Summit Health is committed to protecting the confidentiality of your health information. We have policies and safeguards in place to protect your privacy. Summit Health is also required by state and federal laws to protect the confidentiality of your health information and to provide you with this Notice.
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.
The confidential health information that we collect as we deliver care or services to you is called “protected health information” or “PHI”. We can use and disclose your PHI without any special consent from you:
- To provide treatment and to help us coordinate services among Summit Health personnel and with others involved in your care such as family members (unless you tell us not to talk to your family), your pharmacist, suppliers of medical equipment and your physician; or we can use your information to recommend an alternative treatment to you or to notify you of a service such as availability of flu shots. We may use your PHI to send you an appointment reminder.
- To obtain payment such as including your PHI on invoices to collect payment. For example, we may be required by your insurer to provide information regarding your health so that they will pay you or Summit Health. We may also need to obtain prior approval from your insurer and explain your need for the care or services that we will provide to you.
- For health care operations such as using your PHI to evaluate and improve the quality of the services or to write new guidelines to provide more effective nursing care; to conduct supervision of employees or evaluate their performance; to train our employees or student nurses; to determine your satisfaction with our services; for general business planning and development; or for business management and general administrative activities.
Federal regulations also permit us to disclose your PHI without your permission in the following situations:
- To public health authorities;
- To a government representative responsible for responding to concerns about abuse, neglect or domestic violence as permitted by law;
- in response to a court order, subpoena or discovery request in litigation;
- For some law enforcement purposes;
- To local or national health oversight organizations that conduct audits or investigations;
- To funeral directors, coroners and medical examiners;
- For purposes of organ or tissue donation;
- For some research purposes, including partially de-identified PHI if the researcher commits to protect its confidentiality;
- To avert a serious threat to health or safety;
- To our “business associates”, which are organizations that assist us with payment and health care operations;
- If we are required by law to disclose it;
- When the disclosure is incidental to another proper purpose;
- For special government functions such as national security; and,
- For worker’s compensation.
Otherwise, we will not disclose your PHI without your written authorization. You can revoke your authorization at any time unless we have already relied upon it.
You also have the following rights regarding the use and disclosure of your PHI:
- You can request that we restrict its use and disclosures-such as not sharing this information with a particular family member. However, we are not required to agree with every restriction and we may end such a restriction if we believe it puts you or your health at risk. You can also decide to end a restriction at any time.
- You can request that communication between you and Summit Health be provided to you in a specialized way to provide extra confidentiality protection. For example, we can send all of our written communication to your daughter’s address, if you ask us to do so.
- You can ask to inspect and copy, for a fee, your PHI and you can request to correct errors.
- You may receive an accounting of many of the disclosures we have made of your PHI other than those for treatment, payment, or health care operations.
If you believe that your confidentiality has been violated, you can contact our corporate Privacy Officer Richard Penington through our Summit Health Southfield, MI office at (248) 799-8303 to file a complaint or you can file a complaint with the office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. We want to hear your concerns, and you will not be retaliated against if you file a complaint.
If you wish to see your PHI, receive a copy of it or ask to amend it, please contact Richard Penington at our Southfield, MI office, (248) 799-8303.
We at Summit Health abide by this Notice which is effective April 14, 2003. The Notice is available to any individual upon request. If you have already received an electronic copy, you may also have a paper copy. We do reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice at any time. If we change it, a revised Notice will be available at our service sites. The changes will apply to all your PHI even if we had it before the change.
If you have any concerns about this Notice or wish to have additional information, you may contact Richard Penington who is our Corporate Privacy Officer at (248) 799-8303. We welcome your questions, as the privacy of your protected health information is important to us.