Effective Date: 9/23/2013

Complete Notice of Privacy Practices

Our Legal Duty: 
The Habersham Medical Center health system has a duty to protect the privacy of medical information about you.  This is a brief summary of our Notice of Privacy Practices.  We are required to provide you with Notice explaining ways we may use and disclose your medical information and describing your legal rights and our obligations regarding the use and disclosure of your medical information.

Parties Following The Notice:
  The Notice will be followed by the Health System and its affiliates, their health care professionals, staff and volunteers; members of the Medical Staff (doctors), home care services, clinic,  and those participating in managed care networks with the Health System; and other companies  that provide services to the Health System:  Habersham Medical Center (hospital), Habersham Home, Habersham Home Care, Prime Care, Habersham Surgical Services, Habersham Family Practice, Mt Yonah Family Practice, Heritage Internal Medicine, Orthopaedics of North Georgia, Medical Services Organization, Habersham Medical Center Foundation.  

How We May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You:
  We may use or disclose medical information about you for many important reasons, including but not limited to the following:
  • To treat you as a patient, to bill for services, and to run our business,
  • Activities of managed care networks in which we participate,
  • To send appointment and refill reminders,
  • For health oversight activities,
  • For fundraising activities (unless you opt out),      
  • For public health and safety purposes,
  • For blood, organ and tissue donation,
  • To audit our business,
  • To avert a serious threat to health or safety,
  • For national security and protective services, 
  • To work with coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors,
  • To research,
  • For workers’ compensation,
  • To military command authorities,
  • To handle lawsuits, government requests, administrative hearings/reviews, & disputes.
  • For law enforcement purposes,
  • To comply with the law and as further explained in our full Notice of Privacy Practices.
We may use or disclose certain limited information about you, unless you object or request a limitation of the disclosure, for facility patient directories, to individuals involved in your care or payment and for disaster relief purposes.
HIE:   We may participate in a health information exchange that will share your medical information with other treating providers across the country. These providers will use the same common electronic medical record to document and review services they provide to you. If you do not want your information in the HIE, please contact the HMC Privacy Officer at 706-754-2161.  
Patient Portal:    We may use and disclose information through a patient portal which allows you to view certain parts of your medical (e.g. lab results) and billing information securely.
Authorizations:   In general, other uses and disclosures of your medical information not described in our full Joint Notice of Privacy Practices will require your written authorization.  For example, most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes, uses and disclosures for marketing purposes (particularly if we were to get paid money for your information) and disclosures that involve the sale of PHI will require your written authorization. 

Your Privacy Rights:
           You have rights with respect to your health information, such as -
  • The right to ask for confidential communications and to ask us to use different ways of communicating with you.
  • The right to ask for limits on certain uses or disclosures of your medical information (including limiting the information we send to your insurance company when you have paid in full, if we are allowed to limit by law)
  • The right to look at and get a copy of your paper and electronic medical record.. (We may charge a cost-based fee.)
  • The right to ask us to fix mistakes in your medical record and have a written statement of disagreement placed in your record.
  • The right to a list of certain types of disclosures of your medical information that were not for treatment, payment or business purposes.
  • The right to get notice of a breach of your unsecured health information.
Changes to the Notice:  We reserve the right to change the Notice. Changes will apply to all information we have about you.  We will post any revised Notice in our facilities and on our website at www.habershammedical.com.

Complaints:   If you believe your rights have been violated, you may file a written complaint with the Habersham Medical Center Privacy Officer at 706-754-2161 or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

Right to a Copy of Our Complete Notice:
    Copies of our full Notice of Privacy Practices are available within our facilities at primary registration sites and on our website at www.habershammedical.com.  We will be happy to give you a copy upon your request. If you have any questions about this Summary Notice, please contact the HMC Privacy Officer at 706-754-2161.

For more information, see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.