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THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

What is Covered by this Notice?

This Notice describes the way your health information may be used and disclosed by us, and describes your rights and our obligations concerning your protected health information.

This Notice covers the health care services provided by healthcare providers on staff and in any affiliated Freeport Health Network location or other treatment sites.

Although not all of the physicians or other providers on our Medical Staff are employees of Freeport Health Network, they are part of the Freeport Health Network health care arrangement, and may share health information about you as is necessary for treatment, payment, or health care operations.

Your doctors and other health care providers may have independent private practices, and may have a separate Notice of Privacy Practices which would apply to the services and practices of such independent offices or outside treatment sites.

How we may use and disclose your health information: For treatment, payment, and health care operations: Freeport Health Network and your health care providers may use or disclose your health information in order to provide you treatment, to obtain payment for such treatment, and for health care operations, which are activities related to the provision of health care.

For example, we may use or disclosure your health information for treatment purposes in order to provide, coordinate, or manage health care and related services among your health care providers, such as when one physician refers you to another health care provider or requests a consultation by a specialist.

We may use or disclose your health information for payment purposes, such as to bill your insurance company or Medicare in order to obtain reimbursement for the health care services provided you.

We may use or disclose your health information for health care operations purposes, such as for improving quality of care, reducing health care costs, conducting training programs and other activities such as for health system accreditation or provider licensing or credentialing activities.

In addition, we may contact you to provide appointment reminders, to inform you about treatment alternatives or other benefits or services that may be of interest to you.

We may also contact you in connection with certain fundraising and marketing activities on behalf of Freeport Health Network.

Facility directory, friends and family: In the event you need to be admitted to Freeport Memorial Hospital, we will include your name and your location in the hospital unless you request us not to.

We may release your name, location, and religious affiliation to a clergy member and may release your location to any person who asks for you by name unless you request us not to. On admission, if you are incapacitated or involved in an emergency, we may include such information in the facility directory.

In addition, with respect to your friends, family, relatives, and to others whom you identify, we may disclose certain information as may be related to such persons' involvement in your care or payment for care, unless you request us not to. On admission, if you are incapacitated or involved in an emergency, we may disclose such information.

We may also disclose health information concerning your location and condition in attempt to notify or locate your family, personal representative, or other person responsible for your care, or to assist disaster relief authorities in such notification activities, unless you have requested us not to or without further opportunity to object if the situation involves emergency or incapacitation.

Finally, we will exercise professional judgment in allowing persons to act on your behalf in situations such as picking up your prescriptions, medical supplies, x-rays, or other forms of your health information.

Additional disclosures made pursuant to law or for public health purposes: There are a number of situations in which we may use or disclose certain health information about you without requesting your authorization to do so, such as for public health activities and where the law authorizes such uses and disclosures of your health information. Such disclosures may involve situations such as for reporting obligations (such as for victims of abuse), for health oversight activities (such as for audits, inspections, or compliance activities), for judicial or administrative proceedings (such as when called for by court order or subpoena), for law enforcement purposes (such as for mandatory reporting as covered by federal or state statutes), for coroners and funeral directors, for certain research activities involving institutional review board waiver of authorization approval, for disclosures necessary to avert serious threats to health or safety, for certain government functions (such as relating to the military or national security) and for workers' compensation purposes as authorized by State law.

We will abide with laws requiring disclosure of information. If a certain use or disclosure is addressed by more than one law, we will abide by the more stringent law.

Additional disclosures will be made only with your written Authorization:

In situations involving a use or disclosure of your health information which is not mentioned above, we will first obtain written Authorization from you to do so.

If you give us such Authorization, you have the ability to later revoke it in writing, with certain exceptions such as to the extent that we have already acted upon the Authorization. For directions regarding the procedure for revoking an Authorization, you should contact a staff member at any Freeport Health Network location.

