Fairview Notice of Privacy Practices
Effective date: January 1, 2011
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.
What is this notice for?
The Notice of Privacy Practices tells you about your rights under a federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act—or HIPAA for short. This law protects your health information and sets rules about who can see and get your health information. (“Health information” includes any information about your mental or physical health, your health care, payment for your health care, and any demographic information.) The notice also tells you about Fairview’s policies for protecting, using, and sharing your health information.
Why am I getting this notice?
Your privacy is important to us. The law requires that you be given a copy of this notice so that you can
- know your rights
- use your rights
- ask questions about your rights
- file a complaint if you think your rights may have been violated.
What are my rights over my health information?
You have the right to:
- See and get a copy of your health information. To see or get a copy of your health information, write us at the address at the end of this Notice of Privacy Practices. You may have to pay for the cost of copying and mailing your records.
- Ask for changes to your health information. If you feel that the health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you can ask us to change it. To ask for a change, write to us at the address at the end of this Notice of Privacy Practices. You must tell us why you want to change your records. We will tell you in writing if we are not going to make the change.
- Know how your health information is shared with others. We use health information for treatment and payment or to manage other business matters. (For more information, see “How will you use and share my health information?” below.) Sometimes we must also share information with others, usually because we are required by law to do so. For example, we must report births, deaths, abuse, and certain diseases. To find out with whom, if anyone, we have shared your information, write to us at the address listed at the end of this Notice of Privacy Practices. You can get your report for free once a year. If you want more reports, we may charge you for the cost of making them. But we will let you know what this cost will be before we send you more reports
- Ask us to restrict how your health information is used or shared with others. To do this, write to us at the address listed at the end of this Notice of Privacy Practices. Tell us what you don’t want us to do with your health information. For example, perhaps you don’t want us to give information to your insurer. In this case, you must also tell us how you will pay for your treatment.
Note that the law says we do not always have to agree to your request, as we may not be able to accommodate it. For example, if you wish to prevent a particular provider from viewing your records, we would be unable to meet this request due to the nature of electronic health records. If we agree to your request, we will not restrict your health information if it is needed to provide you with emergency care.
- Ask us to reach you in a certain way or place. For example, you can ask that we contact you at work rather than at home or by mail rather than by phone. To make a request, write to us at the address at the end of this Notice of Privacy Practices. Tell us exactly how and where you wish to be reached. We will allow all reasonable requests, and we will not ask you why you are making the request.
- Have a copy of this notice. You may ask for a copy of this notice at any time. You can download a copy from our website (www.fairview.org). Or, if you would rather have a paper copy mailed to you, you can e-mail us at privacy1@Fairview.org or write to us at Fairview Privacy Office, 400 Stinson Blvd. N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55413.
How will Fairview protect my health information?
Fairview works hard to protect your health information. We use computer systems to store your health information. We have protections in place to keep your information from being seen by anyone that should not see it.
While our computer systems are protected from access by unauthorized people, e-mails are not. We will not communicate with you using e-mail unless you want us to.
How will Fairview use and share my health information?
We may use or share your information for the following reasons:
- Treatment. We use your health information to give you medical treatment and coordinate your care. To treat you properly, we may need to share your health information with doctors, nurses, and other staff taking care of you at Fairview. We will ask for your consent before sharing your health information with health care providers outside of Fairview, unless it is an emergency or required by law.
- Shared electronic health records / health information. Fairview uses a shared electronic health record that allows care providers within Fairview and at some non-Fairview facilities to store, update and use your health information. They may do so as needed at the time you are seeking care, even if they work at different clinics and hospitals. We do this so it is easier for your providers to access your health information when you are seeking care and to better coordinate and improve the quality of your care. For example, if you are brought to the hospital in an emergency and cannot tell us what is wrong, we will be able to see your health records (if your doctor takes part in the sharing of health records).
If you receive care from more than one provider who uses the shared electronic health record, your health information will be combined into one record. Once information is combined, it cannot be separated in the future.
This shared electronic health record is a secure system. Fairview and the providers using the system are trained to ensure your information is private. For a list of the health care providers that share health records, please go to www.fairview.org/medicalrecords or contact us at the phone number or address at the end of this Notice of Privacy Practices.
With your consent, Fairview also may access and share your health information electronically through a service called the Minnesota Health Information Exchange (MN HIE). MN HIE allows the sharing of medical information among care providers who use different electronic health record systems as needed to provide care to you. If you have questions or don’t want to share your information through MN HIE, contact us at the address or phone number listed at the end of this Notice of Privacy Practices.
- Appointment reminders. We may use and share your health information to remind you of an appointment.
- Treatment alternatives and health-related services. We may use and share your health information to tell you about treatment options and health-related benefits or services that you may be interested in.
- Payment. We use and share your health information so that we can bill you or whoever is responsible for paying for your care.
- Health care operations. We may use and share your health information to help run our facility and make sure that all of our patients are getting quality care. For example, we may use health information to review our services and the staff caring for you. We may also combine health information about many patients to see if new treatments are effective.
- Fundraising. We may contact you to raise money for Fairview. We also may share your information with Fairview Foundation or Minnesota Medical Foundation. We will only share demographic information and the dates you were treated. If you are contacted for a donation, you can choose not to be contacted again. Write to Fairview Foundation at: Fairview Foundation, 2450 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454. Write to Minnesota Medical Foundation at: University of Minnesota Physicians Privacy Administration, 720 Washington Ave S.E., Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55414.
If your doctor is employed by University of Minnesota Physicians, University of Minnesota Physicians may give your contact information to the University of Minnesota Medical School or the Minnesota Medical Foundation to ask you for a donation. If you do not want to be contacted, write to University of Minnesota Physicians Privacy Administration, 720 Washington Ave S.E., Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55414.
