site Disclaimer

Any use of this website or the information contained in the website is at your own risk. We will not be responsible for the consequences of your decision to utilize the information contained in this website.

The medical information provided in this site is for educational purposes only, it is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your physician or healthcare provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Privacy Policy

We are committed to the right to privacy for our patients and web site visitors. When a person visits our web site we may collect and track data from our site's server. This information helps us to improve upon the content provided on our site. Information collected may include how long you spend on our site, the pages you visit, your browser and operating system types and the name of your Internet service provider.

Our web site provides the capability to request information on-line. To process your request, we may require that you provide us with personal identifying information. All information collected is held in complete confidence. It is our policy not to share the information with third parties for any reason, unless legally required to do so or as necessary to process your requests.

If you have any questions about our privacy policy or our use of information gathered through our web site, please contact us.

Notice of Privacy Practices

Download our Notice of Privacy Practices [pdf]

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

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.

If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact Deborah Bickert at 972-691-0368.

WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE?

  • LONE STAR ENT
  • LONE STAR ENT providers
  • All LONE STAR ENT employees

We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal and are committed to protecting this information.  When you receive care at LONE STAR ENT, a record of the care and services you receive is made.  Typically, this record contains your treatment plan, history and physical, test results, and billing record.  This record serves as a:

  • Basis for planning your treatment and services;
  • Means of communication among the physicians and other health care providers  involved in your care;
  • Means by which you or a third-party payor can verify that services billed were actually provided;
  • Source of information for public health officials; and
  • Tool for assessing and continually working to improve the care rendered.

This Notice tells you the ways we may use and disclose your Protected Health Information (referred to herein as “medical information”).  It also describes your rights and our obligations regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.

OUR RESPONSIBILITIES

LONE STAR ENT shall:

  • Make every effort to maintain the privacy of your medical information;
  • Provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you;
  • Abide by the terms of this notice;
  • Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction; and
  • Accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations.

Notify you and the Department of Health & Human Services of any unauthorized acquisition, access, use or disclosure of your unsecured medical information that presents a significant risk of financial, reputational or other harm to you, to the extent required by law.   Unsecured medical information means medical information not secured by technology that renders the information unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable as required by law.

THE METHODS IN WHICH WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

The following categories describe different ways we may use and disclose your medical information.  The examples provided serve only as guidance and do not include every possible use or disclosure.

  • For Treatment We will use and disclose your medical information to provide, coordinate, or manage your health care and any related service.  For example, we may share your information with your primary care physician or other specialists to whom you are referred for follow-up care.
  • For Payment.  We will use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive may be billed and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company, or a third party. For example, we may need to disclose your medical information to a health plan in order for the health plan to pay for the services rendered to you.  
  • For Health Care Operations.  We may use and disclose medical information about you for office operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run LONE STAR ENT in an efficient manner and provide that all patients receive quality care. For example, your medical records and health information may be used in the evaluation of services, and the appropriateness and quality of health care treatment. In addition, medical records are audited for timely documentation and correct billing.
  • Appointment Reminders.  We may use and disclose medical information in order to remind you of an appointment. For example, LONE STAR ENT may provide a written or telephone reminder that your next appointment with LONE STAR ENT is coming up.
  • Research Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the surgical outcome of all patients for whom one type of procedure is used to those for whom another procedure is used for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process. Prior to using or disclosing any medical information, the project must be approved through this research approval process. We will ask for your specific authorization if the researcher will have access to your name, address, or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care.
  • As Required by Law We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal or Texas laws or regulations.
  • To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety We may use and disclose medical information about you to medical or law enforcement personnel when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of another person.
  • Sale of Practice.  We may use and disclose medical information about you to another health care facility or group of physicians in the sale, transfer, merger, or consolidation of our practice.

Special Situations

  • Organ and Tissue Donation.  If you have formally indicated your desire to be an organ donor, we may release medical information to organizations that handle procurement of organ, eye, or tissue transplantations.
  • Military and Veterans.  If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities.
  • Workers’ Compensation We may release medical information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness. 
  • Qualified Personnel We may disclose medical information for management audit, financial audit, or program evaluation, but the personnel may not directly or indirectly identify you in any report of the audit or evaluation, or otherwise disclose your identity in any manner.
  • Public Health Risks We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following activities:
  1. To prevent or control disease, injury, or disability;
  2. To report reactions to medications or problems with products;
  3. To notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
  4. To notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition; and
  5. To notify the appropriate government authority if we believe you have been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.

All such disclosures will be made in accordance with the requirements of Texas and federal laws and regulations.

  • Health Oversight Activities.  We may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. Health oversight agencies include public and private agencies authorized by law to oversee the health care system. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, eligibility or compliance, and to enforce health-related civil rights and criminal laws.
  • Lawsuits and Disputes.  If you are involved in certain lawsuits or administrative disputes, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order. 
  • Law Enforcement.  We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
  • In response to a court order or subpoena; or
  • If LONE STAR ENT determines there is a probability of imminent physical injury to you or another person, or immediate mental or emotional injury to you.
  • Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors.  We may release medical information to a coroner or medical examiner when authorized by law (e.g., to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death). We may also release medical information about patients to funeral directors.
  • Inmates.  If you are an inmate of a correctional facility, we may release medical information about you to the correctional facility for the facility to provide you treatment.
  • Subsidized Treatment Communications.  We may make or send you treatment communications about a health-related product or service where we may receive payment from a third party. If you prefer not to receive such communications, you have the right to opt out of such communications. To opt out, contact the Privacy Officer at 972-939-0368.
  • Other Uses or Disclosures.  Any other use or disclosure of PHI will be made only upon your individual written authorization.  You may revoke an authorization at any time provided that it is in writing and we have not already relied on the authorization.

DISCLOSURES REQUIRING AUTHORIZATION 

  1. Electronic Disclosure.  We may use and disclose your medical information electronically. For example, your medical information is maintained on an electronic health record. If another provider providing your treatment requests a copy of your medical record, we may forward such record electronically.
  2. Marketing.  Marketing generally includes a communication made to describe a health-related product or service that may encourage you to purchase or use the product or service. We will obtain your written authorization to use and disclose PHI for marketing purposes unless the communication is made face-to-café, involves a promotional gift of nominal value or otherwise permitted by law. All other uses and disclosures of your information for marketing purposes requires your written authorization.
  3. Sale of your Medical Information.  We will not sell your medical information for marketing purposes. However, there are instances in which we will sell your PHI. We may disclose PHI in exchange for renumeration to another covered entity for treatment, payment, or certain health care operations. For example, should we merge or sell the practice to another group, your medical records may be part of that asset transfer. Any other sale of PHI requires your written authorization.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

You have the following rights regarding medical information collected and maintained about you:

