This Notice of Privacy Practices ("Notice") describes how Medtronic may use and disclose your "protected health information" (defined below) as permitted or required by law, if you are a patient and customer of Medtronic. "Medtronic" is the name we use to refer to our whole business, which includes Medtronic MiniMed, Inc. (doing business as Medtronic Diabetes), and any other companies that it controls, such as its subsidiaries and affiliates. This Notice also describes how you can access and control your protected health information. Please review this Notice carefully.
Medtronic complies with U.S. laws regarding the protection and security of health information, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as amended, and the privacy/data protection laws of other countries when applicable. We are required to provide all patients a copy of this Notice. Please note that we may change the privacy practices stated in this Notice at any time. A copy of our current Notice can be found on our web sites, or you may request a paper copy at any time by calling us toll-free at (866) 948-6633.
Protected Health Information
"Protected health information" is information that may identify you and that relates to your physical or mental health or condition, related health care services, or your coverage or payment for health care. We are committed to safeguarding all protected health information collected about you, while providing health-related products, services, education and/or training. Examples of protected health information include:
- Information about your health condition (e.g., your blood glucose levels);
- Information about health care products or services provided to you (e.g., insulin pumps or training on the use of an insulin pump);
- Geographic information (e.g., your home or work address);
- Demographic information (e.g., your race, gender, ethnicity, or age);
- Unique numbers that may identify you (e.g., your Social Security Number, phone number(s), or driver's license or state certificate number); or
- Other types of information that may identify you.
We will generally obtain your written authorization or consent before using your protected health information or disclosing it to persons or organizations outside of Medtronic. (You may authorize others (e.g., family members) to act on your behalf, including controlling your protected health information. Parents and guardians will generally have authorization over the protected health information of minors.) You may revoke any written authorization you have provided to us at any time, except to the extent that we have made any use(s) or disclosure(s) of your protected health information in reliance on an existing authorization. To revoke an authorization, please send your request in writing with a copy of the authorization being revoked (or, if not available, a detailed description of the authorization including the date) to our Privacy Official at the address below.
How Medtronic May Use and Disclose Your Protected Health Information Without Written Authorization:
Treatment, Payment, or Health Care Operations.
We may use or disclose your protected health information to others without prior written authorization to provide you with treatment (i.e., health care-related products, therapies, or services), collect payment for such treatment, and/or run our normal business operations.
Treatment. Examples include communicating and sharing documents with doctor(s), nurse(s) or other health care providers who are involved in your care, as well as appointment reminders and product order notifications.
Payment. Examples include generating a health insurance claim, undertaking collections, and communicating and sharing documents with health plans or payers (including government programs) regarding coverage and payment of your health care services and/or products.
Health Care Operations. Examples include conducting our normal business operations, such as processing and fulfilling your product or services orders, undertaking surveys and patient feedback to improve products and therapies, or taking reasonable actions to improve customer service.
Friends and Family Involved in Your Care; Emergencies.
If you need emergency treatment and we are unable to obtain your consent, we may share your protected health information with a family member, relative, or close personal friend who is involved in your care, or payment for that care. We may also notify, or assist others in notifying, a family member, friend, or another person responsible for your care about your location, general condition, or about your death. In some cases, we may need to share your protected health information with a disaster relief organization that will help us notify these persons.
To Government Agencies or Officials.
We may disclose your protected health information to authorized public health officials (or a foreign government agency collaborating with such officials) to carry out public health activities (e.g., government officials who are responsible for controlling disease, injury, or disability). We may also release your protected health information to government agencies (e.g., DHHS) authorized to conduct audits, investigations, and inspections of our facilities or privacy practices. These government agencies can monitor the operation of the health care system, or compliance with government regulatory programs or civil rights laws.
Product Monitoring, Repair and Recall.
We may disclose your protected health information to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to: (1) collect, report or track adverse events, product defects or problems; (2) repair, replace, or recall defective or dangerous products; or (3) monitor the performance of a product after it has been approved for use by the general public.
As Required By Law; Lawsuits and Other Proceedings.
We may disclose your protected health information if required by law, or if ordered by a court or by another properly authorized body (e.g., in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other legal request made by someone involved in the dispute, if we receive satisfactory assurances either that (1) you were notified of the request; or (2) the parties to the dispute have agreed to a qualified protective order regarding your health information).
We may disclose your protected health information to law enforcement officials to: comply with court orders, subpoenas, or laws; assist law enforcement officers with identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, witness, or missing person; if you have been the victim of a crime and we determine that (i) we have been unable to obtain your consent because of an emergency or your incapacity, (ii) law enforcement officials need your information immediately to carry out their law enforcement duties, and (iii) in our professional judgment disclosure to these officials is in your best interests; or if we suspect that your death resulted from criminal conduct.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety.
