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NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICE EFFECTIVE 3-25-2013


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.

If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Privacy Office at Pecos County Memorial Hospital.

Amber Reeves is the Privacy Officer at Pecos County Memorial Hospital

387 W I H 10
Fort Stockton, Texas
432-336-4897

OUR PLEDGE REGARDING MEDICAL INFORMATION:

We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting medical information about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive at Pecos County Memorial Hospital and for care received in our Rural Health Care Clinics managed by PCMH. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by our hospital. This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.

We are required by law to:

Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices concerning medical information about you.

Keep medical information that identifies you is kept private.

Follow the terms of this notice that is currently in effect.

HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

We use and disclose medical information in many ways. 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.

For Treatment 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, nursing and medical students, or 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 nutritional counseling. We also may share medical information about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work and diagnostic testing. We also may disclose medical information about you to people who may be involved in your medical care such as family members, clergy, rehabilitation centers, etc.



For Payment We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at Pecos County Memorial Hospital or the clinics may be billed for and payment may be collected from you or on your behalf from an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need t9 give your health plan information about testing that you received at our hospital or clinic so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for those services. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.

For HealthCare Operations We may use and disclose medical information about you for Pecos County Memorial Hospital and/or the clinic's operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run our organization 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 Pecos County Memorial Hospital and the clinic's patients to decide what additional services our hospital should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, nursing and medical students, and other personnel for review and learning purposes.

We may also combine the-medical information we· have with medical information from other similar organizations 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.

Appointment Reminders We may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at Pecos County Memorial Hospital, the Family Care Center or George Rural Health Center.

Treatment Alternatives 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 Service We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.

Individuals Involved in Your 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. We may also tell your family or friends your condition and that you have been seen in our office. In addition, we may disclose medical information about you to a friend or family member should an emergent situation arise while you are at the hospital or at our clinic.

Research Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information about you for search 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 our organization. We will 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.

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 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 be only to someone able to help prevent the treat.

For All Other Uses and Disclosures- All other uses and disclosures of information not contained in this Notice of Privacy will not be disclosed without your authorization.

SPECIAL SITUATION

Organ and Tissue Donation If you are an organ donor, we may release medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.

Military and Veterans If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.

Workers' Compensation We may release medical Information about you for workers' compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.

Public Health Risks We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:
to prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
to report births and deaths;
to report child abuse or neglect;
to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
to notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
to notify a person who may have be exposed to a disease or may be at
risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition;
to notify the appropriate government authority, if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.

Health Oversight Activities We may disclose medical information to a health Oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.


Lawsuits and Disputes If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose medical information about you 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 or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.

Law Enforcement We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law Enforcement official:
In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process; To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person; About the victim of a crime if, under certain limited Circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person1s agreement;
About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct; About criminal conduct at the hospital; and
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. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release medical information about patients to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.

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 Service 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.


Inmates If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release medical information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary:
(1) For the institution to provide you with health care
(2) To protect your health
(3) For the safety and security of the correctional institution.

YOUR RIGHTS REGARING MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU

You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:


Right to inspect and Copy You have the tight to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this inc1udes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes. To inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to the Privacy Officer. If you request a copy of the information we may charge a fee for the costs of coping, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to medical information, you may request in writing that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed health care professional chosen by Pecos County Memorial Hospital or licensed health care professional in the clinics will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who previously denied your request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.

Right to Amend If you feel that medical information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to include additional information in your medical record. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as all of the information, both old and new, is kept by or for Pecos County Memorial Hospital or the clinics. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to our Privacy Officer. In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request. We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you us to amend information that:

Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment.
Is not part of the medical information kept by or for our Facility
Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or is accurate and complete.

Right to an Accounting of Disclosures You have the right to request an "accounting of disclosures". This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you, excluding disclosures for the purpose of treatment, payment and healthcare operations. To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to the Administrator. Your request must state a time period, which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper, electronically). The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional lists we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.

Right to Request Restrictions You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for the treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who in involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to our Privacy Officer at Pecos County Memorial Hospital. In your request, you must tell us:
What information you want to limit
Whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both
To whom you want the limits apply, for example, disclosure to your spouse.

Right to request Confidential Communication You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications; you must make your request in writing to our Privacy Officer. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must tell us how or where you wish to be contacted. If you do not tell us how or where you wish to be contacted, we do not have to follow your request.

Right to Restrict Release of Information for Certain Services You have the right to restrict the disclosure of information regarding services for which you have paid in full on or an out of pocket basis. This information can be released only upon your written authorization.

Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice. To obtain a paper copy of this notice, ask any of our facility staff or our Privacy Officer or you may write to us at Pecos County Memorial Hospital, at 387 W. I-H 10, Fort Stockton, Texas 79735.

Right to Breach Notification You have the right to be notified of any breach of your unsecured healthcare information.


CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE

We reserve the right to change this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice in our facility. The notice will contain on the first page, the effective date. In addition, each time you are seen for treatment or healthcare services at our facility, we will offer you a copy of the current notice in effect.

COMPLAINTS


If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with our hospital or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with Pecos County Memorial Hospital or with one of our Rural Health Care Clinics; please write to the Privacy Officer, Amber Reeves at Pecos County Memorial Hospital, 387 W I-H 10, Forth Stockton, Texas 79735. All complaints must be submitted in writing.

You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.

Other uses of Medical Information Other uses and disclosure of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosure we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.
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