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Privacy Policy

CALAIS REGIONAL HOSPITAL, CALAIS, MAINE
Notice of Privacy Practices

This notice describes how Calais Regional Hospital (“CRH”) may use and disclose medical Information about you and how you can get access to that information.

Please review it carefully

CRH Duties

  • CRH is required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected medical information and to provide you with notice of the Hospital’s legal duties and privacy practices with respect to that information.
  • CRH will abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect, but it reserves the right to change the notice and to make the change effective as to all information in its possession.

Revisions to This Notice

CRH will promptly post and make available at the hospital a revised notice whenever there is a change that affects uses or disclosures, your rights, CRH’s legal obligations, or other changes in privacy practices.

Use and Disclosures of Your Medical Information:

Treatment – CRH may use medical information about you to provide, coordinate and manage your medical treatment or services, and CRH may disclose medical information about you for treatment purposes to doctors, nurses, technicians, or other health care providers who are involved in your care. We may communicate your information either orally or in writing by mail, email or facsimile. We may also provide a subsequent healthcare provider with copies of various reports that should assist him or her in treating you. For example, your health information may be provided to a physician to whom you have been referred so as to ensure that physician has appropriate information regarding your previous treatment and diagnosis.

Payment – CRH may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive from this Hospital or another provider may be billed and payment may be collected from you and/or an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your insurance company information before it approves or pays for the healthcare services we recommend for you.

Health Care Operations – CRH may use health information about you for its/the Hospital’s operations, and CRH may disclose health information to others of your treating health care providers for limited operations purposes such as quality assessment, licensing, legal advice, account support, information systems support, and protection from fraud. We may use or disclose your protected health information, as necessary, to contact you to remind you of your appointment by telephone or reminder card.

Business Associates – CRH may disclose your health information to individuals and entities which perform business functions for CRH and who agree to safeguard the privacy of that information through a written contract. For example, CRH may disclose your health information to business associates that provide transcription, billing support, maintenance of medical records, software support, communication, care coordination, appointment scheduling and quality assurance.

Other Permitted and Required Uses and Disclosures for which an authorization is not required

Others Involved in Your Health Care – Unless you object, or in the event that you are not present or are incapacitated or in an emergency, we may disclose to a member of your family, a relative, a close friend, or any other person that you identify, your health information as it directly relates to that person’s involvement in your health care, or payment for such care.  Additionally, we may use or disclose Protected Health Information to notify or assist in notifying your family member, your personal representative, or any other person responsible for your care, of your general condition, status and location.

Fundraising Activities — We may use your name and other limited information to contact you, including the dates of your care (but not your treatment information), to provide information to you about CRH fundraising programs and events. If we do contact you for fundraising purposes, you will be told how you may ask us not to contact you in the future.

Research – We may use or disclose your health information for research that has been approved by one of our official research review boards, which has evaluated the research proposal and established standards to protect the privacy of your health information. We may use or disclose your health information to a researcher preparing to conduct a research project.

Organ and Tissue Donation – We may use or disclose your health information in connection with organ donations, eye or tissue transplants or organ donation banks, as necessary to facilitate these activities.

Public Health –We may disclose your health information for public health activities to public health authorities who are legally authorized to receive such information.  These activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • preventing or controlling disease (such as cancer and tuberculosis), injury or disability;
  • reporting vital events such as births and deaths;
  • reporting child abuse or neglect;
  • reporting adverse events or surveillance related to food, medications or defects or problems with products;
  • notifying persons of recalls, repairs or replacements of products they may be using;
  • notifying a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition;
  • notifying the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse or neglect and make this disclosure as authorized or required by law;
  • notifying the coroner of a patient’s death;
  • notifying emergency response employees regarding possible exposure to HIV/AIDS, to the extent necessary to comply with state and federal law;
  • notifying multidisciplinary personnel teams relevant to the prevention, identification, management, or treatment of an abused child and the child’s parents or an abused elder or dependent adult.

Health Oversight – We may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections; licensure and disciplinary actions; and civil, administrative and criminal proceedings or actions.  Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and compliance with the civil rights laws.

Food and Drug Administration – We may disclose your health information to a person or company required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product defects or problems or biologic product deviations; to track products; to enable product recalls, repairs or replacements; or to conduct post marketing surveillance, as required.

Legal Proceedings – In connection with lawsuits or other legal proceedings, we may disclose health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena, warrant, summons or other lawful process.

Law Enforcement –We may disclose your health information in response to a request from a law enforcement official for the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person; or pertaining to a known or suspected victim of a crime.  We may also disclose health information to a law enforcement official:

  • to report a death that we suspect may be the result of criminal conduct;
  • to report criminal conduct on our premises; or
  • in the event of a medical emergency (not on our premises), to report a crime, the location of the crime or victims, or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.

Serious Threat to Health or Safety – We may use and disclose your health information if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public.

Military Activity and National Security – If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release your health information as required by military command authorities.  We may also release health information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.

Workers’ Compensation – We may disclose your health information as authorized to comply with workers’ compensation laws and other similar legally established programs that provide benefits for work-related illnesses and injuries.

Inmates – If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release health information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official if necessary:

  • for provision of health care to you;
  • to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others;
  • for law enforcement on the premises of the correctional institution; or for the administration and maintenance of the safety and security of the correctional institution.

