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McCready Foundation Building a Healthy Community One Person at a Time

Privacy Practices

THIS PRIVACY NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THAT INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW THIS PRIVACY NOTICE CAREFULLY.

McCready Foundation, Edward McCready Memorial Hospital, Alice B. Tawes Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center and Affiliated Entities (the "Hospital"), in accordance with the federal Privacy Rule, 45 CFR parts 160 and 164 (the "Privacy Rule") and applicable state law, are committed to maintaining the privacy of your protected health information ("PHI"). PHI includes information about your health condition and the care and treatment you receive from the Hospital and is often referred to as your health care or medical record. This Notice of Privacy Practices ("Privacy Notice") explains how your PHI may be used by the Hospital and disclosed to third parties. This Privacy Notice also details your rights regarding your PHI.

HOW THE HOSPITAL AND AFFILIATED ENTITIES MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION

The Hospital, in accordance with this Privacy Notice and without asking for your express consent or authorization, may use and disclose your PHI for the purposes of:

Treatment - To provide you with the health care you require, the Hospital may use and disclose your PHI to those health care professionals, whether on the Hospital's staff or not, so that it may provide, coordinate, plan and manage your health care. For example, a doctor treating you for lower back pain may need to know and obtain the results of your latest physical examination to develop a diagnosis and proper treatment plan.

Payment - To get paid for services provided to you, the Hospital may provide your PHI, directly or through a billing service, to a third party who may be responsible for your care, including insurance companies and health plans. If necessary, the Hospital may use your PHI in other collection efforts with respect to all persons who may be liable to the Hospital for bills related to your care. For example, the Hospital may need to provide the Medicare program with information about health care services that you received from the Hospital so that the Hospital can be reimbursed. The Hospital may also need to tell your insurance plan about treatment you are going to receive so that it can determine whether or not it will cover the treatment expense.

Health Care Operations - To operate in accordance with applicable law and insurance requirements, and to provide quality and efficient care, the Hospital may need to compile, use and disclose your PHI. For example, the Hospital may use your PHI to evaluate the performance of the Hospital's personnel in providing care to you.

OTHER EXAMPLES OF HOW THE HOSPITAL MAY USE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION

Advice of Appointment and Services - The Hospital may, from time to time, contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. The following appointment reminders may be used by the Hospital: a) a letter mailed to you at the address provided by you; and b) telephoning your home and leaving a message on your answering machine or with the individual answering the phone.

Directory/Sign-In Log - The Hospital maintains directory and sign-in logs and patient location charts and signage for individuals seeking care in the Hospital. Some of this information may be located so that staff can see who is seeking and receiving care in the Hospital, and the individual's location within the Hospital. Others who are also seeking care or accompanying patients in the Hospital may see this information. Unless you object, Hospital directory information, which includes your name, location in the Hospital and your general condition, will be disclosed to people that ask for you by name. We will not disclose any information about mental health admissions or religious affiliation without a patient's express written authorization.

Family/Friends - The Hospital may disclose to a family member, other relative, a close personal friend, or any other person identified by you, your PHI directly relevant to such person's involvement with your care or the payment for your care. The Hospital may also use or disclose your PHI to notify or assist in providing notification to a family member, a personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, of your location, general condition or death. However, in such cases, the following conditions will apply:

(a) If you are present at or prior to the use or disclosure of your PHI, the Hospital may use or disclose your PHI if you agree, or if the Hospital can reasonably infer from the circumstances, based on the exercise of its professional judgment, that you do not object to the use or disclosure.

(b) If you are not present, the Hospital will, in the exercise of professional judgment, determine whether the use or disclosure is in your best interests and, if so, disclose only the PHI that is directly relevant to the person's involvement with your care.

Fundraising- The Hospital, consistent with the Privacy Rule, Section 164.514(f) may, from time to time, contact you with regard to fund-raising activities at the Hospital related to the services provided to its patients and staff.

