Date: April 14, 2003
Revision Date: September 23, 2013
Lancaster General Health
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY
BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO
THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW
This Notice of Privacy Practices (“this Notice”) describes
how Lancaster General Health may use and disclose your
protected health information to carry out treatment,
payment and/or health care operations and for other
purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also
describes certain individual rights that you have to your
protected health information. Protected health informa tion is
information about you, including demographic information,
that may identify you and that relates to your past, present
or future physical or mental health or condition and related
health care services (“health information”).
This Notice describes the privacy practices of organizations
directly related to Lancaster General Health, including
Lancaster General Hospital (and its Medical and Dental
Staff members), Lancaster General Medical Group, The
Heart Group of Lancaster General Health, Lancaster General
Health-Columbia Center, the VNA Community Care Services,
and Horizon Healthcare Services. This Notice also applies
when you receive services at any location of Lancaster
General Health (please see our website for locations
The persons and entities described in this paragraph
participate in an organized health care arrangement
(as defined by law) and will share health information about
you with each other only as necessary to carry out
treatment, payment or health care operations.
Lancaster General Health is required by law to maintain the
privacy of patients’ health information and to provide
individuals with this Notice of the legal duties and privacy
practices with respect to health information. We are
required by law to abide by the terms of this Notice. We
reserve the right to change the terms of this Notice and
these new terms will affect all health information that we
maintain. We post a copy of the most recent Notice at
various Lancaster General Health locations that provide
health care services. We also post the most recent Notice
on our website at www.lancastergeneralhealth.org. You can
ask for a copy at any time.
WAYS LANCASTER GENERAL HEALTH MAY USE AND
DISCLOSE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION WITHOUT YOUR
CONSENT OR AUTHORIZATION
Treatment: We may use and disclose your health
information to manage your care and provide treatment or
services. This health information could include prescriptions,
lab work and x-rays. Also, we may disclose your health
information with others who may be involved in your health
care. This could include disclosing your health information to
a doctor, nursing home, home health agency, or others that
provide follow-up care.
Payment: We may use and disclose your health information
relating to the billing and payment of treatment and
services you received through Lancaster General Health.
Payment may be collected from you, an insurance company
or another party. For example, we may need to give your
health plan information about surgery you received at the
hospital so they will either pay us or repay you. We may
also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going
to receive. This helps us get pre-approval. We can also
determine if your plan will cover the treatment.
Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose health
information about you to manage our organizations and
make sure that everyone gets quality care. For example,
we may use this information to look at our treatment and
services and to see how well our staff cared for you. We
may also combine health information about many patients
to decide if we need or do not need services and to
determine if new treatments work. We may also disclose
health information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical
students, nursing and other allied health students and other
Lancaster General Health staff for educational purposes.
We may also combine the health information we have with
health information from other health care providers to see
how we are doing and where we can improve. We may
remove identifiable information so others may study health
care and health care delivery.
OTHER WAYS LANCASTER GENERAL HEALTH MAY USE
AND DISCLOSE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION WITHOUT
YOUR CONSENT OR AUTHORIZATION
Health Information Exchanges: We may participate in
health information exchanges to facilitate the secure
exchange of your electronic health information between and
among several health care providers or other health care
entities for your treatment, payment, or other healthcare
operations purposes. This means we may share information
we obtain or create about you with outside entities (such as
hospitals, doctors offices, pharmacies, or insurance
companies) or we may receive information they create or
obtain about you (such as medication history, medical
history, or insurance information) so each of us can provide
better treatment and coordination of your healthcare
services. In addition, if you visit any Lancaster General
Health facility, your health information may be available to
other clinicians and staff who may use it to care for you, to
coordinate your health services or for other permitted
Business Associates: We may use or disclose your health
information to an outside company that assists us in
operating our health system. They perform various services
for us. For example, they may perform auditing, accredita -
tion, legal or consulting services. These outside companies
are called "business associates" and they contract with us
to keep any health information received from us confidential
in the same way we do. These companies may create or
receive health information on our behalf.
Research: We may use or disclose your health information
to researchers to determine the feasibility of a research
study or when an Institutional Review Board has approved
their work. The Institutional Review Board must have looked
over the research proposal and set up standards to make
sure your information stays private.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for
Your Care: We may disclose your health information to a
friend or family member helping with your care. We may
also give information to someone who helps pay for your
care. We may tell your family or friends your general
condition and that you are in the hospital. We may disclose
health information about you with a disaster relief group.
This would help your family to learn about your condition,
how you are doing and where you are.
Hospital Directory: We may include limited information
about you in the hospital directory while you are a patient at
the hospital. This information may include your name,
location in the hospital, or your general condition (e.g., fair,
stable, etc.). The directory information may be released to
people who ask for you by name. This is so your family and
friends can visit you in the hospital and find out how you
are. If you would like to be excluded from the hospital
directory, notify the Admitting Office.
To Contact You: We may use your information to contact
you to remind you of a medical appointment. If you are
unavailable, we may leave a message on your answering
machine or with a person who answers your telephone. Also,
we may contact you for marketing purposes to tell you about
treatment options, treatment alternatives, or about other
health-related benefits or services that may interest you.
Fundraising Activities: We may use your health
information, such as your name, address, phone number,
the dates you received services, the department from which
you received services, your treating physician, outcome
information, and health insurance status to contact you to
raise money for Lancaster General Health. If you do not
want Lancaster General Health to contact you for
fundraising and you wish to opt out of these contacts, or if
you wish to opt back in to these contacts, please call the
Lancaster General Health Foundation at 717-544-1374.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): We may use or
disclose health information to the FDA regarding events
involving food, supplements, products, product defects, or
post-marketing observation information. The FDA may use
this information to help with product recalls, repairs, or
As Required By Law: We will disclose health information
about you when required by federal, state or local laws. We
may disclose health information about you to federal
officials for intelligence, counter-intelligence and other
national security measures authorized by law.
