Except where prohibited by state or federal laws, we may use and disclose your PHI for treatment, payment, and health care operations without your prior authorization. We may communicate your information using various methods, orally, written, facsimile, and electronic communications. The following describes examples of the way we may use and disclose medical information.
We may use and disclose your PHI to provide, coordinate, and manage your treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, nurses, technicians, clinical laboratories, imaging centers, medical students, or other personnel who are involved in your care. We may also provide other healthcare professionals who contribute to your care with copies of various reports and information to assist and ensure that they have appropriate information regarding your condition, treatment plan, and diagnosis.
We may use and disclose your PHI so that we can bill and collect payment from you, a health plan, or a third party payer. This use and disclosure may include certain activities that your health plan may undertake before it approves or pays for the health care services we recommend for you, such as making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, reviewing services provided to you for medical necessity, and undertaking utilization review activities.
For Health Care Operations.
We may use and disclose your PHI in order to support our business activities. These activities may include, but are not limited to quality assessments, employee review activities, licensing, legal advice, accounting support, information systems support, and conducting or arranging for other business activities, such as lab or radiology interfaces within the EHR. We may contact you to remind you of your scheduled time of arrival for medical care, or to contact you to tell you about possible treatment options or alternatives or health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
We may use and disclose PHI to our Business Associates who perform certain services for us, such as billing services, copy services, or consulting services. These third party service providers may need to access your PHI to perform services for us. They are required by contract and law to protect your PHI and only use and disclose it as necessary to perform their services for us.
Communication with Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care.
We may disclose to a family member, personal representative, relative, or other person you identify, PHI directly relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care. If you are unable to agree or object to such a disclosure, we may disclose such information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest based on our professional judgment. We also may disclose the PHI of minor children to their parents or guardians, unless such disclosure is otherwise prohibited by law.
We may use or disclose your PHI regarding your location and general condition to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care.
Workers’ Compensation (W/C).
To the extent necessary to comply with law, we may disclose your PHI to W/C or other similar programs established by law.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
We may disclose PHI relative to adverse events with respect to drugs, foods, supplements, products and product defects, or post-marketing surveillance information to persons under the jurisdiction of the FDA to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.
We may disclose your PHI to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability, including the FDA. In certain circumstances, we may also report work-related illnesses and injuries to employers for workplace safety purposes.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety.
We may use and disclose your PHI when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.
Abuse, Neglect, or Domestic Violence.
We may disclose PHI about you to a government authority if we reasonably believe you are a victim of abuse or neglect. We will only disclose this type of information to the extent required by law, if you agree to the disclosure, or if the disclosure is allowed by law and we believe it is necessary to prevent serious harm to you or someone else.
We may disclose your PHI for law enforcement purposes, as required or permitted by law. For example, in response to a subpoena or court order, in response to a request from law enforcement, and to report limited information in certain circumstances.
As Required by Law.
We will disclose your PHI when required to do so by federal, state, or local law.
Health Oversight Activities.
We may disclose your PHI to an oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include audits, investigations, inspections, and credentialing, as necessary for licensure and for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs and compliance with civil rights laws.
Judicial & Administrative Proceedings
If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose your PHI in response to a court or administrative order. We may disclose your PHI in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process instituted by someone involved in the dispute. Efforts will be made, either by the requesting party or us, to first tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested. We may also use or disclose your PHI to defend ourselves in the event of a lawsuit.
We may use and disclose your PHI to organizations for purposes of disaster relief efforts.
Coroners, Medical Examiners, & Funeral Directors.
We may disclose PHI to coroners, medical examiners, or funeral directors consistent with applicable law to enable them to carry out their duties. For example, this may be necessary to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death.
If you are or become an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution, or its agents, PHI necessary for your health and the health and safety of other individuals.
Military and Veterans.
If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release PHI about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release PHI about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
National Security, Intelligence Activities, & Protective Services for the President & Others.
We may release PHI about you to federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, protection of the President, and other national security activities authorized by law.
As permitted by applicable law, we may contact you to provide you with information about fundraising programs. You have the right to “opt out” of receiving these communications and such fundraising materials will explain how you may request to opt out of future communications if you do not want us to contact you further for fundraising efforts.
We may use your PHI to conduct research and disclose your PHI to researchers, as authorized by law. For example, we may use or disclose your PHI as part of a research study when the research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your information.
Organ or Tissue Procurement Organizations.
Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose your PHI to organ procurement organizations or other entities engaged in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.