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.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Privacy officer at (660) 385-8725.
Who Will Follow This Notice. This notice describes our hospital’s practices and that of:
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 dietitian if you have diabetes so that we can arrange for appropriate meals. Different departments of the hospital also may share medical information about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the hospital who may be involved in your medical care after you leave the hospital, such as family members, clergy or others we use to provide services that are part of your care.
For Payment. We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at the hospital 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 at the hospital so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the surgery. We may also 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.
For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose medical information about you for hospital operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the hospital 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 to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many hospital patients to decide what additional services the hospital should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, and other hospital personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the medical information we have with medical information from other hospitals 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 medical information so others may use it to study health care and health care delivery without learning who the specific patients are.
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 at the hospital.
Treatment Alternatives. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
Health-Related Benefits & Services. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
Fundraising Activities. We may use medical information about you to contact you in an effort to raise money for the hospital and its operations. We may disclose medical information to a foundation related to the hospital so that the foundation may contact you in raising money for the hospital. We only would release contact information, such as your name, address and phone number and the dates you received treatment or services at the hospital. If you do not want the hospital to contact you for fundraising efforts, you must notify the medical records director in writing.
Hospital Directory. We may include certain limited information about you in the hospital directory while you are a patient at the hospital.. This information may 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 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 the hospital and generally know how you are doing.
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 in 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 a disaster relief effort 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. All research projects are subject to special approval process. 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 the hospital.
As Required by Law. We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
To Avert 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 be to someone able to prevent the threat.
Public Health Risks. We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:
Health Oversight Agencies. We may use and disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight actitivities activities include, for example, audits, investigation, 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 & 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 the 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:
Coroners, Medical Examiners & Funeral Directors. We may release medical information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be neccessary for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release medical information about patients of the hospital to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
National Security & Intelligence Activities. We may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence and other national security activities authorized by law.
Protective Services for the President & Others. We may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.
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. This release would be necessary (1) for the institution to provide you with health care; (2) to protect your health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
You have the following rights regarding medical information that we obtain about you:
Right to Inspect & Copy. You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually this includes medical and billing records, but does not include pyschotherapy notes.
To inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to the medical records department. 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.
We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to your medical information, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed health care 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 the 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 the medical records department. In addition you must provide the reason that supports your request.
We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing and submitted to the medical records department. In addition we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an "accounting of disclosures". This is the 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 the medical records department. Your request must state a time period, which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. 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 costs are incurred.
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. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in you 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 surgery you had. 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 emergency treatment.
To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to the medical records department. In your request, you must tell us;
Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail.
To request confidential communications, you must submit your request in writing to the medical records department. 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.
You may obtain a copy of this notice on our website; www.smhmo.org
To obtain a written copy of this notice, contact the hospital admissions office at 660-385-8700.
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 in the hospital. The notice will contain the effective date on the first page. In addition, each time you register at or are admitted to the hospital for treatment or health care services as an inpatient or outpatient, we will offer you a copy of the current notice 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 the privacy officer at (660) 385-8725. All complaints must be submitted in writing.
You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
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 permission. if you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing at any time. 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, and that we are required to retain records of the care that we provided to you.