HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures we will explain what we mean and give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.
- For Treatment. We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, or other New York Westchester Square Medical Center personnel who are involved in taking care of you. For example, a doctor treating you for 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 dietician 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, such as family members, clergy, or others who provide services you may need, relevant to their involvement. (You will be given an opportunity to object.)
- For Payment. We may use and disclose medical information about you so that we may bill for treatment and services you receive at the Hospital and can collect payment from you, an insurance company or another party. For example, we may need to give information about surgery you received at the Hospital to your health plan so that the 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 in order 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 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 evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many 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 educational purposes. We may also combine medical information we have with medical information from other hospitals to compare our performance and to 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 to remind you that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care.
- Treatment Alternatives. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
- Health-Related Benefits and 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 would release limited contact information, such as your name, address and telephone 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 Privacy Officer 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. This information in the directory, except for your religious affiliation, may 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. You will have the opportunity to have your information not listed in the directory.
- 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. 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, for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with patients’ need for privacy of their medical information. Before we use or disclose medical information for research the project will have been approved through this research approval process. However, we may disclose medical information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project, for example, to help them look for patients with specific medical needs, so long as the medical information they review does not leave the Hospital. When required we will 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 New York Westchester Square Medial Center.
- As Required By Law. We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
- To Avert a 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.