Maryland Department of
Health and Your Health Information
Notice of Privacy Practices - General (MDH
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION
ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS
INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW CAREFULLY.
Safeguarding Your Protected Health Information
The Maryland Maryland
Department of Health (MDH) is committed to protecting your health information.
In order to provide treatment or to pay for your healthcare, MDH will ask for
certain health information and that health information will be put into your
record. The record usually contains your symptoms, examination and test
results, diagnoses, and treatment. That information, referred to as your
health or medical record, and legally regulated as health information may be
used for a variety of purposes. MDH is required to follow the privacy practices
described in this Notice, although MDH reserves the right to change
our privacy practices and the terms of this Notice at any time. You may request
a copy of the new notice from any MDH agency. It is also posted on our website
How MDH May Use and Disclose Your Protected
MDH employees will
only use your health information when doing their jobs. For uses beyond
what MDH normally does, MDH must have your written authorization unless the law
permits or requires it. The following are some examples of our possible uses
and disclosures of your health information.
Uses and Disclosures Relating to Treatment,
Payment, or Health Care Operations:
For treatment:MDH may
use or share your health information to approve, deny treatment and to
determine if your medical treatment is appropriate. For example, MDH
health care providers may need to review your treatment plan with your
healthcare provider for medical necessity or for coordination of care.
To obtain payment: MDH may use and share your health
information in order to bill and collect payment for your health care services
and to determine your eligibility to participate in our services. For example,
your health care provider may send claims for payment of medical services
provided to you.
For health care
operations:MDH may use and share your health information to evaluate the
quality of services provided, or to our state or federal auditors.
Other Uses and Disclosures of health
information required or allowed by law:
purposes: Unless you provide us with alternative instructions, MDH may
send appointment reminders and other materials about the program to your home.
Required by law: MDH may
disclose health information when a law requires us to do so.
activities: MDH may disclose health information when MDH is required to
collect or report information about disease or injury, or to report vital
statistics to other divisions in the department and other public health
activities: MDH may disclose your health information to other divisions in
the department and other agencies for oversight activities required by
law. Examples of these oversight activities are audits, inspections,
investigations, and licensure.
Coroners, Medical Examiners,
Funeral Directors and Organ Donations: MDH may disclose health information
relating to a death to coroners, medical examiners or funeral directors, and to
authorized organizations relating to organ, eye, or tissue donations or
Research purposes: In
certain circumstances, and under supervision of our Institutional Review Board
or other designated privacy board, MDH may disclose health information to
assist medical research.
Avert threat to health or
safety: In order to avoid a serious threat to health or safety, MDH may
disclose health information as necessary to law enforcement or other persons
who can reasonably prevent or lessen the threat of harm.
Abuse and Neglect: MDH
will disclose your health information to appropriate authorities if we
reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect, domestic
violence, or some other crime. MDH may disclose your health information
to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety or
the health or safety of others.
Specific government functions: MDH
may disclose health information of military personnel and veterans in certain
situations, to correctional facilities in certain situations, to government
benefit programs relating to eligibility and enrollment, and for national
security reasons, such as protection of the President.
Families, friends or others
involved in your care: MDH may share your health information with
people as it is directly related to their involvement in your care or payment
of your care. MDH may also share health information with people to notify
them about your location, general condition, or death.
Worker's Compensation: MDH
may disclose health information to worker's compensation programs that provide
benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses without regard to fault.
Patient Directories: The
health plan under which you are enrolled does not maintain a directory for
disclosure to callers or visitors who ask for you by name. You will
not be identified to an unknown caller or visitor without authorization.
Lawsuits, Disputes and
Claims: If you are involved in a lawsuit, a dispute, or a claim, MDH may
disclose your health information in response to a court or administrative
order, subpoena, discovery request, investigation of a claim filed on your
behalf, or other lawful process.
Law Enforcement: MDH may
disclose your health information to a law enforcement official for purposes
that are required by law or in response to a subpoena.
You have a Right to:
Request restrictions: You
have a right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information MDH
uses or discloses about you. MDH will accommodate your request if
possible, but is not legally required to agree to the requested restriction. If
MDH agrees to a restriction, MDH will follow it except in emergency situations.
Communications: You have the right to ask that MDH send you information at
an alternative address or by alternative means. MDH must agree to your request
as long as it is reasonably easy for us to do so.
Inspect and copy: You
have a right to see your health information upon your written request. If
you want copies of your health information, you may be charged a fee for
copying, depending on your circumstances. You have a right to choose what
portions of your information you want copied and to have prior information on
the cost of copying.
Request amendment: You
may request in writing that MDH correct or add to your health record. MDH
may deny the request if MDH determines that the health information is: (1)
correct and complete; (2) not created by us and/or not part of our records; or
(3) not permitted to be disclosed. If MDH approves the request for amendment, MDH
will change the health information and inform you, and will tell others that
need to know about the change in the health information.
disclosures: You have a right to request a list of the disclosures made of
your health information after April 14, 2003. Exceptions are health
information that has been used for treatment, payment, and operations. In
addition, MDH does not have to list disclosures made to you, based on your
written authorization, provided for national security, to law enforcement
officials or correctional facilities. There will be no charge for up to
one such list each year.
Notice: You have the
right to receive a paper copy of this Notice and/or an electronic copy by email
For More Information
This document is available in
other languages and alternate formats that meet the guidelines for the
Americans with Disabilities Act. If you have questions and would like more
information, you may contact the facility, program, or local health department
where you receive MDH services.
To Report a Problem about our Privacy Practices
If you are a resident of a MDH
facility and believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a
MDH will take no retaliatory
action against you if you make such complaints.
Effective Date: This notice is
effective on April 14, 2003.
201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2399
(410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464