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► Notice of
    Privacy Practices


 

Notice of Privacy Practices

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.

USE AND DISCLOSURE OF HEALTH INFORMATION

Parmer Medical Center (hereinafter referred to as PMC)may use your health information, information that constitutes protected health information as defined in the Privacy Rule of the Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, for purposes of providing you treatment, obtaining payment for your care and conducting health care operations. PMC has established policies to guard against unnecessary disclosure of your health information.

THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AND PURPOSES FOR WHICH YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED:

To Provide Treatment. PMC may use your health information to coordinate care within PMC and with others involved in your care, such as your attending physician and other health care professionals who have agreed to assist PMC in coordinating care. For example, physicians involved in your care will need information about your symptoms in order to prescribe appropriate medications. PMC also may disclose your health care information to individuals outside of this facility involved in your care including family members, pharmacists, suppliers of medical equipment or other health care professionals.

To Obtain Payment. PMC may include your health information in invoices to collect payment from third parties for the care you receive from PMC. For example, PMC may be required by your health insurer to provide information regarding your health care status so that the insurer will reimburse you or this facility. PMC also may need to obtain prior approval from your insurer and may need to explain to the insurer your need for medical care and the services that will be provided to you.

To Conduct Health Care Operations. PMC may use and disclose health information for its own operations in order to facilitate the function of PMC and as necessary to provide quality care to all of the PMC's patients. PMC may disclose protected health information to attorneys, accountants, and others acting on behalf of PMC, provided they have signed Business Associate Agreements agreeing to safeguard the confidentiality of the information. Health care operations includes such activities as:

• Quality assessment and improvement activities.
Activities designed to improve health or reduce health care costs.
Protocol development, case management and care coordination.
Contacting health care providers and patients with information about treatment alternatives and other related functions that do not include treatment.
Professional review and performance evaluation.
Training programs including those in which students, trainees or practitioners in health care learn under supervision.
Training of non-health care professionals.
Accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.
Review and auditing, including compliance reviews, medical reviews, legal services and compliance programs.
Business planning and development including cost management and planning related analyses and formulary development.
Business management and general administrative activities of PMC.

For example, PMC may use your health information to evaluate its staff performance, combine your health information with other hospital patients in evaluating how to more effectively serve all hospital patients, disclose your health information to PMC staff and contracted personnel for training purposes, use your health information to contact you as a reminder regarding an appointment, or contact you as part of general fundraising and community information mailings (unless you tell us you do not want to be contacted).

PMC may also disclose to a member of your family, or other relative, or a close personal friend, or any other person identified by you, the protected health information directly relevant to such person's involvement with your care or payment related to your health care. Additionally, unless you have requested otherwise, while you are a patient at PMC and an inquirer specifically identifies you by name, PMC may state your room number and a one-word description of your general condition (i.e., undetermined, good, fair, serious, or critical).

For Appointment Reminders. PMC may use and disclose your health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment.

For Treatment Alternatives. PMC may use and disclose your health information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.

THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AND PURPOSES FOR WHICH YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION MAY ALSO BE USED AND DISCLOSED

When Legally Required. PMC will disclose your health information when it is required to do so by any Federal, State or local law.
When There Are Risks to Public Health. PMC may disclose your health information for public activities and purposes in order to:

• Prevent or control disease, injury or disability, report disease, injury, vital events such as birth or death and the conduct of public health surveillance, investigations and interventions.
Report adverse events, product defects, to track products or enable product recalls, repairs and replacements and to conduct post-marketing surveillance and compliance with requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.
Notify a person who has been exposed to a communicable disease or who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease.
Notify an employer about an individual who is a member of the workforce as legally required.

To Report Abuse, Neglect Or Domestic Violence. PMC is allowed to notify government authorities if PMC believes a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. PMC will make this disclosure only when specifically required or authorized by law or when the patient agrees to the disclosure.

To Conduct Health Oversight Activities. PMC may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities including audits, civil administrative or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure or disciplinary action. PMC, however, may not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information is not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.

In Connection With Judicial And Administrative Proceedings. PMC may disclose your health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal as expressly authorized by such order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.

For Law Enforcement Purposes. As permitted or required by State law, PMC may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for certain law enforcement purposes as follows:

As required by law for reporting of certain types of wounds or other physical injuries pursuant to the court order, warrant, subpoena or summons or similar process.
For the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person.
Under certain limited circumstances, when you are the victim of a crime.
To a law enforcement official if PMC has a suspicion that your death was the result of criminal conduct including criminal conduct at PMC.
In an emergency in order to report a crime.

To Coroners And Medical Examiners. PMC may disclose your health information to coroners and medical examiners for purposes of determining your cause of death or for other duties, as authorized by law.

