The Weirton Medical Center website is committed to providing you with quality health care information. We are also firmly committed to respecting the privacy of your general and personally identifiable health information. Weirton Medical Center will not share or sell any personally identifiable information we gather to any company, organization, or person outside of Weirton Medical Center . Any general personal information you voluntarily provide when using our website, such as your name, address, or e-mail address will only be used to provide you with information that you specifically request. We will not use your general or personally identifiable health information without your prior consent.
While we will make every effort to protect the privacy of your health information, you understand and agree that we cannot and do not warrant that information sent via the internet is free from tampering or unauthorized observation. You should think carefully before disclosing any general personal information or personally identifiable health-related information when using this website.
Weirton Medical Center’s Notice of Privacy Practices
I.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.
II. WE HAVE A LEGAL DUTY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION (PHI).
We are legally required to protect the privacy of your health information. We call this information protected health information, or PHI for short, and it includes information that can be used to identify you that we have created or received about your past, present, or future health or condition, the provision of health care to you, or the payment of this health care. We must provide you with this notice about our privacy practices that explains how, when and why we use and disclose your PHI. With some exceptions, we may not use or disclose any more of your PHI than is necessary to accomplish the purpose of the use or disclosure. We are legally required to follow the privacy practices that are described in this notice.
However, we reserve the right to change the terms of this notice and our privacy policies at any time. Any changes will apply to the PHI we already have. Before we make an important change to our policies, we will promptly change this notice and post a new notice in our lobby area. You can also request a copy of this notice from the contact person listed in Section VI below at any time and can view a copy of the notice on of Website at www.weirtonmedical.com.
III. HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION.
We use and disclose health information for many different reasons. For some of these uses or disclosures, we need your prior consent or specific authorization. Below, we describe the different categories of our uses and disclosures and give you some examples of each category.
A. Uses and Disclosures Relating to Treatment, Payment or Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose your PHI for the following reasons:
1. For treatment. We may disclose your PHI to physicians, nurses, medical students, and other health care personnel who provide you with health care services or are involved in your care. For example: If you are being treated for a knee injury, we may disclose your PHI to the physical rehabilitation department in order to coordinate your care.
2. To obtain payment for treatment. We may use and disclose your PHI in order to bill and collect payment for the treatment and services provided to you. For example: we may provide portions of your PHI to our billing department and your health plan to get paid for the health care services we provided to you. We may also provide your PHI to our business associates, such as billing companies, claims, processing companies, and others that process our health care claims.
3. For health care operations. We may disclose your PHI in order to operate this hospital. For example: we may use your PHI in order to evaluate the quality of health care services that you received or to evaluate the performance of the health care professionals who provided health care services to you. We may also provide your PHI to our accountants, attorneys, consultants, and others in order to make sure we are complying with the laws that affect us.
B. Certain Uses and Disclosures Do Not Require Your Consent. In addition to uses and disclosures for payment and health care operations, we may use and/or disclose your PHI for the following reasons:
1. When a disclosure is required by federal, state or local law, judicial or administrative proceedings, or law enforcement. For example, we make disclosures when a law requires that we report information to government agencies and law enforcement personnel about victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence; when dealing with gunshot and other wounds; or when ordered in a judicial or administrative proceeding.
2. Inmates. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose your protected health information to the correctional institution or to a law enforcement official for: (1) the institution to provide health care to you; (2) your health and safety and the health and safety of others; or (3) the safety and security of the correctional institution.
3. For public health activities. For example, we report information about births, deaths, and various diseases, to government officials in charge of collecting that information, and we provide coroners, medical examiners, and funeral directors necessary information relating to an individual’s death.
4. For health oversight activities. For example, we will provide information to assist the government when it conducts an investigation or inspection of a health care provider or organization.
5. For purposes of organ donation. We may notify organ procurement organizations to assist them in organ, eye or tissue donation and transplants.
6. For research purposes. We may disclose your protected health information to researchers when an institutional review board or privacy board has: (1) reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of the information; and (2) approved the research.
7. To prevent a serious threat to health or safety. Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, we may disclose your protected health information if we believe that the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or to the public.
8. For specific government functions. We may disclose PHI of military personnel and veterans in certain situations, and we may disclose PHI for national security purposes, such as protecting the President of the United States or conducting intelligence operations.
9. For workers’ compensation purposes. We may provide PHI in order to comply with workers compensation laws.
10. Appointment reminders and health-related benefits or services. We may use PHI to provide appointment reminders or give you information about treatment alternatives, or other health care services or benefits we offer.
