Patient Privacy Is Important To Us
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
In 1996, Congress passed a law designed, in part, to ensure that healthcare providers and insurance companies safeguard the privacy of their patients' health information. Called HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires all healthcare providers to take steps to make sure information about your health and any care you are provided remains confidential.
Only healthcare associates involved in your care should have access to your health information. Some information is provided to insurance companies or government agencies (such as Medicare), but only when required for billing or other authorized operational purposes. HIPAA regulations prevent hospitals from giving out information to any unauthorized person or company.
To ensure the confidentiality of your healthcare records, we have set up a PIN procedure for patients. All patients at St. Vincent's Medical Center Riverside or St. Vincent's Medical Center Southside, formerly St. Luke's Hospital, are provided with a four-digit code, or PIN, when they are admitted into the Emergency Department. This PIN is important because only those individuals who have it can get information about you while you are in the hospital.
You should only share this PIN with family members or friends with whom you are comfortable sharing information about your condition or treatment. This helps us make sure that only the people you choose can get information about your care. If someone asks about your condition but does not provide a PIN, we only reveal a one-word condition (good, fair, poor).
If you wish additional privacy, you can opt out of our patient listing completely. That means that no one, other than those involved in your care, will be able to get any information at all, including whether you are even a patient. Please tell your nurse if you wish to make any changes in your privacy status during your stay.