Notice of Privacy Practices
This notice describes the privacy practices of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. This notice describes how medical information about you may or may not be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
Who We Are
Magee facilities include all patient care, research, laboratory and administrative space owned or leased by Magee and any location where Magee staff work. All staff, students and other members of the Magee community (“we or us”) follow the terms of this Notice. Magee is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information (“Protected Health Information” or PHI) and to provide you with this Notice.
We may use and disclose your PHI connection with your treatment and/or other services provided to you, for example, to diagnose and treat you. In addition, we may contact you to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services. We may disclose PHI to other providers (e.g., physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare facilities involved in your treatment).
We may use and disclose your PHI to obtain payment for services that we provide to you, for example, to request payment from your health insurer and to verify that your health insurer will pay your healthcare services.
We use and disclose your PHI for our healthcare operations. These include internal administration and planning, and various activities that improve the quality and cost effectiveness of healthcare services. For example, we may use your PHI to evaluate the quality and competence of our physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers. We may also use PHI to resolve patient problems and complaints.
Other Healthcare Providers
We may also disclose PHI to other healthcare providers when such PHI is required for them to treat you, receive payment for services they render to you or conduct certain healthcare operations, for example, for emergency ambulance companies to request payment for services in bringing you to the hospital.
Uses and Disclosures
Your PHI for Which Your Written Authorization Is Not Required
Disclosure for our Inpatient Directory
If you are admitted to Magee, we may include your name, room number, general health condition and religious affiliation in our hospital patient directory without obtaining your written authorization unless you object after reading this Notice. Information in the hospital directory (other than religious affiliation) may be disclosed to anyone who asks for you by name, either in person or by telephone. This information, (including your religious affiliation), may also be disclosed to members of the clergy.
Disclosure to Relatives, Friends and Other Caregivers
You will be given a four digit number when you are admitted (a Patient Confidentiality PIN number). You must give this number to family members, relatives, close personal friends or any other persons that you identify, in order for them to receive information related to your care. If people request information without the correct PIN number, Magee will not provide them with your information.
If we provide information to any individuals, we will release only information that we believe is directly relevant to the person’s involvement with your healthcare or payment related to your healthcare. We may also disclose your PHI in the event of an emergency or to notify (or assist in notifying) such persons of your location, general condition or death.
We may contact you to request a donation to support important activities of Magee. We may disclose to our fundraising staff non-medical information about you (e.g., your name, address and telephone number) and dates on which we provided healthcare to you.
Public Health Activities
We may disclose your PHI for the following public health activities:
- Preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability
- Reporting abuse and neglect to public health or other government authorities authorized by law to receive such reports
- Reporting of deaths
- Reporting information about products and services under the jurisdiction of the United States Food and Drug Administration, such as reactions to medications and problems with products
- Alerting a person who may have been exposed to an infectious disease or may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition
- Notifying people of product recalls
- Reporting information to your employer as required by laws addressing work-related illness and injuries or workplace medical surveillance
Victims of Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence
If we reasonably believe you are a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, we may disclose your PHI to a governmental authority, including a social service or protective services agency, authorized by law to receive reports of such abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
Health Oversight Activities
We may disclose your PHI to a health oversight agency that is responsible for ensuring compliance with rules of government health programs such as Medicare or Medicaid.
Legal Proceeding and Law Enforcement
We may disclose your PHI in response to a court order, subpoena or other lawful process.
We may disclose PHI of deceased individuals to a coroner or medical examiner authorized by law to receive such information.
Obtaining Organs and Tissues
We may disclose your PHI to organizations that obtain organs or tissues for banking and/or transplantation.
When conducting research, in most cases we will ask for your written authorization before PHI is used. However, we may use or disclose your PHI without your specific authorization if Magee’s Institutional Review Board (“IRB”) has waived the authorization requirement. The IRB is a committee that oversees and approves research involving people.
