Privacy Practices for Banner Health
Banner is committed to protecting the confidentiality of information about you, and is required by law to do so. This notice describes how we may use information about you within Banner Health and how we may disclose it to others outside Banner. This notice also describes the rights you have concerning your own health information. Please review it carefully and let us know if you have questions.
How will Banner Health use and disclose information about you?
- Treatment: Banner Health may use information about you to provide you with medical services and supplies. We may also disclose information about you to others that need that information to treat you, such as doctors, physician assistants, nurses, medical and nursing students, technicians, therapists, emergency service and medical transportation providers, medical equipment providers, and others involved in your care. For example, we will allow your physician to have access to your medical record to assist in your treatment and for follow-up care. We may use and disclose information about you to contact you to remind you of an upcoming appointment, to inform you about possible treatment options or alternatives, or to tell you about health related services available to you.
- Facility Directory: Unless you object, Banner Health will use and disclose in our facility directory your name, location in the facility, general condition (e.g., good, fair, serious, critical) and religious affiliation. All of this information, except religious affiliation, will be disclosed to people who ask for you by name. Information in the facility directory may be shared with clergy. This is so your family, friends and clergy can visit you in the facility and generally know how you are doing.
- Family members and others involved in your care: Banner Health may disclose information about you to a family member or friend who is involved in your medical care. If you do not want the facility to disclose information about you to family members or others, you must notify the registration and nursing staff at the facility. In the event of a disaster, we may disclose information about you to help locate a family member or loved one.
- Payment: Banner may use and disclose information about you to get paid for the medical services and supplies we provide you. For example, your health plan or health insurance company may request to see parts of your medical record before they will pay us for your treatment.
- Health care operations: Banner Health may use and disclose information about you if it is necessary to improve the quality of care we provide to patients or to run the health care operations. We may use information about you to conduct quality improvement activities, to obtain audit, accounting or legal services, or to conduct business management and planning. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you.
- Fundraising: Many of our patients like to make contributions to support the care provided by Banner Health. Banner or its institutionally related foundations may contact you in the future to raise funds for this purpose. Your medical information is not shared for the purpose of fundraising.
- Research: Banner Health may use or disclose information about you for research projects, such as studying the effectiveness of a treatment you received. These research projects must go through a special process that protects the confidentiality of your information.
- Required by law: Federal, state or local laws do NOT require patient consent to disclose information which is REQUIRED to be reported. For instance, we are required to report child abuse and neglect, gunshot wounds, etc. Public policy has determined that these types of needs outweigh the patient’s right to privacy. Banner Health is also required to give information to the state workers’ compensation program for work-related injuries.
- Public health: Banner Health also may report certain medical information for public health purposes. For instance, we are required by law to report births, deaths and communicable diseases to the state. We also may need to report patient problems with medications or medical products to the manufacturer and to the FDA, or may notify patients of recalls of products they are using.
- Public safety: Banner Health may disclose medical information for public safety purposes in limited circumstances. We may disclose medical information to law enforcement officials or to the court in response to a search warrant or other court order. We may also disclose medical information to assist law enforcement officials in identifying or locating a person, to prosecute a crime of violence, to report deaths that may have resulted from criminal conduct at the facility. We also may disclose information about you to law enforcement officials and others to prevent a serious threat to health or safety.
- Health oversight activities: Banner Health may disclose medical information to a government or oversight agency that oversees Banner Health facilities or federal agencies that oversee Medicare or licensing agencies who govern physicians and other health care professionals.
- Coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors: Banner Health may disclose medical information concerning deceased patients to coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors to assist them in carrying out their duties.
- Organ and tissue donation: Banner may disclose medical information to organizations that handle organ, eye or tissue donation or transplantation.
- Military veterans, national security and other government purposes: If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release information about you as required by military command authorities or to the Department of Veterans Affairs. We may also disclose medical information to federal officials for intelligence and national security purposes, for Presidential Protective Services, or to the Department of State for its security issues.
- Judicial proceedings: Banner may disclose medical information in a lawsuit where your health status is an issue. For example, Banner Health may be ordered to do so by court order or search warrant.
- Information with additional protection: Certain types of medical information may have additional protection under state or federal law. For instance, medical information about communicable disease and HIV/AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, genetic testing or, a court-ordered mental evaluation may be treated differently than other types of medical information. For those types of information, Banner Health may obtain your authorization to release this information, except as required by law.
- Other uses and disclosures: Banner will honor your requests to disclose medical information to others.
Which Healthcare providers does this notice cover?
This Notice of Privacy Practices applies to Banner facilities and its personnel, volunteers, students, and trainees. The Notice also applies to other health care providers that come to the facility to care for patients, such as physicians, physician assistants, therapists, emergency services providers, medical transportation companies, medical equipment suppliers, and other health care providers not employed by Banner unless these other health care providers give you their own Notice that describes how they will protect your medical information. Banner may share your medical information with these other health care providers for their treatment, payment, and health care operations. This arrangement is only for sharing information and not for any other purpose.
Do you have concerns or complaints?
Banner Health is committed to providing excellent patient care. If you have a question, concern, or complaint regarding care, safety, or customer service, please tell your health care provider so that we can resolve it as soon as possible. If you have voiced your concern to your care provider during your stay and it has not been resolved, please contact Banner Health’s Patient Relations department. Call our main switchboard (602) 747-4000, and the operator will route your call to the facility where you were treated. If for any reason we cannot resolve the concern, you may also file a complaint with the federal government. To file a complaint against a Banner Health facility, contact the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services. We will not penalize you or take any retaliatory action against you in any way for filing a complaint with the federal government.
Do you have questions?
Banner Health is required by law to give you this Notice and to follow terms of the Notice that is currently in effect. If you have any questions about this Notice, or have further questions about how we may use and disclose information about you, please contact Patient Relations/Administration.
Changes to this notice:
We may amend or revise our practices concerning how we will use or disclose patient medical information, or how we will implement patient rights concerning their information. We reserve the right to change this notice and to make the provisions in our new notice effective for all information about you that we maintain. If we change these practices, we will publish a revised Notice of Privacy Practices. You can get a copy of our current Notice of Privacy Practices upon request and at registration sites, the information desk, Emergency department, outpatient areas, nursing, etc. The Notice of Privacy Practices describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
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