Notice of Privacy Practices
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT
YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION
These Privacy Practices apply to Family Health Center, Inc. (FHC) including, without limitation to the following facilities: St. Matthews Family Health Centers; Norfield Medical Center; St. George Medical Center; Denmark Medical Center; St. George Medical Center; Community Medical Center; Family Health Centers at Holly Hill; and FHC at Orangeburg - all of which are referred to as FHC in this notice. These Privacy Practices also apply to healthcare providers while they treat you at FHC.
Understanding Your Health Record/Information
Each time you visit a hospital, physician or other healthcare provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination, test results, diagnoses, treatment and plans for future care of treatment. This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as a:
- Basis for planning your care and treatment;
- Means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care;
- Legal documents describing the care you received;
- Means by which you or third party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided;
- Tool in educating health professionals;
- Source of data for medical research;
- Source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of the nation;
- Source of data for facility planning and marketing;
- Tool with which we can access and continually work to improve the care we render and the outcomes we achieve.
Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to ensure its accuracy, better understand who, what, when, where and why others may access your health information and make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.
Your Health Information Rights
Although your health record is physical property of the healthcare provider or facility that compiled it, the information belongs to you. You have the right to request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information. This includes the right to obtain a paper copy of the notice of information practices upon request, inspect and obtain a copy of your health record.
You have the right to request that FHC communicate with you in a certain way. For example, you may ask that FHC on conduct communications about your health information with you privately with no other family members present. If you wish to receive confidential communications, please inform your registration personnel or your nurse. FHC will not request that you provide any reasons for your request and will attempt to honor reasonable requests for confidential information.
You have the right to obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information and the right to revoke authorization to use or disclose health information, except to the extent that action has already been taken.
If you believe that your health information records are incorrect or incomplete, you may request that FHC amend those records. Your request must be made in FHC's Compliance Officer in writing. The request to amend your health record may be denied if:
- The information you wish to amend is not maintained by FHC.
- The request is not in writing or does not include a reason for amendment.
- Your health information records were not created by FHC.
- The records you are requesting are not part of FHC's record.
- The health information you wish to amend is not part of the health information you or your legal representative is permitted to inspect a copy.
- In the opinion of FHC, the records containing your health information are accurate and complete.
FHC is required to maintain the privacy of your health information, provide you with a notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you, abide by the terms of this notice, notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction, accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information we maintain. Should our information practices change, we will provide a copy of the revised notice to you or your representative. We will not use or disclose your health information without your written authorization, except as described in the notice