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Privacy Policy

This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can access this information. Please review it carefully.

Your Rights

When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.

Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record

  • You can ask to see or get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. Ask us how to do this.
  • We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee.

Ask us to correct your medical record

  • You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this.
  • We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing within 60 days.

Request confidential communications

  • You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address.
  • We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.

Ask us to limit what we use or share

  • You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment or our operations. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care.
  • If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.

Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information

  • You can ask for a list (called an accounting) of the times we’ve shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with and why.
  • We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment and health care operations and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We’ll provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.

Get a copy of this privacy notice

You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.

Choose someone to act for you

  • If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
  • We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.

File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated

  • You can contact us to complain if you feel we have violated your rights.
  • You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775 or online at the HIPAA Health Information Privacy page.
  • We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

Your Choices

For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions. In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:

  • Share information with your family, close friends or others involved in your care
  • Share information in a disaster relief situation
  • Include your information in a hospital directory

If you are not able to tell us your preference (for example, if you are unconscious), we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.

In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:

  • Marketing purposes
  • Sale of your information
  • Most psychotherapy notes

In the case of fundraising:

  • We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.

Our Uses & Disclosures

We typically use or share your health information in the following ways.

Treating you

We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.

Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.

To govern our organization

We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care and contact you when necessary.

Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services.

A Health Information Exchange, or HIE, is a way of sharing your health information among participating doctors’ offices, hospitals, care coordinators, labs, radiology centers and other health care providers through secure, electronic means. The purpose is so that each of your participating healthcare providers can have the benefit of the most recent information available from your other participating providers when taking care of you.

Information flowing through the HIE can also be made available to researchers with appropriate consent through a careful review and approval process. When you opt out of participation in the HIE, doctors and nurses will not be able to search for your health information through the HIE to use while treating you and your information will not be available for research. Your physician or other treating providers will still be able to select the HIE as a way to receive your lab results, radiology reports and other data sent directly to them that they may have previously received by fax, mail or other electronic communications.

Additionally, in accordance with the law, public health reporting, such as the reporting of infectious diseases to public health officials, will still occur through the HIE after you decide to opt out. Controlled dangerous substances (CDS) information, as part of the Maryland Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, will continue to be available through the HIE to licensed providers.

Adventist Healthcare participates in three levels of health information exchange:

  • Adventist Health Information Exchange – Local
  • Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) – State
  • CommonWell Health Alliance – National

You may decide to opt-out of sharing your data with the health information exchanges. Please speak with a representative at the front desk or Registration Department for instructions on the opt-out processes.

Bill for your services

We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities.

Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.

How else can we use or share your health information?

We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information, see your rights under HIPAA.

Help with public health and safety issues

We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:

  • Preventing disease
  • Helping with product recalls
  • Reporting adverse reactions to medications
  • Reporting suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence
  • Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety

Research purposes

We can use or share your information for health research.

Comply with the law

We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy law.

Respond to organ and tissue donation requests

We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations.

Work with a medical examiner or funeral director

We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner or funeral director when an individual dies.

Address workers’ compensation, law enforcement and other government requests

We can use or share health information about you:

  • For workers’ compensation claims
  • For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official
  • With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law
  • For special government functions such as military, national security and presidential protective services

Respond to lawsuits and legal actions

We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.

Our Responsibilities

  • We are required by law to ensure that authorization from an individual for a use or disclosure of protected health information is voluntarily provided except in certain circumstances including the research context.
  • We will not condition treatment, payment, enrollment in a health plan or eligibility for benefits to the provision of an authorization to disclose protected health information.
  • We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
  • We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
  • We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.
  • We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.

Learn more about health information privacy investigations.

Changes to the Terms of this Notice

We can change the terms of this notice and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, on our web site and we will mail a copy to you.

No persons shall, on the grounds of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied services or otherwise be subjected to discrimination in the provision of any care or treatment.

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