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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Privacy Statement

This notice describes how medical information (Protected Health Information or “PHI”) about you may be used and disclosed and how you can access information. Please review this information carefully.

How committed is PIW to respecting my privacy?

At the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, we understand that PHI about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting PHI about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive at PIW to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by the hospital. This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose PHI about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of PHI. We are required by law to make sure that PHI that identifies you is kept private; give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI about you; and follow the terms of the notice that are currently in effect.

How can PIW use and disclose PHI about me?

For Treatment. In order to offer comprehensive medical care, we may need to give necessary information to doctors, nurses, technicians, other hospital staff or others who are involved in your care. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes could slow the healing process.

For Payment. We may utilize and share PHI about you in order to ensure proper billing and payment for hospital services including for prescriptions obtained at the hospital’s pharmacy. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about services that you received (or for prior approval for services to determine coverage).  Information about your current and/or past health status may be required in order to process bills for any private insurance, state, workers comp. or federal payment programs.

For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose PHI about you for hospital operations that are necessary to make sure all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use PHI to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you.

Appointment Reminders & Treatment Alternatives. We may use and disclose your PHI to remind you about future hospital appointments or to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.

Business associates: There are some services provided by us through contracts with other companies, who are our “business associates.” Federal law requires us to enter into a contract with these business associates to ensure that they will appropriately safeguard your PHI.

Health-Related Benefits and Services. We may use and disclose PHI to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.

Hospital Directory. We may include certain limited information (such as your name or location in the hospital) about you in the hospital directory or to people who ask for you by name while you are a patient at the hospital.

Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care. In an emergency, or if you have given permission, we may release PHI about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care or to someone who helps pay for your care. In addition, we may disclose PHI about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location.

Are there special situations in which PIW may disclose my PHI?

Military and Veterans. If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release PHI about you as required by military command authorities.

Public Health Risks & As Required By Law. We may disclose PHI about you for public health activities including: to prevent or control disease, injury or disability; to report births and deaths; to report abuse, domestic violence or neglect (with patient’s consent); to report child abuse & neglect; to report reactions to medications or problems with products; to notify people of recalls of products they may be using; to notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition.

Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.

Lawsuits and Disputes. We may disclose PHI about you in response to a court or administrative order; and a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.

Inmates. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release PHI about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official.

Deceased Patients. We may release PHI to organizations that handle organ procurement or transplantation; to an organ donation bank; or to a coroner, medical examiner or funeral director.

Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP)

Psychiatric Institute of Washington has chosen to participate in the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), a regional health information exchange serving Maryland and D.C. As permitted by law, your health information will be shared with this exchange in order to provide faster access, better coordination of care and assist providers and public health officials in making more informed decisions. You may “opt-out” and disable access to your health information available through CRISP by calling 1-877-952-7477 or completing and submitting an Opt-Out form to CRISP by mail, fax or through their website at www.crisphealth.org. Public health reporting and Controlled Dangerous Substances information, as part of the Maryland Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), will still be available to providers.

What are my rights regarding my PHI?

You can inspect and copy your PHI. You have the right to inspect and receive a copy of PHI that may be used to make decisions about your care. There are some instances where this is not possible and if a copy cannot be provided, you will be given a written explanation as to why. If you are denied access to PHI, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed health care professional chosen by the hospital will review your request and the denial. We will comply with the outcome of the review.

You can request an amendment of your PHI. If you feel that PHI we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may request that we amend it or add comments to PHI about you. We may deny your request to amend for certain reasons. If we deny your request for amendment, you also have the right to file a statement of disagreement with the decision and we will provide you with a rebuttal to your statement, both of which will be attached to your designated record set.

You can request an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an accounting of disclosures that occur after April 2003. This is a list of the disclosures we made of PHI about you that were not included in this booklet.

You can request restrictions on PHI. You have the right to request restriction or limit the PHI we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the PHI we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a surgery you had. However, if we cannot honor your request, you will receive the explanation in writing.

Right to Request Confidential Communications. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail or that we send bills to another address.

How will I be notified if this statement changes?

A current copy of this notice will be posted in the hospital and on our website at www.pscychinstitute.com. The notice will contain on the cover, the effective date. A copy will be sent to you if requested. We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice.

For More Information or to Report a Problem?

If you have questions or would like additional information about the Psychiatric Institute of Washington’s privacy practices, you may contact the Privacy Officer at PIW, 4228 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016. Call us at 202-885-5600. Our fax number is 202-885-5693.

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with our Privacy Office or with the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with us, contact our Privacy Office at the address and number listed above. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized in any way for filing a complaint.

What about other uses of PHI?

Other uses and disclosures of PHI not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission. You may revoke that permission in writing at any time with the understanding that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission.

Thank you for reading this privacy statement document.

Should you have any questions, concerns or need to act on any of the items you read about, please contact our Compliance Officer at 202 885-5600.

Effective Date
This Notice is effective as of April 14, 2003.
Revised July 15, 2020