This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
This notice is available in alternate formats that meet guidelines for the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). To request an alternate format, contact the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) by telephone at (307) 777-7656, by teletype at (307) 5648, or by facsimile at (307) 777-7439.
The WDH provides many types of health-related services, programs (e.g., children’s special health), and plans (e.g., Medicaid) which require collection or creation of sensitive client information, also known as protected health information (PHI). WDH is required by both state and federal law to maintain the privacy of its client’s PHI, to provide notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI to its clients, and to notify affected individuals following a breach of unsecured PHI.
This notice of privacy practices (NPP) describes how WDH may use or disclose your PHI. WDH is required to follow the terms of its most current NPP. WDH may change its NPP. A copy of the new NPP will be posted at all WDH facilities and on the WDH website as required by law. Changes to the NPP may apply to both your existing and future PHI and records. You can obtain a copy of the current NPP from any WDH facility or online at www.health.wyo.gov.
When it comes to your protected health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.
Get an electronic or paper copy of your protected health information.
- You can ask to see or get a paper copy of your protected health information that we have about you. You must make the request in writing. Ask us how to do this.
- We will provide a copy or a summary of your protected health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee.
Ask us to correct your protected health information.
- You can ask us to correct protected health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. You must make the request in writing. Ask us how to do this.
- We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing within 60 days.
Request confidential communications.
- You can ask us to contact you in a specific way, for example, home or office phone, or to send mail to different address. You must make this request in writing.
- We will consider all reasonable requests, and must say “yes” if you tell us, you would be in danger if we do not.
Ask us to limit what we use or share.
- You can ask us not to use or share certain protected health information for treatment, payment, or our operations.
- We are not required to agree to your request, and 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 not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer.
- We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.
Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information.
- You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your protected health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why. You must make the request in writing. Ask us how to do this.
- We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures, such as any you asked us to make. We’ll provide one accounting a year for free, but may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
Get a copy of this privacy notice.
- You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will promptly provide you with a paper copy.
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 protected health information.
- We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.
File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated.
- You can file a complaint to the WDH, Office of Privacy, Security, and Contracts if you feel we have violated your rights by sending a letter to 401 Hathaway Building, Cheyenne, WY 82002; calling (307) 777-7656; or emailing WDH-HIPAA@wyo.gov.
- You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775 or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints.
- We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
For certain protected health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.
In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
- Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care or payment for care.
- Share information in a disaster relief situation.
- Include your information in a hospital directory.
- Contact you for fundraising efforts.
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 information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health and safety.
In these cases, we never share your information unless you give us written permission:
- Marketing purposes
- Sale of your information
- Most sharing of psychotherapy notes
In the case of fundraising:
- We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.
Our Uses and Disclosures
How do we typically use or share your health information? We typically use or share your health information in the following ways.
Treat you or help manage the health care treatment you receive.
- We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.
- Example: A doctor sends us information about your diagnosis so we can arrange additional services.
Run our organization.
- We can use and disclose your information to run our organization and contact you when necessary.
- We are not allowed to use genetic information to decide whether you qualify for Medicaid, CHIP, or other government health programs.
- Example: We use protected health information about you to manage your treatment and services and develop better services for you.
Bill for your services.
- We can use and share your protected 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.
Pay for your health services.
- We can use and disclose your protected health information as we pay for your health services.
- Example: We share information about you with your health plan to coordinate payment for your services.
Administer your plan.
- We may disclose your protected health information for health plan (Medicaid, CHIP, or other government health programs) administration.
- Example: We may share information about you with our contracted health plans to better manage your plan.
How else can we use or share your health information? We are allowed or required to 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 law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html.
Help with public health and safety issues.
- We can share protected health information about you for certain situations such as:
- Preventing disease
- Helping with product recalls
- Reporting adverse reactions to medications
- Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
- Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s
health or safety
- We can use or share protected health information for health research.
Comply with the law.
- We will share protected health information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy law.
Respond to organ and tissue donation requests.
- We can share protected health information about you with organ procurement organizations.
Work with a medical examiner or funeral director.
- We can share protected health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
Address worker’ compensation, law enforcement, and other.
- We can use or share protected health information about you:
- For workers’ compensation claims
- For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official
- With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law
- For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services
Respond to lawsuits and legal actions.
- We can share protected health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
More stringent laws
As a state department of health, we operate a variety of divisions, programs, and facilities. Some of these components may be subject to more stringent state laws. This means that in some contexts there may be additional restrictions or limitations on how we may use or disclose your protected health information. Under Wyoming Statutes, more stringent protections exist for:
- Written reports of examination and other court filings in involuntary commitment proceedings related to the Wyoming State Hospital under Wyoming Statutes §§ 7-11-303
- Mental health or substance abuse client registration and treatment records under Wyoming Statutes §§ 9-2-125 and -126;
- Client and proposed client records at the Wyoming Life Resource Center under Wyoming Statute § 25-5-131;
- Mandatory communicable disease reports under Wyoming Statute § 35-4-107 and implementing regulations;
- Mandatory sexually transmitted disease reports under Wyoming Statute § 35-4-132;
- Mandatory abortion reporting forms under Wyoming Statute § 35-6-108;
- Psychiatric advance directive forms under Wyoming Statute § 35-22-303 and implementing regulations;
- Genetic testing under Wyoming Statute § 35-32-102; and
- Medicaid applications, information, and records under Wyoming Statute § 42-4-112.
Please be aware that these more stringent protections apply to us for specific components at specific times. We will ensure to apply these more stringent protections to your protected health information, as relevant.
- We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
- We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
- We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.
- We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.
For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html
Changes to the terms of this notice.
We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our offices, and on our website at https://health.wyo.gov/admin/privacy/.
This notice is effective October 1, 2023, and is administered by the Wyoming Department of Health, Office of Privacy, Security, and Contracts (OPSC). You may contact the Office of Privacy, Security, and Contracts at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 777-7656. Our privacy contact or a program specialist will work to respond to you as soon as we are able.
Printable versions of the WDH Notice of Privacy Practices