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Internet privacy practices statement

Gwinnett Medical Center and its affiliates are dedicated to protecting the privacy of those who may visit our website.

Any usage or personally identifiable information collected at this site is not shared with any organization or business that is not affiliated with Gwinnett Medical Center. Gwinnett Medical Center does not sell personal information to third parties (i.e., companies or individuals that are not affiliated with Gwinnett Medical Center).

Gwinnett Medical Center does not disclose any personal information except as permitted and/or required by Georgia state law and federal laws.

Aggregate usage information
This site automatically collects specific information on the number of visitors to our site and the pages viewed during the visits. The information gathered for this purpose is not personally identifiable.

Other sites
Our privacy policies and practices apply only to your use of our site. Our site may contain links to other sites. We are not responsible for the privacy policies and practices of these sites. You should read the privacy policies and practices of each site you visit to determine what information that site may be collecting about you.

Changes to our privacy policies and practices
We may change the terms and conditions of our privacy policies and practices at any time by posting revisions on this site. You agree to review the privacy policies and practices portion of this site each time you visit so that you are aware of any changes made to these policies and practices.

Gwinnett Medical Center notice of privacy practices
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

For the purposes of this notice of privacy practices (Notice), Gwinnett Medical Center (the Hospital) and the physicians and other healthcare providers who are members of the Hospital's medical staff (the Medical Staff) work together in an organized healthcare arrangement to provide medical services to you when you are a patient in one of the Hospital's inpatient facilities (including Gwinnett Medical Center Lawrenceville, Gwinnett Medical Center Duluth and SummitRidge) or outpatient diagnostic and treatment facilities or clinics. However, physicians and other healthcare providers who are members of the Medical Staff are engaged in the independent practice of medicine and are not employees or agents of the Hospital. The Hospital and the Medical Staff are referred to collectively in this Notice as Gwinnett Medical Center. As healthcare providers, Gwinnett Medical Center providers use confidential personal health information about patients, referred to below as protected health information (PHI). Gwinnett Medical Center protects the privacy of this information, and it is also protected from disclosure by state and federal law. In certain specific circumstances, pursuant to this Notice, patient authorization or applicable laws and regulations, PHI can be used by Gwinnett Medical Center or disclosed to other parties. Below are categories describing these uses and disclosures, along with some examples to help you better understand each category.

Uses and disclosures for treatment, payment and healthcare operations
Gwinnett Medical Center may use or disclose your PHI for the purposes of treatment, payment and healthcare operations, described in more detail below, without obtaining written authorization from you. In addition, the Gwinnett Medical Center providers may share your PHI as necessary to carry out its treatment, payment and healthcare operations related to the organized healthcare arrangement.

  • For treatment. Gwinnett Medical Center may use and disclose PHI in the course of providing, coordinating or managing your medical treatment, including the disclosure of PHI for treatment activities of another healthcare provider. These types of uses and disclosures may take place between physicians, nurses, technicians, students and other healthcare professionals who provide you healthcare services or are otherwise involved in your care. For example, if you are being treated by a primary care physician, that physician may need to use/disclose PHI to a specialist physician whom he or she consults regarding your condition, or to a nurse who is assisting in your care.
  • For payment. Gwinnett Medical Center may use and disclose PHI in order to bill and collect payment for the healthcare services provided to you. For example, Gwinnett Medical Center may need to give PHI to your health plan in order to be reimbursed for the services provided to you. Gwinnett Medical Center may also disclose PHI to its business associates, such as billing companies, claims processing companies and others that assist in processing health claims. Gwinnett Medical Center may also disclose PHI to other healthcare providers and health plans for the payment activities of such providers or health plans.
  • For healthcare operations. Gwinnett Medical Center may use and disclose PHI as part of its operations, including for quality assessment and improvement, such as evaluating the treatment and services you receive and the performance of its staff in caring for you, provider training, underwriting activities, compliance and risk management activities, planning and development, and management and administration. Gwinnett Medical Center may disclose PHI to doctors, nurses, technicians, students, attorneys, consultants, accountants and others for review and learning purposes, to help make sure Gwinnett Medical Center is complying with all applicable laws, and to help Gwinnett Medical Center continue to provide healthcare to its patients at a high level of quality. Gwinnett Medical Center may also disclose PHI to other healthcare providers and health plans for such entity's quality assessment and improvement activities, credentialing and peer review activities, and healthcare fraud and abuse detection or compliance, provided that such entity has, or has had in the past, a relationship with the patient who is the subject of the information.
  • Sharing of PHI among the Hospital and the Medical Staff. As an organized healthcare arrangement, the Hospital and the members of the Medical Staff will share with each other PHI that they collect from you as necessary to carry out their treatment, payment and healthcare operations relating to the provision of care to patients by Gwinnett Medical Center.

Other uses and disclosures for which authorization is not required

In addition to using or disclosing PHI for treatment, payment and healthcare operations, Gwinnett Medical Center may use and disclose PHI without your written authorization under the following circumstances:

  • As required by law and law enforcement. Gwinnett Medical Center may use or disclose PHI when required to do so by applicable law. Gwinnett Medical Center also may disclose PHI when ordered to do so in a judicial or administrative proceeding, to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person, when dealing with gunshot and other wounds, about criminal conduct, to report a crime, the location of the crime or victims, or the identity, description or location of a person who committed a crime, to report a death or injury resulting from a boating accident, or for other law enforcement purposes.
  • For public health activities and public health risks. Gwinnett Medical Center may disclose PHI to government officials in charge of collecting information about births and deaths, preventing and controlling disease, reports of child abuse or neglect and of other victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, reactions to medications or product defects or problems, or to notify a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition.
  • For health oversight activities. Gwinnett Medical Center may disclose PHI to the government for oversight activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, inspections, licensure or disciplinary actions, and other proceedings, actions or activities necessary for monitoring the healthcare system, government programs and compliance with civil rights laws.
  • Coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors. Gwinnett Medical Center may disclose PHI to coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors for the purpose of identifying a decedent, determining a cause of death or otherwise as necessary to enable these parties to carry out their duties consistent with applicable law.
  • Organ, eye and tissue donation. Gwinnett Medical Center may release PHI to organ procurement organizations to facilitate organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation.
  • Research. Under certain circumstances, Gwinnett Medical Center may use and disclose PHI for medical research purposes.
  • To avoid a serious threat to health or safety. Gwinnett Medical Center may use and disclose PHI to law enforcement personnel or other appropriate persons, to prevent or lessen a serious threat to the health or safety of a person or the public.
  • Specialized government functions. Gwinnett Medical Center may use and disclose PHI of military personnel and veterans under certain circumstances. Gwinnett Medical Center may also disclose PHI to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence and other national security activities, and for the provision of protective services to the president or other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or to conduct special investigations.
  • Workers compensation. Gwinnett Medical Center may disclose PHI to comply with workers compensation or other similar laws. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses.
  • Fundraising activities. Your PHI may be used to contact you in an effort to raise money for the Hospital. Your PHI may be disclosed to a foundation related to the Hospital. Such disclosure would be limited to contact information, such as your name, address and phone number and the dates you required treatment or services at the Hospital. The money raised in connection with these activities would be used to expand and support the Hospital's provision of healthcare and related services to the community. If you do not want to be contacted as part of these fundraising activities, please notify the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation in writing.
  • Appointment reminders; health-related benefits and services; marketing. Gwinnett Medical Center may use and disclose your PHI to contact you and remind you of an appointment at Gwinnett Medical Center, or to inform you of treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you, such as disease management programs. Gwinnett Medical Center may use and disclose your PHI to encourage you to purchase or use a product or service through a face-to-face communication or by giving you a promotional gift of nominal value.
  • Disclosures to you or for HIPAA compliance investigations. Gwinnett Medical Center may disclose your PHI to you or to your personal representative, and is required to do so in certain circumstances described below in connection with your rights of access to your PHI and to an accounting of certain disclosures of your PHI. Gwinnett Medical Center must disclose your PHI to the secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) when requested by the Secretary in order to investigate Gwinnett Medical Center's compliance with privacy regulations issued under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Uses and disclosures to which you have an opportunity to object
You will have the opportunity to object to these categories of uses and disclosures of PHI that Gwinnett Medical Center may make:

  • Patient directories. Unless you object, Gwinnett Medical Center may use some of your PHI to maintain a directory of individuals in its facility. This information may include your name, your location in the facility, your general condition (e.g., fair, stable, etc.) and your religious affiliation, and the information may be disclosed to members of the clergy. Except for your religious affiliation, the information may be disclosed to other persons who ask for you by name.
  • Disclosures to individuals involved in your healthcare or payment for your healthcare. Unless you object, Gwinnett Medical Center may disclose your PHI to a family member, other relative, friend or other person you identify as involved in your healthcare or payment for your healthcare. Gwinnett Medical Center may also notify those people about your location or condition.

Other uses and disclosures of PHI for which authorization is required
Other types of uses and disclosures of your PHI not described above will be made only with your written authorization, which with some limitations you have the right to revoke in writing.

