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HIPAA and Our Privacy Practices

Benton County Health Department, alongside Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties, wants to make sure our clients have the best experience possible. As such, we are clear about our policies and commitments, and the rights and responsibilities of our clients.

  • Services are provided on a voluntary basis.
  • Clients cannot be coerced to accept services or any particular method of treatment.
  • Clients can choose to get care from any of our programs that they choose or that will benefit their overall health and wellness needs.

The laws and policies that govern how we deal with your protected health information can seem complicated, but we break it down into four basic categories.

Your Rights

When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights, and our policies are designed to support them.

Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record
  • You can ask, in writing, to see or get a copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. This will be available via:
    • secure portal (MyChart),
    • secure e-mail
    • paper copy
  • We will provide that copy or a summary, usually within 10 business days of your request. (We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee, which only recuperates our own costs.)
  • If your request is denied you may ask for a review of our denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request, and we will comply with the outcome of the review.
Ask us to correct your medical record
  • You can ask us, in writing, to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete.
  • We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing within 15 business days.
Request that your communications be confidential
  • You can ask us, in writing, to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone, through MyChart) or to send mail to a different address.
  • We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.
Ask us to limit what we use or share
  • You can ask us, in writing, not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our business operations.
    • We are not required to agree to your request; we may say “no” if it would affect your care.
  • If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us, in writing, not to share that information with your health insurer for the purpose of payment or our operations.
    • We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.
Get a list of those we shared information with
  • You can ask, in writing, for a list of the times we’ve shared your health information for the last 6 years, who we shared it with and why.
  • We will include all the disclosures except:
    • treatment
    • payment
    • health care operations
    • certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make).
  • We’ll provide one list a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost recovery fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
Choose someone to act for you
  • If you have given someone medical power of attorney, or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
  • We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.

Your Choices

You have both the right and choice to tell us what we should share in what situations. If you have a preference about how we share your information in the following situations, tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.

Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care.

For example, we may assume you agree to our disclosure of your personal health information to your spouse when you bring your spouse with you into the exam room during treatment or while treatment is discussed.

Share information in a disaster relief situation.

If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.

In the following cases, we never share your information unless you give us written permission:

Marketing purposes

Sale of your information

We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.

Our Uses and Disclosures

There are three primary ways we use your data, once we know how you would like us to disclose it.

Treating You

We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.

Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.

Running our Organization

We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.

Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services.

Billing for Services

We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities.

Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.

We may also share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the laws before we can share your information for these purposes.

Click here to see more ways we may wish to share your information
  • Help with public health and safety issues
  • Do (or contribute to) research
  • Comply with the law
  • Respond to organ and tissue donation requests
  • Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
  • Address workers’ compensation law enforcement, and other government requests
  • Respond to lawsuits and legal actions

Our Responsibilities

We must:

Keep your information private and secure

We will let you know if any breach compromises that privacy or security.

Follow written rules about how to handle your data.

We will share those rules with you.

Get your consent to use or share your information.

We will honor your requests to change or revoke that consent.

We also commit to telling you if any of these rights and responsibilities change. More information is available in our offices, online, or upon request.


Click here to find publications and forms about your privacy, your rights, and your consent and acceptance of our policies. They will also be available to you at any appointment you have at any of our locations.
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Contact Us

If you have questions or would like more information about requesting your medical records, call our health administration office.

If you have concerns about HIPAA or to report violations please call our compliance line.

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