Public Safety: We may disclose your health information to
prevent or lessen a threat to the health or safety of one or
Public Health Activities: We may disclose your health
information for public health activities that are permitted or
required by law. These activities may include:
- to prevent or control disease, injury or disability;
- to report births and deaths;
- to report reactions to medications or problems
- to let people know about recalls of products they
may be using;
- to notify someone who may have been exposed to a
disease or who could get or spread a disease.
Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your health informa -
tion to a government authority that is authorized by law to
receive reports of suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic
violence. Additionally, as required by law, if we believe you
have been a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence,
we may disclose your health information to a governmental
entity authorized to receive such information.
Organ and Tissue Donation: We may disclose your
health information to an organ donation bank or group that
handles organ, eye or tissue transplant. This information can
help to determine if a patient who has died or is near death
may be a candidate for donation.
Military and Veterans: If you are a member of the armed
forces, we may disclose your health information to military
command authorities. We may also disclose health
information about foreign military personnel to the proper
foreign military authority.
Workers' Compensation: We may disclose your health
information for workers' compensation or other programs
that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses.
Health Oversight Activities: We may disclose your
health information to a health oversight agency for approved
activities. Examples include audits, investiga tions, inspec -
tions, and licensure. These activities help the government
oversee the health care system, government programs,
and compliance with laws.
Lawsuits and Disputes: If you are in a lawsuit or a
dispute, we may disclose your health information as asked
by a court or administrative order. We may also disclose
health information about you in response to a subpoena,
discovery request, or other legal process from someone else
involved in a legal proceeding. We will only do this if efforts
were made to tell you about the request or to get an order
protecting the requested health information.
Law Enforcement: We may disclose health information in
response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons
or similar law enforcement process. We may also disclose
this information to identify or find a suspect, fugitive,
material witness, or missing person. Under certain limited
conditions, we may disclose information about the victim of
a crime. In emergencies, we may release health information
to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the
identity, description or location of the person who
committed the crime.
Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors:
We may disclose health information to a coroner or
medical examiner. This may be needed to identify a
deceased individual or to determine the cause of death.
We may also disclose health information about a deceased
individual to funeral directors as required by them to
complete their duties.
Inmates: For individuals that may be an inmate of a
correctional institution or in the charge of a law enforcement
official, we may disclose health information about you to the
institution or official. This information would help the
institution to provide you with health care; to protect your
health and safety or the health and safety of others; or for
the safety and security of the institution.
When using and disclosing your health information for
any of the above noted purposes, Lancaster General
Health will endeavor to comply with the most stringent
of federal, state or local laws.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF YOUR HEALTH
INFORMATION WHICH REQUIRE YOUR AUTHORIZATION
Other uses and disclosures of your health information that
are not described above will be made only with your written
authorization. For example, the following uses and
disclosures of your health information will only be made
with your authorization:
- Uses and disclosures for certain marketing purposes
such as the use of your name and or photo in
- Uses and disclosures that constitute the sale of
health information about you;
- Most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes; and
- Any other uses and disclosures not described in
In addition, certain federal and state laws may limit us from
disclosing health information without your authorization. For
example, Pennsylvania laws do not allow us to disclosure
mental health records or HIV related information without
your authorization, except in limited circumstances. Other
laws may limit us from disclosing records containing drug
or alcohol abuse treatment information.
YOUR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
You have the following rights concerning your health
Right to Inspect and Copy: In most cases, you can inspect
and/or get a copy of your official medical and billing
records. You may be charged a fee for this service.
Right to Amend: If you feel that your official medical and
billing records are wrong or incomplete, you may ask us to
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right
to ask for an accounting of disclosures as allowed by law.
We may charge a fee for this information.
Right to Request Restrictions: You have the right to
request us not to use your health information in certain
ways. Lancaster General Health does not have to agree to
your request. If we do agree, we will do what you ask
unless the information is needed for your emergency
You have the right to request, and Lancaster General Health
will agree to, restrict disclosure of health information to a
health plan/insurance company if the purpose of the
disclosure is to carry out payment or health care operations
and the health information pertains solely to a service for
which you, or a person other than the health plan, has paid
Lancaster General Health in full. For example, if a patient
pays for a service completely out of pocket and asks
Lancaster General Health not to tell his or her health
plan/insurance company, we will abide by this request.
A request for restriction must be made in writing.
Right to Request Confidential Communications: You can
ask that we contact you about medical matters in a specific
way. For example, you can ask that we only call you at work
or contact you through the mail.
Right to Revoke an Authorization: If you provide
Lancaster General Health with a written authorization
to use or disclose your information, you may revoke the
authorization in writing, and this revocation will be effective
for future uses and disclosures of your health information.
However, the revocation will not be effective for the infor -
mation that we have used or disclosed in accordance with
Right to Obtain a Paper Copy of This Notice: You may
ask for a paper copy of this Notice even if you have agreed
to accept this Notice electronically.
Right to be Notified of a Breach: You have the right to
be notified in the event that we (or one of our Business
Associates) discover a breach involving your unsecured
If you feel that we have violated your privacy rights, or you
disagree with a decision we made about the right to use
your health information, you may contact the office listed
below. You also may send a written complaint to the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. The office listed
below can give you that address. We will not retaliate
against you for filing a complaint.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS NOTICE OR
COMPLAINTS, PLEASE CONTACT:
Lancaster General Health
555 North Duke Street
Lancaster, PA 17604-3555
Phone: (717) 544-4060