Effective Date: April 14, 2003
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.
PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
Understanding Your Health Record/ Information
This notice explains Parkland Health & Hospital System’s (Parkland) privacy practices. These practices relate to any health care professional allowed to enter information into your hospital chart. This includes all departments and units of Parkland, any member of a volunteer group we allow to help you while you are at Parkland, all employees, staff, trainees and other personnel. This notice also applies to all the entities, sites and locations in the Parkland system, with whom your medical information may be shared for the purposes of treatment, payment or operations described in this notice.
This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by Parkland, whether made by hospital personnel or your doctor . Your 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.
To better serve you, Parkland provides this notice jointly with the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW). Parkland and UTSW may share your medical information with each other for treatment, payment or health care operations purposes described in the Notice and are allowed to do so by law for the benefit of providing you with efficient health care services. Both organizations have agreed to follow the terms of this Notice as permitted by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
It is important to note that the participation of Parkland and UTSW in this joint notice is only for the purpose of providing this joint notice and sharing health information as is permitted by applicable law. Both Parkland and UTSW are individual health care providers and each is individually responsible for its own activities, including compliance with privacy laws and all health care services each provides.
Our Pledge Regarding Medical Information
We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal and we are committed to protecting medical information about you. This notice describes your rights and the responsibility Parkland has regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION RIGHTS
Although your health record is the property of Parkland, the information belongs to 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 as provided by law.
Right to Amend:
You may ask us to amend the information as provided by law. We will notify you if we are unable to grant your request to amend your health record.
Right to Accounting of Disclosures:
You have the right to request an "accounting of disclosures” as provided 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 health care operations and as to disclosures permitted to persons, including family members involved with your care and as provided by law. However, we are not required to agree to your request.
Right to Request Confidential Communications:
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice:
You have the right to a paper copy of this notice upon request. Alternatively, you may obtain a copy of this notice at our website: www.pmh.org
Right to Revoke Authorization:
You have the right to revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken.
You may exercise your rights set forth in this notice by providing a written request, except for requests to obtain a paper copy of this notice, to the HIPAA Manager at Parkland.
Parkland Health & Hospital System is required by law to:
- maintain the privacy of your health information
- provide you notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you
- abide by the terms of this notice
- notify you if we are unable to grant a requested restriction
- accommodate reasonable request you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or locations.
We reserve the right to change this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice 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 at all Parkland facilities. 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 a Parkland facility for treatment or health care services as an inpatient or outpatient, we will offer you a copy of the current notice in effect.
We will not use or disclose your health information without your written authorization, except as described in this notice.
For More Information or to Report a Problem
If you have questions or would like additional information contact the HIPAA Manager and the HIPAA Management Office at 214-590-8143.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with Parkland or with the US Secretary of Health and Human Services. To receive help in filing a complaint with Parkland, you may contact the HIPAA Manager at the number listed above. Filing a complaint will not have an affect on your health care.
How We May Use and Disclose Your Health Information
Below are explanations and examples of how Parkland Health and Hospital System will use and disclose your health information. 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.
*We may use your information for treatment.
We may use and disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you. 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 may also share medical information about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. We may also disclose medical information about you to people outside of Parkland who may be involved in your medical care after you leave, such as family members, clergy or others we use to provide services that are part of your care.
We may use your information for payment.
We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at Parkland may be billed to and payment collected from you, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about surgery you received at Parkland so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the surgery. We may also tell your health plan about treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment. Additionally, we may also share your medical information with a third party working on our behalf to collect payment from you for services provided.
We may use your information for health care operations.
We may use and disclose medical information about you for hospital operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run Parkland and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many patients to decide what additional services we should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose medical information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students and other personnel for review and teaching purposes. We may also combine the medical information we have with medical information from other hospitals to compare how we are doing and to see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of medical information so that others may use it to study health without learning who the specific patients are.
*Business Associates: There are some services provided in our organization through contracts with business associates. Examples include collection agencies, medical transcription services, record storage services, etc. To protect your health information, however, we require business associates to appropriately safeguard your information.
*Patient Information Directory: Unless you notify us that you object, we will include certain limited information about you in the Parkland patient information directory while you are a patient. This information will 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 be released to people who ask for you by name.
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 your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. We may also tell your family or friends your condition and that you are in the hospital. In addition, we may disclose medical information about you to an entity assisting in disaster relief so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location.
*Research: Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another, for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with patients’ needs for privacy of their medical information. We will almost always ask for your specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care at Parkland.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors: We may release medical information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release medical information about patients to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
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.
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.
Marketing: We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
Fundraising Activities: We may disclose medical information to the Parkland Foundation so that the foundation may contact you in raising money for Parkland and provide you information on activities and programs at Parkland and solicit your support to further the mission of Parkland Health & Hospital System its operations. We would only release contact information, such as your name, address and phone number and the dates you received treatment or services at Parkland. If you do not want to be contacted for fundraising purposes, you must notify the Parkland Foundation in writing.
Public Health Risks: We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities.
Workers’ Compensation: We may release medical information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs. The programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
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. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
Required by Law: We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
Military and Veterans: If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
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. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs and compliance with civil rights laws.
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. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
Law Enforcement: We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official in response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process; 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 Parkland; and, in emergency circumstances to report a crime, the location of a crime or victims, or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
National Security and Intelligence Activities: We may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
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.