HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
Our Pledge Regarding Your Medical Information
We are committed to protecting the confidentiality of your medical information, and are required by law to do so. This notice describes how we may use your medical information within the Hospital and Memorial Physicians and how we may disclose it to others. This notice also describes the rights you have concerning your own medical information. Please review it carefully and let us know if you have questions.
How Will We Use And Disclose Your Medical Information?
Treatment: We may use your medical information to provide you with medical services and supplies. We may also disclose your medical information to others who need that information to treat you, such as doctors, physician assistants, nurses, medical and nursing students, other medical career students, technicians, therapists, emergency service and medical transportation providers, medical equipment providers, community agencies and healthcare providers for coordination of care, and others involved in your care. For example; we will allow your physician to have access to your medical record to assist in your treatment at our facilities and for follow-up care.
We also may use and disclose your medical information to remind you of an upcoming appointment, to inform you about possible treatment options or alternatives, or to tell you about health-related services available to you.
Health Information Exchange Disclosure: We place a copy of our patients' health care information on a computer site called a health information exchange. Because we do that, your information is available to other doctors and providers who see you, so that they can give you the best care possible. Quick access to your medical information is especially important for emergency care. Only persons involved in the delivery of care and those who provide support to those persons shall have access to your medical record. The information is password protected, encrypted, and transmitted within a private network to limit access. This system is monitored for inappropriate use.
You have the right to prevent having your health care information placed on this information exchange. If you do not want us to make your information available to your health care team in this way, you can revoke consent. Just ask registration staff for the "Health Information Exchange Opt Out" form. Keep in mind that this will also prevent you from obtaining an account on our Patient Portal as these systems depend on the same information. If you want more information about the health information exchange, please contact Jessica Gleason, Signal Health-509-249-5077.
Hospital Patient Directory: In order to assist family members and other visitors in locating you while you are in the Hospital, the Hospital maintains a patient directory. This directory includes your name and room number. In addition, we may disclose your general condition (such as fair, stable, or critical). We will disclose this information to someone who asks for you by name. If you do not want to be included in the Hospital's patient directory, please notify Registration at the time of admission. (PLEASE NOTE: If you choose not to be listed in the directory, you will not receive any flowers, cards, clergy visits, or telephone calls).
Family Members and Others Involved in Your Care: We may disclose your medical information to immediate family members or another person with whom you have a close personal relationship. We also may disclose your medical information to disaster relief organizations to help locate a family member or friend in a disaster. If you do not want us to disclose your medical information to family members or others as outlined here, please notify your nurse.
Payment: We may use and disclose your medical information to get paid for the medical services and supplies we provide to you. For example, your health plan or health insurance company may ask to see parts of your medical record before they will pay us for your treatment. We may provide this information to them according to the terms set in your prior authorization.
Our Operations: We may use and disclose your medical information if it is necessary to improve the quality of care we provide to patients or to run the Hospital and Memorial Physicians. We may use your medical information to conduct quality improvement activities, to obtain audit, accounting or legal services, or to conduct business management and planning. For example, we may look at your medical record to evaluate whether our personnel, your doctors, or other health care professionals did a good job.
Fundraising: Many of our patients like to make contributions to the Hospital. The hospital or its foundation may contact you in the future to raise money for the hospital. If you do not want the hospital or its foundation to contact you for fundraising, please notify the Memorial Foundation in writing.
Research: We may use or disclose your medical information for research projects, such as studying the effectiveness of a treatment you received. These research projects must go through a special process that protects the confidentiality of your medical information.
Required by Law: Federal, state, or local laws sometimes require us to disclose patients' medical information. For instance, we are required to report the abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults. We also are required to give information to the State Workers' Compensation Program for work-related injuries.
Public Health: We also may report certain medical information for public health purposes. For instance, we report communicable diseases to the State. We also may need to report patient problems with medications or medical products to the FDA, or may notify patients of recalls of products they are using.
Public Safety: We may disclose medical information for public safety purposes in limited circumstances. We may disclose medical information to law enforcement officials in response to a search warrant or a grand jury subpoena. We also may disclose your medical information to law enforcement officials and others to prevent an imminent threat to health or safety.
Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose medical information to a government agency that oversees us or our personnel, such as the Washington State Department of Health, the federal agencies that oversee Medicare, the Medical Quality Assurance Commission, or the Nursing Quality Assurance Commission. These agencies need medical information to monitor our compliance with state and federal laws.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors: We may disclose medical information concerning deceased patients to coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors to assist them in carrying out their duties.
Organ and Tissue Donation: If you are an organ donor, we may disclose medical information to organizations that handle organ, eye or tissue donation or transplantation.
Judicial Proceedings: The Hospital and/or Memorial Physicians may disclose medical information if we receive a valid subpoena or a search warrant. You will receive advance notice about this disclosure in most situations so that you will have a chance to object to sharing your medical information.
