Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC) works hard to protect your privacy. There are federal laws outlining the ways that healthcare providers can use and share medical information about patients. The law says that we need your permission (authorization) for certain uses, but not for others.
Your personal medical information is called Protected Health Information or "PHI."
MUMC and our medical staff can use your PHI or share it with each other only in certain ways. We must also follow rules about sharing your PHI outside of our system.
Using Your PHI Without Your Permission
The law allows us to use your PHI without your permission in these ways. We give some examples of each use to help you understand it.
For Your Treatment -- Any of our medical staff involved in treating you can use your PHI. They can also share it with others involved in your care. For example, your doctor may share your PHI with another doctor whom he or she asks about your condition.
For Payment -- We may use and share your PHI to collect payment for services. For example, we may give your PHI to the companies that send out bills. We may also give your PHI to other health plans or providers for billing.
For Our Business Operations -- We do many things that businesses do. We check on the quality of care we give. We train our staff. We manage budgets. We raise funds for our programs, and much more. We may use PHI to help us do these things better. We can share PHI with doctors, nurses, other medical staff, and others. This can help them learn how to do their jobs better. We can also share PHI with lawyers. They help us follow the laws. We may also share PHI with other health care providers and health plans where you've been a patient in the past. We would do this only to help them with things such as giving better care or watching for fraud or abuse.
To Follow the Law -- We may share PHI to follow the law, to report or solve crimes, or to help law enforcement.
To Protect Public Health -- We can give PHI to people who work to stop the spread of diseases. And we must report abuse and neglect.
To Oversee Health Care Systems -- We can give PHI to government agencies that inspect health care systems.
To Help Coroners or Medical Examiners -- We may need to give PHI to help identify a body or the cause of death.
For Organ or Tissue Donation -- We may give PHI to help agencies who match organ donors with people on waiting lists.
For Research -- We may use PHI for medical research.
To Avoid a Serious Threat to Others -- We can give PHI to people working to prevent a threat to the health or safety of other people.
Special Government Functions -- We may share PHI with federal officials for national security reasons.
Workers' Compensation -- We can release PHI to comply with laws that protect you if you are hurt or get sick on the job.
For Fundraising -- We may use your PHI to contact you for our fundraising efforts. If you don't want us to contact you for this, please contact the Memorial Health Foundation, 4750 Waters Avenue, PMOB Suite 212, Savannah, GA 31404, or call 912-350-6370.
Appointment Reminders and Other Items of Interest -- We can use your PHI to contact you about an appointment. We can also contact you about other treatments, services, and programs that may interest you.
Your Access to Your Own PHI -- We may share your PHI with you or someone you choose to represent you.
Government Offices -- We must give your PHI to certain federal workers when they are checking on how we follow the privacy laws.
You Can Ask That We Not Share the Following PHI
Normally, we can use your PHI in the two ways below. But if you object, you can ask us to keep your PHI private. Then we cannot give out this information.
Lists of Patients and Their Status -- We keep lists of all patients who are in our facilities. We keep track of names, room numbers, their condition (e.g., stable, fair, etc.), and religion. We can share some of this information with people who ask about you by name.
People Involved in Your Care or Paying for Your Care -- We can give your PHI to a family member, a friend, another person you say is involved in your care, or another person who is involved in paying for your care.
We Must Have Your Permission to Use Your PHI In the Following Ways
Before we can use or share your PHI in other ways, we must ask for your written permission. This Notice tells you our rules for using PHI. We have to follow what we say in this Notice. The law says we must keep your PHI private. It also says that we must tell you in writing what the law says we can and cannot do with your PHI and our privacy policies regarding PHI.
We Have to Let You Know if We Make a Change
We have the right to change information in this Notice. We can change how we use PHI and make new rules. Before we make any big changes, we will give you a new Notice. We will post the new Notice in all registration areas.
These Are Your Rights
You can ask us not to share your PHI with a person or group. We don't have to do what you ask. But we must do what we say we will do. No matter what, we can always share your PHI in an emergency.
You can ask us to contact you in certain ways or at certain places. For example, you may want us to call you at work instead of at home. Or you may want us to use e-mail instead of regular mail. You must ask in writing. Send your requests to Patient Financial Services at MUMC.
Usually, you can read and copy your PHI. You must ask for it by writing to the Health Information Management Department at MUMC. We will try to get back to you within thirty (30) days after we get your letter. We will tell you if we can let you see and/or get a copy of your PHI. Sometimes we will give you a summary of the information you ask for, but only if you agree to that. If we make a copy or summary of your PHI, we may charge you for copying, mailing, and other costs. If we decide not to let you see your PHI, we will explain why. We will also explain that you can get another health care professional to look at your request. Sometimes we don't have the PHI you want. If we know where your PHI is, we will tell you where to write for it.
You can ask that we fix mistakes or add new facts to your PHI. You must ask us in writing. Write to the Health Information Management Department at MUMC. In your letter, explain why you are asking us to add to or change your PHI. We will try to get back to you within sixty (60) days after we get your letter. We will tell you whether we agree to make a change. We will tell you what changes we will make, if any. We can usually turn you down if the information wasn't written by us; is not part of our records; is not something you are allowed to see; is not correct and complete. If we turn you down, we will tell you why in writing. We will also explain what other steps you can take, such as saying in writing that you don't agree with us; or asking in writing that we include a copy of your letter and our answer with your PHI from now on; and complaining about being turned down.
You can ask for a list of people and groups who have seen your PHI in the past six (6) years. (But we can only give information about what has happened since April 14, 2003.) The list will not include times when you gave your written permission. And it won't include things already covered in this Notice. These include giving out your PHI for treatment, payment, and health care operations; to you; for lists of patients; people involved in your care; government functions; or to law enforcement. You must ask for the list by writing to the Health Information Management at MUMC. We will try to get back to you within sixty (60) days after we get your letter. We will give you one list each year at no charge. But we will charge you a fee of $25 for each list after that in a single year.
You can ask for a paper copy of this notice. Please contact Patient Financial Services to get another copy of this notice.
You may complain to us if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. Contact the Corporate Ethics and Compliance Office at MUMC and put your complaint in writing. We will not punish you or do anything against you for complaining. You also have the right to complain to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Corporate Ethics and Compliance Office at MUMC.
Corporate Ethics and Compliance 912-350-8681
Patient Financial Services 912-350-8677
Health Information Management 912-350-8667
Memorial Health Foundation 912-350-6370