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Patient confidentiality and rights

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

You have the right to:

You are responsible for:


Notice of Privacy Practices

Effective Feb.18.2008

This notice describes how your health information may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information.

Please review it carefully.

Our pledge regarding your Protected Health Information (PHI)

We are committed to protecting the privacy of all health information we create and maintain as a result of the health care we provide you. Your "protected health Information" (PHI) includes information about your past, present or future health, health care we provide you and payment for your health care contained in the record of care and services provided by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Health Services. The purpose of this Notice Is to explain who, what, when, where and why your PHI may be used or disclosed, and assist you in making informed decisions when authorizing anyone to use or disclosure your PHI.

Your rights regarding your Protected Health Information

Our responsibilities

We are required by law to:

Contact for questions/complaints/requests

Direct your questions, complaints and requests made pursuant to this Notice to: Privacy Officer, Marianne Sullivan 285 Old Westport Rd. North Dartmouth, MA 02747 (508) 910-6527. You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, JFK Federal Building - Room 1875 Boston, MA 02203 ; (617) 565-1340; (617) 565-1343 (TDD) (617) 565-3809 FAX. Filing a complaint will not result in retaliation.

How we may use and disclose your PHI

We may use and disclose your PHI for the following purposes:

Treatment: We may use and disclose your PHI to anyone involved in the provision of health care to you including for example, University physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other medical professionals, including our nursing students, and volunteers. We may also disclose your PHI to outside treating medical professionals and staff as deemed necessary for your health care.

Payment: We may use and disclose your PHI to billing and collection agencies, insurance companies and health plans to collect payment for our services.

Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose your PHI for our own health care operations. For example, we may use your PHI to assess your care in an effort to improve the quality of our service to you; to evaluate the skills, qualifications and performance of our health care providers; to provide training programs to students, trainees and other health care providers. In addition, our accountants, auditors and attorneys may use your PHI to assist our compliance with applicable law.

Business Associates: There are some services provided to our organization through contracts with business associates, such as laboratory and radiology services. We may disclose your health Information to our business associates so that they can perform these services. We require the business associates to safeguard your information to our standards.

Serious Threat to Health or Safety: We may disclose your PHI in the event that you present a danger to yourself or others and refuse to accept the appropriate treatment.

Legally Required Disclosures & Public Health: We may disclose PHI as required by law, including to government officials to prevent or control disease, to report child, adult or spouse abuse, to report reactions or problems with products, and to report births and deaths.

Health Oversight Activities: we may disclose your PHI to a federal or state health oversight agency that is authorized to oversee our operations.

Workers Compensation: We may disclose PHI for workers compensation or similar programs.

Law Enforcement & Subpoenas: We may disclose PHI to law enforcement such as limited information for identification and location purposes, or information regarding suspected victims of crime, including crimes committed on our premises. We may also disclose PHI to others as required by court or administrative order, or in response to a valid summons or subpoena.

Inmates: We may disclose your PHI to a correctional facility which has custody of you if necessary, a) to provide health care to you; b) for the health and safety of others; or, c} for the safety and security of the correctional facility.

Information Regarding Decedents: We may disclose health information regarding a deceased person to: 1) coroners and medical examiners to identify cause of death or other duties, 2) funeral directors for their required duties and 3) to procurement organizations for purposes of organ and tissue donation,

Research: We may also disclose PHI where the disclosure is solely for the purpose of designing a study, or where the disclosure concerns decedents, or an institutional review board or privacy board has determined that obtaining authorization is not feasible and protocols are in place to ensure the privacy of your health information. In all other situations, we may only disclose PHI for research purposes with your authorization.

Contacting you: We may use and disclose your PHI to provide a reminder to contact you including by phone or e-mail. Protocols and policies are in place to minimize the exposure of your PHI as we attempt to contact you.

Disclosures requiring authorization

All other disclosures of your PHI will, only be made pursuant to your written authorization, which you have the right to revoke at any time, except to the extent we have already made disclosures pursuant to your authorization.

Changes to this notice

We reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and to make new Notice provisions effective for all PHI that we maintain by posting the revised Notice at our facilities, making copies of the revised Notice upon request to the facility or the Privacy Officer, or posting the revised Notice on our website.