THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
At Parkland Health & Hospital System (“Parkland”), we know you value your privacy. That is why we are committed to the confidentiality and security of your health information. We maintain physical, administrative, and technical safeguards to protect against unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of your health information. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of this information and to explain our legal duties and privacy practices. Parkland applies the practices described in this notice to all health information that we maintain, including the health information of former patients. We hope this notice will clarify our responsibilities to you and give you an understanding of your privacy rights. We abide by the notice that is currently in effect. This notice is effective as of May 30, 2013.
Inspection and Copies. You have the right to request an inspection or copies of the protected health information that Parkland maintains about you in a “designated record set” except for psychotherapy notes; certain information subject to the Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments of 1988; and information that we compiled in anticipation of, or for use in, a civil, criminal or administrative proceeding. A “designated record set” is a group of records relating to your health care, payment for your health care, or that contain information Parkland used to make a decision about you. Parkland may limit the protected health information that you can inspect or copy if we have reason to believe that is necessary to protect you or another person from harm. If we limit your right to inspect or copy, you can ask for a review of that decision. You may request a copy of the designated record set in an electronic, machine-readable format. Parkland will respect your request if the designated record set is maintained electronically and it is readily producible in the format you request. Parkland charges fees for providing copies in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas.
Amendment. If you believe the protected health information Parkland maintains about you in a designated record set is inaccurate or incomplete, you have the right to request an amendment to correct or complete the information. You must submit your request in writing and explain the reason for your request. If the amendment is made, we will make reasonable efforts to inform others (that you identify) and we will include the amendment in future disclosures. We may decline to amend information under certain circumstances. This is likely to occur if we did not create the original record or if the record is deemed accurate as is. If we decline to amend a record, you have the right to submit a statement of disagreement which will be attached to the record. Please be aware that Parkland may attach a rebuttal statement in response to your statement of disagreement.
Notice. You have the right to receive a paper copy of this notice upon request.
Accounting. You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures of protected health information. The list will not include disclosures made for treatment, payment, or health care operations. It also will not include disclosures made pursuant to an authorization, made prior to six years before the date of the request, incidental disclosures, disclosures made for national security or intelligence, disclosures made for facility directory purposes, disclosures to persons involved in your care or payment for your care, disclosures to correctional institutions or for law enforcement purposes, or disclosures made as part of a limited data set. The list will include the date of any accountable disclosure, a brief description of the information disclosed, and the purpose of the disclosure (provided this information is known to us). Parkland provides a free list once per year at your request. If you request the list more than once in a 12-month period, you will be charged a reasonable fee.
Special Handling. If you pay for your care solely out of pocket, you may ask Parkland not to disclose your care to your insurer. In addition, if you explain that you may be harmed if Parkland communicates with you in the usual way, you may request that we communicate with you in confidence. We will make every effort to accommodate your request if it is reasonable and you provide an alternative way to contact you. Furthermore, you have the right to request restrictions on Parkland’s use or disclosure of protected health information. Parkland is not required to agree to your request and we may be unable to do so. If we agree to comply with your request, we will do so except in the case of an emergency.
Complaints. You have the right to submit a complaint if you believe Parkland has violated your privacy rights. To submit a complaint, write to: Parkland Health and Hospital System, Privacy Official, 5201 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75235 or call 214-590-1171. You also have the right to submit a complaint to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Public Health & Human Services. Be assured that we will not retaliate against you for submitting a complaint.
Electronic Health Information Exchange. Parkland participates in an electronic health information exchange. The exchange allows Parkland to share health information with other providers and to receive health information from other providers so that you can receive better care. You have the right to ask Parkland not to share your health information through the exchange.
Breach Notification. In the event that Parkland discovers an unauthorized use or disclosure of unsecured protected health information which constitutes a breach, you have the right to receive notice of the breach if it impacts protected health information maintained about you.
Permitted Uses and Disclosures
Treatment. Parkland will use and disclose protected health information to provide you care. You should be aware that the physicians providing treatment, including the physicians in the Emergency Department, may not be employees of Parkland. They may be physicians employed by others who have been granted privileges to use Parkland’s facilities or they may be physicians engaged in Post Graduate Medical Education Programs at Parkland. Parkland may also use and disclose protected health information to coordinate care with your other health care providers or to provide appointment reminders.
Payment. Parkland will use or disclose protected health information for payment purposes, including to submit claims to payers or insurers, to determine coverage or eligibility status, and to obtain prior approval for services.
Operations. Parkland may use or disclose protected health information to facilitate operations, including for credentialing physicians, for quality improvement programs, for case management, and for the detection and prevention of fraud.
Business Associates. Occasionally, Parkland contracts with business associates to perform services on Parkland’s behalf. We may disclose protected health information to these business associates in order to allow them to perform these services. The business associates also may collect, use or disclose protected health information on our behalf. We contractually obligate our business associates to provide the same privacy protections that we provide.
Required by Law. Parkland will use or disclose protected health information as required by law. For example, Parkland reports certain wounds or diseases to government agencies when required by law.
Directory Services. Unless you object, Parkland provides limited protected health information about patients admitted to the hospital. For example, if your family member calls Parkland and asks for you by name while you are in the hospital, Parkland will disclose your hospital location and a general health status, such as “critical” or “stable.” If you do not want your location and status to be disclosed, notify your health care provider that you wish to opt out of directory services.
Public Health Activities. Parkland may disclose protected health information for public health activities. These activities include prevention and control of disease, activities performed by the medical examiner or coroner, activities performed by organ or tissue donation and transplantation services, activities performed by the Food and Drug Administration, medical research, activities necessary to avert a serious threat to the health or safety of a person, and activities relating to the administration of workers’ compensation benefits.
Health Oversight Activities. Parkland may disclose protected health information to health oversight agencies. These agencies are authorized by law to conduct audits, perform inspections and investigations, license hospitals and health care providers, and to enforce regulatory requirements. Examples of these types of agencies include the Department of Health & Human Services, the Texas Board of Medicine, and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Legal Proceedings. Parkland may disclose protected health information in the course of a judicial or administrative proceeding; in response to a court order, subpoena, or discovery request; or to satisfy lawful process.
Law Enforcement. Parkland may disclose protected health information to law enforcement officials in response to a qualified administrative request, administrative subpoena, or warrant. Parkland also may disclose limited protected health information for the purpose of reporting a crime on our premises or to locate a suspect, victim, or witness.
Military and National Security. Parkland may disclose protected health information to armed forces personnel for military activities and to authorized federal officials for national security or intelligence activities.
Correctional Institutions. If you are an inmate, Parkland may disclose protected health information to your correctional institution for treatment purposes or to ensure the safety of yourself or others.
Marketing. Parkland does not sell protected health information for marketing purposes. We do not use or disclose protected health information for marketing purposes without your authorization. However, we may communicate with you face-to-face about health-related products or services that may interest you or we may provide a promotional gift of nominal value.
Others Involved in Your Care. Parkland may disclose protected health information to persons involved in your care or involved in the payment for your care (to the extent of their involvement). If you give us permission or if your permission can be implied, we may disclose protected health information to family members or others that call on your behalf. For example, Parkland may provide your prescription to a person that you ask to pick up the prescription. In emergencies, Parkland may disclose protected health information to persons who accompany you to the hospital if the disclosure appears to be in your best interest.
Fundraising. Parkland may disclose limited information about you to the Parkland Foundation so the Parkland Foundation may contact you to solicit support or raise money. You may opt out of these communications. Be assured that your ability to receive treatment or services is not dependent on your willingness to participate in fundraising activities.
Authorizations. Parkland must obtain your authorization to use or disclose your health information for purposes other than those described in this notice. Your authorization is also required to disclose psychotherapy notes. If you provide authorization, you have the right to revoke your authorization by notifying Parkland in writing. Any revocation will not affect uses or disclosures made prior to your revocation.
Parkland reserves the right to change our privacy practices and this notice at any time without advance notice. If we make a material change to our privacy practices, we will make a new, updated notice available to you. The new notice will apply to all protected health information in our possession, including any information created or received before the revised notice became effective.