Notice of Privacy Practices

Notice of Privacy Practices



St. Joseph's/Candler Health System is committed to protecting the privacy and safeguarding the security of your protected health information. This Joint Notice describes the privacy practices of SJ/C and each of the SJ/C entities that participate in our “organized health care arrangement” (collectively referred to herein as “SJ/C” or “We”), including without limitation St. Joseph’s Hospital, Candler Hospital, each Hospital’s Medical Staff, our affiliated physician practices and Hospital Based Physician Practices providing services in Anesthesiology, Radiology, Pathology, the Emergency Rooms and Hospitalists. Each of the SJ/C providers that comprise the organized health care arrangement are presenting this document as their joint Notice of Privacy Practices. SJ/C providers that participate in the organized health care arrangement may share medical information with each other for treatment, payment, or health care operations as described in this Notice.

SJ/C is committed to protecting the privacy of your identifiable health information, known as “protected health information” or “PHI.” We are required by law to provide you with you with this joint Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices regarding PHI and to abide by the terms of the Notice currently in effect.

How We May Use or Disclose Your Health Information

For Treatment. We may use and disclose your PHI for medical treatment or services. SJ/C uses or discloses your PHI to healthcare professionals, who require access to your PHI for treatment. For example, your PHI may be disclosed to facilities and providers not affiliated with SJ/C that are involved in your treatment.

For Payment. We may use and disclose your health information to others for purposes of receiving payment for treatment and services that you receive. For example, a bill may be sent to you or a third-party payor, such as an insurance company or health plan. The information on the bill may contain information that identifies you, your diagnosis and treatment or supplies used in the course of treatment.

For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose health information about you for operational purposes. For example, your health information may be disclosed to members of the medical staff, risk or quality improvement personnel and others to: evaluate the performance of our staff; assess the quality of care and outcomes in your case and similar cases; learn how to improve our facilities and services; and determine how to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare we provide. This includes sending information to a third-party to conduct research on patient satisfaction and effectiveness of the services performed.

Appointments. We may use your information to provide appointment reminders or information about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.

Fundraising. We may use limited PHI to contact you regarding charitable support or communications about SJ/C or its affiliates. All charitable support will be used to improve the healthcare services, expand patient programs and purchase state-of-the-art technology for SJ/C.  You have the right to opt out of such fundraising communications at any time. If you sign an authorization form for any purpose, you may revoke it, in writing, at any time, except to the extent that action has been taken in reliance on the authorization.

Required by Law. We may use and disclose information about you as required by law. For example, SJ/C may disclose information for the following purposes: for judicial and administrative proceedings pursuant to legal authority; to report information related to victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence; and to assist law enforcement officials in their law enforcement duties.

Public Health. Your health information may be used or disclosed for public health activities such as assisting public health authorities or other legal authorities to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability, or for other health oversight activities. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs and compliance with civil rights laws.

Research. We may use your health information for research purposes as allowed by law. The Institutional Review Board will review the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your health information.

Health and Safety. Your health information may be disclosed if there is a potential serious threat to the health or safety of you or any other person as allowed by law.

Health Information Exchange (HIE).  We may participate in certain HIEs in which your PHI is electronically shared in a secure and confidential manner with other health care providers involved in your care. Participation in the HIE is voluntary and you may elect to opt-out. If you choose to not participate in an HIE, your PHI will not be available for access through such HIE; however, it may remain available for access through other mechanisms if permitted or required by applicable law.

Individuals Involved in Your Care. We may release health information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care or payment for your care or to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location.

Facility Directory Purposes. We may include certain limited information about you in a facility directory while you are a patient, such as your name, location in the facility, general condition (e.g., fair) unless you object to us doing so.

Additional Uses and Disclosures. As permitted by law, we may disclose your PHI to organ and tissue donor organizations, correctional institutions, coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors, workers compensation agents, or military command or national security authorities.

Other Uses. Other uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization and you may revoke the authorization except to the extent SJ/C has taken action in reliance on such.

Your Rights to Privacy:

  • You have the right to request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information. However, the organizations listed above are not required to agree to a requested restriction.
  • You have the right to obtain a paper copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices upon request to the Privacy Official or a member of the organization.
  • You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of your health record as allowed by state and federal regulations.
  • You may also request an amendment to your health record as allowed by state and federal regulations.
  • You may also request communications of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations. For example, by sending information to a P.O. Box instead of your home address.
  • You may revoke your Authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken by providing written notice to the Health Information Management Department at SJ/C, 5353 Reynolds Street, Savannah, Georgia 31405.
  • You may also receive an accounting of disclosures made of your health information as provided by federal regulations by sending a written request to the Health Information Management Department at the address listed above.
  • If you have a concern or complaint about your privacy rights, you may direct the concern or complaint in writing to:

St. Joseph's/Candler
Privacy Official
5353 Reynolds Street
Savannah, Georgia 31405
(912) 819-5290

You may also contact the Department of Health and Human Services, if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.

Our Obligations Under This Joint Notice.

We are required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information and to provide you with a Notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to the protected health information.  

Changes to This Notice.

We reserve the right to change this Notice, and to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. If this notice is revised or changed, we will post the current Notice with its effective date. An up-to-date copy of this Notice is available electronically on our websites. You are entitled to a copy of the Notice currently in effect.


Please note that as communications over the internet can be intercepted, e-mail and text messaging may not be a secure method of transmitting information. By providing us with your email address or mobile phone number, you understand these risks and consent to us communicating with you via e-mail or text message about your treatment or payment for your care.


Effective Date: April 14, 2003
Last Revised: December 2023

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