We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information without your consent or authorization for treatment, payment and health care operations as follows:
We will use your Protected Health Information for treatment.
We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information to physicians, nurses, medical students and other healthcare personnel who provide you with healthcare services or are involved in your care. For example, your Protected Health Information may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred or to your family physician if you are seen in the emergency department of the hospital. Another example is that your Protected Health Information, as necessary, would be disclosed to a home health agency that provides care to you following discharge from the hospital.
We will use your Protected Health Information for payment.
We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information as needed for us to bill and collect payment for the healthcare treatment and services provided to you and to assist other covered entities/healthcare providers in obtaining payment. For example, if your health plan requires that you obtain prior approval before you are admitted to Mercy Medical Center, we may disclose your Protected Health Information to your health plan for this purpose. In addition, we may disclose your Protected Health Information to your physicians and other healthcare providers so that they may bill for services they provided to you at a Mercy facility.
We will use your Protected Health Information for regular health care operations.
We may use or disclose, as needed, your Protected Health Information internally or to third parties acting on our behalf for healthcare operations purposes. For example, we may engage a consultant to review information in selected medical records to determine what additional services we should offer and what services are not needed. Another example is that we may use a sign-in sheet at the registration desk and we may call you by name in the waiting room when it is your turn to be seen. In addition, we may disclose your Protected Health Information to other covered entities for their own limited types of healthcare operations if they have or have had a relationship with you and the Protected Health Information pertains to such relationship. For instance, if you are returning to a nursing home upon discharge from the hospital, we may share your Protected Health Information with the nursing home in order to facilitate coordination of your care. Furthermore, MercyCare Service Corporation and its affiliates and Mercy Medical Center’s medical staff may use and share your Protected Health Information with each other for the purposes of our Organized Health Care Arrangement. For example, members of Mercy Medical Center’s medical staff, the hospital risk manager, the hospital’s quality improvement manager or members of the quality improvement teams may use information in your medical record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the health care and services provided at the hospital.
Directory: We may include your name, location, general condition and religious affiliation in our patient directory for use by clergy and visitors who ask for you by name, unless you object in whole or in part by contacting the Registration Department. In an emergency situation, we may go ahead and use and disclose such information if it is consistent with your prior expressed preference (if known) and if we believe it to be in your best interest, but will still offer you the opportunity to object when it becomes practical to do so.
Communication with family: Unless you object by notifying the contact person designated in this Notice, we may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person whom you identify, Protected Health Information relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care. We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative or another person responsible for your care, your location, general condition or death. We may also use or disclose your Protected Health Information to an authorized public or private entity to assist in disaster relief efforts. If you are unable to agree or object to such disclosure, health professionals, using their professional judgment, may disclose your Protected Health Information as necessary if it is determined to be in your best interest.
Appointment reminders and health-related benefits or services: We may use your Protected Health Information to provide appointment reminders, to make pre- and post-visit phone calls, or give you information about treatment alternatives or other healthcare services or benefits we offer.
Incidental Uses and Disclosures: We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information if such use or disclosure is incidental to an otherwise permitted or required use or disclosure. For example, to facilitate our healthcare operations, we may call you by name in the waiting area when it is your turn to be seen. If another person overhears us do so, that is considered an incidental disclosure of your Protected Health Information.
Required by law: We may use or disclose your Protected Health Information to the extent that the law requires its use or disclosure and it will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law. In addition, we must disclosure your Protected Health Information to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services upon request for compliance determination purposes.
Public health: As required by law, we may disclose your Protected Health Information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability. For example we report information about births, deaths and various diseases.
Communicable diseases: We may disclose your Protected Health Information, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.
Health oversight activities: We may disclose Protected Health Information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These activities include audits, investigations, inspections and licensure of a healthcare provider or organization.
Abuse or neglect: We may disclose your Protected Health Information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect or if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
Research: In some instances, your Protected Health Information may be used or disclosed for research purposes. All research projects are subject to a special approval process to ensure the privacy of your information. In many cases, information that identifies you as the patient will be removed.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may disclose to the FDA Protected 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.
To avoid harm: In order to prevent serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person, we may provide Protected Health Information about you to someone able to help prevent the threat.
Legal proceedings: We may disclose Protected Health Information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized) in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.
Law enforcement: We may disclose Protected Health Information for certain law enforcement purposes, including the reporting of certain types of wounds or injuries, or pursuant to a warrant, subpoena or other legal process, or for the purpose of identifying or locating a subject, fugitive, material witness, missing person or a victim, provided that certain conditions are met.
Funeral directors, coroners, and organ donation: We may disclose Protected Health Information to funeral directors, a coroner or medical examiner consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties or to parties associated with cadaver organ, eye or tissue donation purposes.
Psychotherapy Notes: We can use and disclose your Protected Health Information that contains psychotherapy notes without your authorization only as follows: (1) for our own treatment purposes, (2) for our own practitioner-supervised training programs involving students learning counseling skills, (3) to defend legal actions or other proceedings brought against us, (4) to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services as required for compliance purposes, (5) as required by law, (6) for our health oversight activities, (7) to coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors for deceased patients and (8) to avert a serious threat to health or safety.
Workers' compensation: We may provide Protected Health Information in order to comply with workers’ compensation laws for work-related injuries or illness.
Employment purposes: Under certain circumstances, we may report Protected Health Information to employers who request that we conduct an evaluation relating to medical surveillance of the workplace or to evaluate whether the employee has a work-related condition.
Inmates: If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release Protected Health Information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official necessary for your health and the health and safety of other individuals.
Military, Veterans and National Security: We may disclose the Protected Health Information of military personnel and veterans in certain situations and we may also disclose Protected Health Information for national security purposes, such as protecting the President or conducting intelligence operations.
Fundraising: Without your authorization, we may use your Protected Health Information to raise funds for our organization. We may also provide certain information to our institutionally-related foundation for the same purpose. The money raised will be used to expand and improve services and programs we provide the community. If you do not wish to receive future fundraising communications, you are allowed to opt out of such communications.
School Immunizations: We may disclose immunization records to a school if the school is required by law to obtain such records prior to admission.