Your Right to Privacy (HIPAA)
Iredell Memorial Hospital's Health Care System (IMHHCS) uses health
information about you for a variety of important purposes, including providing
you with treatment, obtaining payment for treatment, or for administrative
purposes such as the evaluation of the quality of care that you receive.
Your health information is generally contained in medical, billing, or
other records that are the physical property of IMHHCS.
IMHHCS is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of your
health information. In keeping with this commitment, this Notice describes
the privacy practices of our hospital and the health care professionals
and other persons authorized to enter protected health information (PHI)
into your medical record, including (i) all departments of the System
(including the Women's Breast Health Center, Hospital Based Skilled
Nursing Facility and Iredell Home Health), that make up IMHHCS; (ii) all
IMHHCS employees, staff, unpaid volunteers, and other non-physician personnel;
and (iii) all physicians on the IMHHCS medical staff.
These facilities and persons, whom we include as part of IMHHCS for purposes
of this Notice, will use and share your PHI with each other in order to,
among other things, carry out joint treatment, payment and healthcare
operations described in more detail below. These facilities and persons
have also agreed to abide by this Notice in order to protect the privacy
of your PHI when conducting these joint healthcare activities.
IREDELL HEALTH SYSTEM
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
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.
Iredell Health System (“IHS”) uses and discloses your health
information for a variety of purposes, including providing you with treatment,
obtaining payment for treatment, and conducting administrative activities
such as the evaluation of the quality of care you receive. Your health
information is generally contained in medical, billing, and other records
that are the physical property of IHS.
IHS is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of your
health information. In keeping with this commitment, this Notice describes
the privacy practices of IHS and the following health care professionals
and others while providing care at IHS: (i) all departments and locations
of IHS (including Iredell Memorial Hospital, the Women’s Breast
Health Center, Hospital Based Skilled Nursing Facility, Iredell Home Health,
and Iredell Physician Network); (ii) all IHS employees, staff, unpaid
volunteers, and other non-physician personnel; and (iii) all physicians
on the IHS medical staff.
These facilities and persons, whom we include as part of IHS for purposes
of this Notice, will use and share your health information with each other
in order to, among other things, carry out joint treatment, payment, and
healthcare operations. These facilities and persons have agreed to abide
by this Notice in order to protect the privacy of your health information
when conducting these joint health care activities.
IHS may also use and disclose your health information as described below.
How IHS May Use and Disclose Your Health Information Without Your Authorization
for Treatment, Payment, and Healthcare Operations
Treatment. IHS may use and disclose your health information to provide you with medical
treatment and services. For example, a health care provider, like a physician
or a nurse, may share your health information with another provider, inside
or outside IHS, involved in your care. This sharing is necessary for health
care providers to determine the best treatment for you.
Payment. IHS may use and disclose your health information for purposes of receiving
payment for treatment and services we provide. For example, a bill may
be sent to you or to a third-party payor, such as your insurance company
or health plan. The information on the bill may contain information that
identifies you, your diagnosis, and treatment or supplies provided to you.
Health Care Operations. IHS may use and disclose your health information for health care operations
purposes. For example, your health information may be disclosed to members
of the medical staff, risk management and quality improvement personnel,
or others to evaluate the performance of our staff, to assess the quality
of care and outcomes in your case and similar cases, to learn how to improve
our facilities and services, and to determine how to continually improve
the quality and effectiveness of the health care we provide.
How IHS May Use or Disclose Your Health Information Without Your Authorization
for Other Specialized Purposes
Business Associates. We may use and disclose your health information when necessary for our
business associates to provide contracted services to us. For example,
if we hire a billing company to provide billing services to IHS, we may
disclose your health information to the billing company so it can provide
services to us. However, to protect your health information, we require
business associates to sign specialized agreements designed to safeguard
your health information in their hands.
Appointment reminders and other information. IHS may use your information to provide appointment reminders or information
about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services
that may be of interest to you.
Required by Law. IHS may use and disclose information about you as required by federal,
state, or local law, subject to all applicable legal requirements.
Public Health. Your health information may be used and disclosed for public health activities
such as assisting public health authorities or other legal authorities
in preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.
Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence. We may disclose your health information to a government authority when
the disclosure relates to victims of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect,
or the neglect or abuse of a child or an adult who is physically or mentally
Healthcare Oversight. We may be required to disclose your health information to a health oversight
agency for oversight activities authorized by law, including investigations,
inspections, audits, and similar oversight activities.
Lawsuits and Disputes. We may disclose your health information in response to a court order,
subpoena, or discovery request issued in the course of a judicial or administrative
proceeding. When a subpoena or other request is not accompanied by the
order of a court, we will take extra steps to ensure that your health
information is appropriately protected.
Law Enforcement. Your health information may be disclosed if requested by a law enforcement
official for certain purposes, including, but not limited to:
- Responding to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons, or similar process;
- Identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
- Gathering information about the victim of a crime if, under certain limited
circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person's agreement; and
- Investigating a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct.
Decedents. Your health information may be disclosed to funeral home directors, medical
examiners, and coroners to enable them to carry out their lawful duties.
Organ/Tissue Donation. Your health information may be used and disclosed for cadaveric organ,
eye, or tissue donation purposes.
