At the heart of RRH healthcare is the balance of two qualities: Clinical excellence and the sense of belonging. Technology and integrity, professional expertise and thoughtful understanding, these qualities combine to make our gift to you: The confidence that we give you is the same expert care and consideration that we would give to our own family members.
The staff at RRH considers it a privilege to serve the people of the Southern Sierra Region. We hope that, whether you are an outpatient or an inpatient, you will experience our goal of providing you with the highest quality healthcare in a warm and compassionate environment.
Our Mission & Vision
RRH will be the primary source for wellness as well as treatment for the entire community. Patient care will be provided on-demand through well-designed facilities and at home. Quality and being a high reliability organization will remain key drivers with continued evaluations of clinical relationships with more comprehensive health care providers. We recognize in some cases best patient outcomes may be achieved outside our health system. We will continue to strive to be an independent health delivery system by strong financial performance.
- Excellence: We continually strive to provide the highest quality services at the lowest possible cost, with the best utilization of our resources.
- Integrity: We act honestly and ethically in all relationships.We value and respect the uniqueness and dignity of all individuals.
- Service: We responsibly anticipate the needs of our community and cooperatively work with our medical staff and community entities to provide a seamless continuum of care.
- Compassion: We respond through a caring environment to the holistic needs of those we serve.
Our friendly representatives in the Patient Access Department are ready to help you with the first step of your visit to RRH.
Please have your identification and insurance cards available at the time of registration and any co-pay amounts that may be due at the time of service.
All information will be handled confidentially.
Pre-admissions for outpatient surgery is located at the Outpatient Pavilion. Registration is open 6:00am-12:00pm (noon) Monday-Friday.
Registration for the Emergency Department is located on the west side of the hospital by the Emergency Department and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Registration for the Urgent Care Center is located at the hospital’s north campus and is open 7 days a week, Monday-Friday 7:00am-7:00pm & Saturday and Sunday 8:00am-7:00pm.
Laboratory blood draws:
Please see the Laboratory page under Services section of this website for more information about blood draw hours and locations.
* All patients are admitted to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital without regard to race, creed, color, sex, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, economic status, educational background or the source of payment.
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital Receives ISO Certification.
We are the first Critical Access Hospital in California to carry this prestigious accreditation .
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital received ISO 9001:2008 certification after successfully passing the audit of its quality management system by DNV Healthcare Inc.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accreditation is a rigorous process in which a hospital improves and monitors the delivery of patient care, measures quality, and places the highest priority on eliminating process errors. “RRH is proud to be ISO certified throughout our hospital. This demonstrates to our customers, our patients, that RRH is focused on a commitment to quality within all levels of our organization,” said James Suver, CEO of RRH.
In June 2011, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital received CAP accreditation. The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is an internationally recognized program and the only one of its kind that utilizes teams of practicing laboratory professionals as inspectors. Designed to go well beyond regulatory compliance, the program helps laboratories achieve the highest standards of excellence to positively impact patient care.
In July 2010, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital became one of the first hospitals in California to receive accreditation from Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Healthcare, Inc. As a result of receiving this accreditation, RRH may continue receiving funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
DNV Healthcare accreditation, which was awarded to RRH following an on-site survey, means the hospital has demonstrated compliance with National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations standards while also embracing ISO 9001 quality system methods. By gaining DNV Healthcare accreditation, RRH has proven it encourages the inter-departmental interaction that leads to innovative techniques for implementing evidence-based practices to improve patient safety and quality care.
American College of Radiology Accreditation
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in Radiology as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
The ACR, headquartered in Reston, Va., awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of the practice. Evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.
The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed.The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.
The ACR is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, and nuclear medicine and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.
Our billing team at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is happy to bill your insurance company as a courtesy to you. In most cases, your bill will be submitted to your carrier within 10 days of your visit. The majority of our claims are billed electronically to ensure accuracy and confidentiality. After your claim is paid by your carrier, you will be sent a monthly statement reflecting any balance due by you. You will be asked for a deposit during the registration process.
