The information we learn from health care consumers helps us personalize and continually improve our services. Here are the types of information we gather from you, the health care consumer.
- Information You Give Us: We receive and store any information you enter on our Website or give us in any other way. You are not required to enter any personal information in order to use our Website, aside from voluntarily providing your name and email address to join Pratter. You can choose not to provide certain information. We use the information that you do provide for such purposes as responding to your requests, improving our databases of information related to medical costs, and communicating with you.
IMPORTANT: WE WILL NOT ASK YOU FOR YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION. IF YOU ELECT TO SEND US COST INFORMATION ABOUT A MEDICAL SERVICE YOU RECEIVED FROM A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, DELETE ALL PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION BEFORE SENDING IT TO US. WE CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR YOUR FAILURE TO DELETE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION. PLEASE SEE “A FEW WORDS ABOUT HIPAA” BELOW.
- Automatic Information: Like many Websites, we use "cookies" to receive and store certain types of information whenever you interact with us, such as the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet; login; e-mail address; password; computer and connection information such as browser type, version, and time zone setting; browser plug-in types and versions, operating system, and platform. This information will be used to help us to provide you with relevant medical cost data and advertisements for businesses near where you live (or where the computer you are using is located). Cookies may also include information about how you used our Website, such as the date and time; your search queries.
- E-mail Communications: We will not send unsolicited e-mails to you, and we will not share your e-mail address. However, to the extent that you complete a form on our website providing us with your e-mail address or sign up for our mailing list, we will use the information that you provide on our online form to communicate with you.
What About Cookies?
- Cookies are unique identifiers that we transfer to your device to enable our systems to recognize your device and use your current location to provide location-specific data for medical services near you and provide advertisements during your browsing sessions that may be more relevant to you.
Does Pratter.us Share the Information It Receives?
To the health care consumer: not unless you tell us to share it. We are in the business of making medical cost data transparent – not your information.
To the medical service providers: of course we share information related to the various service providers – whether that information comes directly from the service provider, a state agency, a health care consumer, or otherwise. That is the very purpose of Pratter.us – so that health care consumers can compare your cost data to that of other service providers for the same service.
We share information only as described below.
- Businesses We Do Not Control: We work closely with medical services providers, state regulators, and private industries to obtain the cost data that is posted to our site. In some cases, these businesses may advertise services on our site. We may share aggregated, non-personally identifiable information publicly and with our partners, such as our advertisers, about how many consumers have looked for information in a specific ZIP Code, for example, or how many times a specific service was searched.
- Third-Party Service Providers: We employ other companies and individuals to perform functions on our behalf, such as helping us to build this Website, or handling mailing lists. They have access to personal information you provide so that they can perform their functions, but they may not use it for other purposes.
- Business Transfers: In the unlikely event that Pratter.us merges with another company, or if substantially all of its assets are sold, information that you have provided to us would be one of the transferred assets.
- Protection of Pratter.us and Others: We release account and other personal information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law; enforce or apply our Conditions of Use and other agreements; or protect the rights, property, or safety of Pratter.us, our users, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organizations for fraud protection and credit risk reduction. Obviously, however, this does not include selling, renting, sharing, or otherwise disclosing personally identifiable information from customers for commercial purposes in violation of the commitments set forth in this Privacy Notice.
How Secure Is Information About Me?
- We work to protect the security of your information during transmission by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, which encrypts information you input.
- It is important for you to protect against unauthorized access to your computer and to any logon information or passwords. Be sure to sign off when finished using a shared computer.
What About Third-Party Advertisers and Links to Other Websites?
Our site may include third-party advertising and links to other websites. We are not responsible for these other sites and do not represent anything about those sites’ privacy policies. For more information about third-party advertisers on pratter.us, please refer to those individual sites’ policies.
What Choices Do I Have?
- As discussed above, you can always choose not to provide your information, and you may change your computer settings to disable cookies, although some of the database information may not be available to you without cookies.
- If you do not want to receive e-mail or other mail from us, simply do not complete the “Add Me to Your Mailing List” section of our Website. If you already are on our mailing list and would like to be removed, simply follow the “unsubscribe” instructions at the bottom of our e-mails.
- The Help feature on most browsers will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie, or how to disable cookies altogether.
Are Children Allowed to Use Pratter.us?
The information on our Website is meant for an adult health care consumer for use in comparing health care costs as part of an overall health care decision-making process. If you are under 18, you may use Pratter.us only with the involvement of a parent or guardian.
Conditions of Use, Notices, and Revisions
If you choose to visit Pratter.us, your visit and any dispute over privacy is subject to this Notice and our Conditions of Use, including limitations on damages, resolution of disputes, and application of the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you have any concern about privacy at Pratter.us, please contact us with a thorough description, and we will try to resolve it.
We may e-mail periodic reminders of our notices and conditions, but you should check our Website frequently to see recent changes.
Compliance and cooperation with regulatory authorities
A Few Words about HIPAA…
You’ve no doubt heard about HIPAA and know that it has something to do with your medical records. It does – but it applies to medical records that are received or held by health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers. Pratter.us is not any of these entities. We are not your health care provider, and we do not intend to collect anything about your personal health information (unless you send it to us). The purpose of our site is limited to providing you, the consumer, with cost information about health care services.
WE WILL NOT ASK YOU FOR YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION, AND WE DO NOT WANT TO RECEIVE IT – SIMPLY PUT: DO NOT SEND IT TO US. IF YOU ELECT TO SEND US COST INFORMATION ABOUT A MEDICAL SERVICE OR PROCEDURE THAT YOU RECEIVED FROM A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, PLEASE DELETE ALL INDIVIDUALLY OR PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION BEFORE SENDING IT TO US. WE CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR YOUR FAILURE TO DELETE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION. The only information we can use is the five-digit billing code associated with the test or procedure; the type of test or procedure (for example, ankle x-ray, two views); and the cost charged by the facility (before any adjustments for insurance or co-pays).