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 READ AND REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
The Homer Medical Center respects your privacy and understands that your personal health information is very sensitive. We make a record of the care and services you receive at Homer Medical Center. This information is needed to give you quality health care and comply with the law. For example, this information includes your symptoms, test results, diagnosis, treatment, health information from other medical providers, and billing and payment information related to those services. We will not disclose your information to others unless you tell us to do so, or unless the law authorizes or requires us to do so.
This privacy notice will tell you about: (1) the way we may use and give out medical information about you; (2) your medical privacy rights and (3) the responsibilities of the health center in using and disclosing your medical information.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION
The list below describes different ways we use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures we explain what we mean and try to give an example.
Information obtained by a nurse, doctor, or other worker of our health care team will be recorded in your medical record and used to help decide what care may be right for you. We may also provide information to others providing you care. This will help them stay informed about your care so they may be able to help you if needed. For example, a doctor may ask if you have high blood pressure to avoid giving you a medication that may make this condition worse. This information could be shared with nurses, pharmacists, dieticians or physical therapists so they know of the problem and avoid treatments that might make it worse.
We may use and disclose medical information about you so the treatment and services you receive at the health center may be billed to and payment may be collected from the government, insurance company, third party or other responsible person. For example, insurance companies may need information about surgery you had at the health center in order to pay us for the surgery and care.
For Health Care Operations:
We may use and disclose medical information about you for health center operations that are necessary to run the health center and make sure all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information about you to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many health center patients to decide what additional services the health center should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments work.
YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION RIGHTS
The health and billing records we make and store belong to the health center/clinic. The protected health information in it, however, generally belongs to you. You have a right to:
- Read and ask questions about this notice;
- A copy of this Notice;
- Ask us to limit certain uses and disclosures. In order to limit us you must give us a written request. We are not required to grant the request, but we will try to comply with any request.
- Ask that you be allowed to see and get a copy of your protected health information. This request must be in writing;
- Have us review a denial of access to your health information – except in certain circumstances;
- Give us a written request to change your health information. You may write a statement of disagreement if your request is denied. It will be stored in your medical records, and included with any release of your records;
- Ask that your health information be given to you by another means or at another location. Please sign, date and give us your request in writing;
- Cancel prior authorizations to use or disclose your health information by giving us a written request to end the authorization. This request does not affect information that has already been released or affect any action taken before we have it.
We are required to:
- Keep your protected health information private;
- Give you this Notice and
- Follow the terms of this Notice.
We have the right to change our practices regarding the protected health information we maintain. If we make changes, we will update this Notice. You may receive the most recent copy of this Notice by calling and asking for it or by visiting our offices to pick one up.
TO ASK FOR HELP OR SUGGESTIONS
If you have questions, want more information, or want to report a problem about the handling of your health information, you may contact:
Homer Medical Center or Homer Medical Center
Dr. William Bell Rhonda Bradshaw
(907) 235-8586 (907) 435-3018
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can make a written complaint to Rhonda Bradshaw, Office Manager at our office.
OTHER DISCLOSURES AND USES OF HEALTH INFORMATION
Notification of Family and Others
- We may release information about you to others with your written permission, unless you have given us written permission to supply more information. In addition, we may disclose health information about you to assist in disaster relief efforts.
We may use and disclose your protected health information without your authorization as follows:
- Appointment Reminders – We may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at the health center.
- Medical Research – Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose anonymous medical information about you for research purposes, but only if the research has been approved and has policies to protect the privacy of your health information. We may also share information with medical researchers preparing to conduct a research product. We will almost always ask for your specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care at the health center.
- Funeral Directors/Coroners – Consistent with state and federal law to allow them to carry out their duties.
- Pubic Health Risks – We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities that can include the following:
- Prevention or control of disease, injury or disability;
- Reports of abuse or neglect of children, elders and dependent adults;
- Reports of reactions or problems with medications or health products;
- Notifying people of product recalls related to their health care;
- Notifying a person that they may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition;
- Notifying a government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
- Workers’ Compensation Laws – When required by state law, and you have made a workers’ compensation claim or other similar program that provides benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
- Correctional Institutions – If you are in jail or prison, as necessary for your health and the health and safety of others.
- Law Enforcement – When legally required such as when we receive a subpoena, court order or other legal process, or you are the victim of a crime.
- Tissue Donation and Transplant – We may release medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to help with organ or tissue donation and transplant.
- Health and Safety Oversight – We may share information with a health oversight agency when required by law. These oversight activities include audits, investigations and medical licenses.
- Disaster Relief Purposes – We may share health information with disaster relief agencies to assist in notification of your condition to family or others.
- Military and Veterans – If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
- Lawsuits and Disputes – If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request (which may include written notice to you) or to obtain an order protecting the information.
- National Security and Intelligence activities – We may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
- Other Uses – Uses and disclosures not in this Notice will be made only as allowed or required by law or with your written authorization.
WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE
This notice describes our health center and clinics practices and that of:
- Any health care professional authorized to enter information into your health center chart;
- All departments and units of the health center;
- Any member of a volunteer group we allow to help you while you are in the health center;
- All employees, staff and other health center personnel.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012