The following services are billed independently:
- Radiology results
- Emergency physician billing.
An RRH itemized statement of your account is available upon request.
For billing questions, please call the following number(s) with the appropriate letter of your last name and one of our team members will assist you:
By Phone: 760-499-3009
|Worker’s Compensation and Veterans||(760)-499-3057
RRH uses contracted services for certain functions such as radiologists, ER physicians, pathologists, and anesthesiologists. These contracted services provide their own billing service and you will receive separate billings from them.
If you have billing questions regarding these services, please contact them at the address or phone number listed below:
|Emergency Room Physician Bill
Envision Physician Services
350 West Cedar Street, Fourth Floor,
Pensacola, FL 32502
|Radiologist Interpretation Bill
PO Box 190
Simi Valley, CA 93062
2441 F Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Meet our patient financial services team.
We accept all major insurance plans including:
- Blue Cross (including FEP)
- Blue Shield
- United Health Care
We also offer free assistance to see if you may qualify for one of the many government programs, Medi-cal, SSI, Healthy families, etc. Our qualified team will walk you through the process of qualifying for these programs.
Financial Assistance Program Policy
In keeping with the philosophy and mission of Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (“RRH”), it is the policy of RRH to offer financial assistance, using the lookback method, to patients who are unable to pay their hospital bills due to difficult financial situations. A RRH Financial Counselor or Business Office Representative will review individual cases and make a determination of financial assistance that may be offered prior to, during, or after services are provided. Upon verifying eligibility for financial assistance, RRH shall offer hospital inpatients and outpatients Charity Care (i.e., free care) or Discounted Care in accordance with this policy and other applicable policies for Medically Necessary Services.
Average cost of common procedures
To review our current charge master, prices and 25 common procedures, please download here:
Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group
Alzheimer’s Association caregiver support groups, conducted by trained facilitators, are a safe place for caregivers, family and friends of persons with dementia to:
- Develop a support system
- Exchange practical information on caregiving challenges and possible solutions
- Talk through issues and ways of coping
- Share feelings, needs and concerns
- Learn about community resources
Meets 1st Wednesday of each month
at 1 pm
at RRH Senior Services, 417 Drummond Ave., Ridgecrest CA
Better Breathers Club
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is now offering a Better Breathers Club. This club is to help provide support and information for those with a lung disease. This group is also a great resource to family and caregivers of those with a lung disease.
Offering support and services for:
- Lung Cancer
- and more…
Meets 2nd Tuesday of each month
at 2 pm
at 1081 N. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest CA 93555
Call (760)-499-3766 for more information.
Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP)
Diabetes Support Group
Meets 4th Thursday of the month*
*Please note: There are no meetings in November and December 2018. Meetings will continue in January 2019.
Grief Support Group
|The group will address:
Meets 2nd and 4th Monday of every month
Journey to Happiness Caregiver Support Group
|Meets 2nd & 4th Tuesday every month
at 6 pm at RRH Senior Services,
417 Drummond Ave., Ridgecrest CA
Caregiving encompasses a wide range of roles including caring for chronically ill spouse, disabled family member, friends in the neighborhood, grandparents caring for difficult grandchildren or even caregiving as a career.
Whatever the reason may be, there are obstacles and emotions that arise on a daily basis that without support can cause short time and long term repercussions.
This group will be a place to talk, recharge, smile and learn!
Journey to Happiness Seniors Group
Brought to you by Dr. Megan Stone and facilitated
by Life Coach Darrell Price
Meets every Wednesday
from 10 am – 11:30 am
at RRH David Mechtenberg Conference room,
1081 N. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest CA
This group provides an opportunity for seniors to come together on a journey of maintaining happiness, joy and quality of life. The group is loosely structured with plenty of time for interaction to share stories and laughs!
Rock Steady Boxing
|Fight back against Parkinson’s disease with this non-contact boxing inspired exercise program that focuses on:
Classes start in September. For times & info call: (760) 499-3825
Seniors Gentle Chair Yoga
|Gentle chair yoga for seniors helps improve:
Meets Monday through Thursday every week
Silver Sneakers Fitness Group
Presented by RRH and High Desert Fitness, SilverSneakers is the nation’s leading exercise program for active older adults. Have fun and move to the music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activities for daily living.
Meets Monday through Thursday every week at
9 am and 10 am
at 1000 N Norma, Suite 5, Ridgecrest
*New* Cardio at 8 am
Every 3 years, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (RRH) conducts a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).
The CHNA satisfies three objectives:
- RRH understands the health needs of the community
- RRH complies with the IRS notice regarding Section 9007 of the Affordable Care Act for 501(c)3 hospitals,
- RRH has additional input to the strategic planning process.
Data is gathered through a public opinion survey. Inputs are gathered via phone and on-line survey from local community members who represent the broad interests of the community including those who have special knowledge of underserved segments of the community.
The data collected is then compared to Kern county, California state, and National trends and goals for the public health. This analysis identifies issues and gaps that apply to the community served by RRH. A Community Health Needs (CHN) committee comprised of RRH Corporate Board members, local medical providers, and RRH administration then reviews the gaps and issues and established priorities.
Subsequently, the RRH CEO and Executive Board reviews the gaps and issues and determined which were feasible for RRH to pursue.
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is committed to promoting compliance with all applicable rules, regulations and laws that govern Federal and State healthcare programs, including Medicare and Medi-Cal.
We are also committed to ensuring that our organization operates under the highest ethical and moral standards. Our Compliance Officer is tasked with monitoring, advising and improving upon the Hospital’s adherence to these rules, regulations and laws.
RRH’s Board of Directors are ultimately responsible to ensure that the organization functions in a compliant and ethical manner. RRH’s Corporate Compliance Program and Organizational Ethics Statement provide guidance to our employees, as well as to our governing board and physicians, and assists us in carrying out our daily activities in accordance with applicable ethical and legal standards. RRH’s policy regarding Compliance with Federal and State Claims Acts sets forth standards to ensure that claims are submitted properly and that no retaliation will occur when an individual raises a legitimate issue of concern regarding RRH’s compliance with applicable standards. RRH has numerous policies related to compliance with HIPAA, EMTALA, coding, and other topics which are available on RRH’s electronic Policy & Procedure Manager.
Our obligations to act in an ethical and compliant manner apply to our relationships with patients, physicians, third-party payers, subcontractors, independent contractors, vendors, consultants, and one another. No written words can substitute for each person’s own internal sense of fairness, honesty, and integrity. Thus, in your daily life and work, if you encounter a situation or are considering a course of action that does not feel right, please discuss the situation with your supervisor, another manager, the CEO or the Compliance Department. RRH’s commitment to compliance and ethics is dependent upon each of us doing the right thing, all the time.
The education department at RRH is responsible for organizing continuing education programs for hospital staff that include Basic and Advanced Life Support training. We also offer various health education programs for the community including CPR and First Aid.
To register for class in person, please see the department assistant located in the North Medical Plaza on the second floor.
The classrooms–known as the north and south classrooms–are located in the North Medical Plaza on the second floor. There is elevator access or stair access.
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital has an incredible team that is compassionate, caring, and talented. We recognize our people as one of our greatest strengths. We are proud to have dedicated staff and physicians, whose commitment and efforts have led us to expand our services to the community.
Every quarter we recognize the achievements and hard work of a select few from our team and thank them for all that they do.
3rd Quarter 2018
2nd Quarter 2018
1st Quarter 2018
Why do I need to register every time I visit the Hospital?
The hospital offers a variety of services and the insurance companies require a separate ID for every visit.
Why do I (the patient/insured) need to call my insurance company to give them additional insurance information or accident details?
The insurance companies require that the information come from you (the patient/insured) and not from the hospital. If the insurance company does not receive a response from you, your claim will be denied.
How do I know if RRH is a preferred provider for my insurance?
Please contact your insurance company directly to find out if RRH is a preferred provider for your insurance.
After my visit to the Hospital, why do I receive bills from organizations other than the Hospital?
