Use & Disclosure of Your Medical Information
Harper County may use health information about you to provide you with health-related treatment or care. Harper County may disclose health information about you to other treatment providers who are involved in your care. For example:
- A nurse caring for you during your pregnancy will need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes affects the growth of the baby during the pregnancy. The nurse may need to tell the dietitian that you have diabetes so that your nutritional needs during pregnancy are considered in your care.
- CDDO staff may disclose treatment information to a business associate or affiliate to request services on your behalf.
- Department on Aging staff may disclose treatment information to a business associate or affiliate to request services on your behalf.
Different departments of Harper County also may share health information about you in order to coordinate the different services you need (i.e., medications, lab work, x-rays, etc.). Harper County also may disclose health information about you to people outside Harper County who may be involved in your medical care while you are a client of Harper County (e.g., other doctors, nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners, family members, clergy, etc.).
Harper County may use and disclose health information about you for billing purposes so Harper County can collect payment from you, an insurance company, or a third party.
For example, Harper County may need to give your health insurance company information about a procedure you received at Harper County so we can be paid or you can be reimbursed for the procedure. Harper County may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive in order to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.
For Health Care Operations
Harper County may use and disclose health information about you for operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run Harper County and make sure all of our clients receive quality care.
For example, Harper County may use health information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. Harper County may disclose information to doctors, nurses, medical students, and other personnel for review and learning purposes. Additional uses and disclosures for health care operations include:
- Activities related to improving health or reducing health care costs
- Protocol development
- Care management
- Training, certification, licensing, credentialing, or other related activities
- Insurance-related functions
- Medical review and auditing functions, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs
- Conducting or arranging for legal services for Harper County or its personnel
- Business planning and development, business management, and general administrative activities
- Internal grievance resolution
Harper County may use and disclose health information to contact you, a family member, or friend involved in your health-related treatment or care (or as authorized by you) to remind you of an appointment for treatment or care at Harper County. Unless you tell us not to, we may also leave a reminder on your answering machine / voice mail system.
Harper County may use and disclose health information to tell you about, or recommend, possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
Health-Related Benefits & Services
Harper County may use and disclose health information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care
Harper County may release health information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your health-related treatment or care. Harper County may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. Harper County may disclose health information about you to an entity assisting in disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status, and location.
The amount of information disclosed will depend on that person's particular involvement in your care. If you want this information restricted, you must tell us by using the required procedure.
Under certain circumstances, Harper County may use and disclose health information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may study the effects of early access to health care during pregnancy.
All research projects are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of health information, while balancing research needs with the client's need for privacy of their health information. Before we use disclosure of health information for research, the project must be approved through the research approval process.
As Required by Law
Harper County will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state, or local law. This may include reporting of communicable diseases, wounds, abuse, disease registries, health oversight matters, and other public policy requirements. We may be required to report this information without your permission.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety
Harper County may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, is limited to person(s) who can help prevent the threat.