Notice of Privacy Practices

Effective Date: February 2014

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.

Effective: February 2014

Lester E. Cox Medical Centers  Cox-Monett Hospital, Inc.  Cox Medical Center Branson  Oxford HealthCare  Home Parenteral Services


Our pledge regarding your medical information:

This notice is intended to inform you about our practices related to the protection of your medical information. We are required by law to follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.

This notice will explain how we may use and disclose your medical information, our obligations related to the use and disclosure of that medical information, and your rights related to medical information we have and maintain about you. When we use the words "medical information," we mean individually identifiable health information, known as protected health information or "PHI." This notice applies to all such information about your past, present, or future health or conditions; genetic information; pharmacy and prescription records; the provision of healthcare services; and the payment for those healthcare services, whether created by our employees or your physician.

We may obtain, but we are not required to obtain, your consent for the use or disclosure of your medical information for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. We are required to obtain your authorization for the use or disclosure of information for other specific purposes or reasons. We have listed some of the types of uses or disclosures below. Not every use or disclosure is covered, but all of the ways that we are allowed to use and disclose information will fall into one of the categories.

Who will follow this notice:

Lester E. Cox Medical Centers ("CoxHealth") facilities, departments, clinics and Affiliated Covered Entities.  This includes, but is not limited to: Ferrell-Duncan Clinic; SNI Imaging; Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute; Regional Services; Ozarks Dialysis; Oxford Healthcare; Cox HPS of the Ozarks, Inc.; Advanced Telehealth Solutions; Cox HealthPlans; Primrose Place, Inc.; Cox-Monett Hospital, Inc.; Cox Medical Center Branson; Medical Developments, Inc.; Ozark Neuro Rehab; Cancer Research for the Ozarks; and any new corporate entity created or acquired by CoxHealth in the future. This Notice also applies to all employees, physicians, allied health professionals, contractors, medical staff credentialed providers, volunteers, and students conducting internships or clinical practice.

The individuals listed above may share medical information as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. These participants are hereinafter referred to collectively with the hospital as "CoxHealth". Private physician offices may have different policies or notices regarding the physician's use and disclosure of medical information created in that physician's office.

How we may use and disclose your medical information without your authorization:

For treatment: We may use or disclose your medical information to provide medical treatment or services. We may need to use or disclose your information to doctors, nurses, technicians, students or other CoxHealth personnel involved in your treatment. For example, a doctor may need to know what drugs you are allergic to before prescribing medications. Further, departments or entities throughout CoxHealth may share your medical information to coordinate your care. For instance, the laboratory may request information to complete lab work. We may also provide your physician or a subsequent healthcare provider with copies of various reports that should assist in treating you once you are discharged from our care.

For payment: We may use and disclose your medical information so that the treatment and services you receive from CoxHealth or another healthcare provider may be appropriately billed, and so that payment may be collected from you, an insurance company or a third-party payer. For example, we may disclose your medical information to your insurance company about a service you received at CoxHealth so that your insurance company can pay us or reimburse you for the service. We may also ask your insurance company for prior authorization for a service to determine whether the insurance company will cover it. We may disclose your medical information to a court of law in order to collect an unpaid account. We may disclose your information so that other covered entities may obtain payment for treatment they have provided (such as ambulance service providers, Emergency Physicians of Springfield, Litton-Giddings Radiological Associates, Inc., Ozark Anesthesia Associates, Inc., and Pathology Services of Springfield, P.C.). Please be aware that you may receive separate bills from these independent contractor groups. Further, you maintain the right to require CoxHealth or one of our providers to withhold from a health plan/insurer any information pertaining to treatment you pay for out-of-pocket, unless otherwise required by law. 

