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Jones Memorial Hospital - A Tradition of Quality Commitment& Caring
Jones Memorial Hospital - A Tradition of Quality Commitment& Caring

Patient Privacy Explained

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. Effective Date: September 3, 2013

It is important to read and understand this Notice of Privacy Practices before signing any Acknowledgment of Receipt of this notice. If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the hospital's Privacy Officer, James Helms, at 585-596-4053 or via email.

WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE
This notice describes our hospital's practices and those of:

  • Any healthcare professional authorized to enter information into your hospital medical record.
  • All departments and unit of the hospital
  • Any member of our volunteer groups we allow to help you while you are in the hospital
  • All employees, staff and other hospital personnel
  • Jones Memorial Hospital Medical Practices

All these persons, entities, sites and locations follow the terms of this notice. In addition, these persons, entities, sites and locations may share medical information with each other for treatment, payment, or hospital operations purposes as described in this notice.

OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION
We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting medical information about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive at the hospital. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by the hospital, whether made by hospital personnel or your personal doctor. Your personal doctor may have different policies or notices regarding the doctor's use and disclosure of your medical information created in the doctor's office or clinic.

This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.

We are required by law to:

  • Make sure that medical information that identifies you is kept private;
  • Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you; and
  • Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.

HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures we will explain what we mean and try to give some examples. Not every use or disclosure will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of these categories.

For Treatment We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, or other hospital personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the hospital. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken hip may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process. In addition, the doctor may need to tell the dietitian if you have diabetes so that we can arrange for appropriate meals. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the hospital who may be involved in your medical care after you leave the hospital, such as family members, clergy, or others we use to provide services that are part of your care, such as therapists or physicians.

For Payment We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at the hospital may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company, or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about treatment you received at the hospital so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the treatment. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.

For Healthcare Operations We may use and disclose medical information about you for hospital operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the hospital and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many hospital patients to decide what additional services the hospital should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, and other hospital personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the medical information we have with medical information from other hospitals to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of medical information so others may use it to study health care and healthcare delivery without learning the identities of special patients.

Treatment Alternatives and Health-Related Benefits and Services We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives and to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.

Fundraising Activities We may use medical information about you to contact you in an effort to raise money for the hospital and its operations. We may only release demographic information, such as your name, address, phone number and date of birth, as well as the dates you received treatment or services at the hospital and your treating physician. A description of how to opt out of receiving any further fundraising communications will be included with any fundraising materials you receive from the Hospital.

Hospital Directory We may include certain limited information about you in the hospital directory while you are a patient at the hospital. This information may include your name, location in the hospital, your general condition (e.g. fair, stable, etc.), and your religious affiliation. The directory information, except for your religious affiliation, may also be released to people who ask for you by name. Your religious affiliation may be given to a member of the clergy, such as a priest or rabbi, even if they don't ask for you by name. This is so your family, friends, and clergy can visit you in the hospital and generally know how you are doing. If you do not want anyone to know this information about you, you must notify the registration clerk upon registration.

Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care Unless you object, we may release medical information about you to a friend or family member that you identify as involved in your medical care. This would include people named in any durable health care power of attorney, healthcare proxy or similar document provided to us. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. In addition, we may disclose medical information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status, and location. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment or if we reasonably infer that you would not object.

Research Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another for same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with patient's need for privacy of their medical information. Before we use or disclose medical information for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process. We may, however, disclose medical information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project; for example, to help them look for patients with specific medical needs, so long as the information they review does not leave the hospital. 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 hospital.

To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety We may use and disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.

Organ and Tissue Donation If you are a potential organ donor, we may release medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation, or to an organ donation bank as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.

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. We may use and disclose to components of the Department of Veterans Affairs medical information about you to determine whether you are eligible for certain benefits.

Workers Compensation We may release medical information about you for Workers Compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.

Public Health Risks We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:

  • To prevent or control disease, injury, or disability
  • To report deaths;
  • To report reactions to medications or problems with products; to notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
  • To notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition; and
  • To notify the appropriate 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.

