Floyd County Medical Center (FCMC)
Notice of Privacy Practices
R&R 02-2016, 01/18Page 1 of 10
Floyd County Medical Center (FCMC)
Notice of Privacy Practices
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN ACCESS THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Where this applies
This notice applies to the following entities which are collectively referenced as Floyd County Medical Center and to any other professional authorized to enter information into a hospital or clinic chart, all departments and units of the hospital or clinic, to all employees, staff, students and volunteers.
By law, FCMC must keep protected health information private. The federal government defines protected health information as any information, whether oral, electronic or paper, which is created or received by FCMC and relates to a patient’s health care or payment for the provision of health care. This includes not only the results of tests and notes written by doctors, nurses and other clinical personnel, but also certain demographic information, (such as your name, address and telephone number) that is related to your health records.
FCMC is required to notify individuals within 60 days following a breach of their unsecured protected health information.
FCMC is required by law to give you this notice and to follow the terms and conditions of the notice that is currently in effect.
How FCMCfulfills these duties:
FCMC considers patient privacy as part of its mission to serve the needs of the patient first.
FCMC takes necessary precautions against inappropriate use or disclosure of medical information.
FCMC employees are expected to access medical information only as necessary to perform their jobs.
FCMC employees who violate these rules and policies are subject to sanctions, including discipline and termination.
The Health Care Providers Covered by this notice: This notice covers Floyd County Medical Center and Floyd County Medical Center employees, volunteers, students and trainees. The notice also covers other health care providers that come to FCMC to care for patients (such as physicians, physician assistants, therapists, and other healthcare providers not employed by FCMC) unless these other health care providers give you their own notice of privacy practices that describes how they will protect your medical information. FCMC may share your medical information with these other providers for their treatment, payment and health care operations. This arrangement is only for sharing information and not for any other purpose.
A word about federal and state law:
Federal and state laws require FCMC to protect your medical information, and federallaw requires FCMC to describe to you how we handle that information. When state and federal privacy laws differ, and Iowa law is more protective of your information or provides you with greater access to your information, then state law will override federal law.
Part I –Most Common Uses and Disclosures
This section describes the most common circumstances in which FCMC may use or disclose protected health information.
“Protected health information” means any information, whether oral, electronic or paper, which is created or received byFCMCand relates to a patient’s health care or payment for the provision of health care. This includes not only the results of tests and notes written by doctors and nurses, but also certain demographic information (such as your name, address and telephone number) that is related to your health records.
FCMCwill use and disclose protected health information to provide, coordinate or manage your care. This includes communication and consultation between health-care providers—doctors, nurses, technicians and other members of your medical team. For example, following orthopedic surgery, your doctor may refer you for rehabilitation. Information will be shared to ensure continuity of care.
FCMCwill use and disclose protected health information to create bills and collect from insurance companies, Medicare and other payers. This may include providing information such as dates of service, symptoms and diagnosis to your insurance company to show that FCMC provided medical services to you.
FCMC also may disclose protected health information to another care provider if such information is needed by the other health care provider to obtain payment for medical services provided to you.
Iowa lawpermits us to disclose medical information about you for purposes of an independent review of a denial of a claim based on medical necessity.
FCMCwill use and disclose protected health information if it is necessary to improve the quality of care we provide to patients or to run our health care facility. These include activities to monitor and improve patient care, license staff to care for patients, prepare for state regulatory reviews, manage health-care operations and improve health-care services. Here are some examples:
To reduce the infection rate after a surgery, it would be necessary to look at medical records to determine the rate of infections that occurred.
To be licensed to do a certain procedure, a doctor may be required to show that he or she has successfully completed a number of procedures under the supervision of another physician.
A Federal Drug Administration inspector may review patient records in a laboratory to ensure that accurate and complete records are maintained for patient safety.
FCMC also may disclose protected health information to another health care provider who has treated you, or to your insurance company, if such information is needed for certain health care operations of the health care provider or insurance company, such as quality improvement activities, evaluations of health care professionals and state and federal regulatory reviews.
At times, FCMCmay access information, such as name, address and general medical condition, to contact you to:
- Provide appointment reminders.
- Provide information about treatment alternatives or other information that may be of interest to you.
