We may use or disclose a patient’s PHI in the following situations without a patient’s acknowledgement or authorization. These situations include:
Required By Law. We may use or disclose a patient’s PHI to the extent that the use or disclosure is required by law. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law. A patient will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.
Public Health. We may disclose a patient’s PHI for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability.
Communicable Diseases. We may disclose a patient’s PHI, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease.
Health Oversight. We may disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws.
Abuse or Neglect. We may disclose PHI to a public health authority or governmental agency authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect, or if we believe that a patient has been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the. The disclosure will be made consistent with applicable federal and state laws.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We may disclose a patient’s PHI to a person or company required by the FDA to report adverse events, product defects or problems, biologic product deviations; track products; to enable product recalls; to make repairs or replacements; or to conduct post marketing surveillance, as required.
Legal Proceedings. We may disclose PHI in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized), in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.
Law Enforcement. We may also disclose PHI, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes. These law enforcement purposes include: (1) legal processes and otherwise required by law, (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes, (3) pertaining to victims of a crime, (4) suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct, (5) in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of the practice, and (6) medical emergency (not on the practice’s premises) and it is likely that a crime has occurred.
Coroners, Funeral Directors, and Organ Donation. We may disclose PHI to a coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, determining cause of death or for the coroner or medical examiner to perform other duties authorized by law. We may also disclose PHI to a funeral director, as authorized by law. We may disclose such information in reasonable anticipation of death.
Research. We may disclose a patient’s PHI to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has established protocols to ensure the privacy of a patient’s PHI.
Criminal Activity. Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, we may disclose a patient’s PHI 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 the public, or to identify or apprehend an individual.
Military Activity and National Security. When appropriate, we may use or disclose PHI of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel: (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of a patient’s eligibility for benefits; (3) to foreign military authority if a patient is a member of that foreign military services; (4) for national security and intelligence activities, including the provision of protective services to the President or others legally authorized.
Workers’ Compensation. A patient’s PHI may be disclosed by us as authorized to comply with workers’ compensation laws and other similar legally established programs.
Inmates. We may use or disclose a patient’s PHI if the patient is an inmate of a correctional facility and their physician created or received their PHI in the course of providing care to them.
Required Uses and Disclosures. Under the law, we must make disclosures to a patient and when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of federal regulations that protect the privacy of a patient’s PHI.