This Notice explains how we may use and share medical information about you in order to provide health care, obtain payment for that health care, and operate our business. This Section also describes several other circumstances in which we may use and share your medical information. We do not need your authorization (permission) to use your medical information in the following circumstances:
We keep records of the care and services we provide to you. We may use and share your information with doctors, nurses, technicians, medical or nursing students, or anyone else who needs the information to take care of you.
Example 1: A doctor treating a patient for a broken leg may need to ask another doctor if the patient has diabetes, because diabetes may slow the leg’s healing process. This may involve talking to doctors and others not employed by us. If they are involved in the patient’s health care, we may disclose the patient’s medical information to them for purposes of the patient’s treatment.
Example 2: We use medical information to notify you about products or services we provide that are related to your health, recommend treatment alternatives and to provide information about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
We may use and share information about you so that we and other health care providers that have provided services to you, such as an ambulance company, may bill and collect payment for those services. Your information may be used to obtain payment from you, your insurance company, or another person you identify.
Example: We submit claims for services rendered using medical information about the services provided to obtain payment from insurance companies, including Medicare, and family members or others who are responsible for paying the patient’s bill.
3. Health Care Operations
We may use and share information about you for business tasks necessary for our operations, including, for example, to improve the quality of care, train staff and students, provide customer services, or conduct any required business duties to better serve our patients and community. Also, we may share your medical information with others we hire to help us provide services and programs.
4. Relatives, Close Friends, and Caregivers
We may share your medical information with your family member or relative, a close personal friend, or another person you identify if you do not object to the disclosure or you agree to share your information with them. If, for some reason such as medical emergency, you are not able to agree or disagree, we may use our professional judgment to decide whether sharing your information is in your best interest. This includes information about your location and general condition.
5. Contacting You
We may use and share your medical information to contact you about appointments and other matters by mail, telephone, or email. When calling you at the number you give us to remind you of your appointment, we may include your name, the clinic, the location, and the physician or other health care provider you have the appointment with in any message left on an answering machine or with an individual who answers the phone. We will honor any reasonable request you make to receive an appointment reminder in a different way. We may also contact you to follow up regarding test results, care received, or to notify you about treatment options or health-related products or services that may interest you.
6. Patient Directory
We may automatically include your name, location in the hospital, general health condition and religious affiliation in a directory of patients in our hospital unless you tell us you do not want your information in the directory. Information in the directory may be shared in emergency situations and to members of the clergy. Directory information other than religious affiliation may also be shared with anyone who asks for you by name.
We may use limited information about you (e.g., your name, address, phone number, date of birth, gender, dates on which we provided health care to you, your treating physician, outcome information, and health insurance status) to contact you to raise money for our programs and services. You can opt out of these communications at any time by contacting our Development Office by phone at (773) 834-9166 or by e-mail at supportUCMC@bsd.uchicago.edu.
We perform research at UCMC. Our researchers may use or share your information without your authorization (a) if the group that oversees research gives them permission to do so, (b) if the patient data is being used to prepare for a research study, or (c) if the research is limited to data of deceased patients.
9. Permitted and Required by Law
We are required and permitted by federal, state and local laws to share medical information to certain government agencies and others. For example, we may share your medical information to:
Report information to public health authorities for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability;
Report abuse and neglect to government authorities, including social service or protective service agencies;
Report information about products and services to the FDA;
Alert a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of developing or spreading a disease or condition;
Report information to your employer as required under laws addressing work-related illnesses and injuries or workplace medical surveillance;
Prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to a person for the public’s health or safety, or to certain government agencies with special functions; and
Report proof of student immunization to your schools.
We may also share your medical information:
With a government oversight agency that oversees the health care system and ensures the rules of government health programs and other rules that apply to us, are being followed;
As a part of a judicial or administrative proceeding in response to a legal order or other lawful process;
With the police or other law enforcement officials for example, reporting about certain physical injuries, crimes, victims or unidentified patients; and
For special government programs, for example programs related to veterans or the military.
10. Organ and Tissue Donation
We may release your medical information to organizations that manage organ, tissue, and eye donation and transplantation.
11. Deceased Patients
We may share medical information about deceased patients to the coroner, medical examiner or funeral director.