For healthcare operations: We may use and disclose your medical information for CoxHealth operations. These include uses and disclosures that are necessary to run CoxHealth and make sure our patients receive quality care. These uses and disclosures include, but are not limited to the following: quality assessment and improvement activities, reviewing competence or qualifications of healthcare professionals, and reviews by external agencies for licensure, accreditation, or auditing. For example, we may disclose your medical information to outside organizations or providers in order for them to provide services to you on our behalf. We may use or disclose your medical information to evaluate our staff's performance in caring for you. Medical information about you and other patients may also be combined to allow us to evaluate whether CoxHealth should offer additional services or discontinue other services and whether certain treatments are effective. We may also compare this information with other healthcare systems to evaluate whether we can make improvements in the care and services that we offer.

When required by law: When required to do so by federal, state, or local law, including those that mandate the reporting of certain types of wounds or physical injuries.

To avert a serious threat to health or safety: We may use and disclose your medical information when necessary to prevent a serious threat to the health and safety of you, the public, or any other person. However, any such disclosure would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.

For organ and tissue donation: If you are an organ donor, we may release your medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation, or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.

Military and veterans: If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release your medical information as required by military command authorities or for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.

Workers' compensation: When disclosure is necessary to comply with Workers' Compensation laws or purposes, we may release your medical information for workers' compensation or similar programs.

Public health risks: We may disclose medical information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following: to prevent or control disease, injury or disability; to report births and deaths; to report reactions to medications or problems with products; to notify people of product recalls; to notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contracting or spreading a disease or condition; or to notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We may also disclose your medical information, if directed by a public health authority, to a foreign government agency collaborating with the public health authority.

Health oversight activities: We may disclose your medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary to monitor the healthcare system, government programs, and civil rights compliance.

Legal proceedings: We may disclose your medical information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding; in response to a court order or an administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized); in certain conditions in response to a subpoena or discovery request; or for other lawful purposes.

Criminal activity: Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, if we believe the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of yourself or others, we may disclose your medical information.  However, any such disclosure would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.

Law enforcement: We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official, under the following circumstances and as otherwise allowed by law: (1) about a patient who may be the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the patient's agreement; (2) about a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct; (3) about criminal conduct at the facility; (4) about a patient where a patient commits or threatens to commit a crime on the premises or against CoxHealth staff (in which case we may release the patient's name, address, and last known whereabouts); (5) in emergency circumstances, to report a crime, the location of the crime or victims, and the identity, description and/or location of the person who committed the crime; and (6) when the patient is a forensic client and we are required to share with law enforcement by Missouri statute. In the event the requested medical information is protected by 42 CFR Part 2 (a federal law protecting the confidentiality of drug and alcohol abuse treatment records), a court order is required prior to CoxHealth releasing the information.

Relating to decedents: We may release your medical information to the coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, determination of cause of death or for the coroner or medical examiner to perform other duties authorized by law. We may also disclose your medical information to a funeral director, as authorized by law, in order to permit the funeral director to carry out their duties. We are further permitted to make relevant disclosures to a decedent’s family and friends under essentially the same circumstances such disclosures were permitted when the patient was alive as long as CoxHealth is unaware of an expressed preference to the contrary. 

National security and intelligence activities: We may release your medical information to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.

Protective services for the President and others: We may disclose your medical information to authorized federal officials so they may conduct investigations or provide protection to the President and other authorized persons or foreign heads of state.

Inmates: If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release your medical information to the correctional institution or law enforcement official if the release is necessary: (1) for the institution to provide you with healthcare; (2) to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or (3) for the safety and security of the correctional institution.

Emergency or disaster events: We may use or disclose your medical information to a public or private entity authorized by law to assist in disaster relief efforts, for the purpose of coordinating care or services with such entities. This may include, but is not limited to emergency managers, fire officials, law enforcement officers, public health authorities, emergency medical services such as ambulance districts and other public works officials regarding: the numbers and locations of our patients; emergency notification contacts to expedite contact with families, legal guardians, representatives or others regarding the need for evacuation or emergency care; any special needs that justify prioritization of utility restoration such as, but not limited to, dependence on respirator or other medical equipment, phone for emergency contact, etc.; or any other information that is deemed necessary to protect the health, safety and well-being of CoxHealth patients.

