Patient Information – Gainesville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery https://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com Fri, 17 Mar 2017 18:37:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.4 https://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-Favicon-32x32.png Patient Information – Gainesville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery https://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com 32 32 Anesthesia Options https://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/anesthesia-options-gainesville/ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:44:25 +0000 http://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/anesthesia-options-gainesville/ Since it is normal to feel anxious before a surgical procedure, we offer many options for sedation when you undergo any oral surgical procedure at Gainesville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Our surgical staff wants to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible for your procedure. The methods used often depend on the preference of the patient and the nature of…

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Since it is normal to feel anxious before a surgical procedure, we offer many options for sedation when you undergo any oral surgical procedure at Gainesville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Our surgical staff wants to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible for your procedure. The methods used often depend on the preference of the patient and the nature of the surgical procedure.

Anesthesia Options

Local Anesthesia

A local anesthetic is administered in the area that the surgery is performed.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

IV sedation is administered through an intravenous line and allows the patient to fall completely asleep throughout the procedure. This option is commonly used in semi-invasive surgical procedures, such as bone grafting, and can also be utilized when patients experience a high level of anxiety.

Hospital or Surgery Center-Based General Anesthesia

If you undergo an extensive procedure, such as facial trauma surgery or jaw reconstruction, you may undergo general anesthesia in a hospital or surgery center, which is administered by an anesthesiologist.

Are oral surgeons qualified to administer anesthesia?

Yes! All oral surgeons must undergo extensive training in the medical field and gain valuable experience performing anesthesia before they go into oral surgery practice. This training and hands-on experience include the administration of operating room anesthesia in hospitals, as well as in-office anesthesia in specialty facilities. Unlike the majority of general dentists, they have received the highest level of licensure for dental practitioners to perform anesthesia, which allows them to perform deep sleep or general anesthesia.

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Scheduling https://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/scheduling-gainesville/ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:44:25 +0000 http://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/scheduling-gainesville/ We will schedule your appointment as promptly as possible. If you have pain or an emergency situation, every attempt will be made to see you that day. We try our best to stay on schedule to minimize your waiting. Because Dr. Simonton provides a variety of oral and facial surgery services, various circumstances may lengthen the time allocated for a…

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We will schedule your appointment as promptly as possible. If you have pain or an emergency situation, every attempt will be made to see you that day.

We try our best to stay on schedule to minimize your waiting. Because Dr. Simonton provides a variety of oral and facial surgery services, various circumstances may lengthen the time allocated for a procedure. Emergency cases can also arise and cause delays. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Please contact either of our office locations with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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Frequently Asked Questions https://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/frequently-asked-questions-gainesville/ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:44:25 +0000 http://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/frequently-asked-questions-gainesville/ As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Simonton specializes in effective surgical treatment for TMJ disorders, wisdom teeth extraction, orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery, and dental implant placement. What is TMJ? Do you wonder, “what is TMJ?” Do you feel you might have problems with TMJ? Dr. Fred Simonton is experienced in exactly what TMJ is and how it can be…

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As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Simonton specializes in effective surgical treatment for TMJ disorders, wisdom teeth extraction, orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery, and dental implant placement.

What is TMJ?

Do you wonder, “what is TMJ?” Do you feel you might have problems with TMJ? Dr. Fred Simonton is experienced in exactly what TMJ is and how it can be treated.

TMJ refers to a variety of medical and dental conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint, or jaw joint. The temporomandibular joint includes the muscles that move the jaw as well as the tissues where the lower jaw connects to the skull. A small disc of cartilage separates the jaw bones, allowing the mandible to slide easily every time you move it.

You can locate the TMJ joint by putting your finger on the triangular structure in front of your ear and then moving your finger slightly forward. The temporomandibular joint is one of the most active and complex joints in the human body. This joint is used every time you chew, talk, and swallow, making it one of the most frequently used of all joints in the body.

TMJ problems are often painful and can seriously impair the functions and sensations of the face, jaw, mouth, ears, neck, and shoulders.

For more information regarding TMJ, contact Dr. Fred Simonton today.


Who gets TMJ?

