Uses and Disclosures Relating to Treatment, Payment, or Health Care Operations. Generally, we may use/disclose your PHI:
For treatment: We may disclose your PHI to doctors, nurses, and other health care personnel who are involved in providing your health care. For example, your PHI will be shared among members of your treatment team, pharmacy staff, or with a specialist to whom you have been referred. We may also share PHI with health care provider licensing bodies like the Indiana Department of Health.
To obtain payment: We may disclose your PHI in order to bill and collect payment for your health care services. For example, we may release portions of your PHI to Medicare/Medicaid, a private insurer or group health plan to get paid for services that we delivered to you. Release o your PHI to the state Medicaid agency might also be necessary to determine your eligibility for publicly funded services.
For health care operations: We may use/disclose your PHI in the course of our operations. For example, we may use your PHI or your answers to a patient satisfaction survey in evaluating the quality of services provided by our staff, or disclose your PHI to our auditors or attorneys for audit or legal purposes.
Appointment reminders: Unless you provide us with alternative instructions, we may send appointment reminders and other similar materials to your home. We may also call your home and leave a message on your answering machine or voicemail. (See Section III about confidential communication.)
Treatment alternatives: We may contact you about possible treatment options or alternatives, or other health-related benefits or services that may interest you.
Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization: For uses and disclosures other than treatment, payment and operations purposes, we are required to have your written authorization, unless the use or disclosure falls within one of the exceptions described below. You may revoke an authorization, in writing, any time to stop future uses/disclosures. If you revoke your authorization, we will stop using/disclosing your PHI for purposes or reasons covered by your written authorization. You need to understand that we are unable to take back disclosures we have already made with your permission and that we are required to keep our records of the car we provide to you. (See Section VI for instructions for revoking an authorization.) We cannot refuse to treat you if you refuse to sign an authorization to release PHI, unless services provided are solely to create health records for a third party, such as a physical and drug testing for an employer or insurance company; or if treatment provided is research-related and authorization is required for the use of health information for research purposes.
Uses and Disclosures Not Requiring Authorization: The law provides that we may use/disclose your PHI without your authorization in the following circumstances:
When required by law: We may disclose PHI when a law requires that we report information about suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence, or relating to suspected criminal activity, for FDA-regulated products or activities, or in response to a court order. We must also disclose PHI to authorities that monitor compliance with these privacy requirements.
For public health activities: We may disclose PHI when we are required to collect information about disease or injury, or to report vital statistics to the public health authority, such as reports of tuberculosis cases or births and deaths.
For health oversight activities: We may disclose PHI to the Indiana State Department of Health or other agencies responsible for monitoring the health care system for such purposes as reporting or investigation of unusual incidents.
Relating to decendents: We may disclose PHI relating to an individual’s death to coroners, medical examiners or funeral directors, and to organ procurement organizations relating to organ, eye, or tissue donations or transplants.
For research purposes: In certain circumstances, that have been approved by an Institutional Review Board, we may disclose PHI in order to assist medical research, such as comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medicine to those who received another. We will almost always ask you for your specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address and other PHI, or will be involved in your case.
To avert threat to health or safety: In order to avoid a serious threat to health or safety, we may disclose PHI as necessary to law enforcement officials in circumstances such as: in response to a court order; to identify a suspect, witness or missing person; about crime victims; about a death that we may suspect if the result of criminal conduct; or criminal conduct at the health care facility.
For specific government functions: We may disclose PHI of military personnel and veterans in certain situations; to correctional facilities in certain situations; and for national security and intelligence reasons, such as protection of the President.
Workers' Compensation: We may disclose your PHI to your employer for Workers’ Compensation or similar programs that provide benefits for work-related illness or injury.
Uses and Disclosures Requiring You to Have an Opportunity to Object: In the following situations, we may disclose your PHI if we inform you about the disclosure in advance and you have the opportunity to agree to or prohibit or restrict the disclosure. However, if there is an emergency situation and you cannot be given the opportunity to object, disclosure may be made if it is consistent with any prior expressed wishes and the disclosure is determined to be in your best interests. You must be informed and given an opportunity to object to further disclosure as soon as you are able to do so.
To families, friends or others involved in your care: We may share with these people information directly related to your family’s, friend’s or other person’s involvement in your care or payment for your care. We may also share PHI with these people to notify them about your location, general condition or death.
Disater relief: We may release your PHI to a public or private relief agency for purposes of coordinating notifying your family and friends of your location, condition or death in the event of a disaster.