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Effective Date: December 17, 2008
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 understand that your medical information is personal. We are committed to protecting your medical information. Spartanburg Regional Health Services District, Inc. ("SRHS") is required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information ("PHI"), to follow the terms of this Notice, and to give you this Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices concerning your health information. We must follow the terms of the current Notice.
How SRHS May Use or Disclose Your Health Information
SRHS protects the privacy of your health information. For some activities, we must have your written authorization to use or disclose your health information. However, the law permits SRHS to use or disclose your health information for the following purposes without your authorization:
- For Treatment- We may use your PHI to dispense prescriptions to you. We may disclose your PHI to treating physicians, pharmacists and other persons who are involved in dispensing your prescription.
- For Payment – We may use and disclose your PHI so that your pharmacy services may be billed to, and payment collected from you, your insurance company or a third party.
- Health Care Operations – We may use and disclose your PHI for pharmacy operations, which include activities necessary to run the Pharmacy, and to make sure that you receive quality customer service.
- For Prescription Refill Reminders and Health-Related Products and Services – We may use or disclose your PHI for prescription refill reminders, to tell you about health-related products or services, or to recommend possible treatment alternatives that may be of interest to you.
- Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care – We may disclose your PHI to family member or friend who is involved in your medical care or payment for your care, provided you agree to this disclosure or we give you an opportunity to object to the disclosure. If you are unavailable or are unable to object, we will use our best judgment to decide whether this disclosure is in your best interests.
- As Required by Law – We will disclose your PHI 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 your PHI 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, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
- Public Health Risks – We may disclose your PHI for public health activities, such as those aimed at preventing or controlling disease, preventing injury, reporting reactions to medications or problems with products, and reporting the abuse or neglect of children, elders and dependent adults.
- Health Oversight Activities – We may disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities, which are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, include audits, investigations, inspections and licensure.
- Lawsuits and Disputes –If you are involved in a lawsuit or dispute, we may disclose your PHI in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose your PHI in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request (which may include written notice), or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
- Specialized Government Functions – We may disclose your PHI (1) if you are a member of the armed forces, as required by military command authorities; (2) if you are inmate, or in custody, to a correctional institution or law enforcement official; (3) in response to a request from law enforcement, under certain conditions; (4) for national security reasons authorized by law; and (5) to authorized federal officials to protect the President, other authorized persons, or foreign heads of state.
- Workers’ Compensation – We may disclose your health information for workers’ compensation or similar programs.
- Organ and Tissue Donation – We may also disclose your PHI to organ procurement or similar organizations for purposes of donation or transplant.
- Coroners and Funeral Directors – We may release your PHI to a coroner or medical examiner, for example, to determine a person’s cause of death. We may also disclose
your PHI to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to enable
them to carry out their duties.
- Personal Representative -
We may disclose your PHI to a person legally authorized to act on your
behalf, such as a parent, legal guardian, administrator or executor of
your estate, or other individual authorized under applicable law.
Other Uses and Disclosures of Your Health Information
Except as described in this Notice, we will not use or disclose your PHI without your written authorization. If you do give us authorization to use or disclose your PHI, you may cancel your authorization in writing at any time. If you cancel your authorization, this will stop any further use or disclosure for the purposes covered by your authorization, except where we have already acted on your permission.
You Have the Following Rights With Respect to Your Health Information in Our Records
- You may request restrictions on
the use or disclosure of your PHI for treatment, payment or health care
operations, or when using or disclosing your PHI to someone who is
involved in your care of the payment for your care, like a family member
or friend. We are not required to agree to your request. If we agree, we
will comply with your request except in certain emergency situations or as
required by law.
- You may inspect and copy your
pharmacy records, with certain exceptions. Usually, this includes
prescription and billing records. We may charge you for the costs of your
request. We may deny your request in some circumstances, in which case,
you may request that the denial be reviewed.
- You may request that we amend
your health information if it is incorrect or incomplete. You must
provide a reason that supports your request. We may deny your request if
the health information is accurate and complete, or is not part of the health
information kept by or for SRHS. If we deny your request, you have the
right to submit a statement of disagreement regarding any item in your
record you believe is incomplete or incorrect. If you request this, it
will become part of your medical record. We will attach it to your
records and include it when we make a disclosure of the item or statement
you believe to be incomplete or incorrect.
