Arranging Interviews with Medical Experts and Patients
A reporter or photographer interested in covering stories at Cox Medical Center Branson should contact the Media Relations Specialist at (417) 335-7460. Our media relations specialist and staff with Marketing & Research are happy to assist you by arranging interviews and photo opportunities with medical experts and patients.
CoxHealth policy requires that members of the media be escorted at all times while on hospital property, including all facilities owned or operated by CoxHealth and its parking lots. Please call the media relations specialist at (417) 335-7460 to arrange this in advance. In addition, patients and staff who will be interviewed or photographed on CoxHealth property must sign a release form.
Requesting Patient Condition Reports
As long as the patient has not requested that information be withheld, the marketing & research department will provide media with a one-word condition about current patients being treated at Cox Medical Center Branson. The information will be provided in accordance with federal HIPAA privacy regulations. It will only be released if the inquirer identifies the patient by name. To receive a patient condition report, call the Media Relations Specialist, (417)-335-7460. Before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, you may leave a voice message, which will be transferred to a mobile phone, and a Marketing & Research representative will return your call immediately.
Defining Patient Condition Reports
Patient conditions may be released consistent with the limitations imposed by the HIPAA privacy standards. If an inquiry is made using the patient's name and the patient is listed in the patient directory, a one-word general condition will be provided. Here are the definitions for those conditions:
Undetermined: Patient is currently being evaluated.
Good: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are excellent.
Fair: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious, but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
Serious: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable.
Critical: Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patients may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
Treated and released: The patient received treatment but was not admitted to the hospital.
Deceased: The death of a patient, while considered a matter of public record under law, is considered protected health information under HIPAA. A patient's death will not be reported until efforts have been made by the medical team to notify the patient's next-of-kin. At that time, and unless the deceased's legal representative requests the information to be withheld or the patient opted out of the directory, the Media Relations Specialist will report that the patient is deceased and the date and time of death. Additional information (such as cause of death) cannot be released without permission from a legal representative of the deceased. In the case of deaths being investigated by the county coroner, questions about the cause of death should be addressed to that public official.
The federal Health and Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) mandates regulations that govern privacy, security and administration simplification standards for Healthcare information.
Among other things, the HIPAA privacy regulations restrict the information that healthcare providers may include in a patient directory and release to the public, including news media. Patients have the option of further restricting release of directory information. Unless the patient objects, directory information about a particular patient can be shared with any person who asks for the patient by name. The following information may be placed in the patient directory:
- The patient's name
- The patient's location in the hospital
- The patient's condition
While HIPAA privacy regulations restrict the information healthcare providers may release, patients are free to release their own personal information or consent to interviews providing it does not interfere with their medical treatment. However, patients who will be interviewed or photographed on CoxHealth property must sign a release form, provided by Marketing & Research. In addition, members of the media must be escorted at all times while on hospital property, including all facilities owned or operated by CoxHealth, and its parking lots.
Media Relations Specialist
Cox Medical Center Branson
Marketing & Research Department
PO Box 650
Branson, Missouri 65615