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NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
Effective Date: 01-01-2003
Revised: 09-01-2013; 06-01-2014
In accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
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.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Oconee Regional Health Systems, Inc., Attn: Privacy Officer, 821 N. Cobb Street, Milledgeville, Georgia 31061; 478-454-3840478-454-3840.
Activities of the Affiliated Covered Entity in Which We Participate. The HIPAA Privacy Regulations allow multiple, legally separate Covered Entities to elect to be treated as a single Covered Entity called an Affiliated Covered Entity (“ACE”) if they are under common ownership or control. Such status will significantly alleviate the compliance burdens of the “Affiliated Covered Entities” under the HIPAA Privacy Regulations. Accordingly, for certain activities Oconee Regional Health Systems (Health System) and its affiliates are called an Affiliated Covered Entity. We may disclose information about you to other Covered Entities participating in our Affiliated Covered Entity. Such disclosures would be made in connection with our services, your treatment and other activities of the Affiliated Covered Entity.
Activities of the Organized Health Care Arrangement in Which We Participate. For certain activities, the Hospital, members of its Medical Staff and other independent professionals are called an Organized Health Care Arrangement. We may disclose information about you to healthcare providers participating in our Organized Health Care Arrangement, such as a managed care or physician-hospital organization. Such disclosures would be made in connection with our services, your treatment under a health plan arrangement, and other activities of the Organized Health Care Arrangement.
The Health System may share your medical information with Covered Entities participating in our Affiliated Covered Entity, members of the Hospital Medical Staff and other independent medical professionals in order to provide treatment and perform other activities such as peer review, quality improvement, medical education and other services for the Hospital. While those professionals may follow this Notice and otherwise participate in the privacy program of the Health System, they are independent Covered Entities and professionals. Neither Party assumes any liability or other obligations incurred by the other Party.
It is further understood that participation in the Organized Heath Care Arrangement or as Affiliated Covered Entities in no way creates, nor shall it be construed as creating, any type of employment, partnership, joint venture, franchise or other relationship between the Parties, other than that of independent contractors and each party expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability for the other parties acts, errors and/or omissions.
WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE
This notice describes our health system’s practices and that of:
Any healthcare professional authorized to enter information into your hospital chart.
OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION
We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting medical information about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive at the Hospital. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by the Hospital, whether made by Hospital personnel or your personal doctor. Your personal doctor may have different policies or notices regarding the doctor’s use and disclosure of your medical information created in the doctor’s office or clinic.
This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose medical information about you. It also describes your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information. The hospital will not condition treatment based on your authorization to release information, unless you are receiving treatment as a participant in a clinical trial.
When we use the word “we”, “Health System” or “Hospital” we mean Oconee Regional Health Systems, Inc.; Oconee Regional Medical Center, Inc.; Jasper Memorial Hospital; our affiliates, medical professionals and other parties who assist us in our business.
We are required by law to:
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HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU: Part 1 The following categories describe different ways we use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures we will explain what we mean and try to 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. See Part 2 for a continued list.
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HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU: Part 2
Note: Georgia and Federal Law provide protection for certain types of health information, including information about alcohol or drug abuse, mental health and AIDS/HIV, and may limit whether and how we may disclose information about you to others.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU:
You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy
You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care as long as the information is kept by the Hospital.Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes; a civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding; or protected health information held by clinical laboratories if prohibited by the Clinical Laboratories Improvements Amendments of 1988 (CLIA).
To inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to: Oconee Regional Medical Center, Attn: Health Information Management Department, 821 N. Cobb Street, Milledgeville, Georgia 31061. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. You have the right to receive a copy of your medical information in an electronic format.
We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to medical information, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed healthcare professional, chosen by the Hospital, will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to Amend. 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 Oconee Regional Medical Center, Health Information Management Department, Attn: Director Health Information Management, 821 N. Cobb Street, Milledgeville, Georgia 31061. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an “accounting of disclosures.”This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you.
To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to Oconee Regional Medical Center, Attn: Health Information Management Department, 821 N. Cobb Street, Milledgeville, Georgia 31061. Your request must state a time period, which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003.Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper, electronically).The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free.For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list.We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
Right to be Notified in the Event of a Breach. In the event that a breach of your protected health information occurs at the Hospital or one of its Business Associates, you will be provided written notification as required by law.
Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or healthcare operations.You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care 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. Where you have paid for your services out of pocket in full, at your request, we will not share information about those services with a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations. “Health plan” means an organization that pays for your medical care.
We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment.
To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to Oconee Regional Medical Center, Attn: Health Information Management Department, 1821 N. Cobb Street, Milledgeville, Georgia 31061. We will not ask you the reason for your request.We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
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.
Changes To This Notice
We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for all medical information we already have about you i.e., prior to the effective date of the notice revision, as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice in the Hospital and on the Hospital’s website. The notice will contain on the first page, in the top right-hand corner, the effective date. In addition, each time you register at or are admitted to the Hospital for treatment or healthcare services as an inpatient or outpatient, we will offer to you a copy of the current notice that is in effect.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the Hospital or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with the Hospital, contact Oconee Regional Medical Center, Attn: Privacy Officer c/o Health Information Management Department, 821 N. Cobb Street, Milledgeville, Georgia 31059; 478-454-3840. All complaints must be submitted in writing.
You will not be denied care, discriminated against or otherwise be penalized or retaliated against for filing a complaint.
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Other Uses of Medical Information
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization, giving us permission for such uses and disclosures. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. To revoke an authorization, contact Oconee Regional Medical Center, Attn: Privacy Officer c/o Health Information Management Department, 821 N. Cobb Street, Milledgeville, Georgia 31059; 478-454-3840. 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 take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, we still must continue to comply with laws that require certain disclosures and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.