Release of Patient Information/Patient Privacy
Release Of Information
Information about your health care is confidential, and Hillcrest Family Health Center recognizes the importance of protecting your privacy and has developed numerous mechanisms to maintain confidentiality. Except as specifically authorized by state law, you have the right to determine the information which the clinic may release about you.
If the patient is a minor, the parent or legal guardian has the authority to make these decisions.
Information regarding your medical history, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis is maintained in your medical record, which is confidential. You have the right to request a copy of this information, and within 15 days, the clinic must provide it or explain that it does not exist or cannot be located. There will be a fee charged for the retrieval and copying of the record; the fee schedule is established by law. Clinics will not charge a patient to examine his/her own health care information.
With certain exceptions specified by law, you have the right to designate to whom your confidential medical record may be released. Your authorization is valid for 180 days, unless it provides otherwise or is limited. Among those the law allows the hospital to disclose confidential health care information to without your authorization are health care providers who are caring for you; governmental agencies as authorized or required by law; third parties to obtain payment; a member of the clergy designated by you; a transporting medical services provider to enable it to establish diagnosis and outcome; prospective health care providers for securing services after your discharge; a poison control center; and organ/tissue procurement organization for potential inquiries related to donation; and a court, under court order or a court subpoena.
Texas law recognizes the following individuals as having authority to permit disclosure of your health care information:
- A legal guardian of a patient who has been judged incapacitated by a court to manage his/her personal affairs;
- an agent of the patient under a durable power of attorney for health care;
- an attorney or guardian ad litem appointed by a court for the patient;
- a personal representative or statutory beneficiary of a deceased patient;
- an attorney retained by the patient or the patient's legally authorized representative;
- or an attorney-in-fact of the patient
The legally authorized representative must show written evidence of his/her legal status to the clinic prior to signing permission for any disclosure.
If you have questions regarding release of information, please contact the Clinical Information System Department Release of Information Unit at (254) 202-8628.