WHO WILL FOLLOW THIS NOTICE?
This notice serves as a single notice for two health care providers that share common ownership or control: Murray-Calloway County Public Hospital Corporation and Murray-Calloway County Emergency Medical Service, Inc. d/b/a Murray Calloway County EMS (collectively referred to herein as “we”, “our”, or “us”). The information privacy practices in this notice will be followed by us and by all health care professionals who treat you at any of our locations or during an EMS call, and by all of our employees, staff and volunteers.
Murray-Calloway County Public Hospital Corporation currently operates Murray-Calloway County Hospital (“MCCH”), Spring Creek Health Care, Murray-Calloway County Hospice, the Center for Rehab & Sports Medicine, Occ.Med@MCCH; Murray Medical Associates, Physician Specialists of Murray, Bariatric Solutions, West Kentucky Gastroenterology, Murray ENT, Murray Orthopaedics, Murray Urology, Oncology & Hematology of Murray, Murray Pediatrics, and Murray Psychiatric Associates. This notice covers any location/facility/health care service operated by Murray-Calloway County Public Hospital Corporation, whether listed here or not; for an up-to-date list of entities that follow this notice after the effective date of this notice, you may call (270) 762-1181.
OUR PLEDGE TO YOU
We value the trust and confidence you have placed in us as your healthcare provider. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires us to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our patients’ health information. We understand that health information about you is personal. We create a record of the care and services you receive from us. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by us, whether made by us or your personal doctor. Your personal doctor may have different policies or notices regarding the doctor’s use and disclosure of your health information created in the doctor’s office.
PATIENT HEALTH INFORMATION
Under federal law, your patient health information is protected and confidential. Patient health information includes information about your symptoms, test results, diagnosis, treatment and related medical information. Your health information also includes payment, billing and insurance information.
HOW WE USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PATIENT HEALTH INFORMATION TREATMENT
We will use and disclose your health information to provide you with medical treatment or services. For example, nurses, physicians and other members of your treatment team will record information in your record and use it to determine the most appropriate course of care. We may also disclose the information to other health care providers who are participating in your treatment, and to pharmacists who are filling your prescriptions.
We will use and disclose your health information for payment purposes. For example, we may need to obtain authorization from your insurance company before providing certain types of treatment. We will submit bills and maintain records of payments from your health plan.
HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS
We will use and disclose your health information to conduct our standard operations, including proper administration of records, evaluation of the quality of your treatment and to assess the outcome of your case and others like it.
AFFILIATED COVERED ENTITY
We have designated ourselves as a single Affiliated Covered Entity under federal privacy, data breach and security regulations. This means that we may share your health information as necessary for treatment, payment, health care operations, and other purposes as described in this notice.
Because MCCH is a clinically integrated care setting (also known as an Organized Health Care Arrangement), hospital patients receive care from hospital staff and from independent practitioners on the medical staff. The hospital and its medical staff must be able to share your medical information as necessary for treatment, payment, and health care operations as described above. The doctors and other caregivers at MCCH who are not employed by MCCH exchange information about you as a patient with MCCH employees. In connection with the health care that these health care practitioners provide to you outside of MCCH, they may also give you their own privacy notices that describe their office practices
OTHER USES AND DISCLOSURES
We may use or disclose health information about you for other reasons, even without your prior written authorization. Subject to certain requirements, (including State Law Restrictions on Information Regarding Certain Conditions (see below), we are permitted to use or give out health information without your authorization for the following purposes:
Required by law. We may use or disclose your health information to the extent that the use or disclosure is required by law, such as the reporting of gunshot wounds. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with and will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law. If required by law, you will be notified of any such uses or disclosures.
Public health activities. We may disclose your health information for public health activities and purposes to:
- a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability;
- a public health authority or other governmental authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect;
- a person subject to the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for public health purposes related to the quality, safety or effectiveness of FDA-regulated products or activities such as collecting or reporting adverse events, dangerous products, and defects or problems with FDA-regulated products;
- a person who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease, if such disclosure is authorized by law; your employer, for the purposes of conducting an evaluation of medical surveillance of the workplace or evaluating whether your have a work-related illness or injury; or your school, or your child’s school, if the information is limited to proof of immunization and the school is required by law to have such proof prior to admitting you or your child. We will obtain and document your agreement to such disclosures.
When we believe you to be a victim of abuse or neglect. We may disclose your health information if we believe you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the governmental entity/agency authorized to receive such information. If you do not agree to the disclosure, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws, and only if required/authorized by law.
Health oversight. We may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections.
Judicial and administrative proceedings. We may use or disclose your health information for any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal, or under certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process not accompanied by an order of a court or administrative tribunal.
Law enforcement purposes. We may disclose your health information for a law enforcement purpose to a law enforcement official if certain conditions are met.
Deaths. We may report information regarding deaths to coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors so that they can carry out their duties.
Organ, eye or tissue transplantation/donation. We may disclose health information to organ procurement organizations or other similar entities for the purpose of facilitating organ, eye, or tissue donation and transplantation.