We may use or disclose your protected health information with others when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health or safety, or to the health or safety of another person or to the public (e.g., product recall situation, disease outbreak, etc.). In such cases, we will only disclose your protected health information with someone able to help prevent the threat, including the target of the threat.
Military and Veterans.
If you are in the Armed Forces, we may disclose protected health information about you to appropriate military command authorities for activities that they deem necessary to carry out their military mission. We may also release protected health information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
Inmates and Correctional Institutions.
If you are an inmate or you are detained by a law enforcement officer, we may disclose your protected health information to prison or law enforcement officials if necessary to provide you with health care, or to maintain safety, security, and good order at the place where you are confined. This includes disclosing protected health information that is necessary to protect the health and safety of other inmates, or persons involved in supervising or transporting inmates or detainees.
We may disclose your protected health information as authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers' compensation or similar programs that provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
Coroners, Medical Examiners, and Funeral Directors.
Should you die, we may disclose your protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner (e.g., to determine the cause of death or for identification purposes), or funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
In most cases, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing your protected health information with others to conduct research. However, under some cases, we may use and disclose your protected health information without prior authorization if we obtain approval through a special review process (to ensure that research without your authorization poses minimal risk to your privacy). Under no circumstances, however, would we allow researchers to use your name or identity publicly. We may also use or disclose protected health information for research purposes if we remove all identifying information (e.g., your name, telephone number, Social Security number, medical record number and account number). If you die, we may share your protected health information with people who are conducting research using the information of deceased persons, so long as they agree not to remove from our offices any information that identifies you.
Victims of Abuse, Neglect, or Domestic Violence.
We may release your protected health information to a public health authority who is authorized to receive reports of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. We will make every effort to obtain your permission before releasing this information, but in some cases we may be required or authorized to act without your permission.
Education and Information.
We may use your protected health information to inform you about new, updated, or alternative products and therapies, conducting relevant or necessary training on new or existing products, or providing educational or self-help programs.
How You Can Access and Control Your Protected Health Information:
Inspect and Copy Records.
You may request a copy of your protected health information for inspection. This includes medical and billing records. Under federal law, however, you may not receive the following: (1) information compiled in reasonable anticipation or, or use in, legal proceedings; or (2) protected health information subject to any laws prohibiting access. Under certain other circumstances, we may deny your request for a copy of your protected health information. If we deny any part of your request, we will provide a written explanation of the reasons. If we deny only part of your request, we will provide complete access to the remaining parts.
To obtain a copy of your protected health information, please complete and submit our Request for Access to Protected Health Information form to the Patient Services Department. For a copy of this form, please call us toll-free at (866) 948-6633 or click here to download and print the form (requires Adobe Acrobat reader).We may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other supplies we use to fulfill your request.
If you believe that your protected health information is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the protected health information. To request an amendment, please submit a written request to our Privacy Official at the address below. Your request must include your reason for the request.
Accounting of Disclosures.
You may request an "accounting of disclosures", i.e., how we have shared your protected health information with other persons or organizations within the past six (6) years. This accounting, however, will not include disclosures that were made directly to you, pursuant to your authorization, or in accordance with other permissible purposes (e.g., treatment, payment, or health care operations). To request an accounting, please write to our Privacy Official at the address below, including the specific time period for the disclosures. We will always notify you of any costs involved.
More Confidential Communications; Stricter Privacy Protections
You may request that we adopt stricter privacy protections (than those required by law) regarding how we use or disclose your protected health information. Please submit your request in writing to our Privacy Official at the address below, specifying the restriction(s) being requested. Please note, however, that Medtronic is not required to agree to any such requests. You may also request that we contact or send protected health information to you in a way that is more confidential, such as to your home instead of your work address. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
How to File a Complaint.
If you believe your protected health information has not been safeguarded, protected, or handled as required by law or pursuant to the terms of this Notice, you may file a complaint with Medtronic by submitting your complaint in writing to our Privacy Official. Medtronic will not retaliate or take action against you for filing a complaint. If you wish, you may also file a complaint or seek resolution with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201; (202) 619-0257; www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/index.html).
How to contact the Privacy Official for Medtronic Diabetes.
If you have any questions, comments, or complaints, you may contact the Privacy Official at (818) 576-4770 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or in writing at the following address:
Medtronic MiniMed, Inc.
18000 Devonshire Street
Northridge, CA 91325-1219
ATTN: Tae Lee, Privacy Official
This Notice of Privacy Practices was updated on October 7, 2009.