  • Right to Inspect and Copy.  You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care.  Usually, this includes medical and billing records. To inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer for LONE STAR ENT.  If you request a copy of the information, LONE STAR ENT may charge a fee established by the Texas Medical Board for the costs of copying, mailing, or summarizing your records.LONE STAR ENT may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances.  If you are denied access to medical information, you may request that the denial be reviewed.  Another licensed health care professional chosen by LONE STAR ENT will review your request and denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request.  LONE STAR ENT will comply with the outcome of the review.
  • Right to Amend.  If you feel that medical information maintained about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask LONE STAR ENT to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by LONE STAR ENT. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to LONE STAR ENT.  In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request. LONE STAR ENT may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, LONE STAR ENT may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
  • Was not created by LONE STAR ENT, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
  • Is not part of the medical information kept by LONE STAR ENT;
  • Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
  • Is accurate and complete.
  • Right to an Accounting of Disclosures.  You have the right to request an “accounting of disclosures.” This is a list of the disclosures made of your medical information for purposes other than treatment, payment, or health care operations.To request this list you must submit your request in writing to Deborah Bickert, Office Manager. Your request must state a time period, which may not be longer than six (6) years. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper or electronically). The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional lists within the 12-month period, you may be charged for the cost of providing the list. LONE STAR ENT will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
  • Right to Access Report You have the right to receive a written access report that indicates who has accessed medical information about you in an electronic designated record set maintained by LONE STAR ENT or a business associate for up to three (3) years prior to the date on which the access report is requested. To request this report you must submit your request to the Privacy Office. Your request must state a time period, which may not be longer that three (3) years. Your request should indicate in what form you want the report (i.e, paper or electronically).  The first report you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional reports within the 12-month period, you may be charged a reasonable  cost-based fee. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
  • Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information LONE STAR ENT uses or discloses about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information LONE STAR ENT discloses about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care. LONE STAR ENT is not required to agree to your request, unless the request pertains solely to a healthcare item or service for which LONE STAR ENT has been paid out of pocket in full. For instance, you have the right to request that a health plan not be informed of treatment which you have paid in full. Should LONE STAR ENT agree to your request, LONE STAR ENT will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment. To request restrictions you must make your request in writing to LONE STAR ENT.  In your request, you may indicate: (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit LONE STAR ENT’s use and/or disclosure; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply.
  • Right to Revoke an Authorization.   There are certain types of uses or disclosures that require your express authorization. For example, LONE STAR ENT may not sell your information to a third party for marketing purposes without first obtaining your authorization. If you provide authorization for a particular use or disclosure of your medical information, you may revoke such authorization in writing by contacting the Privacy Officer at the address listed below. We will honor your revocation except to the extent we have already taken action in reliance of the specific authorization.
  • Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that LONE STAR ENT communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location.  For example, you can ask that LONE STAR ENT contact you only at work or by mail. To request that LONE STAR ENT communicate in a certain manner, you must make your request in writing to the Privacy Officer.  You do not have to state a reason for your request.  LONE STAR ENT will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
  • Right to Opt-out of Communications for Fundraising Purposes.

CHANGES OT THIS NOTICE

We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all PHI we maintain. Should our information practices change, we will post the amended Notice of Privacy Practices in our office or on our website.  You may request a copy be provided to you by contacting the Privacy Officer.

COMPLAINTS

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with LONE STAR ENT or with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with LONE STAR ENT, contact the Privacy Officerat 972-691-0368. Your complaint must be filed within 180 days of when you knew or should have known that the act occurred.  

Our address is: Lone Star Ear, Nose & Throat Care, 4320 Windsor Centre Trail, Suite 200, Flower Mound, TX 75028

The address for the Office of Civil Rights is:  Secretary of Health & Human Services, Region VI, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,1301 Young Street, Suite 1169, Dallas, TX 75202

All complaints should be submitted in writing. You will NOT be penalized for filing a complaint.      (Rev 07/14)         

Stock Photography Models

The persons shown in photographs on this website are stock photography models (Models) and are not actual patients of, nor are they affiliated with, Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat, Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat's direct and indirect parent companies, subsidiaries, or subsidiaries of its parent companies ("Affiliates"). Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat or Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat's Affiliates, have obtained the rights to use the photographs via license agreements with certain third party stock photography companies, and Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat or Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat's Affiliates use of the photographs is in compliance with the terms of those license agreements.

The photographs showing the Models are used on this website for illustrative purposes only. The Models do not personally endorse Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat, or any products, services, causes, or endeavors associated with, or provided by, Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat or any of Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat's Affiliates. The context in which the photographs are used on this website is not intended to reflect personally on any of the Models shown in the photographs. Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat, Lone Star Ear, Nose and Throat's Affiliates, their respective officers, directors, employees, agents and/or independent contractors assume no liability for any consequence relating directly or indirectly to the use of the photographs showing the Models on this website.

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