Health Oversight Activities We may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the healthcare system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.

Lawsuits and Disputes We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official: In response to a valid court order, subpoena, warrant, summons, or similar process;

  • To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
  • About the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement;
  • About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
  • About criminal conduct at the hospital, and
  • In emergency circumstances to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description, or location of the person who committed the crime.

Coroners, Medical Examiners, Organ Procurement Organizations and Funeral Directors We may release medical information to a coroner, medical examiner or, if you are an organ donor, to an organization involved in the donation of organs and tissues. We may also release medical information about deceased patients of the hospital to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties upon the request of the patient's family.

National Security and Intelligence Activities We may release information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law. We may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons, or foreign heads of state, or conduct special investigations.

Inmates If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release medical information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary (1) for the institution to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution; or (4) to obtain payment for services provided to you.

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

WHEN WE MAY NOT USE OR DISCLOSE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.

  • Psychotherapy Notes: A signed authorization or court order is required for any use or disclosure of psychotherapy notes except to carry out certain treatment, payment or health care operations and for the use by Jones Memorial Hospital for treatment, for training programs or for defense in legal actions.
  • Marketing: A signed authorization is required for the use or disclosure of your protected health information for a purpose that encourages you to purchase or use a product or service except for certain limited circumstances.
  • Sale of Protected Health Information: A signed authorization is required for the use or disclosure of your protected health information in the event that Jones Memorial Hospital receives remuneration for such use or disclosure, except under certain circumstances as allowed by federal or state law.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:

  • Rights to Access, Inspect and Copy: You have the right to access, inspect and receive copies of medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes and other mental health records under certain circumstances.
To inspect and receive copies of medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to the hospital's Medical Record Department. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other supplies associated with your request.
We may deny your request to access, inspect and copy medical information in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to medical information, you may request that the denial be reviewed. New York State has an appeal process for you to follow.
  • Rights to Amend: If you feel that medical information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for the hospital. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to the hospital's Privacy Officer. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request.
We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
  • Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
  • Is not part of the medical information kept by or for the hospital;
  • Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
  • Is accurate and complete
If we deny your request for amendment you have the right to submit a written statement disagreeing with the denial. We may rebut your statement of disagreement. If you do not wish to submit a written statement disagreeing with the denial, you may request that your request for amendment and your denial be disclosed with any future disclosure of your relevant information.
  • Right to an Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right to request an accounting of disclosures. This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you. To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to the Medical Record Department. Your request must state a time period that may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example: on paper, electronically). The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved, and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
  • Rights to Request Restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend.
We are not required to agree to your request, unless it involves the disclosure of protected health information to a health plan for purposes of carrying out payment or health care operations that pertains solely to health care item or service for which Jones Memorial Hospital has been paid out of pocket in full. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment.
To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to the hospital's Privacy Officer. In your request, you must tell us (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit or use, disclosure, or both; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply, for example, disclosures to your spouse.
  • Right to Confidential Communication: You have the right to request to receive communications from us on a confidential basis by using alternative means for receipt of information or by receiving the information at alternative locations. We must accommodate your request, if it is reasonable. You are not required to provide use with an explanation as to the basis of your request. Contact the Privacy Officer if you require such confidential communications.
  • Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice: You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice. To obtain a paper copy of this notice, request a copy form the hospital’s Privacy Officer in writing or download it here

CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
We reserve the right to change this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice in the hospital. This notice will contain on the first page, in the top right-hand corner, the effective date. In addition, the first time you register at or are admitted to the hospital for treatment or healthcare services as an inpatient or outpatient, we will offer you a copy of the current notice in effect if there has been a change to the previous one.

COMPLAINTS
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the hospital or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with the hospital, contact the hospital's Privacy Officer, James Helms, at 585-596-4053 or via email. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.

191 North Main Street,
PO Box 72
Wellsville, NY 14895-0072
 (585) 593-1100
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