Effective April 14, 2003: This notice describes how your medical information may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
our pledge to youWe understand that your medical information is personal. We are committed to protecting your medical information. We create a record of the care and services you receive to provide quality care and to comply with legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care that we maintain, whether created by facility staff or your personal doctor. Your personal doctor may have different policies or notices regarding the doctors use and disclosure of your medical information created in the doctors office. We are required by law to:
- Keep medical information about you private.
- Give you this notice of our privacy practices with respect to medical information about you.
- Follow the terms of the notice currently in effect.
who will follow this notice?Bon Secours St. Francis Health System provides health care to our patients, residents and clients in partnership with physicians and other professionals and organizations. The privacy practices in this notice will be followed by:
- Any health care professional who treats you at any of our locations.
- All departments, units, hospital staff and volunteers of our organization and all off-campus units, departments and staff.
- Any business associates or partner of St. Francis with whom we share health information.
changes to this noticeWe may change our policies at any time. Changes will apply to medical information we already hold, as well as new information after the change occurs. Before we make a significant change in our policies, we will change our notices and post new notices in waiting areas, exam rooms and on our website, www.stfrancishealth.org. You can receive a copy of the current notice at any time. The effective date is listed just below the title. You will be offered a copy of the current notice each time you register at our facilities for treatment. You also will be asked to acknowledge in writing your receipt of this notice.
how we may use and disclose your medical informationWe may use and disclose medical information about you for treatment (such as sending medical information about you to a specialist as part of a referral); to obtain payment for treatment (such as sending billing information to your insurance company or Medicare); and to support our health care operations (such as comparing patient data to improve treatment methods).
Subject to certain requirements, we may use or disclose medical information about you without prior authorization for several other reasons such as public health purposes, abuse or neglect reporting, health oversight audits or inspections, research studies, funeral arrangements, organ donation, workers compensation purposes and emergencies. We also disclose medical information when required by law, such as requests from law enforcement and judicial or administrative orders.
Unless you choose to decline the information, we may contact you to tell you about new treatment options, alternative health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you or to support fundraising efforts.
If admitted as a patient, unless you tell us otherwise, we will list your name and location within the hospital in the patient directory and have available to anyone who asks for you by name. Only your religious affiliation may be disclosed to a clergy member even if they do not ask for you by name.
We may also disclose medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care or to disaster relief authorities so that your family can be notified of your location and condition.
rights regarding your medical informationIn most cases, you have the right to look at or get a copy of medical information that we use to make decisions about your care when you submit a written request. If you request copies, we may charge a fee for the cost of copying, mailing or other related supplies. If we deny your request to review or obtain a copy, you may submit a written request for a review of that decision.
If you believe that information in your record is incorrect or if important information is missing, you have the right to request that we correct the records, by submitting a request in writing that provides your reason for requesting the amendment. We could deny your request if we did not create the information; if it is not part of the medical information we maintain; or if we determine that the record is accurate. You may appeal, in writing, our decision not to amend a record.
You have the right to a list of those instances where we have disclosed medical information about you, other than for treatment, payment, health care operations or where you specifically authorized a disclosure, by submitting a written request. The request must state the time period desired for the accounting, which must be less than a six-year period starting after April 14, 2003. You may receive the list in paper or electronic form. The first disclosure list in a 12-month period is free; other requests will be charged according to S.C. law. We will inform you of the cost prior to completing the request.
If this notice is sent to you electronically, you have the right to a paper copy of the notice.
You have the right to request that medical information about you be communicated to you in a confidential manner, such as sending mail to an address other than your home, by notifying us in writing of the specific manner or location for communication.
other uses of medical informationIn any other situation not covered by this notice, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing medical information about you. If you choose to authorize use or disclosure, you can later revoke that authorization by notifying us in writing of your decision.
You may request in writing that we not use or disclose medical information about you for treatment, payment or healthcare operations unless required by S.C. law; however, you will be responsible for your bill.
You have a right to amend your PHI. We will consider your request but are not legally required to accept it. We will inform you of our decision on your request.
All written requests or appeals should be submitted to our Privacy Officer as listed at the end of this notice.
complaintsIf you are concerned that your privacy rights may have been violated, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your records, you may contact our Privacy/Corporate Responsibility Officer at 864-255-1491 or our Values Line, a 24-hour hotline, at 1-888-880-1286.
You may also send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights at 200 Independence Ave., Washington, D.C. 20201 or call them at 202-619-0257. Under no circumstances will you be penalized or retaliated against for filing a complaint.
If you have any questions, please contact our Privacy/Compliance Officer at:
Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
One St. Francis Drive, Greenville, SC 29601