OTHER USE & DISCLOSURES WHICH MAY BE PERMITTED OR REQUIRED BY LAW

The Hospital may also use and disclose your PHI without your consent or authorization in the following instances:

De-identified Information - The Hospital may use and disclose health information that may be related to your care but does not identify you and cannot be used to identify you.

Business Associate
- The Hospital may use and disclose PHI to one or more of its business associates if the Hospital obtains satisfactory written assurance, in accordance with applicable law, that the business associate will appropriately safeguard your PHI. A business associate is an entity that assists the Hospital in undertaking some essential function, such as a billing company that assists the office in submitting claims for payment to insurance companies.

Personal Representative - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI to a person who, under applicable law, has the authority to represent you in making decisions related to your health care.

Emergency Situations - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI for the purpose of obtaining or rendering emergency treatment to you provided that the Hospital attempts to obtain your consent as soon as possible. The Hospital may also use and disclose PHI to a public or private entity authorized by law or by its charter to assist in disaster relief efforts, for the purpose of coordinating your care with such entities in an emergency situation.

Public Health Activities
- The Hospital may use and disclose PHI when required by law to provide information to a public health authority to prevent or control disease or injury and, if authorized by law, to individuals who may be at risk.

Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence
- The Hospital may use and disclose PHI when authorized by law if it believes that the disclosure is necessary to prevent serious harm with regard to child or elder abuse, abuse or neglect of a patient or domestic violence.

Specialized Government Functions - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI when required by the Department of Health and Human Services to determine compliance with the Privacy Rule.

Health Oversight Activities - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI when required by law to provide information in criminal investigations, disciplinary actions, or other activities relating to the community's health care system.

Judicial and Administrative Proceeding - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI in response to a court order or a lawfully issued subpoena.

Law Enforcement Purposes - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI to law enforcement officials in response to a grand jury subpoena or with regard to a crime believed to have occurred on the premises.
Coroner, Medical Examiner or Funeral Director - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI to a coroner, medical examiner or funeral director, for the purpose of identifying you, determining the cause of death and assisting them in carrying out their authorized duties.

Organ, Eye or Tissue Donation - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI if you are an organ donor to the entity to whom you have agreed to donate your organs.

Research - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI, subject to applicable legal requirements, if the Hospital is involved in research activities.

Avert a Threat to Health or Safety - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI if it believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public and the disclosure is to an individual who is reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat.

Food & Drug Administration - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI with regard to drugs and medical devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration to persons required to report adverse events and product defects or track such products for recalls, repairs, or post marketing surveillance.

Workers' Compensation - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI if you are involved in a Workers' Compensation claim to an individual or entity that is part of the Workers' Compensation system.
National Security and Intelligence Activities - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI to authorized governmental officials with regard to necessary intelligence information for national security activities.

Military and Veterans
- The Hospital may use and disclose PHI if you are a member of the armed forces, as required by military command authorities.

Inmates - The Hospital may use and disclose PHI if you are an inmate or in custody for your healthcare, the safety of other inmates and custodial personnel and as otherwise provided under the Privacy Rule.

AUTHORIZATION

Uses or disclosures, other than those described above will be made only with your written Authorization.

YOUR RIGHTS

You have the right to:

Revoke any Authorization or consent you have given to the Hospital, at any time. To request a revocation, you must submit a written request to the Hospital's Privacy Officer.

Request special restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your PHI as authorized by law. In general, this relates to your right to request special restrictions concerning disclosures of your PHI regarding uses for treatment, payment and operational purposes under Privacy Rule, Section 164.522(a) and restrictions related to disclosures to your family and other individuals involved in your care under Privacy Rule, Section 64.510(b). Except in certain instances, the Hospital may not be obligated to agree to any requested restrictions. To request restrictions, you must submit a written request to the Hospital's Privacy Officer. In submitting your request, you must inform the Hospital of what information you want to limit, whether you want to limit the Hospital's use or disclosure, or both, and to whom you want the limits to apply. If the Hospital agrees to your request, the Hospital will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment or the PHI must be otherwise used or disclosed pursuant to applicable law. Upon request, the Hospital's Privacy Officer will provide you with the Hospital's form to be used for this purpose.

