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Patient Privacy and HIPAA

patient charts

Most feel health information should be protected because the information is private and personal. Records may contain prescriptions, fertility treatments, gene testing, your child’s Autism or ADD, hospital admissions, and addiction treatment. Because of this, a federal law was created in 1996 called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), that gives you rights over your health information, including the right to obtain a copy of your information, make sure it is correct, and know who has seen it.

You have the right to ask to see or get a copy of your medical record and health information. If you would like a copy, you will need to put your request in writing and pay for the cost of copying and mailing the records. In most cases, your copies will be given to you within 30 days.

You have the right to ask to change any wrong information in your file or add information to your file if you feel something is missing or incomplete. Even if the healthcare entity doesn’t agree, you still have the right to have the disagreement notes in your file. In most cases, the record should be updated within 60 days.

You have the right to control who will see your protected, identifiable health information. This means that communications with or about you involving your health information will be private and limited to those who need the information for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations.  Such communications may involve verbal discussions, written communications, or electronic communications.  Only those people with an authorized need to know will have access to protected information.

Your information is protected in a variety of ways. Any entities required under HIPAA to protect your health information have safeguards put in place to ensure your health information is not used or disclosed improperly. Those entities have procedures in place to limit who can view and access your health information as well as implement training programs for employees about how to protect your health information. 

You can ask for or get a copy of our privacy notice at any time. This notice is available on our website, www.hnjh.org. It explains how medical information about you may be used and disclosed. Helen Newberry Joy Hospital must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice. For more information about health information privacy, visit www.hhs.gov/hipaa