Notice of Privacy Practices

This notice describes how your health information may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.


We are committed to your privacy.

In order to provide you with health care services and help you care for your health, we gather information about you. We will collect and maintain certain demographic information about you including your name, telephone number and address. We may ask you for certain information about your history of illness or injury, your family history, and other information related to your physical or mental health. We understand that your health information is private to you. We keep information about you to care for you and to meet legal and other requirements. The law requires us to protect your health information, to provide you this Notice of Privacy Practices and to follow the terms and conditions of the notice currently in effect.


This notice covers Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., doing business as Hennepin County Medical Center (“HCMC”), and its respective departments and units, personnel, volunteers, students, and trainees. This notice also covers other health care providers that come to HCMC facilities to care for patients (such as physicians, therapists and other health care providers not employed by HCMC), unless these other health care providers give you their own notice of privacy practices that describe how they will protect your protected health information.


We typically use and disclose your health information as follows:

Treatment. We may use and disclose your health information to provide, coordinate, or manage your healthcare and other related services or products. For example, we may disclose information about you to doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and other clinicians and professionals, both inside and outside of HHS, to coordinate and provide you with services such as referrals.

Payment. We may use and disclose your health information to obtain payment for your healthcare services and other related services

Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose your health information to support our health care services. This may include quality assessment and improvement, care management, and reviewing the qualifications of health professionals. For example, we may use your health information to assess your care or satisfaction with our services, and use the results to continually improve the quality of care, to disclose your health information to other entities that perform various activities for us such as billing or auditing, and to disclose to other providers who have treated you.

Patient Contacts. At times, we may contact you to set up or remind you about future appointments, provide information about treatments and health-‐related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.

Business Associates. We may disclose health information to our business associates that perform functions on our behalf or provide us with services, if the information is necessary for such functions or services. Business associates are obligated to protect your information just like we are.

People Involved in Your Care. When appropriate, we may disclose relevant health information about you to people involved in your care or involved in the payment for your care, such as a family member, friend, or emergency contact. If you do not want this information shared, you can request that it not be shared. In case of an emergency, or if you are incapacitated, we may disclose your health information as necessary if we determine that it is in your best interest, based on our professional judgment.

Research. Medical research is critical to the advancement of medical care and treatment. As allowed by law, we may use or disclose your health information to conduct or participate in research if we have removed any information that would individually identify you from it, such as your name, or address. We, however, will not disclose health information that identifies you or can be used to identify you for research purposes without obtaining your consent or following state law procedures for attempting to make a good faith effort to obtain your consent. Unless you object, we may also contact you to see if you are interested in participating in approved clinical research trials for which you may be eligible.

We are allowed or required to share your health information for the following purposes:

Public Health Purposes. We may disclose health information for public health purposes, including to report vital statistics (such as births and deaths); to report adverse reactions to medications; to notify people of product recalls; to report and control disease (such as cancer or tuberculosis), injury, or disability; and to report communicable diseases.

Abuse and Neglect. We may disclose health information to the proper authorities about possible abuse or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult.
Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose health information to health oversight agencies that oversee our operations, including government, licensing, auditing, and accrediting agencies.

To Avert a Serious Threat. We may disclose health information to help prevent a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public.
Disaster Relief. We may disclose your health information to disaster relief organizations to coordinate your care or to notify others of your location or condition in a disaster. You have the right to opt out of this disclosure if it is practical for us to do so.

Organ Donation. We may disclose health information to organ donation agencies.

Workers’ Compensation. We may disclose health information to comply with the requirements of workers’ compensation laws or similar programs.

Data Breach Notification Purposes. We may use or disclose health information as required to cooperate with authorities in investigations and to provide legally required notices of unauthorized access to or disclosure of health information to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Military Personnel / National Security and Intelligence Activities. We may release health information to authorized officials from the armed forces or for intelligence, counterintelligence, or other national security activities.

Correctional Facility. We may disclose the health information of a person in custody to law enforcement or a correctional facility if necessary: i) for that person’s health care; ii) to protect health and safety of that person or others, including law enforcement; or iii) for the safety and security of the correctional facility.

Law Enforcement. We may disclose health information to law enforcement officials, including to identify a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person; about the victim of a crime (under limited circumstances); about a death believed to be the result of criminal conduct; about a crime committed on our premises; or when to an emergency, to report a crime.

Legal Process. We may disclose health information in response to a court or other legal order, subpoena, or other legal documents.

Death. We may release health information to a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director to identify a deceased person, determine the cause of death, or otherwise as necessary to carry out their duties, including arrangements after death.

Required or Permitted by Law. We may use or disclose health information as required or permitted by law, including, to report gunshot wounds and other injuries that may have resulted from an unlawful act.

Health Information and State Law. Release of health records under Minnesota law usually requires the signed permission of a patient or a patient’s representative. Exceptions include you having a medical emergency, you seeing a related provider for treatment, and other releases required or allowed by law.


Except as described in this notice or required or permitted by law, we will not use or disclose your health information without your permission. At times, we may ask you to provide specific written permission to use or disclose your health information. We will not use or disclose your health information for marketing, for a sale of health information, or for most sharing of psychotherapy notes, unless we have permission from you.


If you give us an authorization for the use or disclosure of your health information, you may revoke it at any time by submitting a written revocation. However, disclosures that have been made in reliance on your authorization before you revoked it will not be affected by the revocation.


Patient Access. You, or another person named by you, have the right to inspect and request a copy of your health information. If you wish to access your health information, please submit a written request to
Notice of a Breach. You have the right to be notified upon a breach of any of your unsecured health information.

Restrictions on Use or Disclosure. You have the right to request restrictions on how we use and disclose your health information for treatment payment or operations. To request a restriction, please submit a request to In your request, you must let us know: (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether and how you want to limit the use and/or disclosure; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply. We are not required to agree to your requests.

You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose to someone involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not share information about a particular diagnosis or treatment with your spouse. We are not required to agree to your requests; however, if we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed for emergency treatment.
Alternate Communications. You have the right to request that we provide your health information to you in a confidential manner. For example, you may request that we send your health information by an alternate means (e.g., in a sealed envelope, rather than a postcard) or to an alternate phone number or address (e.g., calling you at a different telephone number, or sending a letter to you at your office address rather than your home address). We will attempt to accommodate any reasonable requests.

Paper Copy of Notice. You may receive a paper copy of our current Notice of Privacy Practices.


If you have questions or concerns about the release of your health information (for example, access to records, restrictions on disclosure and revocation of authorization), please contact


From time to time, we may change our practices about how we use or disclose health information. We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice and make the changes effective for all health information maintained by us. Note that we will post the current version of this notice on our website,, and in prominent places at each of our locations. In addition, we will make a paper copy of this notice available at each of our locations.