- Disclose health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
FCMC does not currently participate in fund-raising projects that would involve the use of Protected Health Information. If FCMC were to participate in fund-raising activities, individuals have the right to opt-out of fundraising communication.
FCMC does not engage in telephone solicitations, nor does FCMC sell or rent patient’s names or addresses to any organization.
Facility Directory/Patient Census
FCMCmay use your name, location in the facility, condition (in general terms, such as “good,” “fair”) and religious affiliation (should you choose to provide one) in current patient lists. For example, a relative may wish to visit you in the hospital and would need to know your hospital room number, or a family member meeting you for an appointment may ask if you’re already seeing the doctor. If you indicate a religious affiliation, it will be shared only with members of the clergy. You can choose not to have such information released from the facility directory/patient directory. If you do not want FCMC to release such information, please inform the person assisting you during registration and/or admission.
Individuals involved in care and notification
FCMC may disclose relevant protected health information to a family member or friend involved with your care. We find that many patients want us to discuss their care with their family members and others to keep them up-to-date on your care, to help you understand your care, or to help in handling your bills. In a disaster situation, we also may disclose relevant protected health information to disaster relief organizations to help locate your family members or friends or to inform them of your location, condition or death. If family members or friends are present while care is being provided, FCMC will assume your companions may hear the discussion, unless you state otherwise. If you do not want FCMC to disclose your protected health information to your family members or others who are involved with your care or handling your bills, please inform the person assisting your during registration and/or admission.
Iowa law permits mental health professionals to disclose a limited amount of protected health information (including information about diagnosis, medication, and treatment plan) to your spouse, parent, adult child or adult sibling if you have a chronic mental illness. The disclosure will be made only if the family member is directly involved in your care and if the disclosure is necessary to assist the family member in caring for you. Unless you have been found incompetent, we will notify you of these disclosures.
Currently FCMC does not conduct Medical Research. If in the future FCMC would participate in research projects, patient authorization would be required. Requests for participation in research protocols would be presented to the Hospital Board of Directors and Administrator.
Part II - Other potential external disclosures
This section describes the less common circumstances in which FCMC may use or disclose protected health information.
To avert a serious threat of harm
FCMCmay use and disclose protected health information to alert those able to prevent or lessen a serious and immediate threat to the health or safety of a patient, another person or the public.
Iowa law permits disclosure to the Iowa Department of Public Health of any relevant information provided by an HIV-positive person regarding any person with whom the HIV-positive person has had sexual relations or has shared drug injecting equipment. We may also reveal the identity of a person who has tested positive for HIV to the extent necessary to protect a third party from the direct threat of transmission. In the event the person who tests positive for HIV is a convicted or alleged sexual assault offender, we are required under Iowa law to disclose the test results to the convicted or alleged offender and to the victim counselor or other person designated by the victim, who may disclose the results to the victim.
In addition, we may notify a care provider who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition (notification will not include the name of the individual tested for the contagious or infectious disease unless the individual consents).
We may report to the Iowa Department of Transportation information about patients with physical or mental impairments that would interfere with their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Organ and tissue donation
Iowa law requires that all deaths be reported to the Iowa Donor Network FCMC may release protected health information to this organization that handles organ procurement or to organ, eye, tissue donation banks, or to other healthcare organizations as needed to make organ or tissue donation and transplantation possible.
If a patient is a member of the United States Armed Forces, FCMC may release protected health information as required by military authorities. FCMC also may release protected health information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority. When the military organization is sponsoring the medical evaluation, the patient’s medical information is shared with both the patient and the sponsoring organization. Patients being evaluated on behalf of the military are aware of these arrangements.
FCMC may disclose protected health information for workers’ compensation or similar programs as authorized or required by law. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses
Iowa law allows release of all information concerning an employee’s physical or mental condition relative to the claim to any party making or defending a claim for benefits.
Public health purposes
FCMC may disclose protected health information for public health purposes. The following are some examples of releases that are allowed for public health purposes:
- To report vital statistics (e.g.births and deaths).
- To report maltreatment of a child or vulnerable adult.
- To report to the federal government of adverse reactions to medication or safety problems with FDA-regulatedproducts.
- To notify people of product recalls.
- To report communicable diseases to local, county, state, and federal health officials.
