Notice of Privacy Practices
In 1996 Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a law that guarantees patients access to their medical records, gives patients more control over how their protected health information is used and disclosed, and provides recourse if one's medical privacy is compromised. The act also protects the confidentiality of medical records.
Cheshire Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene have always held privacy and confidentiality as vital components of healthcare delivery. We continue to do so. The HIPAA privacy law creates national standards to protect the rights of individuals' medical records and other health information. All hospitals, physicians, allied health professionals, health plans, mental health agencies, nursing homes, alcohol and drug treatment centers, and other healthcare entities must comply with the new federal standards by April 14, 2003.
It is important to note that health providers will no longer be able to share protected health information with spouses, parents of emancipated children, adult children, siblings, friends or others without written consent. As a result the new federal law may cause friends and family frustration in performing tasks and gaining information taken for granted in the past. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we must comply with the law or face penalties.
Cheshire Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene will be distributing HIPAA privacy guidelines titles "Notice of Privacy Practices" to our patients and will be asking that you acknowledge receipt of these guidelines, and answer specific questions about how we use your health information.
We thank you for your assistance in helping us comply with this federal regulation, while recognizing some of these mandates will be different from previously accepted practices. Please be assured we will make every effort to comply with the law while concurrently serving the best interests of our patients.
To learn more about HIPAA you may contact Patient Relations at (603) 354-6577.