Virginia Hospital Center Arlington Health System takes seriously the privacy of our visitors to this site. At times, we may request personal information in forms or certain registration processes. If such information is retained it is held in our secure servers where it is inaccessible to other Internet users. When we request credit card information it is processed by a third party and your number is not stored in our database.
The information on this site is meant to be for educational purposes only and is in no way intended to serve as medical advice. All medical related concerns should be discussed directly with your physician.
Privacy Practices Summary
Federal regulations require that we make every patient aware of our privacy practices. This is a summary of our Notice of Privacy Practices for your information. As part of our meeting compliance with these regulations, we are also responsible for providing you with the entire Notice of Privacy Practices. This is available here (and here in Spanish) and at all registration points in our facilities.
The confidentiality of your health information is very important to us. Each time you visit a hospital, physician, or other healthcare providers, a record of your visit is made.
Our pledge to you
- Ensure that medical information that identifies you is kept private.
- Give you notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to health information about you.
- Follow the terms of the Notice of Privacy Practices that is currently in effect.
- Provide you with a Privacy Point of Contact to refer additional questions or concerns regarding the handling of your information
Virginia Hospital Center
1715 N. George Mason Drive, Arlington, VA 22205
Phone: 703.558.6230; Compliance Hotline: 1-888-244-0167
How do we use or disclose your medical information?
Treatment, Payment and Health Care Operations
We may use health information about you in order to provide you with medical treatment or services and to coordinate your care. We may disclose health information about you to physicians, nurses, technicians, medical students, or other facility personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the facility. We may use and disclose health information about your treatment and services to bill and collect payment from you, your insurance company, or a third party payer. We may use and disclose health information about you for our health care operations purposes. These uses and disclosures help us run our facilities and to make sure that all of our patients receive quality care.
Some of the services provided by Virginia Hospital Center Arlington Health System are provided through business associates. To protect your health information, business associates are required to sign a Business Associate Agreement that sets forth the necessary safeguards to ensure your privacy.
We may include certain limited information about you in the Hospital Directory while you are a patient at Virginia Hospital Center. This information may include your name, location in the hospital, your general condition, and your religious affiliation. Directory information, except for your religious affiliation, may be released to people who ask for you by name. Your religious affiliation may be provided to clergy, even if they do not ask for you by name. If you do not want to be included in the Hospital Directory, you will need to ask the admissions staff at the time of each admission or contact the Privacy Official to fill out the Directory Opt-Out Form when you are admitted.
Contacting you about Services
We may use your health information to contact you to
- Send an appointment reminder.
- Tell you about possible treatment options or alternatives.
- Tell you about health-related benefits or services.
- Assess your satisfaction with our services.
- Communicate with you via newsletters, mailings or other means regarding treatment options or alternatives, health-related information, disease management, wellness programs, products or services offered by our facilities, or other community-based initiatives or activities in which our facilities are participating.
As part of our fundraising efforts, we may use, or disclose to a business associate or institutionally-related foundation, certain health information about you, so that we or they may contact you to raise money on our behalf. The money raised will be used to expand and improve the services and programs we provide the community. You are free to opt-out of fundraising solicitation, and your decision will have no impact on your treatment or payment for services.
Individuals involved in your care or payment for your care
We may release health information about you to your legally authorized personal representative or to a designated family member who is involved in your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. In addition, we may disclose health information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status, and location.
Under certain circumstances, we may disclose your health information for research purposes consistent with our legal obligations. All of our research projects are subject to established protocols and strict institutional review criteria to ensure the privacy of your medical information.
As Required or Authorized by Law
We may disclose medical information about you when required or authorized by law. For further information, see the Notice of Privacy Practices.
Health Oversight Activities
We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law.
Lawsuits and Disputes
We may disclose health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful processes in accordance with applicable law.
We may release certain health information to law enforcement authorities for law enforcement purposes. For further information, see the Notice of Privacy Practices.
Public Threat to Health or Safety
We may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to the health and safety of the public, to you, or to another person.
If you are an unemancipated minor under Virginia law, there may be circumstances in which we disclose medical information about you to a parent, guardian, or other person acting in loco parentis, in accordance with our legal responsibilities.
If you are a parent of an unemancipated minor and are acting as the minor’s personal representative, we may disclose health information about your child to you under the circumstances. In some circumstances, as required by law, we may not disclose health information about an unemancipated minor to you.
Following death, we may disclose health information to a coroner or to a medical examiner as necessary for them to carry out their duties and to funeral directors as authorized by law. In addition, we may disclose health information to a personal representative, and unless the individual expressed a contrary preference, we may also release health information to a family member, personal representative or person involved in the individual’s care or payment for care before death, if the health information is relevant to such person’s involvement in care or payment for care.
Incidental Uses and Disclosures
There are certain incidental uses or disclosures of your information that may occur while we are providing service to you or conducting our business. We will make reasonable efforts to limits these incidental uses or disclosures.
Health Information Exchange
We participate in one or more electronic health information exchanges, including Epic Care Everywhere and VHCconnect. To the extent permitted by law, you may opt-out and ask that your health information not be made available through Care Everywhere, VHCconnect, or other health information exchanges utilized by Virginia Hospital Center Arlington Health System facilities by contacting the Privacy Official.
Uses and Disclosures Not Described Above
Other uses and disclosures of health information not covered by the Notice of Privacy Practices or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission.
These are notes made by a mental health professional documenting conversations during private counseling sessions or in joint or group therapy. Many uses or disclosures of psychotherapy notes require your authorization.
Unless permitted by applicable law, we will not use or disclose your protected health information for marketing purposes without your authorization.
We will not sell your protected health information to third parties without your authorization. Any such authorization will state that we will receive remuneration in the transaction.
If you provide us permission to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time by giving us notice as described in the Notice of Privacy Practices.
What are your information privacy rights?
Right to Inspect and Copy
You have the right to inspect and copy health information we maintain about you that may be used to make decisions about your care. If you request a copy of your health information, we may charge a cost-based fee for producing copies, including the cost of retrieving, copying, mailing, and use of supplies associated with your request. If you are denied access, you may appeal the decision.
Right to Amend
You may ask us to amend information that you think is incomplete or inaccurate.
Right to An Accounting of Disclosures
You have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your health information. We will be unable to provide you with an accounting for any disclosures made before April 14, 2003, or for a period of longer than 6 years.
Right to Request Restrictions
You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations or to persons involved in your care or payment for your care. We are not required to agree to this request, except for the following: we are required to agree to your request that we not disclose certain health information to your health plan for payment or health care operations purposes if (1) you pay out-of-pocket in full for all expenses related to that service either at the time of service or within timeframes specified by our written policies and (2) the disclosure is not otherwise required by law.
Right to Request Confidential Communications
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. We will agree to the request to the extent that it is reasonable for us to do so.
Right to Notice in the Case of Breach
You have the right to receive notice of an access, acquisition, use or disclosure of your health information that is not permitted by HIPAA, if such access, acquisition, use or disclosure compromises the security or privacy of your Protected Health Information (we refer to this as a breach).
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice
You have the right to a paper copy of the entire Notice of Privacy Practices.
Right To File a Complaint
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a written complaint with the Privacy Official, or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
To exercise any of your rights, please obtain the required forms from the Privacy Official and submit your request in writing.
If you have any questions about our privacy practices, please contact our Privacy Official at 703.558.6230.