Patient Privacy Notice
Our Pledge to Protect Your Privacy
Thanks for visiting Community HealthCare System’s web site (the "site"), www.chcsks.org.
Community HealthCare System ("CHCS") knows that medical information about you or your family ("you") is personal. As a patient of CHCS, the care and treatment you receive is recorded in a medical record. So that we may best meet your medical needs, we share your medical record with all the health care providers involved in your care. We share your information only to the extent necessary to conduct our business operations, to collect payment for the services we provide you and to comply with the laws that govern health care.
This Patient Privacy Notice ("notice") describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of your information. If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact our Corporate Privacy Officer at 785-889-4274.
We are sharing this Notice because we want you to understand:
- Who will follow this notice.
- How we may use and share your medical information.
- Your rights concerning your medical information.
- How to file a complaint about your privacy.
Who will follow this Notice
All associates of CHCS share the same commitment to protect your privacy and will follow these privacy practices. This notice does not cover non-CHCS physicians or other area providers who are not owned or affiliated with CHCS. These organizations should provide you with a separate notice that explains how they will collect, use and disclose your medical information.
We may use and share your medical information for:
We will share your information with those who are caring for you. For example, if you come in with a broken arm, we will give your x-rays to your doctor. If you need medication, the doctor may share your information with your pharmacist.
We may share your medical information with the person or company paying for your care, such as determining insurance coverage, billing, payment and collection, claims management, and medical data processing. For example, we may tell your health plan about a treatment you are planning in order to receive approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the proposed treatment. We may disclose your health information to other health care providers so they can receive payment for health care services that they provided to you, such as imaging professional fees or ambulance services. We may also give information to other third parties or individuals who are responsible for payment for your health care. For example, if you come to us with a broken arm, we will tell your insurance company why you came in and what we did for you.
Health Care Operations:
We may use your medical information to improve the way we provide care to you and others. We may disclose your health information for routine facility operations such as, but not limited to, strategic planning and business development, quality review, internal auditing, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities, medical research and education for staff and students and to other health care entities that have a relationship with you and need the information for operational purposes.
Disclosures to Business Associates:
CHCS contracts with outside companies that perform services for us, including billing companies, management consultants, quality assurance reviewers, accountants and attorneys. In certain circumstances, we may need to share your medical information with a business so it can perform a service on our behalf. CHCS will limit the disclosure of your information to a business associate to the minimum amount of information necessary for the company to perform services for CHCS. In addition, we will have a written contract in place with the business associate requiring it to protect the privacy of your medical information.
We may call or send a letter to remind you about your appointment. Please tell us if you do not want your information used in this way.
We may use sign-in sheets in our offices and call your name when the doctor is ready to see you.
Treatment Choices and Other Services:
We may send you information about different ways to treat you and about other health benefits or services that you may want to know about.
We may share your information with the CHCS Foundation so that the Foundation may contact you. The Foundation raises money for CHCS to use to help needy families, buy new equipment, and provide facilities and services. Please call the Foundation at 785-889-4274, ext. 1111 if you do not want to be contacted.
We may share your information for research. The law requires us to take extra steps to protect your privacy and tell why we will be using your information.
We may use your information in our directory. Our directory has your name, religion, room number and how you are doing. If someone asks for you by name, we will tell them your room number and how you are doing. We may allow members of the clergy to see our directory even if they do not ask for you by name. Please tell us if you do not want to be listed in our directory.
People Involved In Your Care:
We may share your medical information with a family member or a friend who is involved in your care. We may also share your information with a person or company who is helping to pay your bill. Please tell us if you do not want your information shared in this way.
If there is a disaster such as a tornado, flood or plane crash, we may use your medical information to notify your family, including your condition or location. We may also release information to an agency such as the Red Cross. Please tell us if you do not want your information shared in this way.
We may use your information to send a survey to you in the mail. Your answers will help us provide better care.
To increase the level of security in our facilities, we sometimes use security cameras and recorders in public areas such as the Emergency Department, hallways and parking lots. We do not use these devices in any private areas such as patient or exam rooms unless doing so is part of the treatment we provide.
We May Share Your Medical Information Without Your Permission:
As Required By Law:
An example is the mandatory reporting of trauma injuries to the Kansas Trauma Registry, a statewide data repository for traumatic injuries occurring in Kansas and/or treated by hospitals in Kansas.
To stop a serious threat to someone’s health or safety:
We may only share this information with someone who can stop the threat.
For Public Health:
We may share your medical information with a public health agency such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In some situations we may share your medical information with law enforcement. If we believe you are a victim of abuse or some other crime we may tell the police. We may also tell the police if you commit a crime at our facility.
State and Federal Review:
We may share your medical information when we are being reviewed. For example, we may share your information with Medicare or Medicaid when they are reviewing the way we provide care.
We may share your medical information when responding to proper requests in legal proceedings.
In some cases we may not share your child’s medical information with you. For example, there are times when your child can seek care without your permission.
Organ and Tissue Donation:
If you are an organ donor, we may share your medical information with organizations that handle organ procurement and transplantation, or to an organ donation bank as is necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
In Case of Death:
We may share your medical information with a coroner, medical examiner or funeral director. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a person who died or to determine the cause of death. We may also release health information to help a funeral director to carry out his or herduties.
Military and Veterans:
If you are in the military or a veteran, we may share your medical information when required by law. We may also release health information about foreign military personnel to appropriate foreign military authorities.
We may share your medical information when required by law for national security purposes.
Protection of the President and Others:
We may share your medical information when required by law for protection services of the President and other important leaders.
Department of State:
We may share your medical information when required for security clearances and physicals of State Department personnel and their dependents.
If you are a prisoner or in police custody, we may share your medical information when required by law.
If you are receiving care because you were hurt at work we may share your medical information with your employer and others as required by Workers’ Compensation laws.
Certain incidental disclosures of your medical information may occur. For example, a visitor may inadvertently overhear a discussion about your care occurring at the nurses' station. These incidental disclosures are permitted if the hospital applies reasonable safeguards to protect your medical information.
Your Rights Concerning Medical Information About You
Your Rights Concerning Your Medical Information Right To Request Restrictions:
You can ask us not to share your medical information for treatment, payment and health care operations. Usually, we will not agree to this request because it would make it difficult for us to care for you. You can ask us not to share your medical information with family or friends who are involved in your care. If you want to make any of these requests you must do so in writing. The law does not require us to agree to your request. If you need emergency treatment we may share your medical information even if you have asked us not to.
Right To See And Get A Copy:
You have the right to see and get a copy of your medical information for as long as we have it. We may charge a fee for giving you a copy. Sometimes the law does not allow us to let you see your medical information. If this happens, you can appeal our decision. Your appeal must be made in writing.
Right To Request Confidential Communications:
You can ask us to contact you in certain ways. For example, you can ask that we not send your bills or appointment reminders to your home address or call you at your work number. This request must be made in writing and tell us how you would like to be contacted. We will agree to reasonable requests.
Right To Amend:
You can ask us to change your medical information that you believe is incorrect or incomplete. For example, you can ask us to correct errors such as your date of birth. This request must be made in writing. The law does not require us to agree to your request. If we deny your request to change your medical information, you can appeal our decision. Your appeal must be made in writing and include a reason to support the request.
We may also deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
- Was not created by CHCS, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment.
- Is not part of the medical information kept by or for CHCS.
- Is not part of the information that you would be permitted to see and copy.
- Is accurate and complete information.
Right To An Accounting:
You can ask us to give you a list of people we have shared your medical information with. This does not include information shared for treatment, payment and health care operations. This also does not include information shared at your request. This request must be made in writing. We are required to keep track of who we have shared your information with for six years. This right started on April 14, 2003, and we will not have any information prior to that date. If you request more than one accounting in a 12-month period, we may charge you a fee.
Right To A Paper Copy Of This Notice:
If asked, we will give you a paper copy of this notice.
Electronic Medical Records:
We use electronic record systems because we believe they are an important part of providing efficient and safe health care. Our employees, affiliated physicians and their staff may be allowed access to your health information through our electronic record systems. We have established policies and procedures and technical safeguards to help protect the privacy and security of the health information we collect and use during the course of providing care. Physicians and other health care providers not employed by us are also responsible for establishing safeguards to protect the health information they receive from us. Please contact your non-CHCS health care providers if you have questions about how they protect your medical information.
No Other Use of Your Medical Information Without Your Authorization:
Other Use of Your Information:
We will not share your medical information except in the ways indicated in this Notice unless you give us your written authorization to do so.
Right To Revoke Your Authorization:
You may revoke your authorization for other use of your medical information at any time.
Changes to This Notice
We reserve the right to change this Notice. We will post a copy of the current Notice in CHCS facilities and online. The Notice will state the effective date. Whenever the Notice is revised, it will be available to you upon request.
How to File a Complaint About Your Privacy
We ask that you please give us the opportunity to resolve any issues you have concerning your privacy. If you feel that we have violated your privacy, you may file a written complaint with the CHCS Privacy Officer at the address below. If you prefer, we will be happy to assist you in completing a written complaint. There will be no retaliation against you for filing a complaint.
For further information or assistance, you may contact us at:
Corporate Privacy Officer
Community HealthCare System
120 W. 8th St.
Onaga, Kansas 66521
You also have the right to file a complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, but we ask that you first allow us the opportunity to correct any issues you may have concerning your privacy.