Notice of Privacy Practices MHUP

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    This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

    Introduction

    At Memorial Health University Physicians (MHUP), we are committed to treating and using protected health information about you responsibly. This Notice of Privacy Practices describes the personal information we collect, and how and when we use or disclose that information. It also describes your rights as they relate to your protected health information or PHI. This Notice is effective September 15, 2013, and applies to all PHI as defined by federal regulations.

    MHUP reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices and to make the new notice provisions effective for all PHI we maintain. When we make a significant change in our privacy practices, we will post the new Notice in the front entrance of our locations.

    Understanding Your Health Record/Information

    Each time you visit a MHUP practice, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as a:

    • Basis for planning your care and treatment,
    • Means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care,
    • Legal document describing the care you received,
    • Means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided,
    • A tool in educating health professionals,
    • A source of data for medical research,
    • A source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of this state and the nation,
    • A source of data for our planning and marketing, and
    • A tool with which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render and the outcomes we achieve.
      Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to: ensure its accuracy, better understand who, what, when, where, and why others may access your health information, and make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.

    Your Health Information Rights

    Although your health record is the physical property of MHUP, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:

    • Obtain a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Practices upon request at this office.
    • Copy and inspect the PHI we retain for you. All such requests for access must be made in writing. We are required to get back to you within 30 days after we get your letter. If we are unable to give you your copy within 30 days, we may extend for an additional 30 days, provided that we let you know in writing of our delay. If requested and where possible, we will provide your copy in an electronic readable format. If we make a copy or summary of your PHI, we may charge you for copying, supplies, mailing or other costs.
    • Request that the copy of your PHI be provided to another individual who you clearly identify in your signed, written request.
    • Request an amendment or correction to your health record. All such requests must be made in writing.
    • Receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your PHI. To do this, please contact the Compliance & Audit Services Department at the number at the bottom of this Notice. This information will be provided to you within 60 days of receipt of your written request.
    • Receive confidential communication of PHI.
    • Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information. All such requests must be made in writing. We are not required to agree to a requested restriction but we must do what we say we will do.
    • Request to receive communications of PHI by alternative means or at alternative locations.
    • Request that we not disclose PHI to your health insurer for services for which you paid for out of pocket, in-full.

    Our Responsibilities

    MHUP is required by law to:

    • Maintain the privacy of your PHI.
    • Provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices and of our legal duties with respect to your PHI.
    • Abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect.
    • Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction.
    • Accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations.
    • Notify you following a breach of unsecured PHI

    How We May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You

    We can only use your PHI in certain ways. The law allows us to use you PHI without your permission for treatment, payment and operations.

    Treatment: This generally means the delivery of health care and related services among health care providers, consultation between health care providers regarding your care or the referral of your treatment from one health care provider to another.

    • We will use and disclose your PHI to provide you with medical treatment or services.
    • We will record information in your record and use it to determine the most appropriate course of care.
    • We may provide PHI to other health care providers such as hospitals, consulting physicians and nurses, who are participating in your treatment.
    • We may provide PHI to pharmacists who are filling your prescriptions.

    Payment: This involves the various activities of MHUP to obtain payment for their services and to fulfill your health plans’ coverage responsibilities, and to obtain or provide reimbursement for the provision of health care.

    • Common payment activities are billing and collection activities.
    • Determination of eligibility or coverage under a plan.
    • Reviewing health care services for medical necessity, coverage, and justification of charges.

    Operations: Certain administrative, financial, legal and quality improvement activities are necessary to run the business and to support the core functions of treatment and payment. Operational activities may include:

    • Conducting or arranging for medical review.
    • Legal and auditing services, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs.
    • Competence review of members of the medical staff.

    The law also allows us to use you PHI without your permission in the following ways:

    Health Plans: We may also share PHI with other health care providers and health plans where you’ve been a patient in the past. We would only share this information to help them provide better care or to help them watch for fraud or abuse.

    Notification: We may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, your location, and general condition.

    Communication with Family: Health professionals, using their best judgment, may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify, health information relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care.

    Research: We may disclose information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information.

    Funeral directors: We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties.

    Organ procurement organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.

    Appointment Reminders and Other Items of Interest: We may also contact you for appointment reminders, or to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options, alternatives, or health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.

    Fundraising: We may contact you as part of a fundraising effort. If you do not want to receive fundraising information please notify the Memorial Health Foundation at (912) 350-6370.

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects, or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.

    Workers Compensation: We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.

    Public Health: As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.

    Law Enforcement: We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena.

    Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose medical information to governmental, licensing, auditing, and accrediting agencies as authorized or required by law.

    As Required by Law: We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal or state law.

    Other Uses and Disclosures: For any category of use or disclosure that is not described above or authorized by law, we must obtain your written authorization. This includes (i) most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes (if recorded by a covered entity); (ii) uses and disclosures of PHI for marketing purposes, including subsidized treatment communications; (iii) disclosures that constitute a sale of PHI. If you give us your written authorization, you may revoke (cancel) it at any time by submitting a written revocation to the office or location that originally received your authorization, or to the Privacy Officer at the address listed below. Your revocation will be effective except to the extent that we have already acted upon your authorization.

    For More Information or to Report a Problem
    If you are concerned that your privacy may have been violated, or you disagree with a decision that we made about your health information, you may write or call our Privacy Office, or our Compliance and Ethics alertline, a 24-hour phone service, at the numbers listed below:

    Memorial Health University Medical Center
    Compliance and Audit Services
    Privacy Officer
    4700 Waters Avenue, Savannah Ga. 31404
    Office (912) 350-8681
    Compliance & Ethics alertline, 1-800-555-8497

    If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the Privacy Officer at the contact information above or with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint with either the Privacy Officer or the Office for Civil Rights. The address for the OCR is listed below:

    Roosevelt Freeman, Regional Manager
    Office of Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 3B70
    61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
    Atlanta, GA 30303-8909
    (404) 562-7881