Our Notice of Privacy Practices is available in the following languages:
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Effective date: October 1, 2009
Date Amended: September 23, 2013
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.
Please review it carefully.
Who Will Follow This Notice
MedStar Health, Inc. and its affiliated entities and subsidiaries are separate legal entities. However, they are under common ownership and control, and thus have organized themselves as a single Affiliated Covered Entity (ACE) for the purposes of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. This status permits MedStar Health, its affiliated entities, and subsidiaries to maintain a single Notice of Privacy Practices.This notice describes the health information practices of the MedStar Health Inc, organization. All entities, sites and locations will follow the terms of this notice. In addition, these entities, sites and locations may share medical information with each other for treatment, payment and healthcare operations as described in this notice.
Our Obligation to You
We value the privacy of your medical information as an important part of our “patient first” pledge. We view the protection of patient privacy as an essential component of our vision to be the Trusted Leader in Caring for People and Advancing Health and our mission to serve our patients. We strive to use only the minimum amount of your health information necessary for the purposes described in this Notice of Privacy Practice (“Notice”).
We collect information from you and use it to provide you with quality care, and to comply with certain legal requirements. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information, and to give you this Notice of our legal duties, our privacy practices, and your rights. We are required to follow the terms of our most current Notice. When we disclose information to other persons and companies to perform services for us, we will require them to protect your privacy. There are other laws we will follow that may provide additional protections, such as laws related to mental health, alcohol and other substance abuse, and communicable disease or other health conditions.
This Notice covers the following sites and people: all health care professionals authorized to enter information into your chart, all volunteers authorized to help you while you are here, all of our associates and on- site contractors, all departments and units within the hospital, all health care students, all health care delivery facilities and providers within the MedStar Health system, and your personal doctor and others while they are providing care at this site. Your doctor may have different policies or notices about the health information that was created in his or her private office or clinic
How We May Use and Disclose Health Information
Treatment: We may use and disclose your health information to provide treatment or services, to coordinate or manage your health care, or for medical consultations or referrals. We may use and disclose your health information among doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students and other personnel who are involved in taking care of you at our facilities or with such persons outside our facilities. We may use or share information about you to coordinate the different services you need, such as prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. We may disclose information about you to people outside our facility who may be involved in your care after you leave, such as family members, home health agencies, therapists, nursing homes, clergy, and others. We may give information to your health plan or another provider to arrange a referral or consultation.
Payment: We may use and disclose your health information so that we can receive payment for the treatment and services that were provided. We may share this information with your insurance company or a third party used to process billing information. (As described below, if you pay for your health care in full and out-of-pocket, you may request that we not share your information with your insurance company.) We may contact your insurance company to verify what benefits you are eligible for, to obtain prior authorization, and to tell them about your treatment to make sure that they will pay for your care. We may disclose information to third parties who may be responsible for payment, such as family members, or to bill you. We may disclose information to third parties that help us process payments, such as billing companies, claims processing companies, and collection companies.
Healthcare Operations: We may use and disclose your health information as necessary to operate our facility and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. We may use health information to evaluate the quality of services that you received, or the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may use health information to improve our performance or to find better ways to provide care. We may use health information to grant medical staff privileges or to evaluate the competence of our health care professionals. We may use your health information to decide what additional services we should offer and whether new treatments are effective. We may disclose information to students and professionals for review and learning purposes. We may combine our health information with information from other health care facilities to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements. We may use health information for business planning, or disclose it to attorneys, accountants, consultants and others in order to make sure we are complying with the law. We may remove health information that identifies you so that others may use the de-identified information to study health care and health care delivery without learning who you are. If operating as a health plan, we will not use or disclose genetic information for underwriting purposes (this does not apply to long term care plans) .
Business Associates: There are some services provided in MedStar Health through contracts with business associates. Examples included a copy service we use when making copies of your health record, consultants, accountants, lawyers, medical transcriptionist and third party billing companies. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your health information to our business associate so that they can perform the job we’ve asked them to do. To protect your health information, however, we require the business associate to appropriately safeguard your information.
Certain Marketing Activities: We may use your medical information to forward promotional gifts of nominal value, to communicate with you about products, services and educational programs offered by MedStar Health, to communicate with you about case management and care coordination and to communicate with you about treatment alternatives. We do not sell your health information to any third party for their marketing activities unless you sign an authorization allowing us to do this.
Health Information Exchanges: We may participate in health information exchanges to facilitate the secure exchange of your electronic health information between and among several health care providers or other health care entities for your treatment, payment, or other health care operations purposes. This means we may share information we obtain or create about you with outside entities (such as hospitals, doctors offices, pharmacies, or insurance companies) or we may receive information they create or obtain about you (such as medication history, medical history, or insurance information) so each of us can provide better treatment and coordination of your health care services. In addition, if you visit any MedStar Health facility, your health information may be available to other clinicians and staff who may use it to care for you, to coordinate your health services or for other permitted purposes.
Appointment Reminders and Service Information: We may use or disclose your health information to contact you to provide appointment reminders, or to let you know about treatment alternatives or other health-related services or benefits that may be of interest to you.
Individuals Involved In Your Care or Payment for Your Care: We may give your health information to people involved in your care, such as family members or friends, unless you ask us not to. We may give your information to someone who helps pay for your care. We may share your information with other health care professionals, government representatives, or disaster-relief organizations, such as the Red Cross, in emergency or disaster-relief situations so they can contact your family or friends or coordinate disaster-relief efforts
Individuals Involved In Your Care: We may give your health information to people involved in your care, such as family members or friends, unless you ask us not to. We may give your information to someone who helps pay for your care. We may share your information with other health care professionals, government representatives, or disaster-relief organizations, such as the Red Cross, in emergency or disaster-relief situations so they can contact your family or friends or coordinate disaster-relief efforts.