- You may request an accounting
of disclosures of your PHI. This is a list of the disclosures made of
your health information, other than for treatment, payment or health care
operations, and other exceptions allowed by law. Your request must
specify a time period, which may not be longer than six years and may not
include dates before December 17, 2008.
- You may request that we contact
you in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you may
request we contact you only at work or at a different residence or post
office box. Your written request must state how or where you wish to be
contacted. We will grant all reasonable requests.
If you would like to exercise any of these rights, contact the Pharmacy. A paper copy of this Notice may beobtained from the Pharmacy.
Changes to this Notice of Privacy Practices
We reserve the right to change this Notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed Notice effective for PHI we already have about you and any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current Notice in the Pharmacy. If we change our Notice, you may obtain a copy of the revised Notice upon request.
For More Information or to Report a Problem
If you have questions about his Notice, contact the HIPAA Privacy Officer at 864/560-2111. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint, and there will be no retaliation, with the HIPAA Privacy Officer, Spartanburg Regional Health Services District, Inc., 101 East Wood Street, Spartanburg , SC 29303.
State Specific Provisions: South Carolina
We will not disclose your prescription drug information without first obtaining your consent, except in the following circumstances:
- the lawful transmission of a prescription drug order in accordance with state and federal laws pertaining to the practice of the pharmacy;
- communications among licensed practitioners, pharmacists and other health care professionals who are providing or have provided services to you;
- information gained as a result of a person requesting informational material from a prescription drug or device manufacturer of vendor;
- information necessary to effect the recall of a defective drug or device or protect the health and welfare of an individual or the public;
- information whereby the release is mandated by other state or federal laws, court order, or subpoena or regulations (e.g. accreditation or licensure requirements);
- information necessary to adjudicate or process payment claims for health care, if the recipient makes no further use or disclosure of the information;
- information voluntarily disclosed by you to entities outside of the provider-patient relationship;
- information used in clinical research monitored by an institutional review board, with your written authorization;
- information which does not identify you by name, or that is encoded so that identifying you by name or address is generally not possible, and that is used for epidemiological studies, research, statistical analysis, medical outcomes or pharmacoeconomic research;
- information transferred in connection with the sale of a business;
- information necessary to disclose to third parties in order to perform quality assurance programs, medical records review, internal audits or similar programs, if the third party makes no other use of disclosure of the information;
- information that may be revealed to a party who obtains a dispensed prescription on your behalf; or
- information necessary in order for a health plan licensed by the South Carolina Department of Insurance to perform case management, utilization management, and disease management of individuals enrolled in the health plan, if the third party makes no other use or disclosure of the information.
We will not disclose your information or the nature of the professional pharmacy services rendered to you, without your express consent or the order or direction of a court, except to:
- you, or your agent, or another pharmacist acting on your behalf;
- the practitioner who issued the prescription drug order;
- certified/licensed health care personnel who are responsible for your care;
- an inspector, agent or investigator from the Board of Pharmacy or any federal, state, county, or municipal office whose duty is to enforce the laws of South Carolina or the United States relating to drugs or devices and who is engaged in a specific investigation involving a designated person or drug; and
- a government agency charged with the responsibility of providing medical care for you upon written request by an authorized representative of the agency requesting the information.
State Specific Provisions: North Carolina
We will not disclose or provide a copy of your prescription orders on file, except to:
- your parent or guardian or other person acting in loco parentis if you are a minor and have not lawfully consented to the treatment of the condition for which the prescription was issued;
- the licensed practitioner who issued the prescription or who is treating you;
- a pharmacist who is providing pharmacy services to you;
- anyone who presents a written authorization for the release of pharmacy information signed by you or your legal representative;
- any person authorized by subpoena, court order or statute;
- any firm, company, association, partnership, business trust, or corporation who by law or by contract is responsible for providing or paying for medical care for you;
- any member or designated employee of the Board of Pharmacy;
- the executor, administrator or spouse of a deceased patient;
- Board-approved researchers, if there are adequate safeguards to protect the confidential information; and
- The person who owns the pharmacy or his licensed agent.
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