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Your Rights as a Member

When you join Independent Health, you receive a member contract and/or amendments each year that outlines your rights, responsibilities and benefits. As a member, you earn the right to:

Privacy and Confidentiality

As new and potential laws regarding the privacy and confidentiality of health information are reviewed in the state and federal government, it is important for you to know that Independent Health is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of your health information.

  • When you, as a subscriber, enroll with Independent Health, you give a general consent for your own medical records and those of your family members to be accessed by Independent Health as provided under the terms of your member contract.
  • Independent Health’s contracts with participating providers reinforce your right under New York State law to access your own medical records although your provider may charge a per page copying fee.
  • You have the right to the protection of privacy of your health information in all settings, including privacy and confidentiality of all records pertaining to treatment unless otherwise provided by law or by your member contract.
  • All member information and records used for purposes of preparing, compiling, or analyzing Independent Health measurement data shall be kept confidential. All member-specific information shall be removed from such measurement data prior release, except in circumstances when state or federal regulatory agencies request "patient level" data as allowed by law.
  • Except under the terms of the member contract, Independent Health will not release a member’s identifiable medical records to any third party, including the member’s fully insured employer, without receiving a signed special release from the member.

Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence and Endangered Individuals

As a member of Independent Health, you have the right to request how Independent Health communicates with you to prevent a dangerous situation to yourself or others. To learn more, read the Confidentiality Protocol.

Quality Management

Independent Health provides a comprehensive quality management (QM) program in an effort to ensure quality clinical care, clinical service and HMO service to our members. The QM program evaluates the quality of care and services we provide and identifies opportunities for continuous improvement.

Drug Formulary

The Individual Practice Association of Western New York, Inc. (IPA/WNY), the physician group that provides care for Independent Health members, has developed and maintained a therapeutic drug formulary since 1992. A drug formulary is a list of the most appropriate and cost-effective medications from which participating physicians prescribe. When physicians write a prescription for Independent Health members who have a prescription drug rider, they consult the formulary and select the needed medication.

If you have any questions or would like a copy of our Privacy and Confidentiality notice, Drug Formulary or Quality Management program, please call our Member Services department at (716) 631-8701 or 1-800-501-3439. TTY users call: (716) 631-3108.

OA-6432-5041 CMS File #MR-004, 11/2004