Joint 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.


Pursuant to Princeton HealthCare System being identified as an Organized Healthcare Arrangement for purposes of federal privacy requirements, the following organizations use health information about you for treatment, to obtain payment for treatment, for administrative purposes, and to evaluate the quality of care that you receive. The organizations participating in this Organized Healthcare Arrangement may share protected health information with each other, as necessary to carry out treatment, payment, and healthcare operations relating to the Organized Healthcare Arrangement.

Organizations Covered by Joint Notice

This Joint Notice describes the privacy practices of Princeton HealthCare System, a New Jersey nonprofit corporation, its affiliated entities, divisions, programs, departments and units, including, but not limited to:

University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro
Princeton House Behavioral Health
Princeton Rehabilitation
Princeton HomeCare
University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro-Surgical Center
Princeton HealthCare Management Services
Princeton HealthCare System Medical Staff
Princeton HealthCare System Foundation
Princeton HealthCare System Occupational Health

How We May Use or Disclose Your Health Information

For Treatment. We may use your health information to provide you with medical treatment or services. For example, a healthcare provider, such as a physician, nurse, or other person providing health services to you, will record information in your medical record that is related to your treatment. This information may be used to diagnose or treat your condition. Healthcare providers will also record actions taken by them in the course of your treatment and note how you respond to the actions.

For Payment. We may use and disclose your health information to others for purposes of receiving payment for treatment and services that you receive. For example, a bill may be sent to you or a third-party payor, such as an insurance company or health plan. The information on the bill may contain information that identifies you, your diagnosis, and treatment or supplies used in the course of treatment.

For Healthcare Operations. We may use and disclose health information about you for operational purposes. For example, your health information may be disclosed to members of the medical staff, risk or quality improvement personnel, and others to:

  • evaluate the performance of our staff;
  • assess the quality of care and outcomes in your case and similar cases;
  • learn how to improve our facilities and services; and
  • determine how to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare we provide.

For Health Information Exchange. We may participate in one or more health information exchanges (HIEs) and may electronically share your health information for treatment, payment and healthcare operations purposes with other participants in the HIEs. HIEs allow your health care providers to efficiently access and use your pertinent medical information necessary for treatment and other lawful purposes. If you do not opt-out of this exchange of information, we may provide your health information to the HIEs in which we participate in accordance with applicable law.

For more information on HIEs, click here..

Appointments. We may use your information to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to the individual.

Fund-Raising. We may use your information to contact you to raise funds for Princeton HealthCare System Foundation. We may provide your health information to the Princeton HealthCare System Foundation in accordance with applicable law, however you have the option to advise us that you don't want your health information shared in this manner (see "opt-out" info at the end of this Notice). Fundraising materials will also explain how you can tell us that you do not want to be contacted in the future

Marketing Activities. We may contact you as part of our marketing activities, as permitted by law.

Required by law. We may use and disclose information about you as required by law. For example, we may disclose information for the following purposes:

  • for judicial and administrative proceedings pursuant to legal authority;
  • to report information related to victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence;
  • and to assist law enforcement officials in their law enforcement duties.

Public Health. Your health information may be used or disclosed for public health activities such as assisting public health authorities or other legal authorities to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability, or for other health oversight activities.

Decedents. Health information may be disclosed to funeral directors or coroners to enable them to carry out their lawful duties.

Organ/Tissue Donation. Your health information may be used or disclosed for cadaveric, organ, eye or tissue donation purposes.

Research. We may use your health information for research purposes when an institutional review board or privacy board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information has approved the research.

Health and Safety. Your health information may be disclosed to avert a serious threat to the health or safety of you or any other person pursuant to applicable law.

Government Functions. Your health information may be disclosed for specialized government functions such as protection of public officials or reporting to various branches of the armed services if necessary.

Workers' Compensation. Your health information may be used or disclosed in order to comply with laws and regulations related to workers' compensation.

Other Uses. Other uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization.

Your Health Information Rights

You have the right to:

  • request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information as provided by 45 C.F.R. §164.522; however, the organizations noted above are not required to agree to a requested restriction. Where you have paid for your services out of pocket in full, at your request, we will not share information about those services with a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations. "Health plan" means an organization that pays for your medical care;
  • revoke a written authorization any time provided that your revocation is in writing, except to the extent Princeton HealthCare System has taken action in reliance on your authorization.
  • opt-out of our HIEs if you do not wish to allow providers involved in your health care to electronically share your health information with one another as necessary and as otherwise permitted by law. In order to opt-out, you must submit a Health Information Exchange Opt-Out form. Upon receipt of your request, your health information will continue to be used and disclosed in accordance with this HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices and the law, but will no longer be available electronically to otherwise authorized providers through our HIE(s).
  • opt-out of receiving communications for fundraising if you do not want to receive communications to raise funds for Princeton HealthCare System.
  • to be notified in the event of a breach of your unsecured protected health information;
  • obtain a paper copy of the notice of information practices upon request;
  • inspect and obtain a copy of your health information as provided for in 45 C.F.R. §164.524;
  • obtain, upon request, a copy of your health information in an electronic format, if we maintain your health information electronically (in our computers). You may also request that we transmit a copy of your health information to another company or person you have designated. In addition, we may charge you a fee that will cover the labor costs of transmitting the copy or copies of your health information;
  • amend your health information as provided in 45 C.F.R. §164.526;
  • request communication of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations;
  • receive an accounting of certain disclosures made of your health information as provided by 45 C.F.R. §164.528

Complaints

You may complain to any one of the above listed organizations and/or to the Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.

Princeton HealthCare System takes patient privacy very seriously and has established a special hotline to take complaints regarding patient privacy. You may complain to our Privacy Officer by calling 1.800.442.5188, or in writing to the contact address at the end of this Notice.

Our Obligations Under This Joint Notice

We are required by law to:
  • maintain the privacy of Protected Health Information;
  • provide you with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information;
  • abide by the terms of this notice;
  • notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction on how your information is used or disclosed;
  • accommodate reasonable requests you may make to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations. We reserve the right to change our information practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. The revised notice will be made available to you in the event that it is revised.
  • obtain your written Authorization for most uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information (PHI) that are for psychotherapy notes (where appropriate), for marketing purposes or other activities where we receive remuneration in exchange for disclosing such PHI and for any other uses and disclosures of PHI not described in this Joint Notice of Privacy Practices.
Note: HIV-related information, genetic information, alcohol and/or substance abuse records, mental health records and other specially Protected Health Information may enjoy certain special confidentiality protections under applicable state and federal law. Any disclosures of these types of records will be subject to these special protections.

Amendments

We reserve the right to amend the terms of this Privacy Notice at any time and to apply the terms of the revised Privacy Notice to all medical information that is maintained. We will post a copy of the revised Privacy Notice as required by law. The Privacy Notice will contain the effective date on the last page. If we amend this Privacy Notice, we will provide you, if you ask us, a copy of the Privacy Notice that is currently in effect at your next visit.

Contact and Opt-Out Information

If you have any questions, comments, or need assistance with exercising your right to "opt-out" from any disclosure, please contact:

Privacy Officer
Princeton HealthCare System
One Plainsboro Road
Plainsboro, New Jersey 08536
Phone: 1.800.442.5188
Email: privacyofficer@princetonhcs.org

A solicitud, esta información se encuentra disponible en español.


Effective Date: April 14, 2003 (revised February 2, 2004, May 22, 2012, and September 23, 2013)