Receive confidential communications or PHI by alternative means or at alternative locations as provided by Privacy Rule Section 164.522(b). For instance, you may request all written communications to you be marked "Confidential Protected Health Information." You must make your request in writing to the Hospital's Privacy Officer. The Hospital will accommodate all reasonable requests. Upon request, the Hospital's Privacy Officer will provide you with the Hospital's form to be used for this purpose.

Inspect and copy your PHI as provided by federal law (including Privacy Rule, Section 164.524) and state law. To inspect and copy your PHI, you must submit a written request to the Hospital's Privacy Officer. The Hospital can charge you a fee for the cost of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. In certain situations that are defined by law, the Hospital may deny your request, but you may have the right to have the denial reviewed as set forth more fully in the written denial notice. Upon request, the Hospital's Privacy Officer will provide you with the Hospital's form to be used for this purpose.

Amend your PHI as provided by federal law (including Privacy Rule, Section 164.526) and state law. To request an amendment, you must submit a written request to the Hospital's Privacy Officer. You must provide a reason that supports your request. The Hospital may deny your request if it is not in writing, if you do not provide a reason in support of your request, if the information to be amended was not created by the Hospital (unless the individual or entity that created the information is no longer available), if the information is not part of your PHI maintained by the Hospital, if the information is not part of the information you would be permitted to inspect and copy, and/or if the information is accurate and complete. If you disagree with the Hospital's denial, you will have the right to submit a written statement of disagreement. Upon request, the Hospital's Privacy Officer will provide you with the Hospital's form to be used for this purpose.

Receive an accounting of disclosures of your PHI as provided by federal law (including Privacy Rule Section 164.528) and state law. To request an accounting, you must submit a written request to the Hospital's Privacy Officer. The request must state a time period, which may not be longer than six (6) years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. The request should indicate in what form you want the list (such as a paper or electronic copy). The first list you request within a twelve (12) month period will be free, but the Hospital may charge you for the cost of providing additional lists.

Receive a paper copy of this Privacy Notice from the Hospital (as provided by Privacy Rule Section 164.520(b)(1)(iv)(F)) upon request to the Hospital's Privacy Officer.

Complain to the Hospital or to the Secretary of HHS (as provided by Privacy Rule Section 164.520(b)(1)(vi)) if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. To file a complaint with the Hospital, you must contact the Hospital's Privacy Officer. All complaints must be in writing.

To obtain general information about your privacy rights or if you have questions you want answered about your privacy rights (as provided by Privacy Rule Section .520(b)(2)(vii)), you may visit the web-site of the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health and Human Services at: www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa, or call toll free: 1-866-282-0659

If you wish to contact the Privacy Officer at  the McCready Foundation, please do so as follows:

Privacy Officer
Attn: Camesha Giddins 
McCready Foundation
201 Hall Highway
Crisfield, MD. 21817
(410) 968-1200 

 

HOSPITAL REQUIREMENTS

The Hospital, as provided by the Privacy Rule:

Is required to maintain the privacy of your PHI and to provide you with this Privacy Notice detailing the Hospital's legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your PHI.

May be required by state law to grant greater access or maintain greater restrictions on the use or release of your PHI than that which is provided for under federal law.

Is required to abide by the terms of this Privacy Notice.

Reserves the right to change the terms of this Privacy Notice and to make the New Privacy Notice provisions effective for all of your PHI that it maintains.

Upon request, will distribute any revised Privacy Notice to you.

Will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

EFFECTIVE DATE

This Privacy Notice dated 05/03 is in effect as of 01/08.