This official notice regarding HIPAA and privacy laws describes how health information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
ECMCC Notice of Privacy Practices
Effective: April 14, 2003
Revised: August 1, 2021 (Download)
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact our Privacy Officer:
Erie County Medical Center Corporation
Attention: Privacy Officer
462 Grider Street
Buffalo, NY 14215
Privacy Hotline: 1-855-222-0758
Hotline Website: www.lighthouse-services.com/ecmc
Attention: Health Information Management Department
462 Grider Street
Buffalo, NY 14215
This notice describes the practices of our facilities and that of:
We understand that medical information about you is personal. We are committed to protecting the privacy of your medical information. In order to comply with certain legal requirements, we are required to:
Erie County Medical Center Corporation will generally obtain your written authorization before using your health information or sharing it with others outside the hospital. You may also initiate the transfer of your records to another person by completing a written authorization form. If you provide us with written authorization, you may revoke that written authorization at any time, except to the extent that we have already relied upon it. To revoke a written authorization, please write to the ECMCC Privacy Officer, 462 Grider Street Buffalo, NY 14215 to revoke such authorization.
There are some situations when we do not need your written authorization before using your health information or sharing it with others. They are:
Health Care Options
We may communicate to you in a number of ways; we may utilize SMS texting, email, mail, ECMCC smart phone apps, phone calls and/or voicemail messages including but not limited to the below:
Health-Related Products or Services
Erie County Medical Center Corporation may use your health information in, and disclose it from, our Patient Directory where applicable, or share it with family and friends involved in your care, without your written authorization. ECMCC will always give you an opportunity to object unless there is insufficient time because of a medical emergency (in which case we will discuss your preferences with you as soon as the emergency is over). ECMCC will follow your wishes unless we are required by law to do otherwise.
Family & Friends
We may use or disclose medical information about you without your prior authorization for several other reasons. Subject to certain requirements, we may give out medical information about you without your prior authorization for the following purposes:
We may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes.
Required by Law
We may disclose medical information when required by law, such as in response to a request from law enforcement in specific circumstances or in response to valid judicial or administrative orders.
We may disclose your medical information for public health activities.These disclosures generally include the following:
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety
We may use and disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person.
We may disclose medical information about you to law enforcement officials upon their request:
We may disclose your medical information to health oversight agencies for purposes of legally authorized health oversight activities, such as audits and investigations necessary for oversight of the health care system and government benefit programs.
We may disclose Health Information to our business associates that perform functions on our behalf or provide us with services if the information is necessary for such functions or services. For example, we may use another company to perform billing services on our behalf. All of our business associates are obligated to protect the privacy of your information and are not allowed to use or disclose any information other than as specified in our contract.
We may use or disclose your information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, of your location and general condition.
Funeral Directors, Medical Examiners, and Coroners
We may disclose medical information to funeral directors, coroners or medical examiners consistent with applicable law in order for them to carry out their duties.
Lawsuits and Disputes
If you are involved in a lawsuit or dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request (which may include written notice to you) or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
Organ and Tissue Donation
Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose medical information to organ procurement organizations or other entities for the purpose of tissue donation and transplant.
Health Information Exchange
We participate in a health information exchange (HIE) and may electronically share your medical information for treatment, payment and health care operations purposes with other participants in the HIE. HIE’s allow your health care providers to efficiently access and use medical information necessary for your treatment and other lawful purposes. The inclusion of your medicalinformation in an HIE is voluntary and subject to your consent.
Military and Veterans
If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
We may release medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
Multidisciplinary Personnel Teams
We may disclose medical information to a multidisciplinary personnel team relevant to the protection, identification, management or treatment of (i) an abused child and the child’s parents, or (ii) elder abuse and neglect.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
We may disclose certain medical information to the FDA relative to reporting adverse events.
We may disclose medical information necessary to comply with laws relating to workers’ compensation or other similar programs established by law.
Should you be an inmate of a correctional institution, we may disclose medical information necessary for your health and the health and safety of other individuals to the institution or its agents.
Special Categories of Information
In some circumstances, your medical information may be subject to restrictions that may limit or preclude some uses or disclosures described in this notice. For example, there are special restrictions on the use or disclosure of certain types of medical information (e.g., HIV test results, mental health records, and alcohol and substance abuse treatment records). Government health benefit programs, may also limit the disclosure
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this Notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. If you provide us your authorization to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. However, we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission. Your health information may also be disclosed to the Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of investigating or determining compliance with HIPAA. If you have any concerns about the uses of your medical information, please feel free to discuss the issues with your health care providers. If you have questions about this Notice, please call the Privacy Hotline at 1-855-222-0758.
You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you:
We reserve the right to change this notice at any time. We have the right to make the revised notice effective for any medical information we already have as well as any information we receive in the future. If we make a material change to this notice, we will post the revised notice at our location where you receive services and on our website and make the revised notice available upon request.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, or if you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can contact the Privacy Officer listed below. All complaints to the Department of Health and Human Services must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.