Food and Drug Administration: We may disclose your medical information to a person or company required by the Food and Drug Administration to report adverse events; product defects or problems; biologic product deviations; track products; to enable product recalls; to make repairs or replacements; or for post-marketing surveillance.

Change of ownership: In the event CoxHealth is sold or merged with another organization, your medical information will become the property of the new owner.

Research: We may disclose your medical information to researchers when their research has been approved by an Institutional Review Board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your information. These protocols may include a waiver of authorization that has been approved by the Institutional Review Board, Privacy Committee, or any university sponsored Institutional Review Board approved by the Food and Drug Administration. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another medication for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process under applicable law. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with the patients' need for privacy of their medical information. Before we use or disclose medical information for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process. We may, however, disclose medical information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project, for example, to help them look for patients with specific medical needs, so long as the medical information they review does not leave the facility.

Special circumstances: In addition, CoxHealth reserves the right to allow your medical information to be de-identified and aggregated by CoxHealth or third parties in accordance with all applicable laws for such uses as research, public health activities, or other healthcare operations.

Unless you object, we are permitted to make the following uses or disclosures:

We will use or disclose your medical information for the purposes described in this section unless you object to or otherwise restrict a particular release. You must direct your written objections or restrictions to the on-site Privacy Manager the CoxHealth Privacy Officer identified in this Notice.

Facility directories (hospital patients only): A facility directory may include your name, your location in the facility, your general condition, and your religious affiliation (if provided by you). Unless you tell us you would like to restrict your information in the facility directory, you will be included, and directory information may be disclosed to people who ask for you by name. Unless you object, visiting community clergy or their designated staff may obtain your religious affiliation without asking for you by name. This can be prevented by not providing your religious affiliation or by affirmatively objecting.

Appointment reminders/scheduling/follow-up calls: We may use and disclose medical information to contact you about an appointment, a referral visit, or to follow-up with you after a visit. We may leave a brief reminder on your answering machine or voicemail system unless you tell us not to do so.

Individuals involved in your healthcare: We will only disclose your medical information to a member of your family, a relative, or any other person you identify and we will limit such information to that which directly relates to that person's involvement in your care. You will be asked to provide the names of these individuals.

In an emergency: We may use or disclose your medical information in an emergency situation. If this happens, we shall try to obtain your acknowledgement as soon as reasonably practicable after the delivery of treatment.

Communication barriers: In the event unforeseen communications barriers prohibit us from obtaining your consent, CoxHealth will use its professional judgment to determine the level of care provided until consent can be facilitated.

Fundraising activities: We may use or disclose your demographic information, your health insurance status, general department of service information, treating physician information, outcome information and the dates you received treatment, as necessary, in order to contact you for fundraising activities supported by our organization. You have the right to opt out of such solicitations by notifying in writing the on-site Privacy Manager or the CoxHealth Privacy Officer.

Available services: We may use or disclose your medical information to provide you with information about or recommendations of possible treatment options, alternatives, health benefits or services that may interest you.

Immunization records: We are required to obtain agreement, whether in writing or given orally, from a parent, guardian, or person acting in loco parentis prior to disclosing or providing proof of immunizations to an educational institution admitting a minor student. No separate written HIPAA authorization is required for this action by CoxHealth.

All other uses and disclosures require your prior written authorization:

This includes most uses and disclosures for marketing purposes, any transaction in which CoxHealth receives direct or indirect financial remuneration in exchange for your medical information, and the sharing of psychotherapy notes. If you provide us written authorization to use or disclose your medical information, you can change your mind and revoke your authorization at any time in writing. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose the information. However, we will not be able to take back any disclosures that we have made pursuant to your previous authorization.

Your rights with respect to medical information:

Right to inspect and copy: You may inspect and obtain a copy of your medical information contained in an electronic health record or other requested designated record set for as long as we maintain that information. A "designated record set" contains medical and billing records and any other records we use for making decisions about your treatment. If you request an electronic copy, it must be provided in the format requested or in a mutually agreed-upon format. Your request must be submitted in writing to each clinic or entity where you received treatment. A copy of the authorization to request the release of information is available from the Privacy Officer or Health Information Management at each entity. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a reasonable fee for the costs of copying, mailing, providing any electronic media (such as a USB flash drive), or other supplies associated with your request.  This same right to inspect and copy extends to Business Associates of CoxHealth as well as their Subcontractors.  We may deny your request to inspect and copy based on federal law. If you are denied access to medical information, you may request the denial be reviewed. Another licensed healthcare professional chosen by the organization will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your original request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.

