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Uses & Disclosures of Medical Information

We use and disclose medical information about you for treatment, payment and health care operations.

Treatment: We may use and disclose your medical information to a physician or other health care provider in order to provide treatment to you. This includes coordination of your care with other health care providers, and with health plans, consultation with other providers, and referral to other providers related to your care.

Payment: We may use and disclose your medical information to obtain payment for services we provide to you. Payment includes submitting claims to health plans and other insurers, justifying our charges for and demonstrating the medical necessity of the care we deliver to you, determining your eligibility for health plan benefits for the care we furnish to you, obtaining precertification or preauthorization for your treatment or referral to other health care providers, participating in utilization review of the services we provide to you and the like. We may disclose your medical information to another health care provider or entity subject to the federal Privacy Rules so they can obtain payment.

Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose your medical information in connection with our health care operations. Health care operations include:

  • Quality assessment and improvement activities
  • Reviewing the competence or qualifications of health care professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities;
  • Medical Review
  • Legal services and auditing, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance
  • Business planning and development
  • Business management and general administrative activities, including management activities relating to privacy, customer service, resolution of internal grievances, and creating de-identified medical information or a
    limited data set

We will not electronically disclose your medical information to another person without your authorization, except that we may electronically disclose your medical information to another person without your authorization in furtherance of treatment, payment or health care operation activities.

We may disclose your medical information to another provider or health plan that is subject to the Privacy Rules, as long as that provider or plan has a relationship with you and the medical information is for their health care quality assessment and improvement activities, competence and qualification evaluation and review activities, or fraud and abuse detection and prevention.

On Your Authorization: You may give us written authorization to use your medical information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. You must give us your authorization to electronically disclose your medical information to another person, except for electronic disclosures made in furtherance of treatment, payment or health care operation activities. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Unless you give us a written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your medical information for any reason except those described in this Notice. Unless you give us your written authorization, we will not use or disclose your medical information for any reason except those permitted and described by this Notice.

Psychotherapy Notes: Except as otherwise permitted by law, we will not use or disclose your psychotherapy notes without your written authorization.

To Your Family & Friends: We may disclose your medical information to a family member, friend or other person to the extent necessary to help with your medical care or with payment for your health care. We may use or disclose your name, hospital location, and general condition or death to notify, or assist in the notification of (including identifying or locating) a person involved in your care. We may also disclose your medical information to whomever you give us permission. If you are not present, or in the event of your incapacity or an emergency, we will disclose your medical information based on our professional judgment of whether the disclosure would be in your best interest. We will also use our professional judgment and our experience with common practice to allow a person to pick up filled prescriptions, medical supplies or other similar forms of medical information.

Facility Directory: We may use your name, your location, your general medical condition, and your religious affiliation in our facility directories. We will disclose this information to members of the clergy and, except for religious affiliation, to other persons who ask for you by name. We will provide you with an opportunity to restrict or prohibit some or all disclosures for facility directories unless emergency circumstances prevent your opportunity to object.

Disaster Relief: We may use or disclose your medical information to a public or private entity authorized by law or by its charter to assist in disaster relief efforts.

Health-Related Services: We may use your medical information to contact you with information about health-related benefits and services or about treatment alternatives that may be of interest to you. We may disclose your medical information to a business associate to assist us in these activities.

Business Associate: We may contract with one or more third parties (our business associates) in the course of our business operations. We may disclose your medical information to business associates who may have access to or be given your medical information in order to provide the contracted services. We require that our business associates sign a business associate agreement and agree to safeguard the privacy and security of your medical information.

Marketing: Except as otherwise permitted by state or federal law, we will not use or disclose your medical information for marketing purposes without your written authorization. However, we may communicate with you in the form of face-to-face conversations about services and treatment alternatives. We may also provide you with promotional gifts of nominal value. We may also communicate about certain patient assistance and prescription drug saving or discount programs.

Fund-Raising: We may use your demographic information, the dates of your health care, your department of service information, your treating physician, your health outcome information and your insurance status to contact you for our fund-raising purposes. We may disclose this information to a business associate or foundation to assist us in our fund-raising activities. If you would like more information on the Memorial Hermann Foundation call 713.222.CARE. You may also opt-out of any and all fund-raising communications by calling 713.222.CARE and requesting an Opt-out form or by following the opt-out instructions in any fund-raising communication.

Sale of Your Medical Information: Except as otherwise permitted by law, we will not sell your medical information to another person without your authorization.

Public Benefit: We may use or disclose your medical information as authorized by law for the following purposes deemed to be in the public interest or benefit:

  • Public Health activities including disease and vital statistics, reporting, child abuse reporting, adult protective services and FDA oversight
  • Employers, regarding work-related illness or injury
  • Cancer Registry
  • Trauma Registry
  • Birth Registry
  • Health Oversight Agencies
  • In response to court and administrative orders and other lawful processes
  • To law enforcement officials pursuant to subpoenas and other lawful processes, concerning crime victims, suspicious deaths, crimes on our premises, reporting crimes in emergencies, and for purposes of identifying or locating a suspect or other person
  • To coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors
  • To organ procurement organizations
  • To avert a serious threat to health or safety
  • In connection with certain research activities
  • To correctional institutions regarding inmates
  • As authorized by state worker’s compensation laws
  • To the military, to federal officials for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and national security activities, and to correctional institutions and law enforcement regarding persons in lawful custody