Saint Simons By-The-Sea securely maintains medical records in accordance with federal and state regulations. Your health information is private, which is why we call it “Protected Health Information” (PHI). The basis for federal privacy protection is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and its regulations, known as the “Privacy Rule” and “Security Rule” and other federal and state privacy laws.
Simply follow these steps:
Once your records are processed, you will be notified of any fees and may then pick up a copy of your medical records in person at the hospital or have them mailed to your home address after payment is received. If you pick up your records in person, you will be required to present your photo ID. You may send a representative to obtain your records only if they are listed on the authorization form under “information to be used or disclosed by.” Your representative must provide a copy of both their and your photo ID.
Your medical records are the property of Saint Simons By-the-Sea and are kept by the hospital for patient care purposes. Although these records are maintained for your benefit, the physical records (paper or electronic) are the property of the hospital.
You may request copies of the medical records of yourself, your minor child, or someone for whom you are the legal guardian or hold a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.
Proof of legal guardianship or a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare must be provided. A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare is only effective if a physician determines the patient is unable to act on their own behalf.
A spouse or child can request the medical records of a deceased patient if he or she is the executor or administrator of the deceased patient’s estate. Probate court documents naming the requestor as the executor or administrator must be provided. If there is no estate or an estate will not be probated, probate court documents releasing the estate from probate and naming the requestor as the personal representative must be provided.
We use and disclose your PHI during treatment. For example: if we test your blood, a laboratory technician will share the report with your doctor. We also use PHI to follow doctor orders for x-rays, surgical procedures, and other treatment-related procedures.
Disclosures are used to carry out payment and health care operations and are not required by law. The PHI pertains solely to a healthcare item or service that you or someone else other than the health plan (insurer) has paid in full. In other situations, we are not required to abide by your request. If we agree to your request, we must abide by the agreement.
We may also use or disclose your PHI:
Copies of medical records are provided to your physician at no charge for continuum of care. You will need to complete a written authorization form to have your medical records faxed or mailed to your provider. You must include the name, address, and/or fax number of the healthcare provider in the appropriate section
of the authorization form.
Pertinent information that will be disclosed to your health care provider for continuum of care will include, as applicable:
There is no charge for providing your records to Social Security Administration for disability claims. The record request for social security disability claims must be accompanied by a supporting letter from the Social Security Administration.
There is a charge for obtaining copies of your record according to the number of pages reproduced and source of data, such as computer, microfilm, or paper.
Fees are determined and published by the Georgia Department of Community Health. Effective July 1, 2015, medical record retrieval fees may be adjusted for inflation annually, effective July of each year, in accordance with the medical component of the consumer price index, pursuant to O.C.G.A § 31-33-3. If you have more questions, you may contact the Georgia Department of Community Health at 404-656-4507, or visit the Georgia Department of Community Health Medical Records Retrieval Fees page.
Your medical records do not contain billing statements. Our business office can provide you with this information at 912-638-1999.
To protect our patient’s privacy, we do not fax or email medical records to patients.
The only information the HIM Department releases verbally is the patient’s date of admission.
You have the right to request an accounting of certain disclosures we have made of your PHI over the past six years, but not before April 14, 2003. We are not required to account for all disclosures including those made to you, authorized by you, or those involving treatment, payment, and health care operations as described above. There is no charge for an annual accounting but there may be charges for additional accountings. We will inform you if there is a charge and you have the right to withdraw your request or pay to proceed.
If you disagree with your PHI within our records, you have the right to request, in writing, that we amend your PHI when it is a record that we created or have maintained. We may refuse to make the amendment, and you have a right to disagree in writing. If we still disagree, we may prepare a counter-statement. Your statement and our counter-statement must be made part of our record about you.
You have the right to receive confidential communications of PHI from the hospital at a location you provide. Your request must be in writing, provide us with the other address, and explain if the request will interfere with your method of payment.
You may revoke, in writing, the authorization you granted us for use or disclosure of your PHI. However, if we have relied on your consent or authorization, we may use or disclose your PHI up to the time you revoke your consent.
You have the right to inspect and copy your PHI (or an electronic copy if the PHI is in an electronic medical record) if requested in writing. We may refuse to give you access to your PHI if we think it may cause you harm, but we must explain why and provide you with someone to contact for a review of our refusal.
You have the right to be notified following a breach of unsecured PHI.
You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice upon request, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically.