Your Privacy (HIPAA)

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Summary of Notice of Privacy Practices

This is a Summary of our Notice of Privacy Practices designed to help you understand how your health information may be used or disclosed by St. Mary's Health Care System, Inc., including St. Mary's Hospital (“St. Mary's”) and to explain your rights with respect to that information. It is not a substitute for the Notice, however, and you should refer to the Notice for a complete explanation of your privacy rights and how St. Mary's may use your information.

Our Legal Duty

We have a duty to protect the confidentiality of medical information about you. We are required to provide you with a Notice of Privacy Practices explaining ways we may use and disclose your medical information. The Notice also describes your legal rights and our obligations regarding the use and disclosure of your medical information.

Parties Covered by the Notice

The Notice will be followed by St. Mary's and its affiliates, together with their health care professionals, staff and volunteers; members of St. Mary's Medical Staff and those participating in managed care networks with St. Mary's; and other legal entities that provide services to St. Mary's.

How We May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You

We may use or disclose your health information for many reasons without your written authorization, including:

  • Treatment
  • Law enforcement purposes
  • Payment
  • Activities of managed care networks in which we participate
  • Health care operations
  • Activities of our affiliates
  • Health oversight activities
  • Appointment reminders
  • Public health purposes
  • Fundraising activities
  • Auditing
  • Organ donation
  • National security and protective services
  • To avert a serious threat to health or safety
  • Research
  • To coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors
  • Workers' compensation
  • To military command authorities
  • Lawsuits and disputes
  • As required by law

In general, other uses and disclosures of your medical information will require your written authorization.

We may use or disclose certain limited information about you, unless you object or request a limitation of the disclosure, for:

  • Hospital directories
  • Individuals involved in your care or payment
  • Disaster Relief Purposes

Your Privacy Rights

You have the following rights with respect to your health information:

  • The right to request confidential communications and alternative means of communication with you.
  • The right to request restrictions on certain uses of your health information.
  • The right to inspect and copy certain medical information that we maintain about you.
  • The right to request an amendment of your health information.
  • The right to request an accounting of certain disclosures of your health information.

Changes to the Notice

We reserve the right to change the Notice. We will post any revised Notice in the Hospital.

Complaints

If you believe your rights have been violated, you may file a written complaint with the St. Mary's Privacy Officer, or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

FOR COPIES, AMENDMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR ACCOUNTINGS OF DISCLOSURES, PLEASE CONTACT, IN WRITING:

Director, Health Information Management
St. Mary's Health Care System, Inc.
1230 Baxter Street
Athens, Georgia 30606