11. Fundraising activities. We may use PHI to raise funds for Weirton Medical Center. The money raised through these activities is used to expand and support the health care services and educational programs we provide to the community. If you do not wish to be contacted as part of our fundraising efforts, please contact the person listed in Section VI below.
C. Right to Request a Restriction.
1. You have the right to request a restriction on the protected health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement unless the information is needed to provide emergency treatment to you. Any agreement we may make to a request for additional restrictions must be in writing signed by a person authorized to make such an agreement on our behalf.
2. Patient Directories. We may include your name and location in this facility in our patient directory for use by visitors who ask for you by name, unless you object in whole or in part. We may include your name and location in this facility to clergy who ask for you by name unless you object in part.
3. Disclosures to family, friends, or others. We may provide your PHI to a family member, friend or other person that you indicate is involved in your care or the payment for your health care, unless you object in whole or in part.
D. Other Uses and Disclosures of Your Protected Health Information. Other uses and disclosures of your protected health information that are not described above will be made only with your written authorization. If you provide us with such an authorization, you may revoke the authorization in writing, and this revocation will be effective for future uses and disclosures of protected health information. However, the revocation will not be effective for information that we already have used or disclosed, relying on the authorization.
IV. WHAT RIGHTS YOU HAVE REGARDING PHI.
You have the following rights with respect to your PHI:
A. The Right to Request Limits on Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI. You have the right to ask that we limit how we use and disclose your PHI. We will consider your request, but are not legally required to accept it. If we accept your request, we will put any limits in writing and abide by them except in emergency situations. You may not limit the uses and disclosures that we are legally required or allowed to make.
B. The Right to Choose How We Send PHI to You. You have the right to ask that we send information to you to an alternate address (for example, sending information to your work address rather than your home address) or by alternate means (for example, fax instead of regular mail). We must agree to your request so long as we can easily provide it in the format you request.
C. Your individual rights. The following is a description of your rights with respect to your protected health information:
1. Right to Access. You have the right to look at or get copies of your protected health information in a designated record set. Generally, a “designated record set” contains medical and billing records, as well as other records that are used to make decisions about your health care and related billing. However, you may not inspect or copy psychotherapy notes or certain other information that may be contained in a designated record set. You must make a request in writing to obtain access to your protected health information.
To inspect and/or copy your protected health information, you may obtain a form to request access by using the contact information listed at the end of this Notice. You may also request access by sending us a letter to the address at the end of this Notice. If you request access to your designated record set, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests. If you prefer, we will prepare a summary or an explanation of your protected health information for a fee. Contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice for a full explanation of our fee structure.
D. Right to an Accounting. You have a right to an accounting of certain disclosures of your protected health information that are for reasons other than treatment, payment or health care operations. You should know that most disclosures of protected health information will be for purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations.
An accounting will include the date(s) of the disclosure, to whom we made the disclosure, a brief description of the information disclosed, and the purpose for the disclosure.
We will respond within 60 days of receiving your request. The list we will give you will include disclosures made in the last six years unless you request a shorter time. The list will include the date of the disclosure, to whom PHI was disclosed, including their address, if known, a description of the information disclosed, and the reason for the disclosure.
The first list you request within a 12 month period will be free. If you request this list more than once in a 12 month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests. Contact us using the information listed at the end of this Notice for a full explanation of our fee structure.
E. The Right to Correct or Update Your PHI. If you believe that there is a mistake in your PHI or that a piece of important information is missing, you have the right to request that we correct the existing information or add the missing information. You must provide the request and your reason for the request in writing. We will respond within 60 days of receiving your request. We may deny your request in writing if the PHI is (i) correct and complete, (ii) not created by us, (iii) not allowed to be disclosed, or (iv) not part of your records. Our written denial will state the reasons for the denial and explain your right to file a written statement of disagreement with the denial. If you do not file one, you have the right to request that your request and our denial be attached to all future disclosures of your PHI. If we approve your request, we will make the change to your PHI, tell you that we have done it, and tell others that need to know about the change of your PHI.
V. HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PRIVACY PRACTICES.
If you think that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your PHI, you may file a complaint with the person listed in Section VI below. You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request. We will take no retaliatory action against you if you file a complaint about our privacy practices.
VI. PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS NOTICE OR TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PRIVACY PRACTICES.
If you have any questions about this notice or any complaints about our privacy practices, or would like to know how to file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services, please contact:
Weirton Medical Center Privacy Department
601 Colliers Way
Weirton, WV 26062
VII. EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS NOTICE.
This notice went into effect on April 14, 2003.