PATIENTS AND VISITORS
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.
Your health or medical record is a collection of your personal information related to your health care. This record may include, but is not limited to:
Although your health record is the physical property of the health care provider, the information belongs to you.
When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights.
This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.
You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.
If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.
In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.
In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:
In the case of fundraising:
How do we typically use or share your health information?
We typically use or share your health information in the following ways.
We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.
Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.
We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.
Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services.
We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities.
Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.
We may share information electronically through Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) in which we participate to ensure that your health care providers outside of Meritus have access to your medical information regardless of where you receive care. In addition, Meritus providers may use HIEs to obtain information about care you received from health care providers outside of Meritus when those providers participate in the same HIE. Exchange of health information can provide faster access, better coordination of care and assist providers and public health officials in making more informed decisions.
The Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients, Inc. (CRISP), is a regional Internet-based HIE in which we participate. We may share information about you through CRISP for treatment, payment, health care operations, or research purposes. You may opt out of CRISP and disable access to your health information available through CRISP by contacting CRISP at 1-877-952-7477 or completing and submitting an Opt-Out form to CRISP by mail, fax, or through their website at crisphealth.org. Even if you opt-out of CRISP, public health reporting and Controlled Dangerous Substances information, as part of the Maryland Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), will still be available to providers through CRISP as permitted by law.
Example: We may share your health information through CRISP so that your participating caregivers will have your most recent information available from your other participating caregivers when taking care of you.
We can use your health information for appointment reminders
Example: We may contact you to remind you of upcoming appointments for treatment or medical care at one of our facilities.
We can use and share your health information to keep you informed on treatment alternatives and other benefits we offer.
Example: We may contact you to recommend possible treatment options or alternatives or to inform you of health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
We can share your health information with third parties who are providing services, under contract, for or on behalf of Meritus
Example: We may contract others to assist us in providing certain medical services, transcription services, or billing services. We may share your health information with these business associates so they may perform their jobs.
If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may share your health information with the institution or official as authorized or required by law.
Example: If you are an inmate, for your health and the health and safety of others, we may share your health information with those responsible for your care.
We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.
We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:
We can use or share your information for health research.
We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we're complying with federal privacy law.
We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations.
We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
We can use or share health information about you:
We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
There are special state and federal rules relating to these care areas. If you have concerns about how information is used and shared relating to these areas, please contact our Health Information Management department at 301.790.8130.
For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html.
We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our web site.
Effective Date: September 23, 2013
For questions about your privacy rights, or to report a complaint, you may contact our Privacy Officer by calling 301-790-8730, or you may call our confidential GUIDEline at 301-790-7950 or toll-free at 888-847-9247.
This Notice of Privacy Practices covers all Meritus Health service delivery sites and its providers practicing at those locations. If you are unsure whether a delivery site is part of our system, please contact the Privacy Officer.