Research. IHS may use and disclose your health information for research purposes
in certain circumstances. For example, IHS may use and disclose your health
information when an institutional review board or privacy board has reviewed
and approved the research proposal and established protocols to ensure
the privacy of your health information.
Serious Threats to Health and Safety. Your health information may be used and disclosed to avert a serious threat
to your or another person’s health or safety. Any disclosure for
this purpose would be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
Inmates. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or otherwise in the
custody of law enforcement, we may disclose your health information to
the correctional institution or a law enforcement official to provide
you with health care, to protect your health and safety or the health
and safety of others, or for the safety and security of the correctional
institution. Government Functions. Your health information may be used
and disclosed for specialized government functions, such as national security,
protection of public officials, or reporting to
various branches of the armed services.
Workers Compensation. Your health information may be used and disclosed in order to comply with
laws and regulations related to workers compensation or other similar programs.
Other specialized uses and disclosures. Unless you object or request restrictions, we may also use and disclose
health information about you as follows:
- We may share your name, your room number, and your general condition (stable,
fair, good) in our patient listing with clergy and with people who ask
for you by name. We also may share your religious affiliation with clergy.
- We may share relevant portions of your health information with persons
directly involved in your care or payment for your care if those persons
are family members, relatives, friends, or other persons identified by you.
- We may share your health information to notify, or assist in the notification
of, a family member, relative, friend, or other person identified by you
of your location, general condition, or death.
- We may share your health information with a public or private agency (for
example, American Red Cross) for disaster relief purposes. Even if you
object, we may still share the health information about you, if necessary,
in emergency circumstances.
- We may contact you for the purpose of raising funds for IHS. You have the
right to opt out of receiving such communications, and any fundraising
communications you receive will explain how you can opt out.
Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization
In situations other than those described above, we will ask for your written
authorization before using or disclosing your health information. If you
choose to sign an authorization to allow us to use and disclose your health
information for certain purposes, you can later revoke that authorization
by contacting the Privacy Officer. However, you cannot revoke your authorization
for uses and disclosures that we have already made in reliance on the
The law specifically requires that we obtain your authorization for the
following uses and disclosures of your health information:
Psychotherapy Notes. We must obtain your authorization for any use or disclosure of psychotherapy
notes, except to carry out certain treatment, payment, or health care
operations functions or as otherwise required or permitted by law.
Marketing. We must obtain your authorization for any use or disclosure of your health
information for marketing purposes, except if the marketing communication
is in the form of a face-to-face communication or a promotional gift of
nominal value. If the marketing involves
financial remuneration to us, the authorization you sign to permit such
marketing must state that remuneration is involved.
Sale of Health Information. We must obtain your authorization prior to selling any of your health
information. If we obtain your authorization for this purpose, the authorization
must state that the disclosure will result in remuneration to us.
Health Information Exchange. We participate in the North Carolina Health Information Exchange ("HIE")
program called NC HealthConnex. This means that we may electronically
share your health information with others for treatment, payment, health
care operations and other purposes permitted by law. You have the right
to "opt-out" of some types of HIE health information sharing.
For more information and for instructions on how opt-out, go to
When Other Laws Apply
In the event that North Carolina law or any other applicable law requires
us to give more protection to your health information than stated in this
Notice or required by federal privacy law, we will provide that additional
Your Health Information Rights
You have the right to:
- request that IHS restrict certain uses and disclosures of your health information.
IHS is not required to agree to a requested restriction in most cases;
however, if IHS does agree, it must abide by those restrictions. IHS must
agree to a requested restriction if the disclosure is to a health plan
for the purpose of payment or health care operations and is not otherwise
required by law and the health information pertains solely to a health
care item or service for which you or someone on your behalf (other than
the health plan) has paid in full;
- request and obtain a paper copy of this Notice at any time, even if you
have previously agreed to receive this Notice electronically;
- submit a written request to access, inspect, and obtain a copy of your
health information, either on paper or electronically, although IHS may
deny your request in certain limited circumstances. IHS may charge a reasonable,
cost-based fee for providing copies of your health information;
- make a written request to amend your health information, although IHS may
deny your request under certain limited circumstances;
- submit a written request that IHS communicate your health information by
alternative means or at alternative locations (IHS will accommodate all
reasonable requests); and
- receive a list of certain disclosures we have made of your health information
during the previous six years. The list may not include certain disclosures
as provided by law. For example, the list may not include disclosures
made for treatment, payment, or health care
Obligations of IHS
IHS is required by law to protect and maintain the privacy of your health
information, to provide you with this Notice and abide by the terms of
its Notice currently in effect, and to notify you of a breach of your
unsecured protected health information.
Revisions to this Notice
IHS reserves the right to revise this Notice at any time and to make the
new provisions effective for all health information that it maintains.
Revised Notices will be posted at IHS locations and on its website and
will be made available to you upon request.
You may complain to IHS and to the Department of Health and Human Services
(“DHHS”) if you believe your privacy rights have been violated.
You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint. Complaints
to DHHS should be directed to the following address:
Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 16T70
61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8909
If you have any questions or complaints, please contact the IHS Privacy
Officer at extension 3500 (704-878-4500 from outside the hospital) any
time between 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M on weekdays.
Dial our hospital operator at extension “0” (704-873-5661
from outside the hospital) and ask for the Nursing Supervisor.
Effective Date: September 12, 2013
Our HIPAA policy is also available as a PDF file in