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Privacy Policy

Privacy Practices

Erie County General Health District
420 Superior Street, Sandusky, Ohio 44870 - 419-626-5623

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.

DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT

The Erie County Health Department (Department) is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to provide to you and your representative this Notice of its duties and privacy practices. The Department is required to abide by the terms of this Notice as may be amended from time to time. The Department reserves the right to change the terms of its Notice and to make the new Notice provisions effective for all health information that it maintains. If the Department changes its Notice, the Department will provide a copy of the revised Notice to you or your appointed representative upon request. You or your personal representative(s) have the right to express complaints to the Department and to the Secretary of DHHS if you or your representative believes that your privacy rights have been violated.

USE AND DISCLOSURE OF HEALTH INFORMATION

The Department may use your health information, information that constitutes Protected Health Information (PHI) as defined in the Privacy Rule of the Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, for purposes of providing you treatment, obtaining payment for your care and conducting health care operations. The Department has established policies to guard against unnecessary disclosure of your health information.

THE FOLLOWING ARE WAYS YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND RELEASED:

To Provide Treatment: The Department may use your health information to coordinate care within the Department and with others involved in you care, such as you attending physician and other health care professionals who have agreed to assist the Department in coordinating care. For example, physicians involved in your care will need information about your symptoms in order to prescribe appropriate medications. The Department also may disclose your health care information to individuals outside of the Department involved in your care including family members, pharmacists, suppliers of medical equipment or other health care professionals. The Department may also release your health information to an agency authorized by the law to assist in disaster relief efforts.

To Obtain Payment: The Department may include your health information in invoices to collect payment from third parties for the care you receive from the Department. For example, the Department may be required by your health insurer to provide information regarding your health care status so that the insurer will reimburse you or the Department. The Department also may need to obtain prior approval from your insurer and may need to explain to the insurer your need for services and what services will be provided to you.

To Conduct Health Care Operations: The Department may use and disclose health information for its own operations in order to perform its duties and, as necessary, to provide quality care to all of the Department's patients. Health care operations include such activities as:

  1. Quality assessment and improvement activities
  2. Activities designed to improve health or reduce health care cost
  3. Protocol development, case management and care coordination
  4. Contacting health care providers and patients with information about treatment alternatives and other related functions that do not include treatment
  5. Professional review and performance evaluation
  6. Training programs including those in which students, trainees or practitioners in health care learn under supervision
  7. Training of non-health care professionals
  8. Accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities
  9. Review and auditing, including compliance reviews, medical reviews, legal services and compliance programs