To Funeral Directors. PMC may disclose your health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law and if necessary, to carry out their duties with respect to your funeral arrangements. If necessary to carry out their duties, PMC may disclose your health information prior to and in reasonable anticipation of your death.

For Organ, Eye Or Tissue Donation. PMC may use or disclose your health information to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking or transplantation of organs, eyes or tissue for the purpose of facilitating the donation and transplantation.

For Research Purposes. PMC may, under very select circumstances, use your health information for research. Before PMC discloses any of your health information for such research purposes, the project will be subject to an extensive approval process.

In the Event of A Serious Threat To Health Or Safety. PMC may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, disclose your health information if PMC, in good faith, believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public.

For Specified Government Functions. In certain circumstances, the Federal regulations authorize PMC to use or disclose your health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to military and veterans, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, medical suitability determinations and inmates and law enforcement custody.

For Worker's Compensation. PMC may release your health information for worker's compensation or similar programs.


AUTHORIZATION TO USE OR DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION

Other than is stated above, PMC will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. If you or your representative (e.g., health care power of attorney, guardian, or other statutory authorization) authorizes PMC to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time.


YOUR RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION

You have the following rights regarding your health information that PMC maintains:

Right to request restrictions. You may request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. You have the right to request a limit on PMC's disclosure of your health information to someone who is involved in your care or the payment of your care. However, PMC is not required to agree to your request. If you wish to make a request for restrictions, please contact the Privacy Official at 806.250.2754.
Right to receive confidential communications. You have the right to request that PMC communicate with you in a certain way. For example, you may ask that the Agency only conduct communications pertaining to your health information with you privately with no other family members present. If you wish to receive confidential communications, please contact the Privacy Official at 806.250.2754. PMC will not request that you provide any reasons for your request and will attempt to honor your reasonable requests for confidential communications.
Right to inspect and copy your health information. You have the right to inspect and copy your health information, including billing records. A written request to inspect and copy records containing your health information may be made to the Privacy Official at 1307 Cleveland, Friona, Texas 79035. If you request a copy of your health information, PMC may charge a reasonable fee for copying and assembling costs associated with your request.
Right to amend health care information. You or your representative have the right to request that PMC amend your records, if you believe that your health information is incorrect or incomplete. That request may be made as long as the information is maintained by PMC. A request for an amendment of records must be made in writing to the Privacy Official at 806.250.2754. PMC may deny the request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason for the amendment. The request also may be denied if your health information records were not created by PMC, if the records you are requesting are not part of PMC's records, if the health information you wish to amend is not part of the health information you or your representative are permitted to inspect and copy, or if, in the opinion of PMC, the records containing your health information are accurate and complete.
Right to an accounting. You or your representative have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by PMC for certain reasons, including reasons related to public purposes authorized by law and certain research. The request for an accounting must be made in writing to the Privacy Official, 1307 Cleveland, Friona, Texas 79035. The request should specify the time period for the accounting starting on or after April 14, 2003. Accounting requests may not be made for periods of time in excess of six (6) years. PMC would provide the first accounting you request during any 12-month period without charge. Subsequent accounting requests may be subject to a reasonable cost-based fee.
Right to a paper copy of this notice. You or your representative have a right to a separate paper copy of this Notice at any time even if you or your representative have received this Notice previously. To obtain a separate paper copy, please contact the Privacy Official at 806.250.2754. You or your representative may also obtain a copy of the current version of this Notice at it's website, www.ParmerMedicalCenter.com.

DUTIES OF PMC
PMC is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide to you and your representative this Notice of its duties and privacy practices. PMC is required to abide by the terms of this Notice as may be amended from time to time. PMC reserves the right to change the terms of its Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all health information that it maintains. If PMC changes its Notice, PMC will provide a copy of the revised Notice to current patients or their appointed representative. A current Notice is always posted in this facility in a clear and prominent location. You or your personal representative have the right to express complaints to this facility and to the Secretary of DHHS if you or your representative believe that your privacy rights have been violated. Any complaints to PMC should be made in writing to the Privacy Official at 1307 Cleveland, Friona, Texas 79035. PMC encourages you to express any concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information. You will not be retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint.

CONTACT PERSON
PMC has designated the Privacy Official as its contact person for all issues regarding patient privacy and your rights under the Federal privacy standards. You may contact this person at 1307 Cleveland, Friona, Texas 79035 or telephone at 806.250.2754.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This Notice is effective April 14, 2003.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS NOTICE, PLEASE CONTACT the Privacy Official at 1307 Cleveland, Friona, Texas 79035 or telephone at 806.250.2754.

 
1307 CLEVELAND AVE., FRIONA, TX 79035 • 806.250.2754 • COPYRIGHT © 2011 PARMER MEDICAL CENTER • CONTACT US