RRH uses contracted services for certain functions such as radiologists, ER physicians, pathologists, and anesthesiologists. These contracted services provide their own billing service and you will receive separate billings from them. If you have billing questions regarding these services, please contact them at the address or phone number listed below:
Emergency Room Physician Bill
Chase Dennis/Team Health
PO Box 634718
Cincinnati, OH 45263-4718
Radiologist Interpretation Bill
PO Box 190
Simi Valley, CA 93062
Office – 888-965-0083
Fax – 805-522-6401
2441 F Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Can I pick up my spouse’s medical information?
You can pick up your spouse’s medical information only if your spouse has signed a Release of Information Form entitling you to receive the information. A note that has been signed and dated by the spouse giving you permission is also acceptable. Identification will be checked when picking up medical information.
Can I get a copy of my child’s birth certificate from the HIM (Health Information Management or Medical Records) Department?
The HIM Department does not keep a copy of the official birth certificate in the chart. To obtain a copy of your child’s birth certificate if the baby is under one year old, please call the Kern County Department of Public Health Vital Statistics Department at 661.868.0228.
If your child is over one year old and you need a copy of the birth certificate, please call the California Department of Health Services at 916. 445.1719.
If you need a copy of your child’s social security card, please call the Social Security Administration at 800.772.1213.
How long does it take to get a copy of my medical record, lab and x-rays?
California State Law allows medical providers fifteen days after written authorization to furnish records to any requestor. However, the hospital’s turnaround time is usually much less than ten days, depending upon the volume of requests at any certain time.
If you want a copy of your lab tests, most results can be accessed by the HIM Department after the tests have been computed and entered into the lab system. Reports that are sent out to other labs for processing may take from several days to several weeks.
Radiology reports become part of the medical record but the actual x-ray films do not. Copies of x-ray films must be requested from the radiology department.
Do I have to pay for a copy of my medical record?
If a physician’s office is requesting a copy of your record or results, the HIM Department can mail or fax the information to the physician’s office free of charge when the physician’s office requests a copy.
If requested by the patient, a copy of “pertinent information” (dictation, lab, radiology, EKGs and the ER Record, etc.) from the medical record will be provided free of charge on a one-time basis for each visit. If the patient requests additional copies of the same record, the hospital will charge for additional copies.
What are the hours that the HIM Department (Medical Records) is open?
The HIM Department is open to the public from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday, except holidays. The department is closed on the weekends. For after business hours emergencies, please ask the PBX Operator to page the nursing supervisor.
Is RRH an HMO provider?
No, RRH is not an HMO contract provider. However, RRH does bill HMO insurances as a courtesy to its patients. The bill is the patient’s responsibility, however, if the claim is denied you will be mailed a statement and you can call our billing office at 760-499-3010 to set up payment arrangements.
Welcome to the official podcast from Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, bringing expert health and wellness advice close to home, because health matters.
Listen to our team of experts, including physicians, nurses, medical staff and healthcare leaders, as they connect you with the latest healthcare information.
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is exploring health information exchange vendors for electronic access and storage of your health information. This will allow us to provide better care for you by having fast access to your complete medical information and can reduce your costs. For example, as tests won’t need to be repeated.
Health information exchange implementation is a lengthy process, so patient portal access will be provided first. A patient portal is a secure online website where patients can access personal health information, such as visit summaries and lab results.
In the past, medical data was only stored on paper, making it difficult for your health care providers to share your information. With the increased number of doctors using electronic health records, it is easier for you and all of your doctors to coordinate your care, and often reducing the chance of medical errors.
Where are electronic health records headed? In this Infographic, view the history of electronic health records and see how they may improve your health and health care in the future.
Recommended sites for additional information
Resources for Families and Caregivers: Better Care Through Technology
State of California Office of Health Information Integrity
Health IT for Patients and Families
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
“What is a Patient Portal?”
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Health Information Management Department hours of operation:
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital will provide for the use of interpreters whenever a language or communication barrier exists. Interpreters will be available by telephone or remote video interpreting 24 hours a day.
en español: Ridgecrest Regional Hospital proveerá intérpretes cuando exista barrera de communicación o idoma. Intérpretes estarán disponsibles por el telefono o video remoto 24 horas del día.
