Notice of Privacy Practices


St. Luke 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 the St. Luke facility and how we may disclose it to others outside St. Luke. 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 We Use And Disclose Information About You

Treatment: St. Luke 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 also 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 tell you about health-related services available to you.

Facility Directory: Unless you object, St. Luke will use and disclose in our facility directory your name, location in the facility, your general condition (e.g. fair, stable, critical) and your religious affiliation. All of this information, except religious affiliation, will be disclosed to people that ask for you by name. Members of the clergy will be told your religious affiliation. 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: St. Luke 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 friend.

Payment: St. Luke may use and disclose information about you to get paid for the medical services and supplies we provide to 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: St. Luke 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 to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you.

Fundraising: Many of our patients like to make contributions to the St. Luke Facility. St. Luke may contact you in the future to raise money for the facility. St. Luke does not give medical information to the foundation.

Research: St. Luke may use or disclose information about you for research projects, such as studying the effectiveness of a treatment you received. The 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 in order to disclose information for which reporting is REQUIRED. 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. St. Luke is also required to give information to the state workers' compensation program for work-related injuries.

Public Health: St. Luke 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: St. Luke 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 orders. We also may 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 and to report 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: St. Luke 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: St. Luke 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: St. Luke may disclose medical information in a lawsuit where your health status is an issue. For example, St. Luke may be ordered to do so by court order or search warrant.

Information with Additional Protection: Certain types medical information about communicable disease and HIV/AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, genetic testing, and court-ordered mental evaluation may be treated differently than other types of medical information. For those types of information, St. Luke may obtain your authorization to release this information except as required by law.

Other Uses and Disclosures: St. Luke will honor your requests to disclose medical information to others.

What Are Your Rights?

Right to Request Information about You: You have the right to look at information about you and to get a copy of that information. This included your medical record, your billing record, and other records we use to make decisions about your care. To request information about you, submit a written authorization to Medical Records for medical information, and to the business office for your billing records. If you request a copy of your information, we may charge you for our costs to copy the information. We will tell you in advance what this copying will cost. You can look at your record at no cost. The law requires us to keep the original record.

Right to Request to Amend or Supplement Information about You That You Believe is Incorrect or Incomplete: If you see information about you and believe that some of the information is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend your record. You may submit a request to amend your information. Submit a written request to Medical Records for medical information or to the business office for your billing records.

Right to Get a List of Certain Disclosures of Information about You: You have the right to request a list of certain disclosures we made of information about you. If you would like to receive such a list to you at no charge, but we may charge you for any additional lists you request during the same year. We will tell you in advance what this list will cost.

Right to Request Restrictions on How St. Luke will Use or Disclose Information about You for Treatment, Payment, or Health Care Operations: You have the right to request us not to use or disclose information about you to treat you, to seek payment for care, or to operate the Health Care System. We are not required to agree to your request, but if we do agree, we will comply with that agreement unless that information is necessary to provide you emergency treatment. We will try to honor a restriction of you information for payment purposes. If you want to request a restriction, submit your request in writing describing your request to Medical Records for medical information, and to the business office for your billing records.

Right to Request Confidential Communications: You have the right to request us to communicate with you in a way that you feel is more confidential. We will accommodate reasonable requests including alternative addresses or alternative means. For example, you can ask us not to call your home, but to communicate only by mail. To do this, submit your request in writing to Medical Records. You can also ask to speak with your health care providers in private, outside the presence of other patients.

Right to a Copy of the Patient Notice of Privacy Practices: You have the right to a paper copy of the Notice at any time. You may obtain a paper copy of the Notice at the time of your registration.

Changes To This Notice

We reserve the right to change this notice and the revised or changed notice will be effective for information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. The current notice will be posted in the hospital and include the effective date. In addition, each time you register at or are admitted to the hospital for treatment or healthcare services as an inpatient or outpatient, we will offer you a copy of the current notice in effect. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.