The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures we will explain what we mean and try to give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.
We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, or other hospital personnel who are involved in taking care of you. 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. In addition, the doctor may need to tell the dietitian if you have diabetes so that we can arrange for appropriate meals. Different departments of the hospital also may share medical information about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the hospital who may be involved in your medical care after you leave the hospital, such as family members, clergy or others we use to provide services that are part of your care.
We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at Pecos County Memorial Hospital may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health care information about treatment you received at Pecos County Memorial Hospital so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the care. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment or service you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.
For Health Care Operations:
We may use and disclose medical information about you for Pecos County Memorial Hospital operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run Pecos County Memorial Hospital and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many patients to decide what additional services Pecos County Memorial Hospital should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, and other Pecos County Memorial Hospital personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the medical information we have with medical information from other health providers to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of medical information so others may use it to study health care and health care delivery without learning who the specific patients are.
We may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for medical care.
We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
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.
We may use medical information about you to contact you in an effort to raise money for Pecos County Memorial Hospital and its operations. We may disclose medical information to a foundation related to the Pecos County Memorial Hospital so that the foundation may contact you in raising money for Pecos County Memorial Hospital. We only would release contact information; such as your name, address and phone number and the dates you received treatment or services at Pecos County Memorial Hospital. If you do not want the Pecos County Memorial Hospital to contact you for fundraising efforts, you must notify the Privacy Officer of Pecos County Memorial Hospital in writing.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care:
We may release medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. 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.
Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another, for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with patients' need for privacy of their medical information. Before we use or disclose medical information for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process, but we may, however, disclose medical information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project, for example, to help them look for patients with specific medical needs, so long as the medical information they review does not leave Pecos County Memorial Hospital. We will almost always ask for your specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care with Pecos County Memorial Hospital.
As Required By Law:
We will disclose medical information about you 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 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, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.