Use or Disclose of Your Identifiable Health Information - CHI Health, Nebraska (NE) - Southwest Iowa (IA)
Effective Date: November 2005


    The following categories describe circumstances in which we may use or disclose your identifiable health information:

    Public Health Risks. We may disclose health information about you for state and federal public health activities. These activities generally include the following:

    • to report, prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
    • to report births and deaths;
    • to report child abuse or neglect;
    • to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
    • to notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
    • to notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition;
    • to notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or  domestic violence.
    • We will only make these disclosures if you agree or when we are otherwise required or authorized by law to do so.

    • Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose your health information to state or federal health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, investigations, inspections, audits, surveys; licensure and disciplinary actions; civil, administrative and criminal procedures or actions; or other activities necessary for the government to monitor government programs, compliance with civil rights laws and the health care system in general.

    • Lawsuits and Disputes. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose health information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We also may disclose your health information in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by another party 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 health information if asked to do so by a local, state or federal 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 in certain limited circumstances, if 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 any Alegent Health facility; and
    • In emergency circumstances to report a crime (including the location or victim(s) of the crime, or the description, identity or location of the perpetrator).

    • Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. We may release health 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 health information about our patients to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.

    • Organ and Tissue Donation. If you are an organ donor, we may release health 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.

    • Research. We may use and disclose health information about you for research purposes in certain limited circumstances. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health of all patients who received one medication to those who received another, for the same condition. All research projects are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of health information, trying to balance the research needs with patients' need for privacy of their health information. Before we use or disclose health information for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process, however, we may disclose health information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project, for example, to help them look for patients with specific health needs, so long as the health information they review does not leave our premises. 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.

    • Serious Threats to Health or Safety. We may use and disclose health 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 and/or to any specifically identified victims of the threat.

    • Military and Veterans. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release health information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release health information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.

    • National Security and Intelligence Activities. We may disclose your health information to federal officials for intelligence and national security activities authorized by law. We also may disclose your health information to federal officials in order to protect the President, other officials or foreign heads of state, or to conduct investigations.

    • Inmates. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may disclose your health information to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. Disclosure for these purposes would be necessary: (1) for the institution to provide health care services to you; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.

    • Workers’ Compensation. We may release health information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.