Scheurer Magazine // 2022

PRIVACY AND YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION You have privacy rights under a federal law that protects your health information. These rights are important for you to know. Federal law sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information. Physicians, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other healthcare providers are required to follow these federal laws, as well as health insurance companies, HMO’s, most employer group health plans and certain government programs that pay for healthcare, such as Medicare and Medicaid. CONFIDENTIALITY NUMBER Each inpatient is assigned a Confidentiality Number. This number allows and identifies family and friends as someone who can legitimately receive information about you. This system is used to safeguard patient confidentiality and is a federal requirement under the Health Insurance • Information in your medical record inputted by your physician, provider and nurses • Conversations that provider has with nurses and others regarding your care or treatment • Information about you and your health insurer • Billing information about you at your provider’s ošce • Most other health information about you held by those who must follow these laws YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION RIGHTS Providers and health insurers who are required to follow these laws must comply with your right to: Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). WHAT INFORMATION IS PROTECTED? A wide variety of information is included in these protections. Items include:

• Ask to see and receive a copy of your health records • Have corrections added to your health information

• Receive a notice that tells you how your health information may be used and shared • Decide if you want to give your permission before your health information can be used or shared for certain purposes, such as marketing To make sure your health information is protected in a way that does not interfere with your healthcare, your information can be used and shared: • For your treatment and care coordination • To reimburse physicians, providers and hospitals for your healthcare costs • With those involved with your healthcare bills, unless you object • To make sure physicians and providers coordinate proper care • To protect the public’s health, such as to report if the flu or other illnesses are in your area • To complete required reports to the police, such as reporting gunshot wounds Without your written permission, your providers cannot: • Use or share your health information for marketing or advertising purposes • Share private notes about your mental health counseling sessions If you believe that your health information was used or shared in a way that is not allowed under the privacy law or if you were unable to exercise your rights, you can file a complaint with your provider or health insurer. You can also file a complaint with the U.S. Government, at


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