How We May Use and Disclose Your Identifiable Health Information
Effective Date: November 2005
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION
The following categories describe different ways in which we may use and disclose your identifiable health information. For each category of uses or disclosures we will explain what we mean and provide 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. Please realize, in some instances Nebraska and Iowa have special laws concerning the use and disclosure of certain types of health information, such as mental health, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS information. The laws of the state in which you receive treatment from CHI Health will apply to uses and disclosures of these types of health information.
- We may use health information about you to provide you with health treatment or services. We may disclose health information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you at one of the CHI Health hospitals or clinics. 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 an CHI Health dietitian if you have diabetes so that appropriate meals can be arranged. CHI Health may share health information about you with others in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work, x-rays and follow-up care. To the extent permitted by law, we also may disclose health information about you to people outside CHI Health who may be involved in your health care (such as family members, home health agencies and others that provide services that are part of your care)
- We may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive from us may be billed to and payment may be 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 so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the surgery. We also may tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment. We also may disclose your health information to other health care providers and health plans for the payment activities of those providers and plans. For example, we may provide your information to a physician who is not on our medical staff so that the physician may bill you or your insurer for the services you received from that physician.
- Health Care Operations
- CHI Health may use and disclose health information about you for administrative and operational purposes. These uses and disclosures are necessary for our operations, and to make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use your health information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate our performance in caring for you. We may combine health information about some or all of our patients to decide what additional services we should offer, what services may not be needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, and our personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the health information we have with health information from other health care providers to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of health information so others may use it to study health care and health care delivery without learning who the specific patients are. We also may disclose your health information to certain other individuals and organizations, including physicians, hospitals and health plans, to assist with certain health care operations activities of these individuals and organizations. Except for those individuals and organizations described in the section of this Notice entitled “Who Will Follow This Notice,” these individuals and organizations either have or had in the past a relationship with you.
- The information we disclose about you will relate to this relationship. For example, we may disclose your health information to a hospital that is not affiliated with CHI Health if that hospital has treated you in the past, the information we disclose relates to that relationship, and the hospital intends to use your information for its quality assurance and improvement activities. Similarly, we may share your health information with your health plan for quality assurance and improvement purposes. These are but some of the various permissible uses and disclosures CHI Health may engage in as part of routine health care operations.
- Business Associates
- We may provide health information to entities who provide services for CHI Health. We require these business associates to protect the health information we provide to them.
- For example, we may disclose name, phone number, address, zip code, age, gender, payer, dates, types, locations and providers of service to Professional Research Consultants (PRC) or others for patient satisfaction surveys. PRC measures patient satisfaction through phone surveys following doctor appointments, outpatient procedures and inpatient hospital stays.
PRC maintains a Business Associates Agreement with CHI Health that requires PRC and all of it's staff to maintain full confidentiality of all information shared.
- Appointment Reminders
We may use and disclose your health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care.
- Treatment Options
We may use and disclose your health information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
- Health-Related Benefits and Services
We may use and disclose your health information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
- Fundraising Activities
The Alegent Creighton Health Foundation supports the charitable missions of:
- Bergan Mercy Medical Center
- Alegent Creighton Health Clinic
- CHI Health Home Care and Hospice
- Mercy Hospital—Council Bluffs, IA
- Midlands Hospital—Papillion, NE
in order to raise money for CHI Health and its operations. CHI Health will only release contact information to a foundation, such as your name, address and phone number and the dates you received treatment or services at CHI Health. If you do not want CHI Health to contact you for fundraising efforts, you must notify the Administrator of the facility at which you received care in writing.
- Hospital/Facility Directory
We may include certain limited information about you in our patient/client directory while you are receiving treatment at an CHI Health hospital or facility. This information may include your name, location in the facility, 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 don’t ask for you by name. This is so your family, friends and clergy can visit you in CHI Health and generally know how you are doing. If you do not want your information included in CHI Health’s directory, upon your admission you should inform the personnel registering you in to this CHI Health facility or your caregiver. NOTE: CHI Health will strive to comply with requests for restrictions to disclosure of this general information. However, CHI Health cannot insure complete success.
- Release of Information to Family/Friends
We may release your health information to a friend or family member that is helping you pay for your health care, or who assists in taking care of you. We also may tell your family or friends your condition and that you are in an CHI Health facility.
In addition, we may disclose health information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location. As part of our spiritual commitment to both patients and their friends and family members, we may use your health information to engage in bereavement-related services, such as notifying family members of memorial services sponsored by CHI Health for our patients who have passed away. If you do not want your information to be used for bereavement-related services, upon your admission you should inform the personnel registering you into this CHI Health facility or your caregiver. If you have specific objections or instructions regarding these communications, you may discuss them with your caregivers.
- As Required By Law
We will use and disclose your health information when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law. We will use and disclose your health information when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law. We will use and disclose your health information when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law. We will use and disclose your health information when we are required to do so by federal, state or local law.