Information with Additional Protection: Certain types of medical information have additional protection under state and federal law. For instance, medical information about HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, mental health, and alcohol and drug abuse treatment receive special protection. The Hospital and Memorial Physicians are required to get your permission before disclosing that information to others in many circumstances.
Other Uses and Disclosures: If the Hospital or Memorial Physicians wish to use or disclose your medical information for a purpose that is not discussed in this Notice, we will seek your permission. If you give your permission to us, you may take back that permission at any time. Any disclosure of information given under permission will not be withdrawn from those it has been disclosed to.
What Are Your Rights?
Right to Request Your Medical Information: You have the right to look at your own medical information and to get a copy of that information. (The law requires us to keep the original record.) This includes your medical record, your billing record, and other records we use to make decisions about your care. To request your medical information, write to Health Information Management at the Hospital or at Memorial Physicians, or stop by to sign an authorization. If you request a copy of your information, we will charge you for our costs to copy the information. We will tell you in advance what this copying will cost. You can look at your record at no cost.
Right to Request Amendment of Medical Information You Believe Is Erroneous or Incomplete: If you examine your medical information and believe that some of the information is wrong or incomplete, you may ask us to amend your record. To ask us to amend your medical information, submit your request in writing to us.
Right to Get a List of Certain Disclosures of Your Medical Information: You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures we make of your medical information. If you would like to receive such a list, write to us. We will provide the first list to you free, but we may charge you for any additional lists you request during the same year. We will tell you in advance what this list will cost.
Right to Request Restrictions on How the Hospital and Memorial Physicians Will Use or Disclose Your Medical Information for Treatment, Payment, or Health Care Operations: You have the right to ask us not to make uses or disclosures of your medical information to treat you, to seek payment for care, or to operate the Hospital and/or Memorial Physicians. We will grant your request that we not disclose your medical information to a physician who previously treated you. We are not required to agree to other requests for restrictions, but if we do agree, we will comply with that agreement. If you want to request a restriction, submit your request in writing to us and describe your request in detail.
Right to Request Confidential Communications: You have the right to ask us to communicate with you in a way that you feel is more confidential. For example, you can ask us to not call your home, but to communicate only by mail. To do this, write to the Privacy Office. You can also ask to speak with your health care providers in private outside the presence of other patients-just ask them!
Right to a Paper Copy: If you have received this notice electronically, you have the right to a paper copy at any time. You may download a paper copy of the notice from our Web site, at www.yakimamemorial.org, or you may obtain a paper copy of the notice at any Memorial location.
Changes To This Notice
From time to time, we may change our practices concerning how we use or disclose patient medical information, or how we will implement patient rights concerning their information. We reserve the right to change this Notice and to make the provisions in our new Notice effective for all medical information we maintain. If we change these practices, we will publish a revised Notice of Privacy Practices. You can get a copy of our current Notice of Privacy Practices at any time by downloading it from our website at www.yakimamemorial.org, visiting any Memorial location, or sending your request in writing to the Privacy Office.
Which Healthcare Providers Are Covered By This Notice?
This Notice of Privacy Practices applies to the Hospital, Memorial Physicians and our personnel, volunteers, students, and trainees (collectively, our "workforce") at all locations managed or operated by Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and Memorial Physicians, PLLC. All these locations follow the terms of this Notice. Our workforce at these locations may share medical information with each other for treatment, payment or health care operations described in this Notice. The Notice also applies to other independent health care providers who are part of the Hospital's Medical Staff when health care services are provided jointly at the Hospital or any of the locations described above.
Organized Health Care Arrangements
We may use and disclose your health information to individuals and organizations that participate in joint health care activities with us. These joint arrangements are referred to as "organized health care arrangements" under federal law. We have organized health care arrangements with our Hospital, its Medical Staff, and Memorial Physicians; Virginia Mason Medical Center and its Medical Staff; Evergreen Health; Franciscan Health System; Seattle Children's and the American Joint Replacement Registry. For more information, you may contact our Privacy Office.
Do You Have Concerns Or Complaints?
Please tell us about any problems or concerns you have with your privacy rights or how we use or disclose your medical information. If you have a concern, please contact our Privacy Office for the Hospital at (509) 575-8281 or the Privacy Officer for Memorial Physicians at (509) 249-5010.
If for some reason the Hospital or Memorial Physicians cannot resolve your concern, you may also file a complaint with the federal government. We will not penalize you or retaliate against you in any way for filing a complaint with the federal government.
Do You Have Questions?
The Hospital and Memorial Physicians are required by law to give you this Notice and to follow the terms of the Notice that is currently in effect. If you have any questions about this Notice, or have further questions about how the Hospital and Memorial Physicians may use and disclose your medical information, please contact the Privacy Officer for the Hospital at (509) 575-8281 or the Privacy officer for Memorial Physicians at (509) 249-5010.
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