  • Regulatory requirements. Gwinnett Medical Center is required by law to maintain the privacy of your PHI, to provide individuals with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI, and to abide by the terms described in this Notice. Gwinnett Medical Center reserves the right to change the terms of this Notice and of its privacy policies, and to make the new terms applicable to all of the PHI it maintains. Before Gwinnett Medical Center makes an important change to its privacy policies, it will promptly revise this Notice and post a new Notice in all patient entry locations. You have the following rights regarding your PHI:
  • You may request that Gwinnett Medical Center restrict the use and disclosure of your PHI. Gwinnett Medical Center is not required to agree to any restrictions you request, but if Gwinnett Medical Center does so it will be bound by the restrictions to which it agrees except in emergency situations. You have the right to request that communications of PHI to you from Gwinnett Medical Center be made by particular means or at particular locations. For instance, you might request that communications be made at your work address, or by email rather than regular mail. Your requests must be made in writing and sent to the privacy officer. Gwinnett Medical Center will accommodate your reasonable requests without requiring you to provide a reason for your request. Generally, you have the right to inspect and copy your PHI that Gwinnett Medical Center maintains, provided that you make your request in writing to the Hospital's Department of Medical Records. Within thirty (30) days of receiving your request (unless extended by an additional thirty [30] days), Gwinnett Medical Center will inform you of the extent to which your request has or has not been granted. In some cases, Gwinnett Medical Center may provide you a summary of the PHI you request if you agree in advance to such a summary and any associated fees. If you request copies of your PHI or agree to a summary of your PHI, Gwinnett Medical Center may impose a reasonable fee to cover copying, postage and related costs. If Gwinnett Medical Center denies access to your PHI, it will explain the basis for denial and your opportunity to have your request and the denial reviewed by a licensed healthcare professional (who was not involved in the initial denial decision) designated as a reviewing official. If Gwinnett Medical Center does not maintain the PHI you request, if it knows where that PHI is located it will tell you how to redirect your request.
  • If you believe that your PHI maintained by Gwinnett Medical Center contains an error or needs to be updated, you have the right to request that Gwinnett Medical Center correct or supplement your PHI. Your request must be made in writing to the Hospital’s Department of Medical Records, and it must explain why you are requesting an amendment to your PHI. Within sixty (60) days of receiving your request (unless extended by an additional thirty [30] days), Gwinnett Medical Center will inform you of the extent to which your request has or has not been granted. Gwinnett Medical Center generally can deny your request if your request relates to PHI: (i) not created by Gwinnett Medical Center; (ii) that is not part of the records Gwinnett Medical Center maintains; (iii) that is not subject to being inspected by you; or (iv) that is accurate and complete. If your request is denied, Gwinnett Medical Center will provide you a written denial that explains the reason for the denial and your rights to: (i) file a statement disagreeing with the denial; (ii) if you do not file a statement of disagreement, submit a request that any future disclosures of the relevant PHI be made with a copy of your request and Gwinnett Medical Center's denial attached; and (iii) complain about the denial. You generally have the right to request and receive a list of the disclosures of your PHI that Gwinnett Medical Center has made at any time during the six (6) years prior to the date of your request (provided that such a list would not include disclosures made prior to April 14, 2003). The list will not include disclosure for which you have provided a written authorization, and does not include certain uses and disclosures to which this Notice already applies, such as those: (i) for treatment, payment and healthcare operations; (ii) made to you; (iii) for the Hospital's patient directory or to persons involved in your healthcare; (iv) for national security or intelligence purposes; or (v) to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials. You should submit any such request to the Hospital's Department of Medical Records, and within sixty (60) days of receiving your request (unless extended by an additional thirty [30] days), Gwinnett Medical Center will respond to you regarding the status of your request. Gwinnett Medical Center will provide the list to you at no charge, but if you make more than one request in a year you may be charged a fee for each additional request. You have the right to receive a paper copy of this Notice upon request, even if you have agreed to receive this Notice electronically. You can receive a copy of this Notice at our website, www.gwinnetthealth.org. To obtain a paper copy of this Notice, please contact the Gwinnett Medical Center privacy officer. You may complain to Gwinnett Medical Center if you believe your privacy rights with respect to your PHI have been violated by contacting a hospital patient representative or the Gwinnett Medical Center privacy officer and submitting a written complaint. Gwinnett Medical Center will in no manner penalize you or retaliate against you for filing a complaint regarding Gwinnett Medical Center's privacy practices. You also have the right to file a complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact the Gwinnett Medical Center privacy officer by mail at 1000 Medical Center Boulevard, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045, by telephone at 678-312-3900 or by email at ghsprivacyofficer@gwinnettmedicalcenter.org.

If you have any questions about your medical records, please contact the Medical Records Department by mail at
1000 Medical Center Boulevard
attn Medical Records
Lawrenceville, GA 30045

or by telephone at 678-312-4490.

Effective Date: April 14, 2003.