Uses and Disclosures

Uses and Disclosures of Your Personal Health Information

Your Authorization

You have a right to expect that Authorization will be obtained from you regarding uses and disclosures of personal health information when required.  Authorization is required for most uses of psychotherapy notes, uses and disclosures of personal health information for marketing purposes and disclosures that amount to the sale of personal health information.  Other uses and disclosures not described in this Notice of Privacy Practices will only be made with authorization from you.  You have the right to revoke that authorization in writing unless we have taken any action in reliance on the authorization.

Uses and Disclosures for Treatment

We will make uses and disclosures of your personal health information as necessary for your treatment.  For instance, doctors and nurses and other professionals involved in your care will use information in your medical record and information that you provide about your symptoms and reactions to plan a course of treatment for you that may include procedures, medications, tests, etc.  We may also release your personal health information to another health care facility or professional who is not affiliated with our organization but who is or will be providing treatment to you.  For instance, if, after you leave the hospital, you are going to receive home health care, we may release your personal health information to that home health care agency so that a plan of care can be prepared for you.

Uses and Disclosures for Payment

We will make uses and disclosures of your personal health information as necessary for the payment purposes of those health professionals and facilities that have treated you or provided services to you.  For instance, we may forward information regarding your medical procedures and treatment to your insurance company to arrange payment for the services provided to you or we may use your information to prepare a bill to send to you or to the person responsible for your payment.

Uses and Disclosures for Health Care Operations

We will use and disclose your personal health information as necessary, and as permitted by law, for our health care operations which include clinical improvement, professional peer review, business management, accreditation and licensing, etc.  For instance, we may use and disclose your personal health information for purposes of improving the clinical treatment and care of our patients.  We may also disclose your personal health information to another health care facility, health care professional, or health plan for such things as quality assurance and case management, but only if that facility, professional, or plan also has or had a patient relationship with you.

Our Facility Directory

We maintain a facility directory listing the name, room number, general condition and, if you wish, your religious affiliation.  Unless you choose to have your information excluded from this directory, the information, excluding your religious affiliation, will be disclosed to anyone who requests it by asking for you by your full name e.g. John Smith.  This information, including your religious affiliation, may be also be provided to members of the clergy.  You have the right during registration to have your information excluded from this directory and also to restrict what information is provided and/or to whom.

Family and Friends Involved In Your Care

With your approval, we may from time to time disclose your personal health information to designated family, friends, and others who are involved in your care or in payment of your care in order to facilitate that person's involvement in caring for you or paying for your care.  If you are unavailable, incapacitated, or facing an emergency medical situation, and we determine that a limited disclosure may be in your best interest, we may share limited personal health information with such individuals without your approval.  We may also disclose limited personal health information to a public or private entity that is authorized to assist in disaster relief efforts in order for that entity to locate a family member or other persons that may be involved in some aspect of caring for you.

Business Associates

Certain aspects and components of our services are performed through contracts with outside persons or organizations, such as auditing, accreditation, legal services, etc.  At times It may be necessary for us to provide certain of your personal health information to one or more of these outside persons or organizations who assist us with our health care operations.  In all cases, we require these business associates to appropriately safeguard the privacy of your information.

Fundraising

We may use and disclose your protected health information for fundraising purposes only as permitted by federal privacy regulations and relevant to Ohio laws.  We may contact you to donate to a fundraising effort for or on our behalf.  You have the right to "opt-out" of receiving fundraising materials/communications.  You may call the Marketing Department at Knox Community Hospital and make your wishes known that you would like to "opt out" indicating that you do not wish to receive fundraising materials or communications from us.  You may also request a pre-printed, pre-stamped envelope from the Marketing Department and send a statement that you do riot wish to receive fundraising materials or communications from us.

Appointments and Services

We may contact you to provide appointment reminders or test results.  You have the right to request and we will accommodate reasonable requests by you to receive communications regarding your personal health information from us by alternative means or at alternative locations.  For instance, if you wish appointment reminders to not be left on voice mail or sent to a particular address, we will accommodate reasonable requests.  You may request such confidential communication in writing and may send your request to Central Scheduling, Knox Community Hospital, 1330 Coshocton Avenue, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.

Health Products and Services

We may from time to time use your personal health information to communicate with you about health products and services necessary for your treatment, to advise you of new products and services we offer, and to provide general health and wellness information.

Research 

In limited circumstances, we may use and disclose your personal health information for research purposes.  For example, a research organization may wish to compare outcomes of all patients that received a particular drug and will need to review a series of medical records.  In all cases where your specific authorization has not been obtained, your privacy will be protected by strict confidentiality requirements applied by an Institutional Review Board or privacy board which oversees the research or by representations of the researchers that limit their use and disclosure of patient information.

Other Uses and Disclosures

We are permitted or required by law to make certain other uses and disclosures of your personal health information without your consent or authorization.

  • We may release your personal health information for any purpose required by law;
  • We may release your personal health information for public health activities, such as required reporting of disease, injury, and birth and death, and for required public health investigations;
  • We may release your personal health information as required by law if we suspect child abuse or neglect; we may also release your personal health information as required by law if we believe you to be a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence;
  • We may release your personal health information to the Food and Drug Administration if necessary to report adverse events, product defects, or to participate in product recalls;
  • We may release your personal health information to your employer when we have provided health care to you at the request of your employer to determine workplace-related illness or injury; in most cases you will receive notice that information is disclosed to your employer;
  • We may release your personal health information if required by law to a government oversight agency conducting audits, investigations, or civil or criminal proceedings;
  • We may release your personal health information if required to do so by subpoena or discovery request; in some cases you will have notice of such release;
  • We may release your personal health information to law enforcement officials as required by law to report wounds and injuries and crimes;
  • We may release your personal health information to coroners and/or funeral directors consistent with law;
  • We may release your personal health information if necessary to arrange an organ or tissue donation from you or a transplant for you;
  • We may release your personal health information if in limited instances if we suspect a serious threat to health or safety;
  • We may release your personal health information, if you are a member of the military as required by armed forces services; we may also release your personal health information if necessary for national security or intelligence activities; and
  • We may release your personal health information to workers' compensation agencies if necessary for your workers' compensation benefit determination.
  • We may release proof of immunization to a school when the State or law requires the school obtain this information prior to admitting the student.  We will obtain oral agreement from the appropriate individual (or parent, guardian etc.) prior to disclosing proof of immunization.

Health Information Exchanges

We participate in one or more Health Information Exchanges. Your healthcare providers can use this electronic network to securely provide access to your health records for a better picture of your health needs. We, and other providers, may allow access to your health information through the Health Information Exchange for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. This is a voluntary agreement. You may opt-out at any time by notifying the Health Information Management Department (740.393.9051)

EFFECTIVE DATE
This Notice of Privacy Practices is effective May 24, 2016.