Serious threat to health or safety. We may, consistent with applicable law and standards of ethical conduct, use or disclose health information if we believe that it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious threat to the health or safety of a person or the public; provided that, if a disclosure is made, it must be to a person(s) reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat. We may also use or disclose health information if we believe that it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual who: (i) admits to participation in a violent crime that we reasonably believe caused serious physical harm to the victim, or (ii) appears to have escaped from a correctional institution or lawful custody.
Military activities. We may use or disclose health information of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel (domestic or foreign) to the appropriate military authority for activities deemed necessary to assure proper execution of military missions, provided certain conditions are met.
National security and intelligence activities. We may disclose health information to authorized federal officials (i) for the conduct of lawful intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by the National Security Act and implementing authority, (ii) for the protection of the President or other persons, or (iii) for certain federal investigations.
Correctional institutions/law enforcement custodians. Should you be an inmate of a correctional institution or be in the lawful custody of a law enforcement official, we may disclose your health information to the institution or official if necessary for your health, the health and safety of other inmates or law enforcement, and the safety of the institution at which you reside.
Research. We may use or disclose information for medical research if certain conditions are met.
Workers compensation. We may disclose your health information to the extent authorized by and necessary to comply with laws relating to workers’ compensation or other similar programs established by law.
For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions. In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
- Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
- Share information in a disaster relief situation
- Include your information in a hospital directory
- If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest
- If you are deceased, we may disclose your health information to a friend or family member who was involved in your medical care prior to your death, limited to information relevant to that person’s involvement, unless doing so would be inconsistent with wishes you expressed to us during your life.
Business Associates. There are some services provided to us through contracts with entities known as business associates. We will disclose your health information to our business associates and allow them to create, use and disclose your information to perform tasks for us. For example, we may disclose your health information to an outside billing company who assists us in billing insurance companies. To protect your health information, however, we will seek assurances from the business associate that it has implemented appropriate safeguards to protect your information.
Kentucky Health Information Exchange. The Kentucky Health Information Exchange (“KHIE”) makes health information available electronically to the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services, Kentucky State Laboratory, and certain health care providers who are covered by HIPAA and participate in the KHIE (“KHIE Participants”). KHIE Participants agree to KHIE’s terms and conditions, including its security and privacy requirements, and agree to access the information for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations according to applicable federal and state laws. A detailed description of KHIE can be found at http://khie.ky.gov/PAGES/INDEX.ASPX. Making health information available to KHIE Participants promotes efficient and quality health care for patients. We are a KHIE Participant. As such, we are able to obtain more complete information about our patients’ medical histories when their health information is available through KHIE. We make our patients’ health information available to other KHIE Participants who have a need to know it for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations. You may choose not to allow your information to be available through the KHIE. Participation in the KHIE is not a condition of receiving care. However, if you decide not to make your information available to the KHIE, it may limit the information available to your health care providers. Your information is not stored with the KHIE. Rather, information is only pulled through the KHIE when KHIE Participants request your information. Then, a copy of your information is stored with the receiving provider, much like a fax between health care providers. Please let us know if you have questions about KHIE or desire not to make your information available through the KHIE.
STATE LAW RESTRICTIONS ON INFORMATION REGARDING CERTAIN CONDITIONS
Kentucky has more stringent laws than the HIPAA Privacy Rule with respect to HIV/AIDS status and mental health and chemical dependency records (we are allowed to disclose this information only under certain limited circumstances and/or to specific recipients). In situations in which these laws apply to your information, we will comply with these more stringent laws. If Kentucky law otherwise prohibits or materially limits our ability to make any uses or disclosures of your health information that would otherwise be permitted under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, we will follow the more stringent state law if it is applicable to your health information.
We may use, or disclose to a business associate or the Murray Calloway Endowment for Healthcare, Inc., the following information to contact you for our fundraising activities: your name, address, other contact information, age, gender and date of birth; the department(s) where you received services, your treating physician, your outcome information, your health insurance status, and the dates you received services. We raise funds to expand and support healthcare services, educational programs, and research activities related to curing disease. You have the right to opt out of receiving our fundraising communications. If you opt out of receiving fundraising communications, you can always choose to opt back in with respect to specific campaigns or ask to be contacted for our fundraising efforts by calling us at (270) 762-1908.
We do not condition treating you on your choice of whether to receive fundraising communications.
Certain uses and disclosures by us of your health information require that we obtain your prior written authorization. These include:
Psychotherapy Notes. If Psychotherapy Notes are created for your treatment, we must obtain your prior written authorization before using or disclosing them, except (1) if the creator of those notes needs to use or disclose them for treatment, (2) for use or disclosure in our own supervised training programs in mental health, or (3) for use or disclosure in connection with our defense of a proceeding brought by you. “Psychotherapy Notes” means notes recorded (in any medium) by a health care provider who is a mental health professional documenting or analyzing the contents of conversation during a private counseling session or a group, joint, or family counseling session and that are separated from the rest of the individual’s medical record. “Psychotherapy Notes” excludes medication prescription and monitoring, counseling session start and stop times, the modalities and frequencies of treatment furnished, results of clinical tests, and any summary of the following items: diagnosis, functional status, the treatment plan, symptoms, prognosis, and progress to date.
