Your Health Information Rights

Your medical record is the property of Houston Methodist (the health care practitioner or facility that compiled it). You have the following rights, with certain exceptions, regarding the health information that is created about you at Houston Methodist.

You have the right to a paper copy of this Notice. In addition, a copy of this Notice also may be obtained at our web site, www.houstonmethodist.org.

Confidential Communications: You have the right to request that we communicate health information to you by an alternate means or location other than your home address and telephone number. Your request must be made in writing to Houston Methodist’s contact person, and must specify how or where you wish to be contacted. We will try to accommodate your request for alternate communications. If you request an alternate means of communication, that request also should be communicated by you to all of your physicians, including your private physician. 

Restrictions:
You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, such as a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information to a family member about a surgery you had. To request a restriction, you must make your request in writing to the contact person listed below. We are not required to agree to your request. If we do agree, our agreement must be in writing, and we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment. 

Additionally, you have the right to request that we not use or disclose information to a health plan for purposes of payment or health care operations (not for treatment) if the health information pertains solely to a health care item or service that has been paid for out-of-pocket and in full. Your request for restriction must be submitted in writing to our listed contact person. In this case, Houston Methodist must honor your request. However, you should be aware that such restrictions may have unintended consequences, particularly if other providers need to know that information (such as a pharmacy filling a prescription). It will be your obligation to notify any such other providers of this restriction. Additionally, such a restriction may impact your health plan’s decision to pay for related care that you may not want to pay for out of pocket (and which would not be subject to the restriction).

Access:
You have the right to review and obtain a copy of your health information, with certain exceptions. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes. Your request to review or obtain a copy of your health information must be in writing to our listed contact person. You will be charged fees as authorized by law. To the extent your information is held in an electronic health record, you may be able to receive the information in an electronic format.

Amendment: If you feel that the health information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you have the right to ask for an amendment of that information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for us. Your request for an amendment must be made in writing to our listed contact person, and include a reason that supports your request.

Accounting of Disclosures: You have the right to receive a list of certain disclosures that we have made within the last six years of your health information. Your request for an accounting must be in writing to our listed contact person, and must state a time period for which you want an accounting. You may request one accounting free of charge within a 12-month period. A fee will be charged for additional lists within this same time period.

Breach Notification: In certain instances, you have the right to be notified in the event that we, or one of our Business Associates, discover an inappropriate use or disclosure of your health information. Notice of any such use or disclosure will be made in accordance with state and federal requirements.

Revisions of this Notice: We reserve the right to change this Notice, and the right to make the new provisions effective for all health information we currently maintain, as well as any information we receive in the future. If we make a major change to this Notice, the revised Notice will be posted at Houston Methodist and on our web site. In addition, a paper copy of the revised Notice will be available upon request.

To Report a Complaint:
If you believe your health information privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with us or with the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. There will not be any penalty or retaliation against you for making a complaint to us or to the Department of Health and Human Services.
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