Right to request an amendment: You have a right to request your medical information be amended (changed) if you believe it is incorrect or incomplete for as long as CoxHealth keeps the information. To request an amendment, you must submit a written request to the Director of the Health Information Management Department. This written request must include why you want the information amended and why you believe the information is incorrect or incomplete. We can deny your request if it is not in writing and if it does not include a reason why the information should be amended. We can also deny your request for the following reasons: (1) the information was not created by CoxHealth, unless the person or entity that did create the information is no longer available; (2 the information is not part of the medical record kept by or for CoxHealth; (3) the information is not part of the information that you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or (4) we believe the request to change is not accurate.  If the request for change is denied, the request will be made a part of the medical record.

Right to an accounting of disclosures: You have the right to request an "accounting of disclosures." This is a list of the disclosures we make of your medical information for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations as described in this Notice. CoxHealth is required to provide an accounting of disclosures of electronic health records and other records upon request for a period of up to 6 years.  It will exclude disclosures: (1) to individuals about themselves; (2) pursuant to an authorization; (3) for national security or intelligence purposes; (4) to correctional institutions or law enforcement officials; (5) as part of a limited data set; and (6) that occurred prior to the compliance date for the covered entity. To request an accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to CoxHealth’s Privacy Officer.  Your data will be provided to you within 60 days unless we notify you of circumstances that warrant delay. Your first request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional requests, we may charge you for the cost of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.

Right to request restrictions: You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the medical information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the medical information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care. WE ARE NOT REQUIRED TO AGREE WITH YOUR REQUEST.  If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment. To request restrictions, you must make your request in writing to CoxHealth’s Privacy Officer. In your request, you must tell us: what information you want to limit; whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both; and to whom you want the limits to apply (for example, disclosure to your spouse).

Right to request confidential communications: You have the right to request we communicate with you about medical matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing to CoxHealth's Privacy Officer or the on-site Privacy Manager at the entity where you are receiving treatment. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.

Right to a paper copy of this notice: You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. To obtain a paper copy of this Notice, contact the CoxHealth Privacy Officer. You may also obtain a copy of this Notice at our website,

Breach: In the event CoxHealth improperly disclosures or uses your medical information in violation of federal or state law, we are required to notify you of such a breach within s60 days of the event.

Complaints: If you believe we have violated your privacy rights or have not adhered to the information contained in this Notice, you may file a complaint by putting it in writing and sending it to the CoxHealth’s Privacy Officer listed at the end of this document. You may also file a complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-368-1019 (any language) or 1-800-537-7697 (TDD), or view the website: You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint with either CoxHealth or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Changes to this notice of privacy practices:

We reserve the right to change or modify the information contained in this Notice. Any changes will be effective for any medical information we have about you and any information we might obtain. Each time you receive services from CoxHealth, we will have available the most current copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices. The most recent version will be posted in our building and our website ( Also, you can call or write our contact person, whose information is included in this Notice, to obtain the most recent version.

If you have questions about this Notice, please contact:

Dawn Frank, Privacy Officer and Security Officer, CoxHealth
3801 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65807
417-269-6068 or toll-free 1-888-340-5297

Website Privacy Policy


The information on this web site is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. If you suspect you may have a health problem, you should contact your health care provider for specific advice suitable to your situation. 

Although CoxHealth makes reasonable efforts to provide accurate and complete information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information or materials contained on this web site. Visitors to this web site assume the risk of using any information or materials contained herein.

CoxHealth provides links to other web sites solely for the convenience of the visitors to our web site. CoxHealth takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on any other site, and does not recommend, endorse or approve any materials, products or services which may be available or advertised on any other site.

Visitors to our web site are advised that CoxHealth cannot guarantee the confidentiality and security of electronic mail submitted via the Internet.

CoxHealth reserves all rights to the information on this web site, including the right of distribution. Information on this web site may be protected under copyright laws.

Privacy Policy

As a user of this site, you take on certain risks and responsibilities. You also have the right to know how we protect your privacy and ensure your confidentiality and what you should expect from us.

Privacy Policy

Your Role, Responsibilities, and Risks

  • You need to be an informed user of this site. Please read all our policies in full so you know how our site works and how you interact with the site. 
  • Pay special attention to your risks as a user. Web site users open themselves up to certain risks, such as data collection. 
  • Understand how we collect data and how it is used. It is our goal to protect your personal information from misuse. We do, however, offer programs that collect data for special reasons, such as research, scientific studies, and statistics, in which case you may be interested in participating. 
  • Be aware that use of this site, its services, programs, and the health information on it cannot replace nor is it intended to serve as a health care provider-patient relationship. You must always consult with a professional for diagnosis and treatment for specific health problems.

What You Should Expect From Us

  • We will strive to maintain your privacy, confidentiality, and security at all times. 
  • It is our goal to ensure your trust and confidence by providing you with as much information as we can about data collection procedures and information when needed. 
  • We will not intentionally use your data without your permission, unless for purposes of maintaining the site or for reviewing the site's use. 
  • We will make every effort to notify you accordingly of all data collection practices. 
  • It is our intention to clearly inform you when your risks or privacy may change during the course of using this site. 
  • We will make every attempt to tell you when our privacy policy is no longer in effect and another one is, such as when you use an integrated program that is being operated on another web site with a different privacy policy. 
  • It is our goal to make you aware when you leave our site for another, either by telling you in writing or by another technical mechanism. 
  • We want you to know that this system operates on a secure server and your personal and professional information and health-related personal information is encrypted before it is transmitted. Encryption is a form of scrambling and de-scrambling that ensures that no unauthorized person can see your information. 
  • We will separate health information content from advertising and sponsorship programs so you can distinguish between the two. 
  • Where health professionals may interact with consumers, we will make every effort to tell you if this establishes a patient-provider relationship and make available the credentials and qualifications of professionals. 
  • We will not accept or show you health information content, advertising, sponsored programs, or services that we know to contain false or misleading information or that promote ineffective or dangerous products.

Our Security Measures

We want your personal information to remain as secure as possible; our business depends on it. We use encryption practices to help insure the integrity and privacy of the personal information and/or health-related personal information you provide to us. As an added security precaution, all personal information and/or health-related personal information are kept on servers with firewalls that meet or exceed industry standards to prevent intruders from gaining access. Although we make every reasonable effort to protect personal information and health-related personal information from loss, misuse, or alteration by third parties, you should be aware that there is always some risk involved in transmitting information via the Internet and that hackers or thieves do find ways to thwart security systems.

Changes in our Privacy Policy

It is our goal to use personal information and health-related personal information in the manner described in the privacy policy that is in effect when your information is collected. We do, however, reserve the right to change the terms of this privacy policy at any time and will post revisions to our site. If at any point, personal information or health-related information is to be used differently from those practices stated in the privacy policy in effect when your data was collected, we will notify you. You will be given the choice to opt-in to any additional uses or disclosures of your personal information.

About the Information We Collect

We understand that the personal information and health-related personal information you provide during your visit to our site is highly sensitive and you may have concerns about sharing such information with us. It is our goal to protect your privacy and we strive to develop practices and policies to safeguard your personal and health-related personal information. 

At different places on our site, you may be asked to volunteer your name, e-mail, address and telephone number. We refer to this type of information as "personal information" because it can be used to identify or contact you. When this information is combined with any information on your health or medical status, we refer to this information as "health-related personal information." We often collect information on site use that has nothing to do with you as an individual, only as an anonymous user of the site. We call this information "aggregate information." We intend to use the personal information, health-related personal information, and aggregate information only for the purposes for which it was provided. 

Some personal information and health-related personal information is needed to use this site, and we ask that you provide it with the knowledge that it will be used to enhance your experience. This information is kept confidential. We do offer special data collection programs that you can "opt-in" to use, in some cases to receive e-mail on health topics or to participate in a new service. For opt-in programs we provide you, when applicable, with detailed information on: 

  • Who is collecting the data;
  • What data are collected; 
  • Why and how the data are transferred to a third party; 
  • How the data are being used; 
  • How long the data are being collected; 
  • Who has access to the data; 
  • What revenue that is generated from data use in relation to advertisers and sponsors; and 
  • How to opt-out of data collection.

Where this Information Is Collected

We collect information about you at several places throughout the site. You will be informed on how this information is collected at that time. You will also have the ability to opt-in to information collection when you enter the site or use a service. Most information is collected in the following instances:


In order to have access to all of the services and content available on our site, you are required to complete a registration form that requests certain information, such as name, telephone number and e-mail address. In addition, you are asked during registration to tell us about health topics that you are interested in. We offer specialized registration for certain programs, events, and classes that may request some or all of the above information. 

We may use your registration information to send you an e-mail confirming your registration with our site, to respond to questions from you, or to notify you if there is a problem with any order for goods or services that you placed. We may also, from time to time, send e-mails, with your permission, on special promotions or newsletters we think may be of interest to you.

Interactive Services/Tools

Some of the interactive tools on our site ask you for personal information and health-related personal information. Specifically, our health risk assessment tools may ask for information on your personal and/or family medical history including height, weight, blood pressure, history of certain conditions and/or diseases and medication history. Our health care professional directory may ask you for information on your insurance plan and geographic location in order to identify listed professionals in your area. The health risk assessment tools use the personal health information you provide to generate a personal health record to help you manage your health. Your personal health record is kept strictly confidential and can only be accessed by using your password and login ID. We will make every effort not to use or disclose your personal health record to any one without your express consent. In some cases, you can permit your physician, pharmacist or other health care-related professional to have access to your personal health record. 

Our partner, Staywell is contracted to provide the health risk assessment tools on this site. When you select to use a tool, you will in fact be working on Staywell’s site and it will collect your data and return the results directly to you via our servers. In all instances where a Staywell tool is used, you will have access to Staywell’s privacy policy and information on how the tool works and when it was last evaluated.

Chat Rooms/Bulletin Boards

Chat Rooms/Bulletin Boards - As a service to our users, we may feature chat rooms/bulletin boards where users with similar medical conditions can share information and support one another. In addition, we may also offer online discussions on a variety of topics moderated by medical experts. You should be aware that any information shared in a chat room/bulletin board is public information and you should think carefully before disclosing any personal and/or health-related personal information in any chat room/bulletin board.

Online Shopping

When this service is offered on this site and you purchase nonprescription products and services from us, such as ordering flowers for delivery to a local hospital, we will request that you provide your name, e-mail address, credit card number and expiration date, phone number and billing and shipping addresses. 

If you order prescription drugs or medical equipment, we will ask for all of the information above, as well as the information that you would ordinarily provide to your pharmacist, including your prescribing doctor's name, your residential address, your gender and birth date, any drug allergies and existing medical conditions. If applicable, we will also ask for your health insurance information including the name, address and telephone number of your insurer and your member identification number (which may be your social security number). We may also ask for additional information about your current prescriptions and medical history. 

This information will help us provide you with the necessary information to make the safest and most effective use of your prescription medication or equipment. This information will be kept in the strictest confidence. We will make every effort to maintain the privacy and security of this information at all times.

Our Site Uses Cookies

In addition to collecting information that you submit to us, we also rely on "cookies." A cookie is a numeric code that a web site transfers to your hard drive for record-keeping purposes. Every computer is assigned a different cookie, but our cookie does not contain or collect your name or other personal identifying information. When you revisit our site, the cookie allows us to recognize you, your interests, and your preferences. We also use cookies to help track the level of interest in different features on our site and to compile data that can help us improve our content. 

Your browser software can be set to reject all cookies, including cookies from our site. Most browsers offer instructions on how to reset the browser to reject cookies in the Help section of the toolbar. If you reject our cookie, certain functions and conveniences of the site may not work properly. You do not have to accept our cookie in order to productively use our site. If you accept our cookie, we will never link the cookie to personal information and/or health-related personal information you provide to us. We will not allow other sites or third parties to use our cookies.

How We Use Your Personal Information

We continually seek new ways to maintain your trust as a user and improve our offerings. To provide new and better services, we tend to monitor user traffic patterns and try to analyze what our users like and do not like about our current offerings so we can design better services for you. We may also use certain information for testing purposes, site development and planning, and during the normal course of maintaining the site. When you use our site, you automatically allow us to collect this information. In these cases, researchers, business analysts, system designers, and others may have access to the data we collect. 

We do not intend to use or disclose any personal information or health-related personal information you provide on our site to an unrelated third party without your express permission, except as explained in this section. You should know that there are circumstances when, in the ordinary course of business, we will share some information about you with a related third party. 

  • We have relationships with different vendors and suppliers that ship products ordered on our site directly to our customers. In these cases, we provide to the vendor the information necessary to fulfill your order, such as the items ordered, your name, and shipping address. We require these partners to adhere to our privacy policy and have discussed with them that they are not to use our customer information for any other purpose. 
  • If you have insurance coverage for your prescriptions, your insurance company or prescription benefit manager may have access to information about your orders so they can process your benefits or assist you with your prescription orders, if necessary. This information is shared in accordance with the terms of your health plan and the information remains confidential. 
  • We may also share aggregate statistical information on our users, sales, traffic patterns and site usage with our business partners and sponsors. There is nothing in this information that could be used to identify or contact you. 
  • We may, from time to time, contract with vendors to provide specific services, such as data analysis, data storage, e-mail processing, customer service, sweepstakes or special promotions. We ask vendors to adhere to our confidentiality standards and do not permit a vendor to use our customer information for any other purpose. In many of these instances, you will be given the opportunity to opt-in to this collection of information and can opt-out at any time. 
  • We may share registration data with business partners that maintain a co-branded service or content, only with your affirmative consent. For more information on co-branded sites, read the information below on our relationships with third parties. 
  • In certain limited circumstances, we may be legally compelled to release your personal information in response to a court order, subpoena, search warrant, law or regulation. In the event that we are compelled to disclose personal information and/or health-related personal information to a third party, we will notify you unless doing so would violate the law or court order. We also reserve the right to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in investigating and prosecuting users that violate our rules or engage in behavior that is harmful (or illegal) to other users.

Our Relationship with Third Parties

We have business relationships with third-party vendors that deliver services and content. We ask that all business partners disclose their confidentiality practices and procedures and agree to abide by our privacy policy. We make diligent efforts to ensure that third-party vendors are above board; however, we are separate organizations and as such we are not privy to the details of their operations and not responsible for their actions. We work with several types of third-party vendors, including those that provide products and services that we integrate to our site, sponsors that provide us revenue through logo and link placement on our site, advertising companies that serve up advertisement programs for the site, and organizations that maintain this site. We request that third-party vendors supply us with information on their security procedures, and we evaluate them periodically to ensure that they are using data in the agreed upon way. You should know that our relationship with some third party vendors provide us with revenues based on the number of users who view an advertisement or use a sponsored or co-branded program. These revenues are based on the use of a site and not on you as an individual. In some cases we also receive revenue from the use of external services, such as buying flowers online or other such services, and may get a commission on specific purchases made online. In addition, we may allow third-party vendors to buy aggregate data collected on our site but that data cannot be used to identify you. There are three types of relationships that differ from our standard business partner relationship in which we license content or a product for integration. These exceptions are: 

Sponsored or Co-branded Sites 

We allow other companies to make services and/or content available to you, sometimes on a sponsored or co-branded basis. To access the services on a sponsored or co-branded site, you may have to complete an online registration form in addition to the registration you completed for us. Whenever you provide registration information on sponsored or co-branded sites, data can be collected. You should read the individual privacy policies of sponsored or co-branded sites. Reading the policies will help you make an informed decision on whether or not you want to use the site. 

