All other uses or disclosures of your protected health information will be made only with your written authorization, consent, or after you have been given the opportunity to object and you have decided not to object. If you authorize or agree to a use and disclosure now, you can change your mind later on. If you do change your mind, you must let us know in writing. If and when you take back your permission, we will stop using or disclosing your protected health information pursuant to your written authorization to the greatest extent practical. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provide to you.
Below, we have provided a few examples of situations where we need to ask you before we can use or share your medical information. If a particular use or disclosure does not appear on this list or on the list set forth in Section 3 of this Notice, you can assume we will not use or disclose your protected health information without first asking your permission.
A. Hospital Directory—Except for patients being treated for mental health reasons, unless you object we will include certain limited information about you in the hospital directory while you are in the hospital. This information may include your name, location in the hospital, your general condition (e.g., fair, stable, etc.) and your religious affiliation. The directory information, except for your religious affiliation, may also be released to people who ask for you by name. Your religious affiliation may be given to a member of the clergy, such as a priest or rabbi, even if they don't ask for you by name. This is so your family, friends and clergy can visit you in the hospital and generally know how you are doing. However, for patients treated for mental health reasons, we will not disclose that the patient is receiving care at the hospital, unless an official at the hospital determines that the release of such information to any of the following persons is in the patient's best interest: (1) members of the patient's family, (2) the patient's lawyer; or (3) the patient's guardian or conservator.
B. Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care—Unless you object in writing, we may release the fact of your admission and a general description of your condition to another person, such as a relative or friend, who is involved in your care, or who helps pay for your care. Also, we may use or disclose your protected health information to an authorized public or private entity to assist in disaster relief efforts and to coordinate permitted uses and disclosures to family or other individuals involved in your health care. In cases where you are not present or able to agree or object, the health care providers will use their professional judgment to determine whether it is in your best interest for them to make disclosures permitted by law.
C. Research—Except for research described in Section 3 of this Notice, we may not use or disclose your protected health information for research purposes unless you authorize us to do so.
D. Psychotherapy Notes—In general, we will not use or disclose information recorded by a mental health professional to document or analyze conversations with you, unless you authorize us to do so. However, we can use or disclose such protected health information without your authorization for the following purposes: (1) the health professional who recorded the information can use it to treat you; (2) in limited situations, Lifespan can use or disclose the information in connection with mental health counseling training that occurs at Lifespan; and (3) Lifespan can use a patient's psychotherapy notes to defend against any legal proceeding brought by a patient.
E. Marketing—We must get your authorization before we use or disclose your protected health information for marketing, with two exceptions. Face-to-face marketing (for example, your doctor mentions a new product to you during a visit) can occur without your authorization. Also, we may offer you small promotional gifts without your authorization.