Patient Privacy Notice
JOINT NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.
PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Federal law requires that Riverside Medical Center maintain the privacy and security of medical information about you, and we are committed to complying with that law. Certain state laws governing medical records and information will continue to apply.
We are required by law to notify you of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to the medical information that we collect and maintain about you. This Joint Notice of Privacy Practices explains the ways that the Hospital, physicians, employees and staff, and Business Associates of the Hospital may use and disclose medical information about you and your rights regarding the use and disclosure of medical information. We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this Notice. We will let you know promptly if a breach of your information occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
This notice is effective on April 2003, and applies to the medical records of your care at the Hospital, including the information provided by Hospital personnel and your personal treating physician.
We reserve the right to change this Notice at any time. The revised or changed Notice will be effective for medical information we already have about you, as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice in the Hospital and make copies of the revised notice available upon request (either at the Hospital or through the contact person listed below). If you have any questions or requests, please contact the Hospital's Privacy Officer at (985) 839-4431, extension 4295.
This Joint Notice Of Privacy Practices applies to the workforce of Riverside Medical Center, including its employed and contracted treatment and medical staff. The contracted medical staff includes Emergency Services which operate the emergency services within Riverside, as well as radiologists, pathologists, and other specialists providing direct patient care at the Hospital and its clinics. The workforce covered under this Joint Notice of Privacy Practices will share patient protected health information amongst each other for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations purposes.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
The following categories describe different ways that we may use and disclose medical information without your written authorization. For each category of uses or disclosures, we provide an explanation and give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.
Treatment. We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services and to coordinate and manage your care. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, or other Hospital personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the Hospital, including those physician groups issuing this Notice jointly with the Hospital. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process. In addition, the doctor may need to tell the dietician if you have diabetes so that we can arrange for appropriate meals. Different departments of the Hospital also may share medical information about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as lab work and x-rays. We also may disclose medical information about you to people who may be involved in your medical care after you leave the Hospital, such as home health providers or others who may provide services that are part of your care. Riverside Medical Center participates in multiple Health Information Exchanges (HIE). These are secure electronic networks that allow authorized health care providers and organizations to access and share some information about patients they have in common.
Payment. We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at the Hospital may be billed to, and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party, and may also disclose it to those physician groups issuing this Notice jointly with the Hospital for purposes of enabling such groups to bill and receive payment for the services they provide to you at the Hospital. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about the surgery you received at the Hospital so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the surgery. We may also tell your health plan to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment. We may also share portions of your medical information with the following.
Collection departments or agencies; and
Hospital departments that review the care you received to check that it and the costs associated with it were appropriate for your illness or injury.
Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose medical information about you for hospital operations and may disclose it to those physicians that are jointly issuing this Notice for their health care operations that enable them to provide services to you at the Hospital. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the Hospital and work to provide quality care to our patients. For example, we may use medical information in the following ways:
To review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in your care.
To review and improve the efficiency and cost of care that we provide to you and our other patients. For example, we may use medical information about you to develop ways to assist our health care providers and staff in deciding what medical treatment should be provided to others.
To decide what additional services the Hospital should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective.
To provide training to doctors, nurses, technicians, and all Hospital personnel.
To compare how we are doing and to make improvements in the care and services we offer.
To cooperate with outside organizations that assess the quality of the care we and others provide. These organizations may include government agencies or accrediting bodies such as The Joint Commission.
To cooperate with outside organizations that evaluate, certify or license health care providers, staff or facilities in a particular field or specialty. For example, we may use or disclose medical information so that one of our nurses may become certified as having expertise in a specific field of nursing, such as pediatric nursing.
To assist various people who review our activities. For example, medical information may be seen by doctors reviewing the services provided to you, and by accountants, lawyers, and others who assist us in complying with applicable laws.
To conduct business management and general administrative activities related to our organization and services it provides.
To resolve grievances within our organization.
To review activities and otherwise use or disclose medical information in the event that we sell our business, property or give control of our business or property to someone else.
To comply with this Notice and with applicable laws.
Appointment Reminders. We may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at the Hospital.
Treatment Alternatives and Health Related Benefits and Services. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options, alternatives, health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you. For example, if you are diagnosed with diabetes, we may tell you about nutritional or other counseling services that may be of interest to you.
To Personal Representatives. If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone else is your legal guardian, we may release your protected health information to them within the scope of their authority.
As Required By Law. We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law or judicial or other administrative proceeding. Disclosure may be made to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we are complying with federal privacy law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may use and disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. For example, we may disclose medical information about you to prevent or lessen a serious and eminent threat to the safety or health of a person or the public.
Organ and Tissue Donation. If you are an organ donor, we may release medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
Specialized Government Functions. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities. In addition, we may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law and for providing protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state. Also, information may be released in connection with medical suitability or determinations of the Department of State.
Worker's Compensation. We may release medical information about you for workers' compensation or similar programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Public Health Risks. Subject to the requirement of applicable state law, we may disclose medical information about you for public health activities, such as to:
Prevent or control disease, injury or disability. For example, we may disclose medical information about you if you have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition.
Report births and deaths.
Report child abuse or neglect.
Report reactions to medications or problems with products.
Notify people of recalls of products they may be using.
Notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by applicable state or federal law.
Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure.
Lawsuits and Disputes. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process, provided that all applicable state law requirements are satisfied.
Law Enforcement. We may release medical information if asked by a law enforcement official:
In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process that complies with all applicable state law requirements;
To comply with laws that requires the reporting of certain types of wounds or other injuries;
To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person;
About the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person's agreement;
About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
About criminal conduct at the Hospital; and
In emergency circumstances, to report a crime, the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. We may release medical information to a coroner or medical examiner, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release medical information about patients of the Hospital to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
Research. We can use or share your information for health research. We may use or disclose health information for research studies but only when they meet all federal and state requirements to protect your privacy (such as using only de-identified data whenever possible). You may also be contacted to participate in a research study.
Business Associates. We may contract with individuals or businesses to perform various hospital functions on our behalf. These individuals or businesses are called Business Associates, and agree in writing to protect our patients' health information.
Inmates. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release medical information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official under certain circumstances.
OTHER USES OF MEDICAL INFORMATION
You Can Object to Certain Uses and Disclosures. Unless you object, we may use or disclose medical information about you in the following circumstances.
Hospital Directory. We may include certain limited information about you in the hospital directory while you are a patient at the hospital. This information may include your name, location in the hospital, your general condition (e.g., fair, stable, etc) and your religious affiliation. The directory information, except for your religious affiliation, may also be released to people who ask for you by name. Your religious affiliation may be given to a member of the clergy, such as a priest or rabbi, even if they do not ask for you by name. These disclosures are to enable your family, friends and clergy to visit you in the hospital and generally know how you are doing.
Individuals Involved In Your Care or Payment for Your Care. We may release medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care and may also tell your family or friends your condition and that you are in the Hospital. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. In addition, we may disclose medical information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort (such as the American Red Cross) so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location. Please note that even if you object, we may still share information as necessary under emergency circumstances. If you would like to object to our use or disclosure of medical information about you in the above circumstances, please call our contact person listed on the cover page of this Notice.
We never share your information for the following purposes unless you give us your written permission.
Sale of your information
Most sharing of psychotherapy notes
In the case of fundraising, we may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.
Other Uses and Disclosures
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this Notice will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to retract any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain records of the care that we provided to you.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you.
You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes. To inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to the HIM Team Leader. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the cost of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request to the extent permitted by state law. We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain circumstances. If you are denied access to medical information, you will be provided with information about your rights to have the denial reviewed. If your medical information is held in electronic form, you may request the copy of your medical information to be in electronic form as well.
You have the right to amend your medical information. If you feel that medical information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for the Hospital. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to the HIM Team Leader. You must provide a reason that supports your request. We may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
Was not created by us, unless the person/entity that created the information is no longer available;
Is not part of the medical information kept by or for the Hospital;
Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
Is accurate and complete.
You have the right to an accounting of disclosures. You have the right to request a list of the disclosures we have made of medical information about you. To request this list or account of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer or HIM Team Leader. You may ask for disclosures made up to six (6) years before your request (not including disclosures made prior to April 14, 2003). We are not required to include disclosures:
For your treatment.
For billing and collection of payment for your treatment.
For our health care operations.
Requested by you, that you authorized, or which are made to individuals involved in your case.
Allowed by law (for example, please see below).
The list will include the date of the disclosure, the name (and address, if available) of the person or organization receiving the information, a brief description of the information disclosed, and the purpose of the disclosure. If you request a list of disclosures more than one in 12 months, we can charge you a reasonable fee.
You have the right to request restrictions. You have the right to request restrictions on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. 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.
You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your case or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a surgery you had. We are not required to agree to your request if it would impact your care. 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. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to Privacy Officer HIM Team Leader. In your request, you must tell us
what information you want to limit
whether you want to limit or use, disclosure or both
To whom you want the limits to apply, for example, disclosures to your spouse.
You can make these same requests for disaster relief situations.
You have the right to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. You have the right to request how and where we contact you about PHI. For example, you may request that we contact you at your work address or phone number. Your request must be in writing. We must accommodate reasonable requests, but, when appropriate, may condition that accommodation on your providing us with information regarding how payment, if any, will be handled and your specification of an alternative address or other method of contact.
You have the right to 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.
You have the right to file a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us using the information found in the Complaints section of this Notice.
You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice. To obtain a paper copy of this notice, please contact our Privacy Officer.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated by the hospital, you may file a complaint with the hospital or with the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights. To file a complaint with the hospital, contact the Privacy Officer or the Hospital's Administrator on call. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
Riverside Medical Center U.S. Department of Health and Hospitals Office for Civil Rights
Attn: Privacy Officer 200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
1900 South Main Street Washington, D.C. 20202
Franklinton, LA 70438 1-877-696-6775
Revised: January, 2019