I. 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.
A. Uses and disclosures relating to treatment, payment or health care operations do not require your prior written consent. We may use and disclose your PHI with your consent for the following reasons:
1. For Treatment. We may disclose your PHI to physicians, nurses, medical students, and other health care personnel who provide you with health care services or are involved in your care. For example, if you’re being treated for a knee injury, we may disclose your PHI to the physical rehabilitation department in order to coordinate your care.
2. To obtain payment for treatment. We may use and disclose your PHI in order to bill and collect payment for the treatment and services provided to you. For example, we may provide portions of your PHI to our billing department and your health plan to be paid for the health care services we provide to you. We may also provide your PHI to our business associates, such as billing companies, claims processing companies and others that process our health care claims.
3. For health care operations. We may disclose your PHI in order to operate this medical facility. For example, we may use your PHI in order to evaluate the quality of health care services that you received or to evaluate the performance of the health care professionals who provided health care services to you. We may also provide your PHI to our accountants, attorneys, consultants, and others in order to make sure we are complying with the laws that affect us.
4. Your consent isn’t required if you need emergency treatment, as long as we try to get your consent after treatment or we try to get your consent but you are unable to communicate with us (for example, if you are unconscious or in severe pain) and we think you would consent if you were able to do so.
B. We may also use and disclose your PHI without your consent or authorization for the following reasons:
1. When a disclosure is required by federal, state or local law, judicial or administrative proceedings, or law enforcement. For example, we make disclosures when a law requires that we report information to government agencies and law enforcement personnel about victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence; when dealing with gunshot and other wounds; or when ordered in a judicial or administrative proceeding.
2. For public health activities. For example, we report information about births, deaths, and various diseases, to government officials in charge of collecting that information, and we provide coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors necessary information relating to an individual’s death.
3. For health oversight activities. For example, we will provide information to assist the government when it conducts an investigation or inspection of a health care provider or organization.
4. To avoid harm. In order to avoid a serious threat to the health or safety of a person or the public, we may provide PHI to law enforcement personnel or persons able to prevent or lessen such harm.
5. For specific government functions. We may disclose PHI of military personnel and veterans in certain situations. In addition, we may disclose PHI for national security purposes, such as protecting the president of the United States or conducting intelligence operations.
6. For worker’s compensation purposes. We may provide PHI in order to comply with worker’s compensation laws.
7. Appointment reminders and health-related benefits or services. We may use PHI to provide appointment reminders or give you information about treatment alternatives, or other health care services or benefits we offer. In our attempts to reach you by telephone, we may leave a message on your home answering machine or voice mail instructing you to return a call to our office.
C. Two uses and disclosures require you to have the opportunity to object.
1. Patient directories. We may include your name, location in this facility, general condition and religious affiliation, in our patient directory for use by clergy and visitors who ask for you by name, unless you object in whole or in part. The opportunity to consent may be obtained retroactively in emergency situations.
2. Disclosures to family, friends, or others. We may provide your PHI to a family member, friend, or other person that you indicate is involved in your care or the payment for your health care, unless you object in whole or in part. The opportunity to consent may be obtained retroactively in emergency situations.
D. All other uses and disclosures require your prior written authorization. In any other situation not described in sections IIIA, B and C above, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing any of your PHI. If you choose to sign an authorization to disclose your PHI, you can later revoke that authorization in writing to stop any future uses and disclosures (to the extent that we haven’t taken any action relying on the authorization.)