Exceptions: Although your consent is usually required for the use and disclosure of your PHI for the activities described above, the law allows us to use and disclose your PHI without your consent in certain situations. For example, we may disclose your PHI if needed for emergency treatment if it is not reasonably possible to obtain your consent prior to the disclosure, and we think that you would give consent if able. Also, if we are required by law to provide your treatment, we may use and disclose your PHI for treatment, payment, and operations without obtaining your prior consent.
Uses and Disclosures Requiring Authorization: For uses and disclosures beyond treatment, payment and operations purposes, we are required to have your written authorization, unless the use or disclosure falls within one of the exceptions described below. Like consents, authorizations can be revoked at any time to stop future uses and disclosures except to the extent that we have already undertaken an action in reliance upon your authorization.
Uses and Disclosures Not Requiring Consent or Authorization: The law provides that we may use and disclose your PHI without consent or authorization in the following circumstances:
When required by law: We may disclose PHI when a law requires that we report information about suspected abuse, neglect or domestic violence, or relating to the suspected criminal activity, or in response to a court order. We must also disclose PHI to authorities who monitor compliance with these privacy requirements.
For public health activities: We may disclose PHI when we are required to collect information about disease or injury or to report vital statistics to the public health authority.
Relating to decedents: We may disclose PHI relating to an individual’s death to coroners, medical examiners or funeral directors, and to organ procurement organizations, relating to organ, eye, tissue donations or transplants.
To avert a threat to health or safety: In order to avoid a serious threat to health or safety, we may disclose PHI as necessary to law enforcement or other persons who can reasonably prevent or lessen the threat of harm.
For specific government functions: We may disclose PHI of military personnel and veterans in certain situations, to correctional facilities in certain situations, to government programs relating to eligibility and enrollment, and for national security reasons, such as protection of the President.
Uses and Disclosures Requiring You to have an Opportunity to Object: In the following situations, we may disclose your PHI if we inform you about the disclosure in advance and you do not object. However, if there is an emergency situation and you cannot be given your opportunity to object, disclosure may be made if it is consistent with any prior expressed wishes and disclosure is determined to be in your best interests. You must be informed and given an opportunity to object to further disclosure as soon as you are able to do so.
To families, friends or others involved in your care: We may share with these people information directly related to your family’s, friend’s or other person’s involvement in your care, or payment for your care. We may also share PHI with these people to notify them about your location, general condition, or death.