External Links 

We feature external links to other web sites that we believe you might find useful; however, we do not endorse these sites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of these external sites. We will make every effort to notify you when you are leaving our site and we encourage you to read the privacy policy of each site you visit that may collect information or ask you to disclose personal information and/or health-related personal information. 

Advertising Servers

We may have relationships with third-party advertising servers to display advertisements on our site. If you click on an advertisement while on our site you will be taken to another site where your risk and privacy change. These third party ad servers may use cookies to collect non-personal information on your preferences and interests via the advertisement you decide to view. We do not give them access to non-personal information that we might collect on our site unless they agree not to use that information in combination with information they already possess to identify our users. We do not intentionally share with third party ad servers any personal or health-related personal information that you share with us. 

You should know that we might allow advertising to be coordinated with health information content on our site. This happens through linking up identification codes with an ad and a health topic. In no way is your use of this site and the health information you view directly connected with advertising.

Our Children's Policy

Our site may feature information and services of interest to children 13 and under. Contact information, such as name, e-mail address, and demographic information including their age and ethnicity, may be requested. We do not disclose personal or health-related personal information about our 13 or under users. We may, however, use information to create aggregate data that may be shared with third parties. 

Parents and guardians of minors who permit their children to use our site should be aware that any information volunteered by a child in a chat room, bulletin board, moderated online discussion or other public forum on our site could be used by other persons participating or observing activities on the site to contact the child via e-mail or in some other manner. We do not have control over the actions of these third parties and are not responsible for any contacts that may occur. When it is brought to our attention that a 13 or under user has volunteered personal information on a chat room or other public forum on our site, we will delete such information from our active databases in accordance to our deletion policy. 

To obtain more information on a child's use of this site, parents or guardians can contact us in writing using the address in our Contact Us link.

Your Privacy Choices

You have the choice on this site to opt-in to information collected about you in most circumstances, the exceptions being the instances when data are used for site maintenance and so on. If you opt-in to data collection we make every effort to give you detailed information on the program or service you select. To opt-out of data collection, make any changes or updates, or request that information be deleted, you have several choices.


When you register with our site, you are given the option of receiving e-mail with information that we think you might find useful including promotions, announcements of new services and products, and newsletters on particular health topics. You may also participate in our personalized e-mail reminder system that allows you to send an e-mail reminding you of certain health-related activities such as a doctor's visit or to schedule tests. If you decide, at any time, that you no longer wish to receive these e-mails you may opt-out by deselecting the checkbox on your personal information page.

Change/Update Personal Information

You may change or update your personal information and/or health-related personal information at any time using the following options: 

  •  You can contact us in writing using the address in our Contact Us link

Remove or Delete Personal Information

You may remove previously provided personal and/or health-related personal information at any time using the following options: 

  •  You can contact us in writing using the address in our Contact Us link 

Users should be aware that it is not always technically possible to remove or delete the information you provide to us. We back-up our systems to protect information from inadvertent loss, and that means a copy of your personal information may exist in a non-erasable form that may be difficult or impossible for us to locate. Nevertheless, upon receiving your request we will try to remove or delete all personal information and/or health-related personal information stored in the databases that we use for research and daily business activities. We will not intentionally disclose any personal information stored in a non-erasable format after receiving your request for removal, except as required by law. There are certain restrictions on your ability to correct, update or remove the health information you enter into a personal health record. If your doctor or other health care professional has access to your personal health record, and they add information to that record, your personal record could be considered an official medical record for legal purposes. In this case, information cannot be deleted or removed, only updated or annotated.

Editorial Policy

We want you to rely on us as a trustworthy, quality resource of health information. Medical experts have reviewed the content on this site for clinical accuracy. You'll have information on who wrote an article and when it was written and updated.