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Patients & Visitors

Notice of Privacy Practice

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.

We are committed to protecting the confidentiality of your medical information, and are required by law to do so. This notice describes how we may use your medical information within Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) and how we may disclose it to others outside MIHS. This notice also describes the rights you have concerning your own medical information. Please review it carefully and let us know if you have questions. Please note that incarcerated patients do not have the right to notice under this section. This Notice of Privacy Practices applies to all at MIHS (including Maricopa Medical Center, the Behavioral Health Annex, Desert Vista, the Family Health Centers, and the Comprehensive Health Center), District Medical Group (DMG), and all MIHS personnel, volunteers, students and trainees. The Notice also applies to MIHS physicians, physician assistants, therapists, emergency service providers, medical transportation companies, medical equipment suppliers and other healthcare providers not employed by MIHS, unless these other healthcare providers give you their own notice that describes how they will protect your medical information. MIHS may share your medical information with these other healthcare providers for their treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. This arrangement is only for sharing information and not for any other purpose.

 

How we use and disclose your medical information

Treatment

We may use your medical information to provide you with medical services and supplies. We may also disclose your medical information to others who need that information to treat you, such as doctors, physician assistants, nurses, medical and nursing students, technicians, therapists, emergency service and medical transportation providers, medical equipment providers, and other healthcare facilities involved in your care. For example, we will allow your physician to have access to your Hospital or Clinic medical record to assist in your treatment at the Hospital and for follow-up care. We also may use and disclose your medical information to contact you to remind you of an upcoming appointment, to inform you about possible treatment options or alternatives, or to tell you about health-related services available to you.

Payment

We may use and disclose your medical information to get paid for the medical services and supplies we provide to you. For example, your health plan or health insurance company may ask to see parts of your medical record before they will pay us for your treatment.

Hospital Operations

We may use and disclose your medical information if it is necessary to improve the quality of care we provide to patients or to run the hospital. We may use your medical information to conduct quality improvement activities, to obtain audit, accounting or legal services, or to conduct business management and planning. For example, we may look at your medical record to evaluate whether MIHS personnel, your doctors, or other healthcare professionals did a good job.

Fundraising

We may contact you to ask for your help with different fund raising campaigns. Please notify us if you do not wish to be contacted during fund raising campaigns. If you advise us in writing (at the physical address listed at the bottom of this Notice) that you do not wish to receive such communications, we will not use or disclose your information for these purposes.”

Family Members and Others Involved in Your Care

We may disclose your medical information to a family member or friend who is involved in your medical care, or to someone who helps to pay for your care. We also may disclose your medical information to disaster relief organizations to help locate a family member or friend in a disaster. If you do not want MIHS to disclose your medical information to family members or others who will visit you, please inform the registration staff and mark the appropriate box on the form provided during registration.

Patient Directory

In order to assist family members and other visitors in locating you while you are an inpatient, we maintain a patient directory. This directory includes your name, room number, your general condition (such as fair, stable, or critical). We will disclose this information to someone who asks for you by name. The patient directory also includes your religious affiliation (if any). We will disclose this information only to clergy members. MIHS behavioral health facilities do not maintain a patient directory.

If you do not want to be included in the patient directory, or your religious affiliation information given to the clergy, please inform the registration staff and mark the appropriate box on the form provided during registration.

Research

We may use or disclose your medical information for research projects, such as studying the effectiveness of a treatment you received. These research projects must go through a special process that protects the confidentiality of your medical information. Required by Law Federal, state, or local laws sometimes require us to disclose patients’ medical information. For instance, we are required to report child abuse or neglect and vulnerable adults and must provide certain information to law enforcement officials in domestic violence cases. We also are required to give information to Worker’s Compensation Programs for work- related injuries.

Public Health

We also may report certain medical information for public health purposes. For instance, we are required to report births, deaths, and communicable diseases to the State of Arizona. We also may need to report patient problems with medications or medical products to the FDA, or may notify patients of recalls of products they are using.

Public Safety

We may disclose medical information for public safety purposes in limited circumstances. We may disclose medical information to law enforcement officials in response to a search warrant or a grand jury subpoena.

We also may disclose medical information to assist law enforcement officials in identifying or locating a person, to prosecute a crime of violence, to report deaths that may have resulted from criminal conduct, and to report criminal conduct within MIHS. We also may disclose your medical information to law enforcement officials and others to prevent a serious threat of health or safety.

Health Oversight Activities

We may disclose medical information to a government agency that oversees MIHS or its personnel, such as the Arizona Department of Health Services, the federal and state agencies that oversee Medicare and Medicaid, the Board of Medical Examiners or the Board of Nursing. These agencies need medical information to monitor MIHS’ compliance with state and federal laws.

Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors

We may disclose information concerning deceased patients to coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors to assist them in carrying out their duties. Organ and Tissue Donation We may disclose medical information to organizations that handle organ, eye or tissue donation or transplantation.

Military, Veterans, National Security and Other Government Purposes

If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release your medical information as required by military command authorities or to the Department of Veterans Affairs. MIHS may also disclose medical information to federal officials for intelligence and national security purposes or for Presidential Protective Services.

Judicial Proceedings

MIHS may disclose medical information if ordered to do so by a court or if a subpoena or search warrant is served. You will receive advance notice about this disclosure in most situations so that you will have a chance to object to sharing your medical information.

Information with Additional Protection

Certain types of medical information have additional protection under state and federal law. For instance, medical information about communicable disease and HIV/ AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, genetic testing, and evaluation and treatment for a serious mental illness is treated differently than other types of medical information. For those types of information, MIHS is required to get your permission before disclosing that information to others in many circumstances.

Other Uses and Disclosures

If MIHS wishes to use or disclose your medical information for a purpose that is not discussed in this Notice, MIHS will seek your permission. If you give your permission to MIHS, you may take back that permission any time, unless we have already relied on your permission to use or disclose information. If you would ever like to revoke your permission, please notify the Medical Records Department in writing. We will obtain your written authorization to use and disclose your health information for these specific purposes.

Marketing
We will not use or disclose your health information for marketing purposes without your authorization. Additionally, if we were to receive remuneration from a third party in connection with our promotion of its product or service to you, then we will obtain your written authorization before we can use or disclose your health information. We are not required to obtain your authorization to discuss our health-related products or services that are available for your healthcare treatment, case management or care coordination, or to direct or recommend alternative treatments, therapies, providers, or settings of care, providing face to face discussions and offering samples or promotional gifts of nominal value.

Psychotherapy Notes
Psychotherapy notes are notes that are written by a mental health professional that document the conversations during a private counseling session or in group or joint therapy. Many uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes require your authorization.

Sale of PHI
We will obtain your authorization for any disclosure of your information which we directly or indirectly receive remuneration in exchange for the information.

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