You have privacy rights under federal law that protect your health information. These rights are important for you to know. Federal law sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information. To view or print a copy of your Patient Rights, see below:
Who must follow this law?
- Most doctors, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and many other healthcare providers.
- Health insurance companies, HMOs, and most employer group health plans.
- Certain government programs that pay for health care, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
What information is protected?
- Information your doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers put in your medical records.
- Conversations your doctor has with nurses and others regarding your care or treatment.
- Information about you in your health insurer's computer system.
- Billing information about you at your clinic.
- Most other health information about you held by those who must follow this law.
You have rights over your health information.
Providers and health insurers who are required to follow this law must comply with your right to:
- Ask to see and get a copy of your health records.
- Have corrections added to your health information.
- Receive a notice that tells you how your health information may be used and shared.
- Decide if you want to give your permission before your health information can be used or shared for certain purposes, such as for marketing.
- Get a report on when and why your health information was shared for certain purposes.
- File a complaint.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with Saint Agnes or with the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services. To file a complaint with Saint Agnes, please contact our Privacy Officer, (559) 450-3432. To file a complaint with the U.S. government, visit www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa
To make sure that your health information is protected in a way that doesn't interfere with your health care, your information can be used and shared:
- For your treatment and care coordination.
- To pay doctors and hospitals for your health care and help run their businesses.
- With your family, relatives, friends, or others you identify who are involved with your health care or your healthcare bills, unless you object.
- To make sure doctors give good care and nursing homes are clean and safe.
- To protect the public's health, such as by reporting when the flu is in your area.
- To make required reports to the police, such as reporting gunshot wounds.
Without your written permission, your provider cannot:
- Give your health information to your employer.
- Use or share your health information for marketing or advertising purposes.
- Share private notes about your mental health counseling sessions.
Adapted from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
For more information about the HIPAA privacy rule and your individual privacy rights, visit the OCR Web site, http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa.