Other Disclosure of Health Information

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There are a number of ways that your health information may be used without your authorization, generally either because they are required by law or for public health and safety purposes. Those include:

Required by Law: Your health information may be used or disclosed by us when required by law. If this happens, we will comply with the law and will only disclose the information necessary. You will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.

Public Health: Your health information may be used for public health activities. Public health authorities are authorized to collect or receive the information for purposes such as controlling disease, injury or disability.

Disaster Relief: We may disclose healthcare information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family and friends can be notified about your condition, status, and location.

Incidental Disclosures: Certain incidental disclosures of your healthcare information may occur as a by-product of lawful and permitted use and disclosures of your healthcare information. For example, a visitor may overhear a discussion about your care at the nursing station. These incidental disclosures are permitted if we apply reasonable safeguards to protect the confidentiality of your healthcare information.

Limited Data Set Information: We may disclose limited healthcare information to third parties for purposes of research, public health and healthcare operations. Before disclosing this information, we must enter into an agreement with the recipient of the information that limits who may use or receive the data and requires the recipient to agree not to re-identify the data or contact you. The recipient of your information is required to have appropriate safeguards to prevent inappropriate use or disclosure of your information.

Communicable Diseases: If required by law to do so, we may disclose your health information to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.

Health Oversight: Health oversight agencies are authorized to have access to health information maintained by us for activities such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Agencies with this authority include government agencies that oversee the healthcare system, government benefit programs, government regulatory programs and civil rights laws.

Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. We may also disclose your protected health information to the governmental agency authorized to receive such information if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. Any disclosures of this nature will be made consistent with state and federal law.

Food and Drug Administration: We may disclose your health information to a person or agency required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events, product defects or problems, biologic product deviations, or for product recalls, repairs or replacements.

Legal Proceedings: We may disclose your health information if required to by a court or administrative order to do so for an administrative or judicial proceeding, or in some cases in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other legal process.

Law Enforcement: We may disclose your health information, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes. Examples of these purposes would be: (1) legal processes and otherwise required by law; (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes; (3) pertaining to crime victims; (4) suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct; (5) if crime occurs on the premises; and (6) for medical emergencies where it appears likely a crime occurred.

Coroners, Funeral Directors, and Organ Donation: Your health information may be disclosed to a coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, determining cause of death or other legally required duties. Your health information may also be released to a funeral director in order to permit him/her to perform their duties. Your information may be disclosed if we reasonably anticipate your death, and may also be used and disclosed for cadaveric organ, eye or tissue donation purposes.

Research: Your health information may be disclosed to researchers, provided that the research has been approved by an Institutional Review Board and the research protocols have been approved to ensure your privacy. We may disclose healthcare information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project; for example, to help the researcher identify patients with specific medical needs that would relate to the proposed research. Information used for this purpose will not leave Providence Health & Services in Oregon.

Criminal Activity: As required by state and federal laws, we may disclose your health information if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or of the public. We may also disclose your health information if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.

Military Activity and National Security: Under certain circumstances, the health information of Armed Forces personnel may be disclosed (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits; or (3) to a foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military service. Your health information may also be disclosed to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities, including for the provision of protective services to the President or others legally authorized.

Workers' Compensation: Your health information may be used or disclosed as necessary to comply with workers' compensation laws and other similar legally established programs.

Inmates: Your health information may be used or disclosed by us if you are an inmate of a correctional facility and your physician created or received your health information in the course of providing care to you.