The following categories describe the ways that we may use and disclose your health information without your written authorization.
Treatment. We may use and disclose your health information to provide you with medical treatment and services. For example, your health information may be disclosed to physicians, nurses, or other health care providers who are involved in your care to coordinate or manage your health care services or to facilitate consultations or referrals as part of your treatment.
Payment.We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for the services we provide to you. For example, we may disclose your health information to seek payment from your insurance company or from another third party. We may also inform your insurance company about a treatment you are going to receive so that we obtain prior approval for the treatment or in order to determine whether your insurance company will cover the cost of the treatment.
Health Care Operations.We may use and disclose your health information to conduct certain of our business activities, which are called health care operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run our business and make sure our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use your health information for quality assessment activities, necessary credentialing, and for other essential activities. We may also disclose your health information to third party "business associates" that perform various services on our behalf, such as transcription, billing, and collection services. In these cases, we will enter into a written agreement with the business associates to ensure they protect the privacy of your health information.
Family Members and Friends for Care and Payment and Notification. If you verbally agree to the use or disclosure and in certain other situations, we may make the following uses and disclosures of your health information. We may disclose certain health information to your family, friends, and anyone else whom you identify as involved in your health care or who helps pay for your care; the health information we disclose would be limited to the health information that is relevant to that person's involvement in your care or payment for your care. We may also make these disclosures after your death unless doing so is inconsistent with any prior expressed preference. We may use or disclose your information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or any other person responsible for your care regarding your location, general condition, or death. We may also use or disclose your health information to disaster-relief organizations so that your family or other persons responsible for your care can be notified about your condition, status, and location.
Required by Law. We may disclose your health information when required by law to do so.
Public Health Reporting. We may disclose your health information to public health agencies as authorized by law. For example, we may report certain communicable diseases to the state’s public health department.
Reporting Victims of Abuse or Neglect. We may disclose health information to the appropriate government authority if we believe you have been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We only make this disclosure if you agree or when we are required or authorized by law to make the disclosure.
Health Care Oversight.We may disclose your health information to authorities and agencies for oversight activities allowed by law, including audits, investigations, inspections, licensure and disciplinary actions, or civil, administrative, and criminal proceedings, as necessary for oversight of the health care system, government programs, and civil rights laws.
Legal Proceedings. We may disclose your health information pursuant to a court order if you are involved in a legal proceeding. Under most circumstances when the request is made through a subpoena, a discovery request, or involves another type of administrative order, your authorization will be obtained before disclosure is permitted.
Law Enforcement. We may disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for certain specific purposes, such as reporting certain types of injuries.
Deceased Persons.We may disclose your health information to coroners, medical examiners, or funeral directors so that they can carry out their duties.
Organ and Tissue Donation. We may use and disclose your health information to organizations that handle procurement, transplantation, or banking of organs, eyes, or tissues.
Research. Under certain circumstances, we may disclose your health information to researchers who are conducting a specific research project. For certain research activities, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Privacy Board may approve uses and disclosures of your health information without your authorization.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. If there is a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person, we may use and disclose your health information in a very limited manner to someone able to help lessen the threat.
Specialized Government Functions. In certain circumstances, HIPAA authorizes us to use or disclose your health information to authorized federal officials for the conduct of national security activities and other specialized government functions.
Inmates.If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may disclose your health information to the correctional institution or law enforcement official to assist them in providing you health care, protecting your health and safety or the health and safety of others, or providing for the safety of the correctional institution.
Workers’ Compensation. We may disclose your health information as necessary to comply with laws related to workers’ compensation or other similar programs.
Please be aware that state and other federal laws may have additional requirements that we must follow or may be more restrictive than HIPAA on how we use and disclose your health information. If there are specific more restrictive requirements, even for some of the purposes listed above, we may not disclose your health information without your written permission as required by such laws. For example, we will not disclose your HIV test results without obtaining your written permission, except as permitted by state law. We may also be required by law to obtain your written permission to use and disclose your information related to treatment for a mental illness, developmental disability, or alcohol or drug abuse.