Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Specialty Pharmacy’s Privacy Policy

This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. It also describes your rights and MUSC’s obligations regarding the use and disclosure of medical information. Please review it carefully.

The Medical University of South Carolina and its affiliates, including but not limited to the Medical University Hospital Authority, MUSC Physicians and MUSC Physicians Primary Care coordinate care for our patients. They may share medical information with one another for treatment, payment or to operate the hospital and/or clinics.

We are required by law to:

  • Make sure that medical information that identifies you is kept private;
  • Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you; and
  • Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.

A. The following uses do NOT require your authorization, except where required by South Carolina law:

  1. For treatment. Your PHI may be discussed by caregivers to determine your plan of care. For example, the physicians, nurses, medical students, and other health care personnel may share PHI to coordinate the services you need.
  2. To obtain payment. We may use and disclose PHI for hospital and/or clinic operations. For example, we may use the information to send a claim to your insurance company.
  3. For health care operations. We may use and disclose PHI for hospital and/or clinic operations. For example, we may use the information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you.
  4. For public health activities. We report to public health authorities, as required by law, information regarding births, deaths, various diseases, reactions to medications, and medical products.
  5. Victims of abuse, neglect, domestic violence. Your PHI may be released, as required by law, to the South Carolina Department of Social Services when cases of abuse and neglect are suspected.
  6. Health oversight activities. We will release information for federal or state audits, civil, administrative, or criminal investigations, inspections, licensure, or disciplinary actions, as required by law.
  7. Judicial and administrative proceedings. Your PHI may be released in response to a subpoena or court order.
  8. Law enforcement or national security purposes. Your PHI may be released as part of an investigation by law enforcement.
  9. Uses and disclosures about patients who have died. We provide coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors necessary information related to an individual’s death.
  10. For purposes of organ donation. As required by law, we will notify organ procurement organizations to assist them in organ, eye, or tissue donation and transplants.
  11. Research. We may use your PHI if the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for research reviews, approves and establishes safeguards to ensure privacy.
  12. To avoid harm. To avoid a serious threat to the health or safety of a person or the public, we may release limited information to law enforcement personnel or persons able to prevent or lessen such harm.
  13. For workers’ compensation purposes. We may release your PHI to comply with workers’ compensation laws.
  14. Marketing. We may send you information on the latest treatment, support groups and other resources affecting your health.
  15. Fundraising activities. We may use your PHI to communicate with you to raise funds to support health care services and educational programs we provide to the community. You have the right to opt out of receiving fundraising communications with each solicitation.
  16. Appointment reminders and health-related benefits and services. We may contact you with a reminder that you have an appointment:

B. You may object to the following uses of PHI:

  1. Hospital directories. Unless you object, we may include your name, location, general condition and religious affiliation in our patient directory for use by clergy and visitors who ask for you by name.
  2. Information shared with family, friends, or others. Unless you object, we may release your PHI to a family member, friend, or other person involved with your care or the payment for your care.
  3. Health plan. You have the right to request that we not disclose certain PHI to your health plan for health services or items when you pay for those services or items in full.

C. Your prior written authorization is required (to release your PHI) in the following situations:

You may revoke your authorization by submitting a written notice to the privacy contact identified below. If we have a written authorization to release your PHI, it may occur before we receive your revocation.

  1. Any uses or disclosures beyond treatment, payment, or healthcare operations and not specified above.
  2. Psychotherapy notes.
  3. Any circumstance where we seek to sell your information.

Although your health record is the physical property of MUSC, the information belongs to you, and you have the following rights with respect to your PHI:

A. The right to request limits on how we use and release your PHI. You have the right to ask that we limit how we use and release your PHI. We will consider your request, but we are not always legally required to accept it. If we accept your request, we will put any limits in writing and abide by them except in emergency situations. You must submit a written request and state (1) the information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit our use, disclosure, or both; (3) to whom you want this limits to apply, for example, disclosures to your spouse; and (4) an expiration date.

B. The right to choose how we communicate your PHI with you. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about PHI in a certain way or at a certain location (for example, sending information to your work address rather than your home address). You must make your request in writing and specify how and where you wish to be contacted. We will accommodate reasonable requests.

C. The right to see and get copies of your PHI. You have the right to inspect and receive a copy of your PHI (including an electronic copy), which is contained in a designated record set that may be used to make decisions about your care. You must submit your request in writing. If you request a copy of this information, we may charge a fee for copying, mailing or other costs associated with your request. We may deny your request to inspect and receive a copy in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to PHI, you may request that the denial be reviewed.

D. The right to get a list of instances of when and to whom we have disclosed your PHI. This list may not include uses such as those made for treatment, payment, or health care operations, directly to you, to your family, or in our facility directory as described above in this Notice of Privacy Practices. This list also may not include uses for which a signed authorization has been received or disclosures made more than six years prior to the date of your request.

E. The right to amend your PHI. If you believe there is a mistake in your PHI or that important information is missing, you have the right to request that we amend the existing information or add the missing information. You must make the request and your reason for the request in writing. We may deny your request in writing if the PHI is correct and complete or if it originated in another facility’s record.

F. The right to receive a paper or electronic copy of this notice: You may request a copy of this notice at any time. For the above requests (and to receive forms) please contact:

Health Information Services (Medical Records),
Attention: Release of Information
169 Ashley Avenue MSC 369
Charleston, SC 29425

G. The right to revoke an authorization. If you choose to sign an authorization to release your PHI, you can later revoke that authorization in writing. This revocation will stop any future release of your health information except as allowed or required by law.

H. The right to be notified of a breach. If there is a breach of your unsecured PHI, we will notify you of the breach in writing..

MUSC, along with other healthcare providers, belongs to health information exchanges. These information exchanges are used for diagnosis and treatment of patients. As a member of these exchanges, MUSC shares certain patient health information with other healthcare providers. If you require treatment at another location that belongs to one of these exchanges, that provider may gather health information to assist with your treatment. You have the right to say that this cannot be done. If you choose not to take part in these alliances, please contact the MUSC Privacy Office at 1-843-792-4037.

If you believe your privacy rights may have been violated or if you disagree with a decision we made about access to your PHI, you may file a complaint with the office listed below. You will not be penalized and there will be no retaliation for voicing a concern or filing a complaint. We are committed to delivering quality health care in a confidential and private environment.

Privacy Officer 1-843-792-4037
Privacy Hotline 1-800-296-0269
HIPAA Privacy Officer
169 Ashley Avenue MSC 332
Charleston, SC 29425.

Patient Rights and Responsibilities and Notice of Privacy Practices Survey