Notice of Privacy Practices
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully. If you have questions about this notice, please ask a Hospital staff member. You can also call our Health Information Services department at (440) 743-4242.
Each time you are treated at Parma Community General Hospital, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. Your individual records are called Protected Health Information (PHI). This notice describes how we use your information. It describes our obligations to you and your information. It also describes your rights under the law.
Who Does This Notice Apply To?
For the purposes of this notice and your PHI, Parma Community General Hospital Association has structured itself into an organized health care arrangement. This means that the groups and services listed below will share your PHI as necessary to carry out treatment, payment, and health care operations as permitted by law. This organization is composed of Parma Community General Hospital Association, its employees, the physicians and other licensed practitioners and groups that have been granted privileges to practice at the hospital. Parma Community General Hospital Association is the corporate name for Parma Community General Hospital. The corporation also includes all other services that are provided by Parma Community General Hospital. This includes, but is not limited to, Home Health Care, Seasons of Life Hospice, The Cancer Center and the SurgiCenter at Parma Hospital. In the rest of this Notice, the providers will be referred to as the Hospital.
By law, the Hospital is required to:
- Maintain the privacy of your PHI; and
- Provide you with this notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information that we collect and maintain about you; and
- Abide by the terms of this notice as long as it remains in effect.
We reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices as required by law and to make the new notice effective for all PHI maintained by us. You may receive a current copy of this notice by mailing a request to the address provided at the end of this notice.
Your Health Information Rights
Your medical records are the property of the Hospital. The information in the record however, belongs to you. By law, you have the right to:
- Obtain a paper copy of this notice upon request.
- Inspect and request a copy of your health record. You have the right to copy and/or inspect much of the PHI that we retain on your behalf. All requests for access must be made in writing and signed by you or your legally authorized representative. You may be charged a fee. Please call our Health Information Services Department to assist you in getting a copy of your records.
- Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information. You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures made by us of your personal information after April 14, 2003. Requests must be made in writing and signed by you or your legally authorized representative. You may be charged a fee. Please call our Health Information Services Department to assist you in getting a copy of this accounting.
- Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information. You have the right to request restrictions on certain of our uses and disclosures of your PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations. The law does not require us to agree with your request.
- Request to amend your health record. You have the right to request that PHI that we maintain about you be amended or corrected. All amendment requests must be in writing and signed by you or your legally authorized representative. The law does not require us to agree with your request. Please call our Health Information Services Department to assist you with your records.
Use of Your Information for Treatment, Payment, and Healthcare Operations
This section describes the various ways in which the Hospital may use your information and gives examples of each use.
We will use your health information for treatment.
For example: Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other members of your healthcare team may be recorded and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. Your physicians may also document their expectations for the members of the healthcare team. We may make copies of various reports available to your physician or other healthcare providers or organizations that might assist them in treating you.
We will use your health information for payment.
For example: A bill may be sent to you and/or your insurance company or other third party payors and/or their designated review agents, welfare funds and anyone assisting the Hospital in obtaining payment, including billing, coding, and collection agents. The information on the bill may include information that identifies you, as well as your diagnosis, procedures, and supplies used. Your insurance company may request to review all or part of your record for payment purposes. A copy of your records may be provided to the insurance company for this purpose.
We will use your information for health care operations.
Examples may include:
- Directory (Patient Census Roster): The purpose of the directory is to allow the hospital to give to anyone who asks for you by name, your location in the facility. This includes, but is not limited to family, friends, mail and flower delivery. Unless you notify us that you object, we will use your name, location in the facility, and religious affiliation for directory purposes while you are a patient with us. This information may be provided to members of the clergy and, except for religious affiliation, to other people who ask for you by name. If you do not wish to have this information appear in the directory, please notify your caregiver or the registration department.
- Notification: In an emergency, we may use or disclose information about your location and general conditions to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care.
- Communication with Family/Caregivers: Healthcare professionals, using their best judgment, may disclose to a family member, other relative, close personal friend or any other person you identify, your health information relative to that person’s involvement in your care.
