SWLA is dedicated to protecting your medical information. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information and to provide you with this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information. SWLA is required by law to abide by the terms of this notice.
We will use your medical information as part of rendering patient care. For example, your medical information may be used by the doctor or nurse treating you, by the business office to process your payment for the services rendered, and by administrative personnel reviewing the quality of the care you receive. It applies to your medication information in written and electronic format. We may also use and/or disclose your information without obtaining your prior written authorization in accordance with federal and state laws for the following purposes:
We may use medical information about you for our payment activities. Common payment activities include, but are not limited to: (1) Determining eligibility or coverage under a plan; and (2) Billing and collection activities. Example: Your medical information may be released to an insurance company to obtain payment for services. We may disclose medical information about you to another health care provider or covered entity for its payment activities. Example: We may send your health plan coverage information to an outside laboratory that needs the information to bill for tests that is provided to you.
We may contact you with information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you. We maintain medical information about our patients in an electronic medical record that allows us to share medical information for treatment purposes. This facilitates access to medical information by other health care providers who provide care to you. Example: Your medical information may be disclosed to doctors, nurses, technicians, students or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you.
We may use your medical information for operational or administrative purposes. These uses are necessary to run our business and to make sure patients receive quality care. Common operation activities include, but are not limited to: Conducting quality assessment and improvement activities; reviewing the competence of health care professionals; Arranging for legal or auditing services; Business planning and development; Business management and administrative activities; and communicating with patients about our services. We may disclose medical information about you to another health care provider or covered entity for its operation activities under certain circumstances.
Health Information Exchange
We may participate in a health information exchange (HIE). Generally an HIE is an organization in which providers exchange patient information in order to facilitate health care, avoid duplication of services (such as tests) and to reduce the likelihood that medical error will occur. By participating in a HIE, we may share your health information with other providers that participate in the HIE or participants of other health information exchanges. If you do not want your medical information to be available through the HIE, you must request a restriction. You can do so by completing the Opt-Out form on the attestation/signature page.
We may use and disclose your medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
Individuals involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care
We may release medical information about you to a friend, family member or legal guardian who is involved in your medical care. We may tell your family or friends your condition and that you are in the hospital. 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.
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.
Required by Law
We may disclose your medical information when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
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. Any disclosure would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
We may disclose medical information about you to public health activities intended to: (1) prevent or control disease, injury or disability; (2) Report births and deaths; (3) Report abuse, neglect or violence as required by law; (4) report reactions to medications or problems with products; notify people of recalls of products they may be using; or (5) notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
We may disclose to the FDA and to manufacturers health information relative to adverse events and respect to food, supplements, product and product defects, or post-marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs or replacements.
National Security and Intelligence Activities
We may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
Protective Services for the President and Others
We may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.
We may disclose your medical information as required by military command authorities, if you are a member of the Armed Forces.
If you are an inmate of a correctional facility or under the custody of a law enforcement official or agency, we may release your medical information to the correctional facility or law enforcement official or agency. Your authorization is required for the following purposes: (1) psychotherapy notes. We must obtain your authorization to use or disclose notes maintained by a mental health professional about a counseling session; (2) sale of medical information. We must obtain your authorization virtually any time we intend to sell your medical information with minor exceptions; (3) Marketing. We must obtain your authorization to communicate with you about a particular product or service virtually any time we are paid to make the communication, with minor exceptions.
Health Oversight Activities
We may disclose your medical information to a health oversight agency for oversight activities authorized by law, including audits, investigations, licensure, inspections, or disciplinary actions, administrative, and/or legal proceedings.
Lawsuits and Disputes
If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose your medical information about you in response to a court or administrative proceedings. In limited circumstances, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena or discovery request.
We may release medical information if asked to do so by law enforcement official: (1) in response to a court order, warrant, summons or other similar process; (2) to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person; (3) about the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement; (4) about a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct; (5) about criminal conduct at the hospital; and (6) in emergency circumstances to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors
We may release medical information to a coroner or medical examiner.
If you are an organ donor, we may disclose your medical information to an organ donation and procurement organization.
We may disclose your health information to a business associate with whom we contract to provide services on our behalf. To protect your health information, we require our business associates to appropriately safeguard the health information of our patients.