This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Health Information Management Department at Beauregard Health System at 337-462-7157.
Who Will Follow this Notice
This Notice describes our hospital's practices and those of:
- Health care professionals who are members of our workforce authorized to access and/or enter information into your medical record or billing record.
- All departments and units of this hospital.
- All employees, volunteers and other hospital personnel considered a part of our workforce.
- Any health care entities and medical offices owned by or affiliated with this hospital.
- This hospital is a part of an organized health care arrangement (OHCA). An OHCA is (1.) a clinically integrated setting in which individuals typically receives health care from more than one health care provider or (2.) an organized system of health care in which more than one health care provider participates. The health care providers who participate in the OHCA will share medical and billing information about you with one another as may be necessary to carry out treatment, payment, and health care operations activities. This Notice of Privacy Practices constitutes the Notice of Privacy Practices for the OHCA and all the health care providers participating in the OHCA. The health care providers who participate in the OHCA and to which this Notice of Privacy Practices applies include this hospital, the members of its medical staff, certain other health care providers who provide clinical services at this hospital, and our associated physician practices, if any. Please see the last page of this document for individual clinics that are part of the OHCA of Beauregard Health System.
- Certain physicians who provide medical services in this hospital are members of the hospital's medical staff and, as such, are part of the OHCA. Such physicians are, however, self-employed independent contractors; they are not the agents, servants, or employees of this hospital, and the hospital is not responsible for their judgment or conduct.
Our Pledge Regarding Medical Information
- We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal.
- We are committed to protecting medical information about you.
- We create a record of the care and services you receive at the hospital. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by the hospital, whether made by hospital personnel or your personal doctor. Your personal doctor may have different policies or notices regarding the doctor's use and disclosure of your medical information created in the doctor's office or clinic.
- This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose medical information about you.
- We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
We are Required by Law
- To make sure that medical information that identifies you is kept private.
- To give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you.
- To allow you to inspect and have a copy of this notice at any time.
- To follow the terms of this notice that is currently in effect.
- To notify you following a breach of unsecured protected health information.
How we May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You
The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose medical information. We will request your specific authorization for most uses of psychotherapy notes, uses and disclosures for marketing purposes, and disclosures that constitute a sale of health information. For each category of uses or disclosures, we will explain what we mean and try to give some examples. Not every use of 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.
We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students or other hospital personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the hospital. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process. In addition, the doctor may need to tell the dietitian if you have diabetes so that we can arrange for appropriate meals. Different departments of the hospital also may share medical information about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the hospital who may be involved in your medical care after you leave the hospital, such as family members, clergy or others we use to provide services that are part of your care.
We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at the hospital may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about surgery you received at the hospital so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the surgery. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.
For Healthcare Operations
We may use and disclose medical information about you for hospital operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the hospital and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many hospital patients to decide what additional services the hospital should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students and other hospital personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the medical information we have with medical information from other hospitals to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of medical information so others may use it to study healthcare delivery without learning who the specific patients are.
We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
Health-Related Benefits and Services
We may use and disclose medical information to tell you health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
We may include certain limited information about you in the hospital directory while you are a patient at the hospital. 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 rabbi, even if they don't ask for you by name. This is so your family, friends and clergy can visit you in the hospital and generally know how you are doing.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care
We may release medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. We may also tell your family or friends your condition and that you are in the hospital. In addition, we may disclose medical information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location.
As Required by Law
We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety
We may use and disclose medical information about you when 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 the threat.
Organ and Tissue Donation
If you are an organ donor, we may release medical 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.
Military and Veterans
If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
We may release medical information about you for workers' compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Public Health Risks
We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:
- To prevent or control disease, injury or disability.
- To report births and deaths.
- To report child abuse or neglect.
- To report reactions to medications or problems with products.
- To notify people of recalls of products they may be using.
- To notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition.
- To notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will make this disclosure only if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
Health Oversight Activities
We may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the healthcare system, government programs and compliance with civil rights laws.
Lawsuits and Disputes
If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
- In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process.
- To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person.
- About the victim of a crime, if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person's agreement.
- About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct.
- About criminal conduct at the hospital.
- In emergency circumstances to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors
We may release medical 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 medical information about patients of the hospital to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
National Security and Intelligence Activities
We may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence and other national security activities authorized by law.
Protective Services for the President and Others
We may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.
If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release medical information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary (1) for the institution to provide you with healthcare, (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others, or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
Your Rights Regarding Medical Information About You
You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:
Right to Inspect and Copy
You have the right to inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes. To inspect and copy medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to the Health Information Management Department at Beauregard Health System, P.O. Box 730, DeRidder, LA 70634, or for questions call 337.462.7157.
If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing or other supplies associated with your request. We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to medical information, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed healthcare professional chosen by the hospital will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to Amend
If you feel that medical information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for the hospital. To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to the Health Information Management Department at Beauregard Health System, P.O. Box 730, DeRidder, LA 70634, or for questions call 337.462.7157.
In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request. 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:
- Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment.
- Is not part of the medical information kept by or for the hospital.
- Is not part of the informationthat you would be permitted to inspect and copy.
- Is accurate and complete.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures
You have the right to request an "accounting of disclosures." This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you. To request this list or accounting of disclosures you must submit your request in writing to the Health Information Management Department at Beauregard Health System, P.O. Box 730, DeRidder, LA 70634, or for questions call 337.462.7157.
Your request must state a time period, which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved, and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
Right to Request Restrictions
You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a surgery you had.
We are not required to agree to your request except as noted below. 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 the Registration/Welcoming Department at Beauregard Health System, P.O. Box 730, DeRidder, LA 70634, or for questions call 337.462.7338.
In your request, you must tell us (1) what information you want to limit, (2) whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both, and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply, for example, disclosures to your spouse. We are required to grant requests for restrictions if the disclosure is for the purpose of carrying out payment or healthcare operations and is not otherwise required by law, and the protected health information pertains solely to a healthcare item or service for which the individual, or person other than a health plan on behalf of the individual, has paid in full.
Right to Request Confidential Communications
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we contact you only at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to the Registration Department at Beauregard Health System, P.O. Box 730, DeRidder, LA 70634, or for questions call 337.462.7338.
We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
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. To obtain a paper copy of this notice, contact the Health Information Department at Beauregard Health System, P.O. Box 730, DeRidder, LA 70634, or for questions call 337.462.7157.
Changes to This Notice
We reserve the right to change this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical 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 the hospital. The notice will contain on the first page, in the top right-hand corner, the effective date.
In addition, each time you register at or are admitted to the hospital for treatment or healthcare services as an inpatient or outpatient, 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 the hospital or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with the hospital, contact Beauregard Health System at 337.462.7106. All complaints must be submitted in writing to Beauregard Health System, P.O. Box 730, DeRidder, LA 70634.
You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
Other Uses of Medical Information
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission. If you provided us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose medical 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 with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.