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Effective February 1, 2023
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.
Medical West respects patient privacy and is committed to responsible practices regarding your health information. Health information includes medical, billing, and related records containing information identifying you and describing your health history, symptoms, test results, diagnosis, and treatments. We pledge to use your health information only as permitted and required by law.
HOW MEDICAL WEST IS PERMITTED TO USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION:
Treatment: Medical West uses your health information in the provision and coordination of your healthcare. We may disclose all or any portion of your health information to your attending physician, consulting physicians, nurses, technicians, and other health care providers who have a legitimate need for information regarding your care and continued treatment. We may share information with other providers to coordinate specific services, such as dietary services, durable medical equipment, prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. We also may disclose health information to other healthcare associates and professionals who are involved in your medical care, such as volunteers, clergy, and others that provide services. We may disclose health information to a hospital, nursing home, or health care facility to which you may be admitted.
Transitional Care and Referrals: We may securely exchange health information with outside hospitals, clinics, physicians, and providers where you may be referred or transferred for additional care and treatment. You may request that your information not be shared with providers outside Medical West.
Payment: Medical West will release health information about you for determining benefits, billing, claims management, medical data processing, and reimbursement. Your health information will be released to an insurance company, third party payer, or other authorized entity involved in the payment of your medical bill which may include copies or excerpts of your medical records necessary for payment of your account. We may also provide information to a health plan to obtain prior approval or authorization to coordinate services and insurance coverage.
Routine Healthcare Operations: We may use and disclose your health information during routine healthcare operations, including but not limited to, quality assurance, utilization review, medical review, internal auditing, accreditation certification, licensing, or credentialing activities of Medical West. These reviews support our mission to provide quality care and delivery of services. In limited situations, we may provide de-identified data for studies and training purposes.
Other Individuals Involved in Your Medical Care: We may release health information about you to a friend, family member, or others that you tell us are involved in your medical care.
Health-Related Benefits and Appointment Reminders: You may receive communications to schedule or to remind you of a scheduled appointment. We may also communicate treatment options and health-related products or services we provide; inform you of alternative therapies, healthcare providers, or settings; and inform you of health-related programs and services available or offered by others that may be of benefit.
Medical West Directory: Directory information is provided when callers ask for you by name and to clergy based on religious affiliation. Limited information (name, room, religious affiliation) about each patient is included in the hospital Patient Directory while in the hospital. You may request your information not be released.
Business Associates: Medical West may disclose health information about you to our business associates. Business associates include contracted individuals or entities that perform or assist with an activity that requires the use of health information. Examples of business associates include, but are not limited to, consultants, accountants, lawyers, medical transcriptionist, and third-party billing companies. Medical West business associates and subcontractors of the business associates are required by law to protect the confidentiality of your health information under the same laws and practices as Medical West.
Required by Law: We may disclose your health information when required by federal, state, or local law, including abuse or neglect reporting, reporting to a regulatory or healthcare oversight agency, and for specific government functions, such as licensing, auditing, investigations, and inspections. In special circumstances such as National Security, National Intelligence, and Presidential security, government agents may be authorized to obtain your health information.
Public Health and Safety: As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability, and immunization. This also includes the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) relative to drug, supplement, dietary reactions, and assisting with drug or device recalls. We may share information about you to appropriate authorities to assist in a disaster relief effort, a public safety emergency, or those working to avert a serious or imminent threat to health and safety.
Law Enforcement/Lawsuits/Disputes: Medical West may disclose your health information for law enforcement purposes or in response to a valid subpoena or court order. If you are involved in a lawsuit or dispute, we may be required to respond or provide information by court order, judicial or administrative proceedings, subpoena, or other lawful discovery request.
Workers Compensation: We may release your health information for Workers’ Compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses.
Research: We may disclose your health information to researchers when an Institutional Review Board (IRB) that reviewed the research purpose and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information has approved their research. Before disclosing, we will verify that the researchers have obtained appropriate authorization for the release of your information.
Marketing Activities: We may send out announcements about new providers, services, or clinics within the community. We will not disclose your information to third parties for mail, electronic, or telephone marketing communications without your authorization. You may revoke an authorization by writing our Privacy Officer.
Fundraising: We may use limited contact information to communicate to you about fundraising events. You may remove your contact from further fundraising communications by writing our Privacy Officer.
Coroner, Medical Examiner, Funeral Director: We may release your health information to a Coroner or Medical Examiner, if necessary. We may also release your health information to a Funeral Director as necessary to carry out their duties.
Organ Procurement Organizations: If you have chosen to be an organ or tissue donor, 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.
Military and Veterans: If you are a member of armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military authorities.
Inmates or Individuals in Custody: If you are under the custody of law enforcement or an inmate of a facility, we may release your medical information as required by those authorities.
Other Uses: Other uses or disclosures of your health information not described in this notice, may first require your written authorization before releasing the information. You may revoke a previous authorization at any time by writing our Privacy Officer.
YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION RIGHTS:
Although records relating to your treatment are the property of Medical West, you have the right to:
- Request additional restrictions on how we use and disclose your health information. We are not required to comply with all requested restrictions if we are unable to meet your request, or if doing so will affect your care.
- Inspect and copy health information that is or may be used to make decisions about your care.
- Request a correction or amendment to your health information. We require you submit your request in writing and explain your reasons for requesting the correction or amendment. We cannot change information that was not created by Medical West, is not maintained in our records, or that is deemed accurate.
- Receive confidential communications about your health information. You may request that we deliver your health information by alternative means (electronic, in writing) or to an alternative location (work address or post office box). Your request must be in writing. We will agree to reasonable requests, when possible.
- Obtain a listing of disclosures of your health information. This list does not include disclosures for purposes of treatment, payment, or healthcare operations.
- Request restrictions on the release of your health information to a health plan when you have paid for your services in full, out of pocket, unless a law requires us to share the information.
- Receive a copy of this Notice on request.
You may exercise any of these rights by writing and contacting our Privacy Officer.
Medical West is legally required to maintain the privacy of your health information, to provide you with this Notice regarding our legal obligations and privacy practices with respect to your health information, and to notify you if there is a breach of your health information. We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice.
Medical West reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice and to revise the Notice effective for all your health information that Medical West maintains. Should we change the terms established within this Notice, we will post the revised Notice and provide a copy at your next visit or by request.
If you have questions or would like additional information, or if you believe your privacy rights have been violated, please contact our Privacy Officer listed below. You may also send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Rm 509F HHH Bldg.- Washington, D.C. 20201; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Office for Civil Rights (hhs.gov).
Your quality of care and services are never jeopardized because you file a complaint.
PRIVACY OFFICER | MEDICAL WEST HOSPITAL | 995 9TH AVENUE SW | BESSEMER, AL 35022
PHONE: (205) 481-8735