Your Rights With Respect to Your Own Health Information:

Under the law, you have the right to ask that we restrict certain types of uses and disclosures of your health information described above, specifically, those involving treatment, payment or health care operations, and those concerning facility directory and disclosures to family, friends, and for notification purposes. Although we are not obligated to agree to requested restrictions, we will abide by restrictions which we have agreed to, unless necessary to provide you emergency treatment. To make such a request you may contact a staff member at any Freeport Health Network location to obtain a REQUEST FOR RESTRICTION OF USES AND DISCLOSURES form.

You have the right to ask that we communicate with you in a confidential nature, such as by contacting you through a certain telephone number or by sending you information to a specific address. Such requests must be reasonable and must be made in writing, and may be made by contacting a staff member at any Freeport Health Network location to obtain a REQUEST FOR CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS form. Depending on the request, it may be necessary to charge you for costs associated with your request.

You have the right to request access to inspect and obtain a copy of your medical records, billing records, and other health information used to make decisions concerning you. Such requests must be in writing, and may be made by contacting a staff member at any Freeport Health Network location to obtain a PATIENT REQUEST TO ACCESS OR COPY HEALTH INFORMATION form. We may charge you a fee for supplying the requested information. In addition, there are situations in which we may legally need to deny your request. In the event of such a denial, we will notify you of the reasons, and advise you of further steps you may take concerning further review or complaint.

You have the right to ask that we amend health information that we maintain about you if you believe such records are not accurate or complete. Such requests must be made in writing, and may be made by contacting a staff member at any Freeport Health Network location to obtain a PATIENT REQUEST FOR AMENDMENT OF HEALTH INFORMATION form. If we accept your request, we will append and link such additional or clarifying information to your records. If not, we will notify you of the reasons, and advise you of further steps you may take concerning the disputed information or further complaint.

You have the right to receive an accounting, or listing, of certain types of disclosures of your protected health information made by us and by any business associates we have asked to perform a function on our behalf. However, this right and accounting does not include most routine types of disclosures that are made for health care operations, such as disclosures made for treatment, payment, or health care purposes, to disclosures made to you, to disclosures made pursuant to your written Authorization, to disclosures made for facility directory or to family, friends and persons involved in your care, to disclosures made for national security or intelligence, to disclosures made to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials, or to disclosures that were made prior to 4/14/03. All requests for an accounting of disclosures must be made in writing, and may be made by contacting a staff member at any Freeport Health Network location to obtain a PATIENT REQUEST FOR ACCOUNTING OF DISCLOSURES form. You may request an accounting for up to the 6-year period prior to your request, and we may charge you for more than one request in any twelve-month period.

You have the right to obtain a paper copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices upon request.

Our Obligations to You:

We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected health information, to provide you with this Notice explaining our legal duties and our privacy practices with respect to your health information, and to follow the terms of the Notice of Privacy Practices currently in effect.

We may change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices, and such changes will apply to all protected health information maintained, including information which was created or received prior to the date of such revised Notice.

In the event we materially change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices, we will post any revised Notice at all Freeport Health Network locations and on our website at www.Freeporthealthnet.com or www.fhn.org and you may obtain a copy of any revised Notice through the office of our Privacy Official.

Concerns or Complaints

We are committed to upholding your privacy rights. If you at any time become concerned that your privacy rights may have been violated or otherwise disagree with a decision concerning access to or the handling of your health information, we ask that you provide us an opportunity to address your concerns by contacting the office of our Freeport Health Network Privacy Official at 815-599-6000. If you prefer to inquire or make a complaint in writing, you may send such correspondence to the attention of our Privacy Official at Freeport Health Network, 1045 W. Stephenson St., Freeport, IL, 61032.

You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of Health & Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20201 if you believe that your privacy rights have been violated.

You will not be penalized or retaliated against for making such inquiries or complaints.

Contact Person for Further Information:

Should you have any questions or you would like further information concerning matters contained in our Notice of Privacy Practices, please contact the office of our Freeport Health Network Privacy Official at 815-599-6000.


 

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