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.

Who We Are

This Notice describes the privacy practices of Fletcher Allen Health Care and our employees. This notice applies to all medical records generated by any Fletcher Allen facility, including Fletcher Allen physician offices and outpatient clinics.

Your Rights

When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. You have the right to:

Obtain an electronic or paper copy of your medical record

  • You can ask to see or obtain an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. Contact our Health Information Management Department at 802-847-2846 if you wish to obtain a copy of your medical record.
  • We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge you a fee.

Ask us to correct your medical record

  • You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Contact our Health Information Management Department at 802-847-2846 if you wish to ask us to correct your medical record. We may say "no" to your request, but we'll tell you why in writing within 60 days.

Request confidential communications

  • You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address.
  • We will say "yes" to all reasonable requests.

Ask us to limit what we use or share

  • You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our operations. We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say "no" if it would affect your care or our operations.
  • If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will say "yes" unless a law requires us to share that information.

Get a list of those with whom we've shared information

  • You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we've shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why.
  • We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make).

Get a copy of this Privacy Notice

You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy.

Choose someone to act for you

  • If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian/representative, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
  • We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.

File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated

  • You can complain if you feel we have violated your privacy rights by contacting the Fletcher Allen Office of Patient & Family Advocacy at 802-847-3500.
  • You can also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/.
  • We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

Your Choices

For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell our staff what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.

In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:

  • Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
  • Share information in a disaster relief situation
  • Include your information in a hospital directory

If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.

  • We may contact you for fundraising efforts on behalf of Fletcher Allen. Any fundraising communications you receive from us will include information on how you can choose not to receive any further fundraising communications from Fletcher Allen.

Our Uses and Disclosures

How do we typically use or share your health information?

We typically use or share your health information in the following ways:

Treatment

We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.

Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.

Run our organization

We can use and share your health information to run the hospital, operate our clinics, to educate medical and nursing students, to improve the quality of the care we provide to our patients, and to contact you when necessary.

Example: We may use health information about patients to evaluate the need for new services.

Bill for your services

We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities.

Example: We can provide information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for the services we provided to you.

How else can we use or share your health information?

We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many legal requirements before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.

Public health and safety issues

We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:

  • Reporting health information to public health authorities to prevent or control disease
  • Helping with product recalls
  • Reporting adverse reactions to medications
  • Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of children or vulnerable adults
  • Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone's health or safety

Research

We may use or share your information for health research if the researcher has agreed to follow the protocols we have established to ensure the privacy of your health information.

Comply with the law

We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we're complying with the federal privacy law.

Law Enforcement Officials/h4>

We may disclose your health information to law enforcement officials as required by law or to comply with a court order. We may also disclose limited health information to law enforcement officials for identification and location purposes or to assist in criminal investigations.

Organ, eye, and tissue donation

We can share health information about you with organizations that facilitate organ, eye, or tissue procurement, banking, or transplantation.

Work with a medical examiner or funeral director

We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.

Workers' compensation

We may disclose your health information as necessary to comply with the Vermont Workers' Compensation Statute for workers' compensation claims.

Special Government Functions

We may disclose your health information as necessary for special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services.

Lawsuits and legal actions

We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.

Marketing

We may use or disclose your health information to identify health-related services and products that may be beneficial to your health and we may contact you about these services and products.

Business Associates

Some of our services, such as certain laboratory tests, are provided by third parties (business associates). We may disclose your health information to our business associates so they can perform the job we have asked them to do. Our business associates are required to protect your health information.

Our Responsibilities

  • We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
  • We will let you know if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
  • We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of the Notice.
  • We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.

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

Changes to the Terms of this Notice

We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, on our website, and we will mail a copy to you. You may obtain a copy by contacting Fletcher Allen Patient and Family Advocacy at 802-847-3500.

This Notice describes the privacy policies of Fletcher Allen Health Care that became effective on September 23, 2013.