At Wilmington Health, our patients are our top priority.
To make “going to the doctor” a great experience, we have experienced physicians and staff who know how to make their patients feel at ease. We’d like to make other aspects of your healthcare easy too, so this area of the site is dedicated to the information that’s important to patients. Want to learn more about our collaborative team and where we are located? Click here for a list of our locations.
Explore Patient Services
Good healthcare delivery depends upon the cooperative relationship between you and your physician, as well as between you and the Clinic.
I. INFORMATION DISCLOSURE
You have the right to receive accurate and easily understood information about your health plan, healthcare professionals, and healthcare facilities. If you speak another language, have a physical or mental disability, or just don’t understand something, assistance will be provided so you can make informed healthcare decisions.
II. CHOICE OF PROVIDERS AND PLANS
You have the right to a choice of healthcare providers that is sufficient to provide you with access to appropriate high-quality healthcare.
III. ACCESS TO EMERGENCY SERVICES
If you have severe pain, an injury, or sudden illness that convinces you that your health is in serious jeopardy, you have the right to receive screening and stabilization emergency services whenever and wherever needed, without prior authorization or financial penalty.
IV. PARTICIPATION IN TREATMENT DECISIONS
You have the right to know all your treatment options and to participate in decisions about your care. Parents, guardians, family members, or other individuals that you designate can represent you if you cannot make your own decisions.
V. RESPECT AND NONDISCRIMINATION
You have a right to considerate, respectful and nondiscriminatory care from your doctors, health plan representatives, and other healthcare providers.
VI. CONFIDENTIALITY OF HEALTH INFORMATION
You have the right to talk in confidence with healthcare providers and to have your healthcare information protected. You also have the right to review and copy your own medical record and request that your physician amend your record if it is not accurate, relevant, or complete.
VII. COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS
You have the right to a fair, fast, and objective review of any complaint you have against your health plan, doctors, hospitals or other healthcare personnel. This includes complaints about waiting times, operating hours, the conduct of healthcare personnel, and the adequacy of healthcare facilities.
Know your responsibilities to get the best possible healthcare
- Seek medical attention promptly.
- Be honest about your medical history.
- Ask about anything you do not understand.
- Follow health advice and instructions.
- Report significant changes in symptoms or failure to improve.
- Work with your provider and nurse on management of pain.
- Respect clinic policies.
- Seek non-emergency care during regular business hours.
- Provide useful feedback about services.
- Make prompt payments on your account and be knowledgeable about your insurance coverage.
- Keep appointments or cancel in advance.
Patients who do not attend scheduled appointment will be assessed a fee for reservation and utilization of company resources. The policy will follow a graduated scale of increasing fees or action by the organization as follows:
- First no show: Patient receives a letter.
- Second no show: Along with another letter, patient is notified that they will not be rescheduled anywhere in the clinic unless they first make a pre-payment of $50. This money will be applied to their financial responsibility to the practice.
- Third no show: Letter will go out informing the patient that they have been dismissed from the clinic.
Notice of Privacy Practices
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. The privacy of your medical information is important to us.
OUR LEGAL DUTY
We are required by applicable federal and state law to maintain the privacy of your medical information. We are also required to give you this notice about our privacy practices, our legal duties, and your rights concerning your medical information. We must follow the privacy practices that are described in this notice while it is in effect. This notice takes effect April 14, 2003, and will remain in effect until we replace it.
We reserve the right to change our privacy practices and the terms of this notice at any time, provided such changes are permitted by applicable law. We reserve the right to make the changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our notice effective for all medical information that we maintain, including medical information we created or received before we made the changes. Before we make a significant change in our privacy practices, we will change this notice and make the new notice available upon request.
You may request a copy of our notice at any time from a Wilmington Health team member. For more information about our privacy practices, or for additional copies of this notice, please contact us using the information listed at the end of this notice.
USES AND DISCLOSURES OF MEDICAL INFORMATION
We use and disclose medical information about you for treatment, payment, and health care operations. For example:
- Treatment: We may use your medical information to treat you or disclose your medical information to a physician or other health care provider providing treatment to you.
- Payment: We may use and disclose your medical information to obtain payment for services we provide to you.
- Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose your medical information regarding our health care operations. Health care operations include quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing the competence or qualifications of health care professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, conducting training programs, accreditation, certification, licensing or credentialing activities.
- To You and on Your Authorization: You may give us written authorization to use your medical information or to disclose it to anyone for any purpose. If you give us an authorization, you may revoke it in writing at any time. Your revocation will not affect any use or disclosures permitted by your authorization while it was in effect. Unless you give us a written authorization, we cannot use or disclose your medical information for any reason except those described in this notice.
- To Your Family and Friends: We must disclose your medical information to you, as described in the Individual Rights section of this notice. We may disclose your medical information to a family member, friend or other person to the extent necessary to help with your health care or with payment for your health care, but only if you agree that we may do so.
- Persons Involved In Care: We may use or disclose medical information to notify, or assist in the notification of (including identifying or locating) a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care, of your location, your general condition, or death. If you are present, then prior to use or disclosure of your medical information, we will provide you with an opportunity to object to such uses or disclosures. In the event of your incapacity or emergency circumstances, we will disclose protected health information based on a determination using our professional judgment disclosing only protected health information that is directly relevant to the person’s involvement in your health care. We will also use our professional judgment and our experience with common practice to make reasonable inferences of your best interest in allowing a person to pick up filled prescriptions, medical supplies, x-rays, or other similar forms of medical information.
- Health Information Exchange (HIE): We may provide your information to a HIE in which we participate. The HIE is a medical record database where other providers involved in your care can access your medical information as long as they are also part of the same HIE. Sharing your information with the HIE is beneficial should you be away from your primary provider and need to see another health care organization. That provider (as long as they are part of the HIE) will have access to your medical information, and the delivery of complete and effective care may be enhanced as they will have access to your medical history. If you do not want your medical information to be shared with the HIE you may visit www.CoastalConnect.org and complete the opt-out form. It will take five business days for the opt-out form to go into effect. If you chose to opt back in please revisit www.CoastalConnect.org and complete the revoke opt-out form.
- Disaster Relief: We may use or disclose your medical information to a public or private entity authorized by law or by its charter to assist in disaster relief efforts.
- Business Associates: We sometimes contract with other organizations and people to assist us in performing our services or operate our entities. We may share your health information with them so long as they have signed the proper data use agreements and agree to protect your health information in the same manner as described in this privacy practice procedure statement.
- Health Related Services: We may use your medical information to contact you with information about health-related benefits and services or about treatment alternatives, including clinical research, that may be of interest to you.
- Fundraising: We may use your information to contact you for fundraising purposes. We will limit our use and disclosure to your demographic information and the dates of your health care. We may disclose this information to a business associate or foundation to assist us in fundraising activities. You may opt out of receiving future fundraising communications by emailing us at email@example.com.
- Research: Medical research is vital to the advancement of medical science. Federal regulations permit use of protected health information in medical research. Our clinical researchers may look at your health records as part of your current care, or to prepare, or conduct research. All patient research conducted at Wilmington Health is reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board before any medical research study begins. You may opt out of being contacted to participate in clinical research by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Death; Organ Donation: We may disclose the medical information of a deceased person to a coroner, medical examiner, funeral director, or organ procurement organization for certain purposes.
- Required by Law: We may use or disclose your medical information when we are required to do so by law. For example, we must disclose your medical information to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request for purposes of determining whether we are in compliance with federal privacy laws. We may disclose your medical information when authorized by workers’ compensation or similar laws. We may disclose your medical information to a government agency authorized to oversee the health care system or government programs or its contractors, and to public health authorities for public health purposes.
- Law Enforcement: We may disclose your medical information in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process, under certain circumstances. Under limited circumstances, such as a court order, warrant, or grand jury subpoena, we may disclose your medical information to law enforcement officials. We may disclose limited information to a law enforcement official concerning the medical information of a suspect, fugitive, material witness, crime victim or missing person. We may disclose the medical information of an inmate or other person in lawful custody to a law enforcement official or correctional institution under certain circumstances.
- Abuse or Neglect: We may disclose your medical information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence or the possible victim of other crimes. We may disclose your medical information to the extent necessary to avert a serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of others. We may disclose medical information when necessary to assist law enforcement officials to capture an individual who has admitted to participation in a crime or has escaped from lawful custody.
- National Security: We may disclose to military authorities the medical information of Armed Forces personnel under certain circumstances. We may disclose to authorized federal officials medical information required for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence, and certain other national security activities.
- Appointment Reminders: We may use your medical information to contact you to provide appointment reminders. You can opt out of appointment reminders by email email@example.com
- Use and Disclosure of Certain Types of Medical Information: For certain types of medical information we may be required to protect your privacy in ways more strict than we have discussed in this notice. We must abide by the following rules for our use or disclosure of certain types of your medical information: HIV Information. We may not disclose HIV information unless required by law, pursuant to an authorization or the disclosure is to you or your personal representative; to health care personnel providing care to you; pursuant to appropriate subpoena or court order; to persons who may be at risk of infection in accordance with state rules. Information Released to State Department of Health and Human Services. You may object to our disclosure of your medical information from our ambulatory surgery facility to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services when the Department conducts inspections or other reviews.
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Information: We may not disclose your medical information that contains alcohol and drug abuse information except to you, your personal representative or pursuant to an authorization or as may be allowed by law.
- Access: You have the right to look at or get copies of your medical information, with limited exceptions. You may request that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies. We will use the format you request unless we cannot practicably do so. You must make a request in writing to obtain access to your medical information. You may obtain a form to request access by using the contact information listed at the end of this notice. You may also request access by sending us a letter to the address at the end of this notice. If you request copies, you will be charged for the copies, staff time to locate and copy your medical information, and postage to mail the copies to you. If you request an alternative format, we will charge a cost-based fee for providing your medical information in that format. If you prefer, we will prepare a summary or an explanation of your medical information for a fee. Contact us using the information listed at the end of this notice for a full explanation of our fee structure.
- Disclosure Accounting: You have the right to receive a list of instances in which we or our business associates disclosed your medical information for purposes, other than treatment, payment, health care operations or pursuant to an authorization and certain other activities, since April 14, 2003. We will provide you with the date on which we made the disclosure, the name of the person or entity to whom we disclosed your medical information, a description of the medical information we disclosed, the reason for the disclosure, and certain other information. If you request this accounting more than once in a 12- month period, we may charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for responding to these additional requests. Contact us using the information listed at the end of this notice for a full explanation of our fee structure.
- Restriction: You have the right to request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your medical information. We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in an emergency). Any agreement we may make to a request for additional restrictions must be in writing signed by a person authorized to make such an agreement on our behalf. We will not be bound unless our agreement is so memorialized in writing.
- Confidential Communication: You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your medical information by alternative means or to alternative locations. You must make your request in writing, and you must state that the information could endanger you if it is not communicated by the alternative means or to the alternative location you want. We must accommodate your request if it is reasonable, specifies the alternative means or location, and provides satisfactory explanation how payments will be handled under the alternative means or location you request.
- Amendment: You have the right to request that we amend your medical information. Your request must be in writing, and it must explain why the information should be amended. We may deny your request if we did not create the information you want amended and the originator remains available or for certain other reasons. If we deny your request, we will provide you a written explanation. You may respond with a statement of disagreement to be appended to the information you wanted amended. If we accept your request to amend the information, we will make reasonable efforts to inform others, including people you name, of the amendment and to include the changes in any future disclosures of that information.
QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS
If you want more information about our privacy practices or have questions or concerns, please contact us using the information listed at the end of this notice.
If you are concerned that we may have violated your privacy rights, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your medical information or in response to a request you made to amend or restrict the use or disclosure of your medical information or to have us communicate with you by alternative means or at alternative locations, you may complain to us using the contact information listed at the end of this notice. You also may submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon request.
We support your right to the privacy of your medical information. We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint with us or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Contact Office: Wilmington Health Privacy Officer
Address: 1202 Medical Center Drive
Wilmington, NC 28401
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Dr. Sandy S. Brannin from Internal Medicine discusses medical insurance and offers tips on how to help keep medical costs down. Also, read what CEO Jeff James says about putting off medical costs.
PLEASE DON’T PUT OFF HEALTHCARE BECAUSE OF COST
By Jeff James, Wilmington Health CEO
I had an interesting opportunity recently to engage with young adults about their healthcare concerns, needs, and wants. Throughout the conversations, those in attendance discussed their particular adventures in utilizing this doctor or that hospital, all of which provided great insight to me in planning the future for our organization, and for that I am very grateful. The discussion covered the entire continuum of topics related to healthcare, which of course included their concerns about the high cost of health insurance and care.
A few stories, however, alarmed me. I heard stories of individuals refusing to get medical attention because of the perceived cost. One individual related how her roommate took a serious fall injuring her lower body. The roommate indicated that she was in a good deal of pain, but she demanded to wait it out because she didn’t want to have to pay for an emergency room visit. The next morning, still in terrible pain, she agreed to seek medical attention and was diagnosed with a broken hip and pelvic bone—nearly 12 hours after the fall occurred.
Another instance was for a burn to one’s arm that probably needed more serious attention than could be provided at home but again a refusal to seek medical attention because of cost. When the wound didn’t heal, they finally sought medical assistance. It turned out to be more expensive because they waited to seek treatment in the first place.
I think we all recognize there are challenges facing the healthcare system, specifically as it relates to cost. However, there are many things we, as bosses, co-workers, family members, and friends, need to keep communicating to those who “out-of-hand” say that healthcare just costs too much. There are always options that can reduce one’s overall cost to receive care and not seeking treatment shouldn’t be one of them.
The cost of care rises given the level of acuity a facility is able to treat. So if you can, start with the options that are lower cost and then go up from there. Here’s an example of how you might think of the escalating options:
A call, text, or portal message to your doctor’s office generally costs you absolutely nothing and can be the starting point for whether or not you do need to be seen.
Telemedicine is a newer healthcare avenue that allows you to have a doctor visit using your computer’s built-in camera. Often these visits will have a copay or some expense, but generally are lower than a regular visit to your doctor’s office.
Visiting your doctor’s office is your next option and will generally have a copay or deductible.
Next levels of care and cost can be found at one of the many options for walk-in services. The typical names associated with these are Today’s Care, convenient care, urgent care, well-clinics, etc. The level of care is typically less than an emergency room but can be more than what a doctor’s office provides. These facilities, if there is need to escalate your medical concern to a hospital, will do so. However, they often can treat a great deal more than one would think at a lower cost.
The emergency room will be the highest cost option and should be considered your first option only in the case of a serious injury or medical emergency.
One thing to consider when evaluating all of these options is the continuity of care that you will receive with any of the options described above. We always recommend utilizing your primary care provider as the gatekeeper for all of your health needs. Your primary care provider can give you a list of facilities/services that have access to your electronic medical record to ensure all of your care continues to be coordinated. This can save both time and money for nearly all patients.
While healthcare is challenged by rising costs, we cannot let it stop our patients from seeking the medical care they need. We are constantly working to change the healthcare landscape and bend the cost curve down. Until that time, we need to educate those around us about where they can seek the most appropriate and cost-effective care. Not getting medical attention should not be an option.
Language and Communication Assistance Notice
Wilmington Health complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
– Provides free aids and services to people with disabilities to communicate effectively with us, such as:
– Qualified sign language interpreters.
– Written information in other formats (large print, audio, accessible electronic
formats, other formats).
– Provides free language services to people whose primary language is not English, such as:
– Qualified interpreters.
– Information written in other languages.
If you need these services, contact the Language Line at 1-866-874-3972. Upon calling this number, enter in the Client ID (208612), and then select the language needed for translator services.
Foreign Language Services
ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingü.stica. Llame al 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
注意：如果您使用繁體中文，您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電。1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
CHÚ †: Nếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn phí dành cho bạn. Gọi số 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
주의: 한국어를 사용하시는 경우, 언어 지원 서비스를 무료로 이용하실 수 있습니다. 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612) 번으로 전화해 주십시오.
ATTENTION : Si vous parlez français, des services d’aide linguistique vous sont proposés gratuitement. Appelez le 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
تنبيه: إذا†كنت†تتكلم†العربية،†وخدمات†المساعدة†اللغوية،†مجانا،†تتوفر†لك. دعوة† 1-866-874-3972 #: 208612)
LUS CEEV: Yog tias koj hais lus Hmoob, cov kev pab txog lus, muaj kev pab dawb rau koj. Hu rau 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
ВНИМАНИЕ: Если вы говорите на русском языке, то вам доступны бесплатные услуги перевода. Звоните 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
PAUNAWA: Kung nagsasalita ka ng Tagalog, maaari kang gumamit ng mga serbisyo ng tulong sa wika nang walang bayad. Tumawag sa 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
ધ્યાન: તમે ગુજરાતી ભાષા સહાય સેવાઓ વવના મૂલ્યે, વાત, તો તમે કરવા માટે ઉપલબ્ધ છે. કૉલ 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
ACHTUNG: Wenn Sie Deutsch sprechen, stehen Ihnen kostenlos sprachliche Hilfsdienstleistungen zur Verfügung. Rufnummer: 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
ध्यान दें: आप ह िंदी, भाषा स ायता सेवाओिं, नन: शुल्क बोलते ैं, तो आप के ललए उपलब्ध ैं। कॉल 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
ໂປດຊາບ: ຖ້າວ່າ ທ່ານເວ ້າພາສາ ລາວ, ການບໍລິການຊ່ວຍເຫ ຼືອດ້ານພາສາ, ໂດຍບໍ່ເສັຽຄ່າ, ແມ່ນມີພ້ອມໃຫ້ທ່ານ. ໂທຣ 1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)
注意事項：日本語を話される場合、無料の言語支援をご利用いただけます。1-866-874-3972 (#: 208612)まで、お電話にてご連絡ください。
Filing a Grievance
If you believe that Wilmington Health has failed to provide these services or discriminated in another way on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, you can file a grievance with:
Wilmington Health Compliance Officer
1202 Medical Center Drive Wilmington, NC 28401
Complaint forms are available at