Compliance With Law – CRH may disclose your health information when required by law, and CRH will comply with state disclosure laws that are more restrictive than the federal privacy law.

Health Info Net: ­We participate in HealthInfoNet, the statewide health information exchange (HIE) designed by the State of Maine.  The HIE is a secure computer system for health care providers to share your important health information to support treatment and continuity of care.  For example, if you are admitted to a healthcare facility not affiliated with Calais Regional Hospital, healthcare providers there will be able to see important health information held in our electronic medical record systems. Your record in the HIE includes allergies, prescriptions, lab and imaging reports, conditions, diagnoses or health problems.  To ensure your health information is entered into the correct record, information may also include your full name, Social Security number, and date of birth. All information contained in the HIE is kept private and used in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.   The information is accessible to participating providers to support treatment and healthcare operations.  You do not have to participate in the HIE to receive care. For more information about HealthInfoNet and your choices regarding participation, visit http://www.hinfonet.org/ or call toll free

1-866-592-4352. 

 We May Not Use or Disclose Your Protected Health Information

Except as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices, or as permitted by State or Federal law, we will not use or disclose your protected health information without your written authorization, including the following specific situations:

Psychotherapy Notes:  A signed authorization or court order is required for any use or disclosure of psychotherapy notes except to carry out certain treatment, payment, or health care operations and for use or treatment, for training programs or for defense in a legal action.

Marketing:  A signed authorization is required for the use or disclosure of your protected health information for a purpose that encourages you to purchase or use a product or service except for certain limited circumstances.

Sale of Protected Health Information:  A signed authorization is required for the use or disclosure of your protected health information in the event that we receive remuneration for such use or disclosure, except under certain circumstances as allowed by federal or State law.

If you do authorize us to use or disclose your protected health information for reasons other than treatment, payment or health care operations, you may revoke your authorization in writing at any time by contacting our Privacy Officer.  If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose your protected health information for the purposes covered by the authorization, except where we have already relied on the authorization.

Individual Rights: With some limitations (as described in the federal privacy law), you have the right to:

Inspect and Copy. You have the right to obtain access to, inspect and request a copy of your health information. We ask that you submit these requests in writing.  Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes or information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or for use in, a civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding.  We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances.  If you are denied access to health information, you may request that the denial be reviewed.  The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request.  We will comply with the outcome of the review.  Requests for access to and copies of your health information must be submitted to Health Information Director and Privacy Officer in writing.  You may obtain the copy in paper or electronic format.  If you request that we send the electronic copy directly to someone else, we will do so.  We may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee.

Amend your health information. If you feel that health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information by submitting a request in writing.  You have the right to request an amendment for as long as we keep the information.  We may deny your request for an amendment, and if this occurs, you will be notified of the reason for the denial.

Obtain an accounting. You have the right to request an accounting of the uses and disclosures of your information except for certain circumstances, including disclosures for treatment, payment, health care operations, or where you specifically authorized a disclosure.  We will provide the first accounting to you in any 12-month period without charge.  There will be a charge to cover the cost for subsequent requests for an accounting within the 12-month period.  We ask that you submit these requests in writing.

Receive 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.

Request Restrictions. You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your health information. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend.  For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a procedure that you had.  We ask that you submit these requests in writing. We are not required to agree to your request, with one exception: If you have paid out of pocket in full for the health care item or service, and you request a restriction on the disclosure of health information, we must agree not to disclose health information to a health plan for payment or health care operations.  In other cases, if we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you with emergency treatment.

Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that CRH communicate with you confidentially about your information. We will agree to the request to the extent that it is reasonable for us to do so.  For example, you can ask that we use an alternative address for billing purposes.  We ask that you submit these requests in writing.

Notifications. You have a right to receive a notification of a breach on your unsecured protected health information

Who Must Comply With This Notice

All CRH health care professionals authorized to enter information on your chart, all CRH departments and units, all members of volunteer groups CRH allows to help you while you are in the hospital, and all other CRH personnel are obliged to comply with the terms of this Notice.

Complaints

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a written complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, or with the Hospital. To complain to CRH/the Hospital, mail your written complaint to: Health Information Director and Privacy Officer, Health Information Department, Calais Regional Hospital, 24 Hospital Lane, Calais ME 04619, telephone (207) 454-9211.  You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.

Contact

If you have questions about this notice, want additional information, or want to exercise any of the rights described in the notice, mail a written request to CRH’s Privacy Officer, at the address listed below. Additionally, if you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us by calling (207) 454-9211 and asking for the Privacy Officer or by contacting the Secretary of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services.  All complaints must be also submitted in writing.  You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.  Privacy Officer:  Health Information Director and Privacy Officer, Health Information Department, Calais Regional Hospital, 24 Hospital Lane, Calais ME 04619, telephone (207) 454-9211.  There is a charge for copies.

Other Uses of Health Information

Other uses and disclosures of health information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to CRH will be made only with your written authorization. If you authorize CRH to use or disclose medical information in ways other than described in this notice, you may revoke that authorization, in writing, at any time. That revocation will then be effective except to the extent that CRH has already relied on the authorization.

Effective Date of this Notice – September 23, 2013

Revised March 24, 2016