We may use or disclose your PHI to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the safety of a person or the public.
Specialized Government Functions
We may release your PHI to units of the government with special functions, such as the U.S. military or the U.S. Department of State under certain circumstances, such as for intelligence, counter-intelligence or national security activities.
We may disclose your PHI as authorized by state law relating to workers’ compensation or other similar government programs.
If you are or become an inmate of a correctional institution or you are in the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release your PHI to the institution or official if required to provide you with healthcare or to protect the health and safety of others.
Patients Who Are Re-Admitted to Magee
If you are re-admitted to Magee, staff members who you knew from a previous admission, but not part of your current treatment team, may want to call on you. If you do not want this to happen, please notify us when you are admitted, and we will respect your wish for privacy.
As Required By Law
We may use and disclose your PHI when required to do so by any other laws not already referenced above.
Your Specific Written Authorization
For any purpose other than the ones described above, we may use or disclose your PHI only when you give Magee your specific written authorization. For instance, you will need to sign an authorization form before we send your PHI to a life insurance company. The following are examples of other uses or disclosures for which your specific written authorization is required.
We may use your PHI to communicate with you about products or services relating to your treatment, case management or care coordination, or alternative treatments, therapies, providers or care settings without your written authorization. However, we will obtain your written authorization prior to using your PHI to send you any other marketing materials.
Highly Confidential Information
Federal and state laws require special privacy protections for certain highly confidential information about you. This includes PHI:
- Maintained in psychotherapy notes
- Documenting mental health and developmental disabilities services
- About drug and alcohol abuse, prevention, treatment and referral
- Relating to HIV/AIDS testing, diagnosis or treatment and other sexually transmitted diseases
- Genetic testing
Generally, we must obtain your written authorization to release this type of information. However, there are limited circumstances under the law when this information may be released without your consent. For example, certain sexually transmitted diseases must be reported to the Department of Health.
Your Rights Regarding Your Protected Health Information
Right to Inspect and Copy Your Health Information
You may request to see and receive copies of your medical and billing records. To do so, please submit a written request to the appropriate Magee office or department. You will be charged for copies in accordance with Pennsylvania law. If you are a parent or legal guardian of a minor, certain portions of the minor’s medical record may be inaccessible to you (for example, records relating to abortion, contraception and/or family planning services) unless the patient authorizes Magee to give you access to PHI. Additionally, under limited circumstances defined by law, we may deny you access to a portion of your records.
Right to Request Restrictions
You may request additional restrictions on Magee’s use and disclosure of your PHI:
- For treatment, payment and healthcare operations
- To individuals (such as family members or other relatives, close friends or any other person identified by you) involved with your care or with payment related to your care
- To notify or assist in the notification of such individuals regarding your location in the hospital and your general condition. While we will consider all requests for restrictions carefully, we are not required to agree to a request.
Right to Receive Confidential Communications
You may request, and we will accommodate, any reasonable written request to receive your PHI by alternative means of communication or at alternative locations. For example, you may instruct us to not contact you by telephone at home; you may give us a mailing address other than your home for test results.
Right to Revoke Your Authorization
You may revoke your authorization, except to the extent that we have already used or disclosed your PHI. A revocation form is available upon request from the privacy officer. This form must be completed by you and returned to the privacy officer.
Right to Amend Your Records
You have the right to request that we amend PHI maintained in your medical or billing records. To do so, you must submit a written request to the appropriate Magee office or department. We may deny your request if Magee reasonably believes that the information is accurate and complete, if the PHI was not created by Magee or if other special circumstances apply.
For Further Information/Complaints
If you desire further information about your privacy rights, are concerned that your privacy rights were violated or disagree with a decision that we made about access to PHI, you may contact our privacy officer at: Privacy Officer
Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
1513 Race Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1177
Additionally, you may also file a written complaint with the Director at the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Upon request, the privacy officer will provide you with the correct address for the director.