Marketing. If we use or disclose your health information for marketing purposes, we must first obtain your written authorization to do so, except if the communication is face-to-face by us to you, or is a promotional gift of nominal value.
Sale of your health information. If a disclosure of your health information would constitute a sale of it, we must first obtain your written authorization to do so.
OTHER USES/DISCLOSURES OF HEALTH INFORMATION
In any other situation not described in this Notice, we are required to obtain your written authorization before using or disclosing your health information. If you choose to authorize use or disclosure, you can later revoke that authorization by notifying us in writing of your decision. However, the revocation will not be effective (1) to the extent we took action in reliance on the authorization before receiving the revocation, or (2) if the authorization was obtained as a condition of obtaining insurance coverage, other law provides the insurer with the right to contest a claim under the policy or the policy itself.
You have the following rights with regard to your health information. Please contact our Chief Privacy Officer listed below to obtain the appropriate form for exercising these rights. Requests for restrictions, for confidential communications, to inspect records or obtain copies, to amend information, or for an accounting of disclosures must be in writing.
Request restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health 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 health information we disclose about you to someone involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or a friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a surgery you had. We will inform you of our decision on your request. Unless otherwise required by law, we must comply with a request from you not to disclose your health information to a health plan, if the purpose for the disclosure is not related to treatment, and the health care items or services to which the information applies (such as a genetic test) have been paid for out-of-pocket and in full; otherwise, 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 you emergency treatment. Except for restrictions that we must comply with relating to health plans, we may terminate our agreement to a restriction at any time by notifying you in writing, but our termination will only apply to information created or received after we sent you the notice of termination, unless you agree to make the termination retroactive.
Confidential communications. You may ask us to communicate with you confidentially by, for example, sending notices to a special address or not using postcards to remind you of appointments. We may condition our agreement on the receipt of information from you as to how payment will be handled and an alternate address or other method of contact.
Inspect and obtain copies. In most cases, you have the right to look at or get a copy of your health information. If the information is maintained electronically and if you request an electronic copy, we will provide you with an electronic copy in the form and format requested by you, if it is readily producible in that form and format (if not, then we will agree with you on a readable electronic form and format). You can direct us to transmit the copy directly to another person if you submit a signed written request to our Chief Privacy Officer that identifies the person to whom you want the copy sent and where to send it. If you request copies, we may charge a reasonable cost-based fee for the labor involved in copying the information, the supplies for creating the paper copy or the cost of the portable media, postage, and providing a summary of your records, if you request a summary. If we deny your request to review or obtain a copy of your medical or billing records, you may submit a written request for a review of that decision.
Amend information. If you believe that information in your record is incorrect, or if important information is missing, you have the right to request that we correct the existing information or add the missing information. We could deny your request to amend a record for a number of reasons, including: if the information was not created by us; if it is not part of the information maintained about you by or for us; or if we determine that record is accurate and complete. You may submit a written statement of disagreement with our decision not to amend a record.
Accounting of disclosures. You have the right to a list of those instances where we have disclosed health information about you, except in certain instances. These instances include: disclosures for treatment, payment and health care operations; disclosures made to you; disclosures incident to a use or disclosure permitted or required by the Federal HIPAA Privacy Rule; disclosures authorized by you; disclosures for our hospital directory; disclosures to persons involved in your care or to disaster relief authorities; disclosures for national security and intelligence purposes; disclosures to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials; disclosures that are part of a limited data set; and disclosures occurring more than six years prior to the date of your request. You may receive the list in paper or electronic form. The first disclosure list request in a 12-month period is free; other requests will be charged according to our cost of producing the list. We will inform you of the cost before you incur any costs.
You have the right to receive a paper copy of this Notice upon request.
OUR LEGAL DUTY
We are required by law to protect and maintain the privacy of your health information, to provide this Notice about our legal duties and privacy practices regarding protected health information, to notify you following a breach of your unsecured health information, and to abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect.
CHANGES IN PRIVACY PRACTICES
We may change our policies at any time. Changes will apply to health information we already hold, as well as new information after the change occurs. Before we make a significant change in our policies, we will change our Notice and post the new Notice in waiting areas and on our website at https://www.murrayhospital.org. For more information about our privacy practices, contact the person listed below.
If you are concerned that we violated your privacy rights, or if you disagree with a decision we made about your records, you may contact the person listed below. You also may send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The person listed below will provide you with the appropriate address upon request. You will not be penalized or retaliated against in any way for filing a complaint.
If you have any questions, requests, or complaints, or want further information about the matters covered in this notice, please contact our Chief Privacy Officer (MCCH’s Director of Health Information Management) in the MCCH Health Information Management Department (270) 762-1181.
Murray-Calloway County Hospital and the non-employed physicians who practice at our locations are independent contractors and do not hereby assume any liability for the services or conduct of the other.
The effective date of this Notice is October 1, 2016.