Dr. Fred Simonton can accurately detect if your ear or jaw pain is in fact TMJ. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) has reported that there are over 10 million people in the U.S. who have ear and jaw pain related to TMJ issues at any given time. TMJ syndrome is a condition that can afflict anyone, and while TMJ does not seem to be more prevalent in one particular gender or ethnic group, research has shown that it is diagnosed more frequently in certain demographic groups.

There is a large majority of females between puberty and menopause who are diagnosed with TMJ. The greater prevalence of TMJ problems in women during child-bearing years suggests a need for research that examines the influence of gender-specific hormones on TMJ. However, the high rate of occurrence can also be attributed to this group’s greater tendency to report the problem.

TMJ research has not uncovered trends in the incidence of TMJ in any other ethnic or racial group. Most researchers believe there are other physiological causes of TMJ conditions that have yet to be explored.

So if you are experiencing ear or jaw pain that you feel may be TMJ related, contact Dr. Fred Simonton today.


What causes TMJ?

While many theories regarding the causes of TMJ syndrome have been proposed, scientific research has yet to validate the various theories. Doctors do know that TMJ can be precipitated or aggravated by healthcare procedures, trauma, oral habits and postures, and other diseases. There are also instances of TMJ symptoms occurring without an identifiable cause.

Healthcare Procedures
There are certain dental procedures that appear to be linked to the development of TMJ syndrome in some patients. Prolonged jaw opening during some dental treatments can cause problems. Also, we often hear about patients developing TMJ symptoms after dental procedures like the removal of wisdom teeth, root canal therapy, and bridgework. Many of these patients experienced muscle spasms, jaw popping and clicking, and jaw joint pain during the procedure. TMJ symptoms can also be attributed to poorly fitting caps, bridges, fillings, and dentures, which can affect the alignment of the bite and the jaw joint as a whole. If teeth do not fit together properly, or the jaws don’t line up correctly, this can cause TMJ pain. TMJ pain can also be caused by missing back teeth and persistent wear of the TMJ cartilage as a result of the disc being in the wrong position.

There are also medical procedures that have been shown to aggravate TMJ syndrome. If a patient must be intubated during surgery, the procedure can aggravate existing conditions of the jaw joint. When a patient is intubated, the jaw is open widely for a short period of time and closed during the duration of the surgery. If you suffer from TMJ pain, inform your doctor before undergoing any operation requiring intubation.

Trauma
TMJ syndrome can be experienced after various traumas, including auto accidents, sports injuries, and blows to the head or neck. These types of events trigger TMJ pain and dysfunction in the jaw joints by shearing and tearing of facial soft and hard tissues, such as teeth, muscles, nerves, ligaments, and bones. Jaw mobility can also be limited by scar tissue following an injury.

Posture and Oral Habits
Any activity that causes the head to be held in an unnatural position may intensify TMJ pain. Some examples of these unnatural positions include carrying a heavy bag, slouching over a desk, or cradling a phone between your ear and shoulder. If TMJ pain can be associated with this type of habitual movement, an ergonomic solution such as a hands-free headset or ergonomic seating can help.

There are also certain oral habits that can lead to TMJ syndrome. Nail biting, pencil chewing, and wide yawning can increase your TMJ pain and symptoms. Also, certain hard or crunchy foods can trigger TMJ pain.

Other Diseases
Various diseases have also been shown to cause or aggravate TMJ pain. Immune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, can cause TMJ pain. Also, viral infections, such as mumps and measles, can cause damage to joint surfaces, which can lead to internal derangement of the joint.

Stress is another cause of TMJ pain. Stress can cause the muscles around the shoulder, neck, and jaw to tighten which puts abnormal pressure on the TMJ. This is usually a temporary condition, but prolonged stress can also produce permanent muscle and ligament damage, leading to TMJ syndrome.


What are some of the most common TMJ symptoms?

TMJ symptoms can vary for each patient. Many people who suffer from TMJ don’t know the true cause of their pain. Countless patients will see ear specialists, convinced that their pain is caused by an ear infection.

