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Your Health Information Is Protected By Federal Law

You have privacy rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a federal law that protects your health information. These rights are important for you to know. You can exercise these rights, ask questions about them, and file a complaint if you think your rights are being denied or your health information isn’t being protected.

Who must follow this law?

Most doctors, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinics, nursing homes, and many other health care providers, Health insurance companies, HMOs, most employer group health plans and certain government programs that pay for health care, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Ask to see and get a copy of your health records

You can ask to see and get a copy of your medical record and other health information.  In most cases, your copies must be given to you within 30 days, but this can be extended for another 30 days if you are given a reason. You may have to pay for the cost of copying and mailing if you request copies and mailing.

Have corrections added to your health information

You can ask to change any wrong information in your file or add information to your file if it is incomplete. For example, if you and the facility agree that your file has the wrong result for a test, the  facility must change it. Even if the facility believes the test result is correct, you still have the right to have your disagreement noted in your file. In most cases the file should be changed within 60 days, but the  facility can take an extra 30 days if you are given a reason.

Receive a notice that tells you how your health information is used and shared

You can learn how your health information is used and shared by your provider or health insurer. They must give you a notice that tells you how they may use and share your health information and how you can exercise your rights. You can ask for a copy at any time.

Decide whether to give your permission before your information can be used or shared for certain purposes

In general, your health information cannot be given to your employer, used or shared for things like sales calls or advertising, or used or shared for many other purposes unless you give your permission by signing an authorization form. This authorization form must tell you who will get your information and what your information will be used for.

Patient Responsibilities

The patient should be considerate of other patients and personnel and for assisting in the control of noise and other distractions. Respect the property of others and the facility.

Follow the treatment plan prescribed by his/her provider.

Report whether he or she clearly understands the planned course of treatment and what is expected of him or her.

Inform their physician or nurse about any worries or concerns regarding use of medication, tests, or procedures.

Provide accurate and complete information regarding present complaints, past illnesses and hospitalization, medications, unexpected changes in the patient’s condition or any other patient health matters.

The patient is responsible to keep appointments and arrange for transportation to and from the facility. The facility should be notified if the patient runs late or is unable to keep their appointment.

Observe the rules of the facility during his or her stay and treatment and, if instructions are not followed, forfeiting the right to care at the facility and being responsible for the outcome.

Bring all necessary papers from your physician’s office and promptly fulfill your financial obligation to the facility.

Review and complete all pre-admission paperwork in advance of the scheduled procedure.

Arrange for a responsible adult to accompany the patient upon discharge from the facility.