The Patient Advocate is a resource provided by Ridgecrest Regional Hospital for patients, their families and other appropriate individuals associated with patient care needs. The advocate will assist you when you may be experiencing difficulties or have questions and/or concerns about any aspect of care or service.
The Patient Advocate is a liaison between patients and their care team. The mission of the Patient Advocate is to improve communication, access information, resolve conflicts, and address patient’s specific concerns.
The Patient Advocate works closely with the Administration and Quality Improvement departments to ensure all official complaints are thoroughly investigated and reviewed by the appropriate hospital committee and if need be, an objective third party review. Action steps will be taken as deemed necessary to maintain and/or improve our commitment to quality care.
RRH upholds a philosophy of maintaining good communications between the patient/family and our healthcare team. RRH strives to put the patient and family at the focus of care.
Patient Care Conferences are routinely held at the request of the patient, the patient’s family, hospital staff, or the patient’s physician in order to address any questions about the status of the patient’s condition, treatment and plan of care.
Please contact the physician, nurse or the nursing manager/supervisor if you would like to set up a conference.
RRH is very grateful for the self-sacrificing service shown by the Pink Ladies Auxiliary. The Pink Ladies/Blue Men have raised money for the purchase of needed equipment and donated thousands of hours serving hospital needs.
The Pink Ladies Auxiliary was founded by Jan Hoagland in 1958. In 2009, men were added to the group. The Auxiliary is devoted to offering personal support to our staff and to our patients and their families. They have three main purposes:
- To provide assistance in clinical settings
- To raise funds for needed equipment and scholarships; and
- To inform the public about the many professional services of the hospital.
Since the inception of the Auxiliary, volunteers have made donations with an inflation adjustment of over $200,000. In recent years, the Auxiliary has made contributions toward the purchases of an Ultrasound machine and High Definition Scopes. They also have awarded scholarships each year to students in the LVN and RN programs at Cerro Coso Community College. The primary source of monies comes from:
- Proceeds from the Gift Shop in the hospital
- Private donations
- Selling tickets for the Community Fair and Dinner
With approximately 50 members, the Pink Ladies/Blue Men donate over 8,000 hours per year serving assistance, information, and support for patients, visitors and staff in many areas. For example:
- Delivering newspapers, coffee, flowers, mail and menus to patients
- Staff the Information Desk; assist with wheelchairs as needed
- Manage and staff the Gift Shop
- Deliver menus and record current info on patient charts in Dietary
- Work at the Health Fair
- Make tray favors for patients for different holidays
- Decorate the hospital for Christmas
- Sew, knit and crochet various items for the patients (i.e. booties, hats, wraps, slipper and large red stocking for the new babies at Christmas).
- Assist in Health Care Center and Transitional Care Rehabilitation Center
How to Join
Women and men interested in joining the Auxiliary may pick up an application at the RRH Gift Shop and, when completed, return it to any Pink Lady Auxiliary member.
Summary of Privacy Practices
Effective April 14, 2003, Revised March 17, 2015
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you may obtain access to your health information. If you wish to request a detailed version of this Privacy Practice Notice, please contact the Privacy Officer or view the form on our website at www.rrh.org.
Uses and Disclosures
We may use and disclose your protected health information (PHI) in the following ways:
- For purposes of treatment, payment, and hospital operations.
- When release is required by law, including: for military purposes, for law enforcement requests, for national security reasons, or for healthcare regulatory or accrediting agencies.
- In emergency situations or for health and safety reasons.
- To medical examiners, coroners, or funeral directors.
- To organ, tissue, and other donation organizations.
- To contact you about appointment reminders or to tell you about other health-related benefits and services.
- For our Hospital Directory.
- For Worker’s Compensation requests.
- To people who are involved in your care.
- For other purposes as set forth in the full Notice of Privacy Practices.
All other uses and disclosures by Ridgecrest Regional Hospital will require us to obtain from you a written authorization.
