Notice of Privacy Practices

 
 

Pointe Coupee General Hospital is committed to protecting the privacy of your medical information. This Notice explains how we may use and disclose any medical information about you. It also describes your rights and obligations regarding the use and disclosure of your medical information. Pointe Coupee General Hospital is required by law to abide by the terms of this Notice.

How We May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You

Provide Treatment

Pointe Coupee General Hospital may use your health information to coordinate care within the hospital and with others involved in your care, such as your attending physician and other health care professionals who have agreed to assist the hospital in coordinating care. For example, physicians other than your primary care physician involved in your care will need information about your symptoms in order to prescribe appropriate medications.

The hospital may also disclose your health care information to individuals outside the hospital involved in your care including family members, pharmacists, and suppliers of medical equipment, other health care professionals, or another health care facility.

Obtain Payment

The hospital may include your health information in invoices to collect payment from third parties for the care you receive from the hospital. For example, the hospital may be required by your health insurer to provide information regarding your health care status so that the insurer will reimburse you or the hospital. The hospital also may need to obtain prior approval from your insurer and may need to explain to the insurer your need for hospitalization or emergency department treatment and the services that will be provided to you.

Conduct Health Care Operations

The hospital may use and disclose health information for its own operations in order to facilitate the function of the hospital and as necessary to provide quality care to all of the hospital's patients. Health care operations include such activities as:

  • quality assessment and improvement activities;

  • activities designed to improve health or reduce health care costs;

  • protocol development, case management, and care coordination;

  • professional review and performance evaluation;

  • training programs including those in which students, trainees, or practitioners in health care learn under supervision;

  • training of non-health care professionals;

  • accreditation, certification, licensing, or credentialing activities;

  • review and auditing, including compliance reviews, medical reviews, legal services, and compliance programs;

  • business planning and development including cost management and planning related analyses and formulary development;

  • and business management and general administrative activities of the hospital.

Health Information Exchange

The hospital may share information that we obtain or create about you with other health care providers, insurers, and other health care entities as permitted by law. The goals of such exchange are to improve the accuracy and increase the availability of your health records, foster better coordination of care, and decrease the time needed to access your information.

For Follow-up Care

The hospital may use and disclose your health information to contact you as a form of following up on your emergency department visit or as a reminder that you have an appointment for a special test or procedure.

For Treatment Alternatives

The hospital may use and disclose your health information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.

Disaster Relief

The hospital may use or disclose your health information to assist in disaster relief efforts.

Fundraising

The hospital may contact you to provide you with information regarding fundraising activities and programs, as permitted by applicable law however you have the right to elect not to receive such communications.

Research

The hospital may use or disclose your health information for research studies that meet all federal and state requirements to protect your privacy.

Directory Information

The hospital may include certain limited information about you while you are here as a patient in the hospital directory including your name, location in the facility, general condition, and religious affiliation. If you wish to opt out of being in the facility directory, then you must contact the Privacy/Compliance Officer at (225) 618-4518.

When Legally Required

The hospital will disclose your health information when it is required to do so by any Federal, State, or local law.

When There Are Risks to Public Health

The hospital may disclose your health information for public activities and purposes in order to prevent or control:

  • disease;

  • injury or disability;

  • report disease;

  • injury;

  • vital events such as birth or death and the conduct of public health surveillance;

  • investigations and interventions;

  • report adverse events;

  • product defects;

  • to track products or enable product recalls;

  • repairs and to conduct post-marketing surveillance and compliance with requirements of the Food and Drug Administration;

  • notifying a person who has been exposed to a communicable disease or who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease;

  • and notifying an employer about an individual who is a member of the workforce as legally required.

Report Abuse, Neglect, or Domestic Violence

The hospital is allowed to notify governmental/law enforcement authorities if the hospital believes a patient is the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. The hospital will make this disclosure only when specifically required or authorized by law or when the patient agrees to the disclosure.

Conduct Health Oversight Activities

The hospital may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities including audits, civil administrative or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure, or disciplinary action. The hospital, however, may not disclose your health information if you are the subject of an investigation and your health information is not directly related to your receipt of health care or public benefits.

Connection with Judicial and Administrative Proceedings

The hospital may disclose your health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal as expressly authorized by such order or in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process.

Law Enforcement Purposes

As permitted or required by State Law, the hospital may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for certain law enforcement purposes as follows:

  • as required by law for reporting of certain types of wounds or other physical injuries pursuant to the court order, warrant, subpoena, or summons or similar process;

  • for the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing persons;

  • under certain limited circumstances, when you are the victim of a crime;

  • to a law enforcement official if the hospital has a suspicion that your death was the result of criminal conduct including criminal conduct at the hospital;

  • and in an emergency in order to report a crime.

Coroners and Medical Examiners

The hospital may disclose your health information to coroners and medical examiners for purposes of determining your cause of death or for other duties, authorized by law.

Funeral Directors

The hospital may disclose your health information to funeral directors consistent with applicable law and if necessary, to carry out their duties with respect to your funeral arrangements. If necessary to carry out their duties, the hospital may disclose your health information prior to and in reasonable anticipation of your death.

Organ, Eye, or Tissue Donation

The hospital may use or disclose your health information for organ procurement, banking or transplantation of organs, eyes, or tissue for the purpose of facilitating the donation and transplantation.

Event of a Serious Threat to Health or Safety

The hospital may, consistent with applicable law and ethical standards of conduct, disclose your health information if the hospital, in good faith, believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your health or safety or to the health and safety of the public.

Specified Government Functions

In certain circumstances, the Federal regulations authorize the hospital to use or disclose your health information to facilitate specified government functions relating to the military and veterans, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the President and others, and medical suitability determinations for those in law enforcement custody.

Worker's Compensation

The hospital may release your health information for worker's compensation or similar programs.

Authorization to Use or Disclose Health Information

Other than is stated above, the hospital will not disclose your health information other than with your written authorization. If you or your representative authorizes the hospital to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke that authorization in writing at any time.

Your Rights With Respect to Your Health Information

Right to Request Restrictions

You may request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. You have the right to request a limit on the hospital's disclosure of your health information to someone who is involved in your care or the payment of your care. However, the hospital is not required to agree to your request.

Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice

You or your representative has a right to a separate paper copy of this notice at any time even if you or your representative has received this Notice previously.

Right to Receive Confidential Communication

You have the right to request that the hospital communicate with you in a certain way. For example, you may ask that the hospital only conduct communications pertaining to your health information with you privately with no other family members present. If you wish to receive confidential communications, please contact the Privacy/Compliance Officer at (225) 618-4518. The hospital will not request that you provide any reasons for your request and will attempt to honor your reasonable requests for confidential communications.

Right to Inspect and Copy Your Health Information

You have the right to inspect and copy our health information, including billing records. A request to inspect and copy records containing your health information may be made to Health Information at (225) 638-5771. If you request a copy of your health information, the hospital may charge a reasonable fee for copying and assembling costs associated with your request.

Right to Amend Health Care Information

You or your representative has the right to request that the hospital amend your records, if you believe that your health information is incorrect or incomplete. That request may be made as long as the information is maintained by the hospital. A request for an amendment of records must be made in writing to:

Pointe Coupee General Hospital
Attn: Privacy/Compliance Officer
2202 False River Drive
New Roads, LA 70760

The hospital may deny the request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason for the amendment. The request may also be denied if your health information records were not created by the hospital, if the records you are requesting are not part of the hospital's records, if the health information you wish to amend is not part of the health information you or your representative are permitted to inspect and copy, or if, in the opinion of the hospital, the records containing your health information are accurate and complete.

Right to an Accounting

You or your representative have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information made by the hospital for certain reasons, including reasons related to public purposes authorized by law and certain research. The request for an accounting must be made in writing to:

Pointe Coupee General Hospital
Attn: Privacy/Compliance Officer
2202 False River Drive
New Roads, LA 70760

The request should specify the time period for an accounting starting on or after April 14, 2003. Accounting requests may not be made for periods of time in excess of six (6) years. The hospital would provide the first accounting you request during any 12-month period.

Right to Notification of a Breach

You will receive notification of breaches of your unsecured protected health information as required by law.

 

For all issues regarding patient privacy and your rights under the Federal privacy standards you may contact in writing:

Pointe Coupee General Hospital
Attn: Health Information
2202 False River Drive
New Roads, LA 70760

or

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services