Iowa law allows requires reporting of domestic abuse deaths to the Department of Public Health.
Media relations activities
FCMC may share extremely limited information about patients who are seen as a result of an incident documented in a public record. In these cases, if the media contacts FCMC with a patient’s name, FCMC may provide the patient’s condition in general terms (such as “Fair”).
Health oversight activities
FCMC may disclose protected health information to health-care oversight agencies that oversee or operations or personnel. For example, FCMC may need to disclose protected health information to the state agencies that oversee our health care facilities or licensed health care personnel (e.g. Department of Health, Medical Board, Nursing Board), or the federal agencies that oversee Medicare. These agencies need such information to monitor our compliance with state and federal laws.
Lawsuits and other judicial proceedings
FCMC may disclose protected health information in response to a valid court or administrative order. FCMC may also disclose protected health information in response to certain types of subpoenas, discovery requests or other lawful process. Iowa law permits the disclosure of information in the context of civil litigation where you have put your condition at issue in the litigation.
Law enforcement activities
FCMC may disclose protected health information to law enforcement officials:
- In response to a court order, grand jury subpoena, or search warrant.
- To identify a suspect, fugitive or missing person.
- About the victim of a crime under certain limited circumstance.
- About a death believed to be a result of criminal conduct.
- About a crime committed on FCMC premises.
- In emergency circumstances when necessary to maintain safety and security of FCMC personnel and patients.
Iowa law does not allow the disclosure of information regarding substance abuse to any law enforcement agency unless you have authorized the disclosure. We may disclose information relevant to a determination of whether a person is or continues to be a sexually violent predator to law enforcement agencies or the attorney general. In addition, we must report certain types of wounds, such as gunshot or stab wounds.
Coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors
FCMC may release protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner when necessary to identify the deceased, determine the cause of death, or as otherwise authorized by law. FCMC also may release information to a funeral director as necessary to carry out the funeral director’s duties, including arrangements after death.
National security activities
FCMC may release protected health information to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence or other national security activities authorized by law. FCMCalso may disclose protected health information to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President or other authorized individuals.
Required by law
FCMC will use or disclose protected health information when required by federal, state or local laws. For example, FCMC is required to report certain gunshot wounds and other injuries that may have resulted from an unlawful act, dog bites, and abuse or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult.
Information with Additional Protections
Certain types of protected health information may have additional protection under federal or state law. For example, protected health information about HIV/AIDS and genetic testing results is treated differently than other types of protected health information under certain state laws. Additionally, federally assisted alcohol and drug abuse programs are subject to certain special restrictions on the use and disclosure of alcohol and drug abuse treatment information. Psychotherapy notes may also have additional protection under federal or state law. To the extent applicable, FCMC would need to get your written permission before disclosing these types of information to others in many circumstances.
Uses and Disclosures Pursuant to an Authorization
Except as described in this notice or specifically required or permitted by law, FCMC will not use or disclose your protected health information without specific written authorization. At times, FCMC may ask you to provide specific written permission to allow FCMC to use or disclose medical information about you. A valid authorization may be revoked in writing at any time. Written revocation of authorization must be submitted to the Medical Records Department at the entity where you are receiving your care. Once authorization is revoked, FCMC will no longer be allowed to use or disclose protected health information for the purposes described in the authorization except to the extent FCMC has already taken action based upon the authorization.
Health Information Exchange (HIE)
FCMC may make your protected health information available electronically through an electronic health information exchange (HIE). An HIE is a system that facilitates the exchange of electronic health records or other clinical or public health information between its participants. As a participant in an HIE, we may provide your health information to other health care providers and health plans that request your information for their treatment, payment and healthcare operations purposes. Participation in an HIE also permits us to access their information about them for our treatment, payment and healthcare operations purposes.
- The HIPAA Privacy rule expressly provides that genetic information is PHI. FCMC is prohibited from using or disclosing genetic information.
- Even where disclosure is permitted, FCMC is prohibited from disclosing PHI (without individual authorization) in exchange for remuneration. This includes remuneration received directly or indirectly from the recipient and is not limited to financial remuneration. If authorization is obtained, this authorization must state that disclosure will result in remuneration.
Part III – Patient’s rights with respect to protected health information
This section describes the rights of FCMC patients to protected health information.