Right to Change Terms of This Notice
We may change the terms of this Notice at any time. If we change this Notice, we will post the revised Notice in appropriate locations around Magee and online at www.mageerehab.org. You also may obtain any revised notice by contacting the Privacy Officer.
- Speak Up – A Guide to Participating in Your Healthcare
- Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know.
- Your health is too important to worry about being embarrassed if you don’t understand something that your doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional tells you.
- Do not be afraid to tell the nurse or the doctor if you think you are about to receive the wrong medication.
- Do not hesitate to tell the healthcare professional if you think he or she has confused you with another patient.
- Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you are getting the right treatments and medications by the right healthcare professionals.
- Do not assume anything.
- Tell your nurse or doctor if something does not seem quite right.
- Expect healthcare workers to introduce themselves when they enter your room and look for their identification badges. If you are unsure, ask.
- Notice if your caregivers have washed their hands. Hand washing is the most important way to prevent the spread of infections. Don’t be afraid to gently remind a doctor or nurse to do this.
- Know what time of day you normally receive a medication. If it doesn’t happen, bring this to the attention of your nurse or doctor.
- Make sure your nurse or doctor confirms your identity by checking your wristband or asking your name and birth date before he or she administers any medication or treatment.
- Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing and your treatment plan.
- Ask your doctor about the specialized training and experience that qualifies him or her to treat your illness (and be sure to ask the same questions of those physicians to whom he or she refers you).
- Gather information about your condition. Good sources include your doctor, your library, respected websites and support groups.
- Write down important facts your doctor tells you, so that you can look for additional information later. And ask your doctor if he or she has any written information you can keep.
- Thoroughly read all medical forms and make sure you understand them before you sign anything. If you don’t understand, ask your doctor or nurse to explain them.
- Make sure you are familiar with the operation of any equipment that is being used in your care. If you will be using oxygen at home, do not smoke or allow anyone to smoke while oxygen is in use.
- Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate. Your advocate may ask questions that you may not think of while under stress. Your advocate may also help remember your preferences for care and your wishes concerning resuscitation and life support.
- Review consents for treatment with your advocate before you sign them and make sure you both understand exactly what you are agreeing to.
- Make sure your advocate understands the type of care you will need when you get home. Your advocate should know what to look for if your condition is getting worse and who to call for help.
- Know what medications you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common healthcare mistakes.
- If you do not recognize a medication, verify that it is yours. Ask about oral medications before swallowing, and read the contents of bags of intravenous (IV) fluids. If you are not well enough to do this, ask your advocate for assistance.
- If you are given an IV, ask the nurse how long it should take for the liquid to “run in.”
- Whenever you are going to receive a new medication, tell your doctors and nurses about allergies you have, or negative reactions you have had to medications in the past.
- If you are taking multiple medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe to take those medications together. This also holds true for vitamins, herbal supplements and over-the-counter drugs.
- Make sure you can read the handwriting on any prescriptions written by your doctor. If you can’t read it, the pharmacist may not be able to understand it either.
- Ask about the healthcare organization’s experience in treating your type of illness. How frequently do they perform the procedure you need and what specialized care do they provide in helping patients get well?
- Before you leave the hospital or other facility, ask about follow-up care and make sure that you understand all of the instructions.
- Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the healthcare team.
- You and your doctor should agree on exactly what will be done during each step of your care.
- Know who will be taking care of you, how long the treatment will last and how you should feel.
- Understand that more tests or medications may not always be better. Ask your doctor what a new test or medication is likely to achieve.
- Keep copies of your medical records from previous hospitalizations and share them with your healthcare team. This will give them a more complete picture of your health history.
- Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. If you are unsure about the nature of your illness and the best treatment, consult with one or two additional specialists. The more information you have about the options available to you, the more confident you will be in the decisions made.
- Ask to speak with others who have undergone the procedure you are considering. These individuals can help you prepare for the days and weeks ahead. They also can tell you what to expect and what worked best for them as they recovered.