In some cases, your doctor may work for a different nonprofit organization and may use your contact information to ask you for a donation for this organization. If you have questions or do not want to be contacted, contact your doctor’s office.
- Patient directory. While you are a patient at Fairview, friends, family and others may call to ask about you. If someone calls and asks for you by name, we will tell them your location so that they may call or visit you. If they ask, we will also tell them in general terms how you are doing (doing well, serious condition, etc.). If you ask us to list your faith community (or religious affiliation) in the directory, we will also share this information with a leader from your faith community (priest, minister, rabbi, or other spiritual advisor) if they ask. If you do not want us to tell anyone that you are here, please tell us when you are registered.
- People involved in your care or payment for your care. We may share your health information with family members or friends involved in your health care or with those helping to pay for your care. If you do not want us to share information with family members or friends involved in your care, please tell us when you register at the hospital or clinic. In the event of a disaster, we may share your health information with those helping with disaster relief so that your family can know what has a happened to you and where you are.
- Research. We may use or share your health information for research, such as studying new or better ways to diagnose and treat illnesses. Fairview employees, medical and allied health staff and University of Minnesota Academic Health Center faculty are considered internal researchers. All others are considered external researchers and Fairview will not give your health information to external researchers unless you give us permission to do so in writing. These research projects must go through a special process that protects the privacy of your health information, such as review and approval by a research review board. We will not use your health information for research unless you give us permission in writing or the research review board decides that your permission is not necessary. Before the review board will decide that your permission is not necessary, the researchers must prove that the project is important enough and show they have a plan to protect your information.
If you disagree with the use of your health information for research purposes, write to us at the address at the end of this Notice of Privacy Practices.
- As Required By Law. We will share your health information when required to do so by federal, state or local law. For example, we are required to report child abuse or neglect.
- Special Situations
- A serious threat to health or safety
We may use or share your health information to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. We would only give this information to someone who can prevent the threat.
- Organ and tissue donation
If you are an organ donor, we may share your health information with organizations that handle organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
- Military and veterans
If you are a member of the armed forces, we may share health information as required by military authorities.
- Workers' compensation
If you are being treated for a work-related injury or condition, we may share your health information with workers' compensation or similar programs.
- Public health purposes
We may share your health information with public health or authorized government authorities
- to prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
- to report births and deaths;
- to report child abuse or neglect;
- to report problems with medicines and other products;
- to tell people about recalls of products they may be using;
- to let a person know if he or she may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for getting or spreading a disease or condition; or
- if we believe you have been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will only share this information if you say we can or when required or authorized by law.
- Health oversight activities
We may share health information for health oversight activities as authorized by law. Examples of oversight activities include audits, investigations, inspections and licensing. These activities are needed for the government to oversee the health care system.
- Lawsuits and disputes
If you are involved in a dispute or lawsuit, we may share your health information if required by court order. We may also share your health information in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but usually only if you give us permission.
- Law enforcement
We may share health information with law enforcement agencies
- in response to a court order, grand jury subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process.
- to identify someone who has died.
- to locate a missing person.
- about a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
- about criminal conduct at the health care facility;
- in emergency situations to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime; and
- in other situations as required by law.
- Coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors
We may give health information to a coroner or medical examiner. We may need to this, for example, to identify someone who has died or to determine the cause of death. We may also give health information to funeral directors as needed to carry out their duties.
- National security and intelligence activities
We may give health information to authorized federal officials for activities authorized by law. We may share health information with authorized federal officials so they can protect the President and other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.
If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release your health information
- so that the correctional institution can 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.
- Other uses of health information
Other uses and disclosures of health information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission. If you have given us written permission to use or share your health information, you may take back that permission, in writing, at any time. If you take back your permission, we will no longer use or share your health information for the reasons listed on your written permission. Of course, we cannot take back any information we have already shared with your permission.
- A serious threat to health or safety
If you think your privacy rights may have been violated, you may file a complaint with us. You may call the Fairview Privacy Office at 1-866-356-7410 or 612-672-5647 to talk about your complaint. Or you may write to the Fairview Privacy Office at 400 Stinson Blvd. N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55413. You may also file a complaint with the federal government. We will not penalize you or act against you in any way for filing a complaint.
Which health care providers must follow this notice?
Fairview provides a wide variety of health care services through a number of hospitals, clinics and other entities. In order to provide quality care, we share health information within Fairview as appropriate. For example, a patient may first be seen at a Fairview clinic, admitted to a Fairview hospital, discharged to a nursing home that is part of the system and then get home care services from a Fairview home care agency. All of Fairview’s entities, employees, volunteers and agents will follow this notice. The notice applies to all records of the care you got at Fairview.
When doctors and other health care providers not employed by Fairview are treating you at Fairview, they must follow the terms of this notice. However, they may use a different privacy notice in their office or clinic.
For a list of health care providers who follow this notice, go to www.fairview.org/privacy. Or contact us at the address or phone number listed at the end of this Notice of Privacy Practices.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
We must follow the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We can change this Notice of Privacy Practices, however, and reserve the right to make the new notice effective for health information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice in this facility and on our website at www.Fairview.org. The effective date of this notice is listed on the first page.
If you have received this notice electronically, you have the right to a paper copy at any time. You may download a paper copy of the notice from our website, or you may obtain a paper copy of the notice at any of our facilities.
If you have any questions about this notice, please call the Fairview privacy office at 612-672-5647 or 1-866-356-7410, or write to Fairview Privacy Office at 400 Stinson Blvd. N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55413.