Some common TMJ symptoms are

  • Ear pain
  • Sore jaw muscles
  • Temple/cheek pain
  • Jaw popping/clicking
  • Jaw locking
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth fully
  • Frequent head/neck aches

Symptoms of TMJ may be a sharp, searing pain that sufferers feel when they talk, yawn, swallow, and chew, or it can be a dull and constant pain. The pain can usually be felt in the joint, in front of the ear, but TMJ pain can also radiate elsewhere, especially if the TMJ causes muscle spasms. In this instance, the TMJ pain will be felt at the temple, cheek, teeth, and lower jaw.

Other symptoms include a popping or clicking sound when the jaws are opened widely, or TMJ can prevent the jaws from fully opening.

One commonly known TMJ symptom is jaw locking. A locking episode occurs when there is an interruption in the jaw movement while opening or closing the jaw. The TMJ patient must physically jiggle or manipulate the jaw to retain proper movement. This catch happens within the joint gets stuck in the wrong place and prevents the jaw from moving.

If you have questions about possible TMJ symptoms you are experiencing, contact Dr. Simonton. We are experienced in diagnosing and treating TMJ.


I hear a lot of clicking, crunching, and grinding noises when I move my jaw. What’s going on?

The clicking jaw noise many patients describe is one of the more common symptoms of TMJ. However, the presence of these TMJ symptoms without other symptoms means it may not be as serious.

A clicking jaw during movements is a sign that the functional elements of the jaw are not working smoothly. A crunching or grinding noise is usually associated with hard tissue contact during movement. The clicking is the result of the joint components not moving together properly.

In the absence of other symptoms, a clicking jaw noise is not always serious. However, the noises should not be ignored, as they are a sign that the joint is not functioning smoothly. Each occurrence of the noise indicates trauma to the joint tissues, meaning that over time there is a possibility of the TMJ disorder fully developing. The best approach is to keep this condition under observation.

If you have questions about whether your clicking jaw is related to TMJ, contact Dr. Simonton today.


What treatments are available for TMJ?

Before discussing treatment for TMJ, Dr. Simonton will first collect a detailed patient history and a physical examination. The teeth, jaw joints, and muscles will also be carefully assessed. If TMJ is diagnosed early, treatment for TMJ may be simple self-remedies. In these instances, the doctor’s recommended TMJ treatment might include

  • Resting the muscles and joints by eating soft foods
  • Not chewing gum
  • Avoiding clenching or tensing
  • Relaxing muscles with moist heat or medicines

If a joint injury occurs, ice packs should be applied soon after the injury to help reduce swelling. Other doctor recommended treatment for TMJ options include relaxation techniques and stress reduction, patient education, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, or other medications.

If these home remedies fail to provide relief from TMJ pain, TMJ surgery is the next option. By the time TMJ surgery is discussed, most patients have exhausted other therapy options.

TMJ Surgery Patient Evaluation
When evaluating if surgery is the proper treatment for TMJ, we will first obtain an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), which produces detailed and accurate images of the temporomandibular joint and surrounding soft tissue. If the patient appears to be a candidate for TMJ surgery after the MRI is reviewed, a psychological evaluation is required.

Once TMJ surgery is agreed upon, Dr. Simonton will explain the process to the patient. Dr. Simonton prefers to make his incisions for TMJ surgery behind the ear and in the ear canal because it gets the surgeon closer to the TMJ area needing repair. This not only allows for better positioning, but it also reduces the possibility of complications by moving the incisions away from the facial nerve. Also, with the incision from the TMJ surgery hidden behind the ear, patients won’t have to be concerned that their physical appearance will be altered by surgical scars.

During TMJ surgery, the surgeon shortens stretched ligaments or repairs torn ligaments and pulls the displaced cartilage disc into its correct position. If the patient’s wisdom teeth have not been extracted, they will be removed before the TMJ surgery to ensure they will not interfere with the surgical repair at a later date.

If you have questions about the types of treatment for TMJ will work best for you, contact Dr. Simonton. We are experienced in diagnosing and treating TMJ.


What can I do right now to ease my TMJ pain?

