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.
This notice takes effect on January 1, 2005 and remains in effect until we replace it.
1. OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION
The privacy of your medical information is important to us. We understand that your medical information is personal and we are committed to protecting it. We create a record of the care and services you receive at our organization. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice will tell you about the ways we may use and share medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain duties we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
2. OUR LEGAL DUTY
Law Requires Us to:
We Have the Right to:
Notice of Change to Privacy Practices:
Before we make an important change in our privacy practices, we will change this notice and make the new notice available upon request.
3. USE AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION
The following section describes different ways that we use and disclose medical information. Not every use or disclosure will be listed. However, we have listed all of the different ways we are permitted to use and disclose medical information. We will not use or disclose your medical information for any purpose not listed below without your specific written authorization. Any specific written authorization you provide may be revoked at any time by writing to us at the address provided at the top of this notice.
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 assistants, or other people who are taking care of you. We may also share medical information about you to your other health care providers to assist them in treating you.
FOR PAYMENT: We may use and disclose your medical information for payment purposes. A bill may be sent to you or a third-party payer. The information on or accompanying the bill may include your medical information.
FOR HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS: We may use and disclose your medical information for our health care operations. This might include measuring and improving quality, evaluating the performance of employees, conducting training programs, and getting the accreditation, certificates, licenses and credentials we need to serve you. In addition, we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk where you will be asked to sign your name. We may call you by name in the waiting area when your treating provider is ready to see you.
ADDITIONAL USES AND DISCLOSURES: In addition to using and disclosing your medical information for treatment, payment, and health care operations, we may use and disclose medical information for the following purposes:
Facility Directory: Unless you notify us that you object, the following medical information about you will be placed in our facility directories: your name; your location in our facility; your condition described in general terms.
Notification: We may use and disclose medical information to notify or help notify: a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care. We will share information about your location, general condition, or death. If you are present, we will get your permission if possible before we share, or give you the opportunity to refuse permission. In case of emergency, and if you are not able to give or refuse permission, we will share only the health information that is directly necessary for your health care, according to our professional judgment. We will also use our professional judgment to make decisions in your best interest about allowing someone to pick up medicine, medical supplies, x-ray or medical information for you.
Disaster Relief: We may share medical information with a public or private organization or person who can legally assist in disaster relief efforts.
Funeral Director, Coroner, Medical Examiner: To help them carry out their duties, we may share the medical information of a person who has died with a coroner, medical examiner, funeral director, or an organ procurement organization.
Specialized Government Functions: Subject to certain requirements, we may disclose or use health information for military personnel and veterans, for national security and intelligence activities, for protective services for the President and others, for medical suitability determinations for the Department of State, for correctional institutions and other law enforcement custodial situations, and for government programs providing public benefits.
Court Orders and Judicial and Administrative Proceedings: We may disclose medical information in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process, under certain circumstances. Under limited circumstances, such as a court order, warrant, or grand jury subpoena we may share your medical information with law enforcement officials. We may share limited information wit a law enforcement official concerning the medical information of a suspect, fugitive, material witness, crime victim or missing person. We may share the medical information of an inmate or other person in lawful custody with a law enforcement official or correctional institution under certain circumstances.
Public Health Activities: As required by law, we may disclose your medical information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability, including child abuse or neglect. We may also disclose your medical information to persons subject to jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration for purposes of reporting adverse events associated with product defects or problems, to enable product recalls, repairs or replacements, to track products, or to conduct activities required by the Food and Drug Administration. We may also, when we are authorized by law to do so, notify a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition.
Victims of Abuse, Neglect, or Domestic Violence: We may use and disclose medical information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence or the possible victim of other crimes. We may share your medical information if it is necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of others. We may share medical information when necessary to help law enforcement officials capture a person who has admitted to being part of a crime or has escaped from legal custody.
Workers Compensation: We may disclose health information when authorized or necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs.
Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose medical information to an agency providing health oversight for oversight activities authorized by law, including audits, civil, administrative, or criminal investigations or proceedings, inspections, licensure or disciplinary actions, or other authorized activities.
Law Enforcement: Under certain circumstances, we may disclose health information to law enforcement officials. These circumstances include reporting required by certain laws (such as the reporting of certain types of wounds), pursuant to certain subpoenas or court orders, reporting limited information concerning identification and location at the request of a law enforcement official, reports regarding suspected victims of crimes at the request of a law enforcement official, reporting death, crimes on our premises, and crimes in emergencies.
Appointment Reminders: We may use and disclose medical information for purposes of sending you appointment postcards or otherwise reminding you of your appointments.
Alternative and Additional Medical Services: We may use and disclose medical information to furnish you with information about health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you, and to describe or recommend treatment alternatives.
4. YOUR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
You Have a Right to:
QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS
If you have any questions about this notice or if you think that we may have violated your privacy rights, please contact us. You may also submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You may contact us to submit a complaint or submit requests involving any of your rights in Section 4 of this notice by writing to the address listed at the beginning of this notice.
At your request, we will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint.