Effective: April 14, 2003
Seton Health System takes the privacy of your health information seriously. We are required by law to maintain that privacy and to provide you with this Notice of Privacy Practices. This Notice is provided to tell you about our duties and practices with respect to your information. We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice that is currently in effect.
How we may use and disclose your health information
The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose your health information. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.
For Treatment. We may use health information about you to provide you with treatment, health care or other related services. We may disclose your health information to doctors, nurses, aids, technicians or other healthcare professionals who are involved in taking care of you. Additionally, we may use or disclose your health information to manage or coordinate your treatment, health care or other related services. Physicians may share information with consultants that are asked to participate in your care. Additionally, there may be need for sharing of information among collaborating members of the healthcare team to assure appropriate care management and discharge planning.
For Payment. We may use and disclose your health information to bill and collect for the treatment and services we provide to you. We may send your health information to an insurance company or other third party for payment purposes including to a collection service. We may disclose your health information to other providers such as radiologists, anesthesiologists, emergency room physicians and pathologists for the purpose of payment for those professional services.
For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose your health information for health care operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to operate Seton Health System, to make sure you receive competent, quality health care, and to maintain and improve the quality of health care we provide. We may also provide your health information to various governmental or accreditation entities to maintain our license and accreditation. This may include the Joint Commission, Professional Research Consultants, and others.
As Required By Law. We will disclose your health information when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
For Public Health Purposes. We may disclose your health information for public health activities. While there may be others, public health activities generally include the following:
About Victims of Abuse. We may disclose your health information to notify the appropriate government authority if we believe an individual has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose your health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversights activities might include audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government benefit programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Judicial Purposes. We may disclose your health information in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose your health information in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in a dispute.
Law Enforcement. We may release health information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official, if such disclosure is:
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. In certain circumstances, we may disclose health information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release health information about individuals to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
Organ and Tissue Donation. We may disclose your health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation. No organ procurement or tissue transplantation would take place without appropriate consent.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may use and disclose your health information when we believe it is necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent or lessen the threat or to law enforcement authorities in particular circumstances.
Military and Veterans. 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.
National Security and Intelligence Activities. We may release your health information to authorized federal officials for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
Protective Services for the President and Others. We may disclose your health information to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or for the conduct of special investigations.
Custodial Situations. If you are an inmate in a correctional institution and if the correctional institution or law enforcement authority makes certain representations to us, we may disclose your health information to a correctional institution or law enforcement official.
Workers’ Compensation. We may disclose your health information as authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with workers’ compensation laws or laws relating to similar programs.
Treatment Alternatives, Appointment Reminders and Health-Related Benefits. We may use and disclose your health information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment alternatives or health related benefits or services that may be of interest to you. Additionally, we may use and disclose your health information to provide appointment reminders. If you do not wish us to contact you about treatment alternatives, health-related benefits or appointment reminders, you must notify in writing, the Community Relations Department and state which of those activities you wish to be excluded from.
Fundraising Activities. We may use your health information to contact you in an effort to raise money for Seton Health System and its operations. We may disclose health information to a foundation related to Seton Health System so that the foundation may contact you to raise money for Seton Health System. In these cases, we would release only contact information, such as your name, address and phone number and the dates you were here. If you do not want us to contact you for fundraising efforts, you must notify in writing, the Patient Relations Department as listed on the last page of this Notice.
Facility Directory. We may include certain limited information about you in our directory. This information may include your name, location in the Hospital, your general condition (e.g., fair, stable, etc.) and your religious affiliation. The directory information, except for your religious affiliation, may also be released to people who ask for you by name. Your religious affiliation may be given to a member of the clergy, such as a priest or minister, even if they do not ask for you by name. If you do not wish to be included in the facility directory please notify us at the time of admission.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. We may release health information about you to a family member, other relative, or any other person identified by you who is involved in your health care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. We may also tell your family, friends, personal representative or other person responsible for your health care your condition and that you are at the Hospital.
Third Parties. We may disclose your health information to third parties with whom we contract to perform services on our behalf. If we disclose your information to these entities, we will have an agreement by them to safeguard your information.
Other uses and disclosures of health information not covered by this Notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. If you provide us authorization to use or disclose your health information, you may revoke that authorization, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose health information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made under the authorization, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.
You have the following rights regarding health information we maintain about you:
Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. If you paid out-of-pocket for a specific item or service, you have the right to request that medical information with respect to that item or service not be disclosed to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations, and we are required to honor that request. 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.
We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment.
To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to Medical Records Department at
Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that we communicate with you or your responsible party about your health care in an alternative way or at a certain location. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to Medical Records Department at
Right to Inspect and Copy. You have the right to inspect and copy health information that may be used to make decisions about your care.
To inspect and copy health information that may be used to make decisions about you, you can submit your request in writing or orally to Medical Records Department at 268-5504 or
Right to Amend. You have the right to ask us to amend your health and/or billing information for as long as the information is kept by us.
To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to Medical Records Department at
We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures that we have made of your health information.
To request this list of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to Medical Records Department at
Right to Information About Breaches. You have the right to receive written notice of a breach of Unsecured Protected Health Information by first class mail or by email (if you indicated a preference to receive information by email) as soon as possible but in no event later than 60 days after the discovery of the breach.
Right to 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. You may obtain a copy of this Notice at our web site www.setonhealth.org. To obtain a paper copy of this Notice, contact Director of Admissions at
This Notice describes Seton Health System practices and those of:
All these entities, sites and locations follow the terms of this Notice. In addition, these entities, sites and locations may share health information with each other for treatment, payment or operations purposes described in this Notice.
We reserve the right to change this Notice. We reserve the right to make the revised Notice effective for health information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice in a prominent location to which you have access. The Notice is also available to you upon request. The Notice will contain on the first page, in the top right-hand corner, the effective date. In addition, if we revise the Notice, we will offer you a copy of the current Notice in effect.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with Seton Health System or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with us, contact our Patient Relations Department at 268-5317.
You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact:
The Patient Relations Department
Seton Health System