We striclty comply with the the HIPAA law in the U.S. (summarized below):
HIPAA Confidentiality Provisions
The HIPAA Security Standard contains two subparts that relate directly to data integrity, data access, and mechanisms for handling data. The part most relevant to email is the rule requiring "securing patient records containing individually identifiable health information so that they are not readily available to those who do not need them." The relevant HIPAA subparts include:
45 CFR Part 142, § 142.308 (c). “Technical security services to guard data integrity, confidentiality and availability.” These are processes that protect information and control individual access to information.
45 CFR Part 142, § 142.308 (d). “Technical security mechanisms.” These are controls that prevent unauthorized access to information that is transmitted across an internal network or across the public Internet.
By definition, regular email is apparently not confidential unless encrypted, something your email to us will not be. Thus, our receipt of your email tells us that you are willing to waive any confidentiality provisions of the HIPAA. Our physician responses to you should not be considered confidential either. While we have no intention of telling anyone about your email, you may wish to pursue any private matters confidentially by mail, fax, or personal visit. We will not discuss medical matters over the phone if you have never been seen in our office.
If you do not wish to email us due to privacy concerns, please make an appointment or mail / fax us a letter with your concerns.
Regular email should NOT include any info that you would not want a thief to see (if the email gets intercepted).
By submitting your email to use to confirm the following: "I have read, understood, and waive any HIPAA confidentiality provisions related to regular email communication. By proceeding, you hereby agree to hold our physicians and affiliates harmless from any hacking or any other unauthorized use of your personal information by outside parties."