Notice of Privacy Practices
Required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MUCH MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE – This notice describes Bolivar Medical Center’s practices and that of (1) any healthcare professional authorized to enter information into your hospital chart; (2) all departments and units of the hospital; (3) any member of a volunteer group we allow to assist you while you are n the hospital; (4) all employees, staff, and hospital personnel.
MEDICAL INFORMATION – Each time you visit a hospital, physician, or other provider of healthcare, a record is made of your visit. This information is used to provide you with quality care and to comply with the law. Your health record is the physical property of the healthcare provider that compiles it; however, the information within the record belongs to you. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and we are committed to doing so. We will abide by the terms of this notice as required by federal law.
HOW WE USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION
Treatment – Medical information is used to provide you with medical treatment. This information may be disclosed to physicians, nurses, and other individuals who are involved in your care. Departments of the hospital may share information about you to coordinate the things you need, such as prescription drugs, lab tests, X-rays, etc.
Payment – We use and disclose medical information about you sot that we can bill and collect payment. This could include an insurance company or a third party. If you are covered by health insurance, you health plan may need information from us about a surgery or other procedure you had, or will have, before they pay the hospital. We may disclose information about you for the payment activities of another healthcare provider.
Health Care Operations – Your medical information may be used or disclosed for purposes of day-to-day operations. These activities are necessary to operate the hospital and to monitor the quality of care our patients receive. Examples include assessing your satisfaction with our services, reminding you of appointments, to tell you of possible treatment alternatives, evaluation of the treatment you received by our staff, to work with health oversight organizations which would include audits, investigations, inspections and licensure, and combining information about you with other patients to determine what additional services should be provided.
Clergy – In accordance with the law, we may disclose your name, location in the facility, religious affiliation and general condition to members of the clergy only if you have not objected to this information being released.
Individuals Involved in Care or Payment for Your Care- We may need to disclose your medical information to a family member or friend who will be involved in your care.
Law Enforcement – Subject to certain restrictions, we may disclose information required by law enforcement.
Legal Requirements – We disclose patient information to comply with both state and federal laws. For example, we are required to report to the state anytime a patient has certain diseases. Other examples of required reporting would involve abuse cases, negligence or domestic violence, Workers Compensation Agents, Food and Drug Administration, corrections institutions regarding inmates, organ procurement organizations, and to report to the state all births and deaths.
Medical Examiners, Coroners, and Funeral Directors – We may disclose information to these entities when necessary for them to carry out their job responsibilities.
Military and Veterans – If you are or have been a member of the armed forces we may disclose information as required by military authorities.
National Security – We may release patient information to authorized federal officials for matters related to national security.
Patient Directory – You have the opportunity to be included in the patient directory or you may choose to “opt out”. If you are in the patient directory and someone asks about you by name and date of birth, then we may provide information that you are or were a patient at our facility. Should you decide to opt out of the directory then anyone asking for you or about you will be given no information.
Serious Threats to Health or Safety – We may disclose information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety as well as the health and safety of the public.
Public Health Risks – We disclose information to report reactions to medications or medical products, to notify people of recalls, to notify people who have been exposed to a disease or at risk of contracting or spreading a disease, and to report certain injuries as gunshot or knife wounds.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
You have the following rights with regard to your health information. Please contact the Facility Privacy Officer to obtain the appropriate procedures for exercising these rights.
To Inspect and Copy – In most cases you have the right to inspect and to obtain a copy of the health information that may have been used to make decisions about your care. A fee may be charged if you obtain a copy of your records. In limited circumstances you may be denied access to this information.
To Request an Amendment to Your Medical Record – If you believe the information we have about you is incorrect or is incomplete, you have the right to request an amendment to the information.
To Request Restrictions – You have the right to request that we restrict or limit the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. The law states we are not required to comply with your request; however, if we do, then we will comply unless the information is needed to proceed with emergency care.
To Request Confidential Communications – You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a particular location. We will accommodate all reasonable requests; however, you are not allowed to limit the way we can contact you in order to avoid responsibility to pay us for services rendered to you.
To Request an Accounting of Disclosures – You may request a list of instances where we have disclosed health information about you for reasons other than treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. We are not required to provide for an accounting of disclosure that took place before April 14, 2003.
OTHER ISSUES OF YOUR MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
If we wish to disclose medical information about you for a reason not covered by treatment, payment, healthcare operations, legal requirements or other disclosures as set forth in this notice, we will seek your written authorization. If you provide us written authorization to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke the authorization at any time. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
We reserve the right to change this notice and our policies at any time. If our policies change and we make changes to our Notice, we will post the new Notice in a public area. You may request a copy of our Notice at any time.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the Facility Privacy Officer or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. To file a complaint, you will need to contact the Facility Privacy Officer. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
FACILITY PRIVACY OFFICER
If you have any questions, requests, or complaints, please contact:
Wendy Tucker of Health Information Management/HIPAA Privacy Officer
901 East Sunflower Road
Cleveland, MS 38732
This hospital and the physicians that practice at this hospital are independent contractors and do not hereby assume any liability for the services or conduct of each other.
* The effective date of this Notice is April 14, 2003.