Mercy Health Services
Notice of Privacy Practices
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Mercy Health Services (“MHS”)(Mercy Medical Center, Inc., Stella Maris, Inc., Mercy Ridge, Inc., Mercy Health Foundation, Inc., St. Paul Place Specialists, Inc., Maryland Family Care, Inc., Eye Associates, LLC., Neurosurgery Associates, LLC., Dr. Luis Queral, Inc., and Mercy Transitional Care Services, Inc.) is required by law to maintain the privacy of "protected health information." "Protected health information" includes any identifiable information that we obtain from you or others that relates to your physical or mental health, the health care you have received, or payment for your health care. As required by law, this notice provides you with information about your rights and our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to the privacy of protected health information. This notice also discusses the uses and disclosures MHS will make of your protected health information. MHS must comply with the provisions of this notice, although MHS reserves the right to change the terms of this notice from time to time and to make the revised notice effective for all protected health information MHS maintains. You can always request a copy of our most current privacy notice from any of our facilities or you can access it on our website at www. MDmercy.com.
Permitted Uses & Disclosures
MHS may use or disclose medical information about you, without your authorization, for purposes related to/for:
Treatment: Treatment means the coordination of your care between various healthcare providers and specialists for consultations. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process. Therefore, the doctor may review your medical records to assess whether you have potentially complicating conditions such as diabetes.
Payment: Payment refers to activities related to verifying your level of insurance benefits, requesting authorizations for treatment and referrals for special tests, and billing/administrative purposes. For example, prior to providing health care services, MHS may need to provide to your HMO, information about your medical condition to determine whether the proposed course of treatment will be covered.
Health Care Operations: The function of health care operations relates to treatment and payment such as quality assurance, case management, patient complaints, audits, and physician reviews. For example, MHS may use your medical information to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you.
Friends/family: When friends/family are involved in your care or payment for your care, MHS will allow them to pick up medical supplies, x-rays, or filled prescriptions on your behalf. If you are available, we will allow you to object to any of these disclosures. If you are unavailable, MHS will determine what is in your best interest and will allow these individuals to act on your behalf.
Appointments & Other Health Benefits: MHS may contact you to remind you about your appointments and bring to your attention alternative treatment suggestions and other health related benefits.
Marketing & Fundraising: MHS may contact you, and use you as a part of our marketing and fundraising efforts, where applicable by law, to raise money for MHS.
Organ & Tissue Donation: Under law, MHS can use and disclose your medical information to organizations that handle organ and tissue procurement and donations.
Military & Veterans: If you are a member of the armed forces, MHS may release medical information about you to military authorities, and to foreign military authorities, when applicable.
Worker’s Compensation: MHS may disclose medical information to programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Public Health Risks: MHS may disclose your medical information to public health officials for purposes related to prevention and control of disease, injury, disability, and reports of births, deaths, abuse, and neglect.
Health Oversight: MHS may disclose your medical information to federal or state agencies that oversee our activities for purposes related to monitoring our health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Lawsuits & Disputes: MHS may disclose your medical information in response to a court subpoena or administrative order.
Law Enforcement: MHS may disclose your medical information to law enforcement officials to aide in the search of a criminal or fugitive, or a criminal investigation.
Coroners, Medical Examiners, & Funeral Directors: MHS may disclose your medical information to identify a deceased person, determine cause of death, and to help funeral directors carry out their duties.
Purposes of National Security: MHS may disclose your medical information to authorized federal authorities for national security activities permissible by law.
Protection for Federal Officials: MHS may disclose your medical information to protect the President and/or other authorized persons or foreign heads.
Inmates: MHS may provide a correctional facility with an inmate’s medical information for their health care and to protect the health and safety of others.
Research: MHS may disclose your medical information to researchers that have received proper approval from MHS’ Institutional Review Board.
Mercy Health Services & City of Baltimore Employees: MHS may disclose the following medical information to your employer for the purposes of workplace medical surveillance and/or to report the evaluation of a work-related injury:
2.fitness for duty determinations
3.assessments as to whether or not your illness or injury occurred at the job
4.evaluations and treatment notes regarding an injury that you sustained at the job
5.drug and/or alcohol test reports.
As permitted by applicable law and ethical conduct, MHS may use and disclose medical information if its staff believes, in good faith, that such use or disclosure is necessary to prevent serious harm to you and to others. Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information will be made with your authorization, and you reserve the right to refuse such authorization. Your Rights
As a patient of Mercy Health Services, you have the right to:
*Request restrictions on our use of your medical information for any of the services listed above; however MHS is not required to accept your request.
*Request confidential communication of your protected health information.
*Request copies of your medical information to be delivered to other locations. You will be responsible for any expenses incurred by us for these alternative services, i.e., copying; however, you will not be denied copies if you cannot afford to pay for them.
*Request to view your medical records except for psychotherapy notes, notation compiled for potential legal proceedings, medical documentation if you are a prison inmate, information being obtained as a part of a research study that you signed an initial participation consent, information kept by a federal agency, or if the medical information was obtained under a confidentiality agreement made with another provider or entity.
*Request an addition or amendment be made to your medical information, subject to certain restrictions.
*Request an accounting of disclosure of medical information, except for disclosures to carry out treatment, payment, or health care operations.
*Request to opt out of our facility directory.
*Receive this Notice of Privacy Practices in a paper copy, even if you initially received it in an electronic format or viewed it on MHS’ website.
Mercy Health Service’s Duties
*We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information, and to provide you with a copy of our Privacy Practices. We are required by law to abide by the statements within this Notice of Privacy Practices, effective April 14, 2003. Mercy Health Services reserves the right to make any necessary changes and updates to our Privacy Practices, and these new provisions effect all protected health information that we maintain. Should we see the need to change our Privacy Practices, an updated Notice of Privacy Practices will be mailed to you.
*Should you have a complaint, question, or feel that your privacy rights have been violated, please contact our Privacy Officer at (410) 576-LAWS. You may also file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services.