- Appointments and Services: We may contact you to provide appointment reminders and notifications for services. You have the right to request, and we will accommodate reasonable requests, to receive this communication by alternative means or at alternative locations. For instance, if you wish appointment reminders not to be left on voice mail or sent to a particular location, we will accommodate reasonable requests. You will have an opportunity to request communications to another address or in a different manner. Please ask when making your appointment.
- Tissue and Organ Procurement organizations: Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information as necessary to arrange an organ or tissue donation from you or for you.
- Quality Reviews: Members of the Medical Staff, risk management, members of the quality improvement team, or outside quality reviewers may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes of your case and others like it. The information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and services that we provide.
- Research: In limited circumstances, we may use and disclose your PHI for research purposes. For example, a research organization may wish to compare outcomes of all patients that received a particular drug and will need to review a series of medical records. In all cases where your specific authorization has not been obtained, your privacy will be protected by strict confidentiality requirements applied by a hospital committee (called an Institutional Review Board), which oversees the research, or by representations of the researchers that limit their use and disclosure of patient information.
- Business Associates: There are some services provided for our hospital by other companies. These services may include physician services in the emergency department and radiology, certain laboratory tests, and copy service that we use when making copies of your health record. While doing this service for us, our business associate may have access to your information. We require, however, that each business associate appropriately safeguard your information.
- Funeral Directors: We may disclose health information to funeral directors consistent with all applicable state laws.
- Federal or State law: We may disclose your health information to local, state or federal public health or legal authorities where obligated by law to do so. This may include the reporting of disease, injury, birth, death, and for required public health investigations.
- Correctional Institution: Should you be an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose to the institution or agents thereof, health information necessary for your health and the health and safety of other individuals.
- Law enforcement: We may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena.
- National Security and or Armed forces: We may release your PHI if you are a member of the military as required by armed forces services or if required for national security or intelligence activities.
- Your Employer: In limited circumstance as required by law, we may disclose certain PHI to your employer.
Other Uses of Your Health Information
- Health Products and Services: We may contact you to provide information about current or new health products and services, and to provide general health and wellness information.
- Complaint resolution: In our efforts to resolve a complaint made by you or on your behalf, we may release information to our attorneys, insurance companies or other entities that may be assisting us in evaluating and resolving those complaints.
- Subpoenas or Discovery Requests: In certain limited circumstances, we may release your information in response to a subpoena or discovery request as required by law; in some cases you will have notice of such release.
- Fundraising: We may contact you to donate to a fundraising effort for or on our behalf. You have the right to "opt-out" of receiving fundraising materials/communications. If you do not wish to receive materials on fundraising, please send a request in writing to:
The Parma Hospital Health Care Foundation
7007 Powers Blvd.
Parma, OH 44129
Your Authorization to Release Your Health Information
Except for those instances outlined above, we will not use or disclose your health information for other uses or reasons without your written authorization. Please call our Health Information Services Department to assist you with your records.
For Further Information
The Hospital is committed to the confidentiality of your health information. Your caregiver should be able to answer your questions regarding the use of your PHI. Should your caregiver not know or if you wish to speak to someone else, please ask to speak with the manager of the division or department in which you are located. If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, please call the hospital at (440) 743-3000 and ask for the Privacy Officer. In addition, you can mail your concern to:
Parma Community General Hospital
Attention: Privacy Officer
7007 Powers Blvd.
Parma, Ohio 44129.
Under the law, if you feel that your privacy rights have been violated you may file a complaint with Health and Human Services at this address:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
233 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 240
Chicago, Ill 60601
Phone (312) 886-2359
Fax (312) 886-1807
TDD (312) 3535693
The complaint must be in writing, either on paper or electronically. It must be submitted within 180 days from the time that you have perceived there has been a violation.
The Hospital will not retaliate against any person filing a complaint.
This Notice becomes effective on April 14, 2003, and applies to activities after that date. Activities before that date were subject to various other state and federal laws.