Your privacy is important and it's helpful to understand your privacy rights as a patient. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires your doctor to give you the Notice of Privacy Practices and make an effort to get your signature to acknowledge you received it. If you don't want anyone to know you're in the hospital, you must ask a staff member to delete your name from the hospital directory.
HIPAA allows your doctor to share your health information with:
- Family members, friends or other persons who answer your phone, even when you aren't present. If you don't want to receive phone calls at home, you have the right to request an alternative communication method.
- Another doctor, if there is reason to believe you will receive care from him/her.
- Your family or other persons if he/she can reasonably infer, based on professional judgment, that you do not object.
- Your spouse, family members, friends or other persons you identify, only when the information is directly relevant to their role in your health.
For more information about HIPAA, visit www.hhs.gov.