- Restrictions: To ask us to limit the information we share, including a right to not have your information disclosed to your health plan when you pay for your services yourself. We will be consider requests on an individual basis.
- Confidential communications: To receive your confidential health information by alternate addresses, telephone numbers, or fax numbers.
- Access: To inspect or receive copies of your medical record.
- Amendments: To request changes be made to your health information. (The request will be considered on an individual basis.)
- Accounting: To receive a list of our disclosures of your health information.
- This notice: To ask for a copy of our full privacy notice.
- Complaints: If you feel your privacy rights have been violated, please contact the hospital departments listed below to file a complaint with the hospital. You may also complain to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Civil Rights. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your PHI. We must abide by the terms of this notice or any update of this notice. Updates to this notice are effective for all PHI we maintain. We must provide notification to you of a breach of unsecured PHI.
Full Notice of Privacy Practices
Effective April 14, 2003, Revised September 16, 2013
Who Will Follow This Notice
This notice describes our hospital’s practices and that of:
- Any health care professional authorized to enter information into your hospital chart.
- All departments and units of the hospital.
- Any member of a volunteer group we allow to help you while you are in the hospital.
- All employees, staff and other hospital personnel.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact:
Safety Office & Regulatory Compliance Officer: 760-499-3775
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, 1081 N. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Our Pledge Regarding Medical Information
We understand that medical information about you and your health is personal. We are committed to protecting medical information about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive at the hospital. We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by the hospital, whether made by hospital personnel or your personal doctor. Your personal doctor may have different policies or notices regarding the doctor’s use and disclosure of your medical information created in the doctor’s office or clinic. This notice will tell you about the ways in which we may use and disclose medical information about you. We also describe your rights and certain obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.
We are required by law to:
- make sure that medical information that identifies you is kept private;
- give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you; and
- follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.
How We May Use and Disclose Medical Information About You
The following categories describe different ways that we use and disclose medical information. For each category of uses or disclosures we will explain what we mean and try to give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.
- For Treatment. We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, nursing students, or other hospital personnel who are involved in taking care of you at the hospital. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process. In addition, the doctor may need to tell the dietitian if you have diabetes so that we can arrange for appropriate meals. Different departments of the hospital also may share medical information about you in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work and x-rays. We also may disclose medical information about you to people outside the hospital who may be involved in your medical care after you leave the hospital, such as family members, clergy or others we use to provide services that are part of your care.
- For Payment. We may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at the hospital may be billed to and payment may be collected from you, an insurance company, or a third party. For example, we may need to give information about surgery you received at the hospital to your health plan so that your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the surgery. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover the treatment.
- For Health Care Operations. We may use and disclose medical information about you for hospital operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run the hospital and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine medical information about many hospital patients to decide what additional services the hospital should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, nursing students, and other hospital personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the medical information we have with medical information from other hospitals to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of medical information so others may use it to study health care and health care delivery without learning who the specific patients are.
- Appointment Reminders. We may use and disclose medical information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at the hospital.
- Treatment Alternatives. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
- Health-Related Benefits and Services. We may use and disclose medical information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you.
- Fundraising Activities. We may use information about you to contact you in an effort to raise money for the hospital and its operations. You have the right to opt out of receiving fundraising communications. If you receive a fundraising communication, it will tell you how to opt out.
- Hospital Directory. We may include certain limited information about you in the hospital directory while you are a patient at the hospital. This information may include your name, location in the hospital, your general condition (e.g., fair, stable, etc.) and your religious affiliation. Unless there is a specific written request from you to the contrary, this directory information, except for your religious affiliation, may also be released to people who ask for you by name. Your religious affiliation may be given to a member of the clergy, such as a priest or rabbi, even if they don’t ask for you by name. This information is released so your family, friends and clergy can visit you in the hospital and generally know how you are doing.
- Marketing and Sale. Most uses and disclosures of medical information for marketing purposes, and disclosures that constitute a sale of medical information, require your authorization.
- To Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care
We may release medical information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. Unless there is a specific written request from you to the contrary, we may also tell your family or friends your condition and that you are in the hospital.In addition, we may disclose medical information about you to an organization assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location. If you arrive at the emergency department either unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate, we are required to attempt to contact someone we believe can make health care decisions for you (e.g., a family member or agent under a health care power of attorney).
- Research. Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another, for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to a special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of medical information, trying to balance the research needs with 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, but 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 hospital. We will always ask for your specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care at the hospital.
- As Required By Law. We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal, state or local law.
- To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety. We may use and disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
- Organ and Tissue Donation. If you are an organ donor, we may release 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 medical information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
- Workers’ Compensation. We may release medical information about you for workers’ compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
- Public Health Activities. 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 the abuse or neglect of any patient;
- to report reactions to medications or problems with products;
- to notify people of recalls of products they may be using;
- 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.
- To notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence. We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by law.
- To notify emergency response employees regarding possible exposure to HIV/AIDS, to the extent necessary to comply with State and Federal laws.
- Health Oversight Activities. We may disclose medical information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include, for example, audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
- Lawsuits and Disputes. If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose medical information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request (which may include written notice to you) or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
- Law Enforcement. We may release medical information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
- In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons or similar process;
- To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
- About the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person’s agreement;
- About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct;
- About criminal conduct at the hospital; and
- In emergency circumstances to report a crime; the location of the crime or victims; or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
- Coroners, Medical Examiners and Funeral Directors. We may release medical information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release medical information about patients of the hospital to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.
- National Security and Intelligence Activities. We may release medical information about you 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 medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or conduct special investigations.
- Inmates. If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release medical information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary
- for the institution to provide you with health care;
- to protect your health and safety or the health and safety of others; or
- for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
- Multidisciplinary Personnel Teams
We may disclose health information to a multidisciplinary personnel team relevant to the prevention, identification, management or treatment of an abused child and the child’s parents, or elder abuse and neglect.
- Special Categories of Information
In some circumstances, your health information may be subject to restrictions that may limit or preclude some uses or disclosures described in this notice. For example, there are special restrictions on the use or disclosure of certain categories of information – e.g., tests for HIV or treatment for mental health conditions or alcohol and drug abuse. Government health benefit programs, such as Medi-Cal, may also limit the disclosure of beneficiary information for purposes unrelated to the program.
Your rights regarding medical information about you
You have the following rights regarding medical information we maintain about you.
Right to Inspect and Copy
You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of medical information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but may not include some mental health information.
To inspect and obtain a copy of medical information that may be used to make decisions about you, you must submit your request in writing to:
Health Information Manager,
1081 N. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555
If you request a copy of the information, we may charge you a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other supplies associated with your request.
We may deny your request to inspect and obtain a copy in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to medical information, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed health care professional chosen by the hospital will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to Amend
If you feel that medical information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for the hospital.
To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to:
Health Information Manager
1081 N. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555
In addition, you must provide a reason that supports your request.
- We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing or does not include a reason to support the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment;
- Is not part of the medical information kept by or for the hospital;
- Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
- Is accurate and complete.
Even if we deny your request for an amendment, you have the right to submit a written addendum, not to exceed 250 words, with respect to any item or statement in your record you believe is incomplete or incorrect. If you clearly indicate in writing that you want the addendum to be made part of your medical record we will attach it to your records and include it whenever we make a disclosure of the item or statement you believe to be incomplete or incorrect.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures
You have the right to request an “accounting of disclosures.” This is a list of the disclosures we made of medical information about you other than our own uses for treatment, payment and health care operations (as those functions are described above), and with other exceptions pursuant to law.
To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to:
Health Information Manager
1081 N. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Your request must state a time period which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper or electronically). The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs 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.ion, we will notify you as required by law following a breach of your unsecured protected health information.
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 health care 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, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not use or disclose information about a surgery you had.
We are not required to agree to your request, except to the extent that you request us to restrict disclosure to a health plan or insurer for payment or health care operations purposes if you, or someone else on your behalf (other than the health plan or insurer), has paid for the item or service out of pocket in full. Even if you request this special restriction, we can disclose the information to a health plan or insurer for purposes of treating you.
If we agree to another special restriction, 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:
Health Information Manager
1081 N. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555
In your request you must tell us:
- what information you want to limit
- whether you want to limit our use, disclosure, or both;
- to whom you want the limits to apply, for example, disclosures to your spouse.
Right to Request Confidential Communications
You have the right to request that 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:
Health Information Manager
1081 N. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555
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. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice.
You may obtain a copy of this notice at our website: www.rrh.org or send your request in writing to:
Safety Office & Regulatory Compliance Manager
1081 N. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555
call (760) 499-3775.
CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE
We reserve the right to change this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for medical information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice in the hospital. The notice will contain the effective date on the first page, in the top right-hand corner. In addition, each time you register at or are admitted to the hospital for treatment or health care services as an inpatient or outpatient, we will offer you a copy of the current notice in effect.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the hospital or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with the hospital, contact Safety Office & Regulatory Compliance Manager, 1081 N. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555, (760) 499-3775. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
OTHER USES OF MEDICAL INFORMATION
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written permission. If you provide us permission to use or disclose medical information about you, you may revoke that permission, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, this will stop any further use or disclosure of your medical information for the purposes covered by your written authorization, except if we have already acted in reliance on your permission. You understand that we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you.
Privacy Contact: For more information about our privacy practices, please contact:
- Safety Office & Regulatory Compliance Manager: 760-499-3775
The role of quality management at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is to support the healthcare team as they continue to strive to improve their processes of healthcare delivery. Our quality team monitors and evaluates trends within the hospital and focuses on the needs of our patients, and improving our patients’ experiences. Our team also reviews current systems and processes in order to stay complaint with established standards and guiding principles. Our quality management department is headed by registered nurse Brenda Diel, MS, RN, and includes representatives from Safety, Compliance, Risk Management, Patient Advocacy and Infection Prevention.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented quality initiatives such as quality measures, to assure quality health care for Medicare Beneficiaries through accountability and public disclosure. Quality measures are tools that help us measure or quantify healthcare processes, outcomes, patient perceptions, and organizational systems that are associated with the ability to provide high-quality health care and that relate to one or more quality goals for health care. These goals include: effective, safe, efficient, patient-centered, equitable, and timely care. The two quality measures RRH is focusing on is IMM-2 Influenza Immunization and OP-5 Median Time to ECG.
IMM-2 is measuring the percentage of inpatients assessed and given influenza vaccination. 1 in 5 people in the US get influenza each season. Combined in pneumonia, influenza is the 8th leading cause of death, with two-thirds of those attributable to patients hospitalized during the flu season. Hospitalization is an underutilized opportunity to vaccinate.
OP-5 is measuring the Median number of minutes before outpatients with chest pain or possible heart attack got an ECG. The guidelines recommend patients presenting with chest discomfort or symptom suggestive of STEMI have a 12-lead ECG performed within 10 minutes of ED arrival. Timely ECGs assist in identifying STEMI patients and impact the choice of reperfusion strategy.
Information about diseases, conditions, medications and general health.
Information about diseases, conditions, medications and general health.
Symptom checklist, physicians’ blogs, health related news and articles.
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
Healthy eating for maintain heart health
Kidney/renal resource and recipes
Mayo Clinic DASH Diet Recipes
Nutrition for Children
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
USDA My Plate
USDA Nutrition info
Popular health care related websites operated by Govt., physicians and non-for-profit organizations.
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
American Lung Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC Traveler’ Health
Crohn’s Colitis Foundation
U.S Department of Health and Human Services website
Review and Ratings for health care providers and hospitals
Symptom Checker – http://symptoms.webmd.com/symptomchecker
Life Change Stress Test – http://www.webmd.com/hw-popup/life-change-stress-test
BMI calculator – http://www.webmd.com/diet/calc-bmi-plus
First Aid Emergencies – http://firstaid.webmd.com/
TripPrep Travel Health Vaccines – http://firstaid.webmd.com/