Solaris Health System
Notice of Privacy Practices
Effective April 14, 2003 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.
How is Patient Privacy Protected?
At Solaris Health System, we understand that information about you and your health is personal. Because of this, we continually strive to maintain confidentiality and to safeguard your information through administrative, physical and technical means, and otherwise abide by applicable federal and state guidelines.
How do we use and disclose health information?
When you visit a Solaris Health System facility, we use and disclose your health information for the normal business activities that the law sees as falling in the categories of treatment, payment and health care operations. Below we provide examples of those, although not every use or disclosure falling in these categories is listed: Treatment - We keep a record of each visit and/or admission. This record may include your test results, diagnoses, medications, and your response to medications or other therapies. We disclose this information so that doctors, nurses, other staff and entities such as laboratories can meet your needs. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes slows the healing process. The doctor may tell the dietitian if you have diabetes so that we can arrange the appropriate meal for you.
Payment - We document the services and supplies you receive at each visit or admission so that you, your insurance company or another third party can pay us. We may tell your health plan about upcoming treatments or services that require its prior approval. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about surgery you are to receive at our facility so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the surgery.
Health Care Operations - Health information is used to improve the services we provide, to train staff and students, for business management, quality improvement, and for customer service. For example, we may use your health information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you.
However, we may be required to, or may choose to limit the amount of health information we use or disclose about you for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations.
We may also use and disclose your health information to:
- Comply with federal, state or local laws that require disclosure.
- Assist in public health activities such as tracking diseases or medical devices.
- Inform authorities to protect victims of abuse or neglect.
- Comply with federal and state health oversight activities such as fraud investigations.
- Respond to law enforcement officials or to judicial orders, subpoenas or other process.
- Inform coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors of information necessary for them to fulfill their duties.
- Facilitate organ and tissue donation or procurement.
- Conduct research following internal review to ensure the balancing of privacy and research needs.
- Avert a serious threat to health or safety.
- Assist in specialized government functions such as national security, intelligence and protective services.
- Inform military and veteran authorities if you are an armed forces member (active or reserve).
- Inform a correctional institution if you are an inmate.
- Inform workers' compensation carriers or your employer if you are injured at work.
- Recommend treatment alternatives.
- Tell you about health-related products and services.
- Contact you for hospital fundraising.
- Communicate with other providers, health plans, or their related entities for their treatment or payment activities, or health care operations activities that relate to quality assessment or licensing.
- Provide information to other third parties with whom we do business such as medical record transcription services. However, you should know that in these situations, we require these third parties to provide us with assurances that they will safeguard your information.
We may also use or disclose your personal or health information for the following operational purposes:
- Include you on the inpatient list for callers or visitors if you are admitted.
- Let clergy know if you have been admitted.
- Communicate with individuals involved in your care or payment for that care, such as friends and family.
- Send appointment reminders.
You may tell scheduling or admitting personnel that you do not want us to use your information for these purposes. Other uses and disclosures may only be done with your written authorization. You may revoke such authorization but we are unable to take back disclosures made in reliance on your authorization and this will not affect prior disclosures.
What are Solaris's Responsibilities?
Solaris Health System is required by law to:
- Maintain the privacy of your health information.
- Provide this notice of our duties and privacy practices.
- Abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect.
We reserve the right to change privacy practices, and make the new practices effective for all the information we maintain. Revised notices will be posted in our facilities and we will offer you a copy when you receive services.
Do you have any Federal Rights?
- For each facility where you were treated, the law entitles you to: Inspect and copy certain portions of your health information.1,2 This may not include psychotherapy notes and we may deny your request under limited circumstances.
- Request amendment of your health information if you feel the health information is incorrect or incomplete.1,3
- Receive an accounting (a listing) of certain disclosures of your health information made after April 14, 2003.1,2
- Request that we restrict how we use or disclose your health information.1,3
- Request that we communicate with you at a specific telephone number or address. 1
- Obtain a paper copy of this notice even if you receive it electronically.
1 = must be in writing.
2 = fees may apply.
3 = Federal Law may not require that Solaris abide by your request.
What if I have a Complaint?
If you believe that your privacy has been violated, you may file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. We will not retaliate or penalize you for filing a complaint with the Secretary or us.
To file a complaint with us or receive more information contact: SOLARIS PRIVACY OFFICER
Address: 80 James Street, 2nd Floor · Edison, NJ 08820 Phone: (732) 744-5888
Fax: (732) 205-1497 To file a complaint with the Secretary contact: OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS
U.S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Address: Jacob Javits Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza, Suite 3312 · New York, NY 10278
Who Will Follow This Notice?
This Notice describes Solaris Health System's practices and those of:
- Each Solaris Health System health care entity, its workforce and volunteers. Solaris entities include:
- JFK Medical Center
- Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center
- JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute
- JFK Hartwyck Nursing, Convalescent & Rehabilitation Centers
- New Jersey Neuroscience Institute
- Whispering Knoll Assisted Living
- Diabetes Center of New Jersey
- Mediplex Surgery Center
- Any physician or other health care professional authorized to access and/or enter information into your medical record.
Your personal care providers may have different policies or Notices regarding their use and disclosure of your health information created in their offices.
Need more information?
* Visit our website at www.solarishs.org, or
* Call or write the Solaris Privacy Officer.