Finding temporary TMJ relief depends on the severity of your symptoms. However, the following self-care techniques may provide temporary pain relief:

  • Moist heat from a heat pack or a hot water bottle wrapped in a warm, moist towel can improve function and reduce your TMJ pain.
  • Ice packs can decrease inflammation, numb pain, and promote TMJ healing. Wrap the ice pack in a clean cloth and apply it for 10–15 minutes.
  • Eat soft foods to allow the jaw to rest temporarily.
  • Avoid hard, crunchy, and chewy foods.

Over-the-counter analgesics are helpful in temporarily obtaining TMJ relief. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any medication over any prolonged period of time.

Slow, gentle jaw exercises may help increase jaw mobility and provide TMJ relief. Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms and suggest appropriate exercises based on your individual needs.


Why are ear symptoms associated with TMJ?

Ear pain and TMJ are related since the temporomandibular joint is in very close proximity to the ear tissues. Therefore, TMJ symptoms often involve the ears. Many TMJ sufferers will first see ear specialists because they believe their pain is caused by an ear infection.


How long do TMJ problems last?

While TMJ disorder has many commonalities for sufferers, the type and severity of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. TMJ disorder can get better or worse or change completely from day to day.

Some research indicates that TMJ patients will get better with or without treatment. However, other sufferers can experience a lifetime of TMJ-related symptoms and disability. In these instances, Dr. Fred Simonton recommends surgery to fully correct TMJ disorder.

A bite block can help TMJ patients receive dental work they couldn’t otherwise. Often, TMJ sufferers have difficulty receiving general dental care because of their condition.

A bite block during dental procedures allows the mouth to be open a small amount. This allows stability for the mandible as the patient closes into the bite block. Dentists are especially sensitive to the TMJ patient’s jaw tiring and will ask the patient for a sign when they need to close the jaw. Regardless of what dentist you use to perform your dental care, make sure they are aware of your TMJ and ask for frequent rest periods.

If you have any further questions regarding TMJ or a bite block, please contact Dr. Fred Simonton’s office.

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Insurance and Payment Options https://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/insurance-payment-options-gainesville/ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:44:25 +0000 http://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/insurance-payment-options-gainesville/ The TMJ surgery procedure is normally covered under medical insurance policies, not dental. Although our office works with several insurance providers, we encourage all potential patients to check with their particular insurance provider for coverage limits, co-payments, deductibles, etc. Our office will submit the required documentation to the insurance company, and TMJ surgery dates are scheduled after receiving insurance approval.…

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The TMJ surgery procedure is normally covered under medical insurance policies, not dental. Although our office works with several insurance providers, we encourage all potential patients to check with their particular insurance provider for coverage limits, co-payments, deductibles, etc.

Our office will submit the required documentation to the insurance company, and TMJ surgery dates are scheduled after receiving insurance approval. If you have specific questions regarding insurance coverage for TMJ surgery, please feel free to contact our office.

In addition to TMJ surgery, the majority of services performed by Dr. Simonton are covered by medical and dental insurance policies. Wisdom teeth extraction is usually covered by medical or dental insurance plans.

Payment Options

Our office strives to help as many patients as possible by working with most insurance companies. In addition to health insurance, we accept personal checks, Visa, Mastercard, and CareCredit.

Please visit our Financial Policy section for complete insurance and payment option information.

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Financial Policy https://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/financial-policy-gainesville/ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:44:25 +0000 http://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/financial-policy-gainesville/ To avoid any misunderstanding concerning fees, you will receive an estimate of the proposed services before treatment. The actual treatment may very from the proposed plan due to unforeseen circumstances. Full payment is expected at the time of service. We are sensitive to the fact that some patients may not be able to pay cash for their treatment; therefore, we do…

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To avoid any misunderstanding concerning fees, you will receive an estimate of the proposed services before treatment. The actual treatment may very from the proposed plan due to unforeseen circumstances. Full payment is expected at the time of service. We are sensitive to the fact that some patients may not be able to pay cash for their treatment; therefore, we do offer several alternative payment options for your convenience:

  1. Personal Check
  2. MasterCard, VISA, Discover, American Express, Check Card, and CareCredit
  3. If you have insurance, we will be glad to call and check benefits for you:
    The percent not covered by your insurance and any deductible that has not been met will be due the day of service. For many reasons, your insurance company may not cover the entire fee. After insurance payment is received, the balance is your responsibility to pay within 60 days of treatment date. We will be happy to bill your insurance company and accept assignment of benefits. We will file the claim one time for your insurance. It is the patient’s responsibility to follow up with the insurance company to ensure that the claim is paid. 
  4. A service charge of 1.5% per month will be added to any remaining balance if the claim was not paid or balance reduced within 60 days.
  5. After 90 days of no payment activity, your account will be turned over to our collection agency, and a 35% collection fee will be added to any outstanding balance.

For us to bill your insurance company, it is the patient’s responsibility to provide all the information needed to file the claim. Your insurance policy is between you and your insurance company. Although we are not a party to that contract, we will try to assist you whenever possible in claim submission and reconciliation.

If you do not provide us the required information within 30 days of the date of service, your balance is then considered due in full from you. Georgia state law requires that insurance companies address all submitted claims within 30 days and keep the contract holder informed of the status of the claim. You should follow up with your carrier on any outstanding balance after 30 days.

Our practice is committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients at a reasonable cost. The number of benefits paid by insurance carriers varies considerably. Their level of reimbursement may be less than the actual charges. You will be responsible for all non-covered charges at well as any “patient responsible” portion as defined by your insurance company. Verification of benefits does not guarantee payment or coverage. We are required by law to collect all co-payments and deductibles.

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Privacy Policy https://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/privacy-policy-gainesville/ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:44:25 +0000 http://oralsurgeryofgainesville.com/information/privacy-policy-gainesville/ 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. How We May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures,…

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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.

How We May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You

The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures, we will elaborate on the meaning and provide more specific examples, if you request. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.

For Payment

We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at the practice may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company, or a third party. For example, we may disclose your record to an insurance company so that we can get paid for treating you.

For Treatment

We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the practice or the hospital. For members, clergy, or other persons who are part of your care.

For Healthcare Operations

We may use and disclose medical information about you for healthcare operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the practice and ensure that all of our patients receive quality care. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, and other practice personnel for review and learning purposes. For example, we may review your record to assist our quality improvement efforts.

Who Will Follow This Notice

This notice describes our practice’s policies and procedures and that of any health care professional authorized to enter information into your medical chart, any member of a volunteer group that we allow to help you, as well as all employees, staff, and other practice personnel.

Policy Regarding the Protection of Personal Information

We create a record of the care and services you receive at the practice. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by the practice, whether made by practice personnel or by your personal doctor. The law requires us to: make sure that medical information that identifies you is kept private; give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you; and to follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect. Other ways we may use or disclose your protected healthcare information include appointment reminders; as required by law; for health-related benefits and services; to individuals involved in your care or payment for your care; research; to avert a serious threat to health or safety; and for treatment alternatives. Other uses and disclosures of your personal information could include disclosure to, or coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors; health oversight activities; inmates; law enforcement; lawsuits and disputes; military and veterans; national security and intelligence activities; organ and tissue donation; protective services for the President and others; public health risks; and worker’s compensation.

Notice of Individual Rights

You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:

Right to an Accounting of Disclosures

You have the right to request an “accounting of disclosures.” This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you. To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer.

Right to Amend

If you feel that medical information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by, or for, the practice. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to the Privacy Officer, and you must provide a reason that supports your request. We may deny your request for an amendment.

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. We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances.

Right to a Paper Copy of this Notice

You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time.

Right to Request Confidential Communication

You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. You must make your request in writing, and you must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.

Right to Request Restrictions

You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we 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 the Privacy Officer.

Changes to This Notice

We reserve the right to change this notice. We will post a copy of the current notice in the practice’s waiting room.

Complaints

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the practice or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with the practice, contact Dana Adams, Privacy Officer, (770) 531-1075. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.

Other Uses of Medical Information

Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to use will be made only with your written authorization. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time.

If you have any questions about this notice or would like to receive a more detailed explanation, please contact our Privacy Officer.

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