In the following situations, we may disclose a limited amount of your protected health information if we inform you in advance and you do not object, as long as law does not otherwise prohibit the disclosure:
To families, friends, or others involved in your care – We may share with these people certain information directly related to their involvement in your care, or payment for your care. We may share certain protected health information with these people to notify them about your location, general condition, or death.
Patient directories – Your name, location, and general condition may be put into a facility patient directory for disclosure to callers or visitors who ask for you by name. Additionally, your religious affiliation may be shared with clergy.
Your Rights Regarding Your Protected Health Information
You have the following rights with respect to your protected health information:
To obtain access to your protected health information – You generally have the right to see and obtain copies of your protected health information upon written request. We may deny you access to review or copy your protected health information. If your request is denied, we must provide you with a reason for the denial and explain any right to have the denial reviewed. If we grant your written request for copies of your protected health information, we will advise you in advance of any fees we may impose for the costs of copying and mailing.
To request restrictions on uses and disclosures – You have the right to ask that we limit how we use or disclose your protected health information. We will consider your request, but are not legally bound to agree to the restriction. If we do agree to any restriction, we will put the agreement in writing and abide by it except in the case of emergency situations. We cannot agree to limit uses and disclosures that are required by law.
To receive confidential communications – You have the right to request that we communicate with you by using an alternative address or by alternative means. We must agree to your request as long as it is reasonable for us to comply.
To an accounting of disclosures – You have the right to receive upon written request an accounting of when; to whom, for what purpose, and what content of your protected health information has been released for the past six years. This list will not include the following instances for disclosure: for treatment, payment, and health care operations; to you, to your family, or for a facility directory; or pursuant to your written authorization. The list of disclosures will not include any certain other disclosures, such as those made to law enforcement officials or correctional facilities, for national security purposes, or disclosures made before January 1, 2007. There will be no charge for the first accounting you request within a 12-month period. For additional lists within the same period, we will advise you in advance of any fees we may impose.
To request an amendment – If you believe that your protected health information is incorrect or incomplete, you have the right to request in writing that we amend the information. Your request must include the reason you are seeking a change. We may deny your request if (1) we did not create the information, or the information is not part of our records; (2) the information is not permitted to be disclosed; or (3) the information is correct and complete. Any denial must be in writing and must state the reasons for the denial and explain your right to submit a statement of disagreement and to have your statement (and any rebuttal), along with your request and the denial, appended to your record.