Bozeman Health is proud to be a trusted medical, health, and wellness resource for the media and our community. Interview requests and media inquiries are welcome and every effort is made to accommodate in a timely manner. There are times when we may not be able to accommodate an interview or inquiry request due to schedule availability, patient or employee privacy concerns, or that we may not be the best subject matter expert to speak on the requested topic. We appreciate understanding when this occurs.
The Bozeman Health PIO/system director of marketing and communications is responsible for all media relations and coordination of interviews, response to questions/inquiries, statements, news releases, press briefings, and filming/photography requests as it pertains to any/all Bozeman Health hospital or care site, or speaking with any Bozeman Health employee or provider. As a general practice, we do not provide direct phone numbers to leaders or providers to respect their privacy. The PIO/system director of marketing and communications is available generally between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. though is available after-hours if needed in an urgent/emergent situation.
Members of the media must always be escorted by a member of the marketing and communications team (or authorized representative) when at any Bozeman Health care site to ensure patient and employee privacy. Advance notice for interviews, photography, and/or filming requests is required. Unauthorized filming, recording, or interviews is not permitted at any Bozeman Health care site.
Bozeman Health adheres to all regulations and standards governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) on the use and release of a patient's protected health information (PHI) as outlined by the American Hospital Association (see below for additional information).
Bozeman Health is a nonprofit integrated care delivery system. We appreciate your adherence to our proper naming conventions:
- Bozeman Health—use when referencing Bozeman Health as the entire health system or organization. Bozeman Health is not one location.
- Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital—located at 915 Highland Blvd. in Bozeman. Use full name on first reference; Deaconess Hospital is only appropriate on second reference. No other variation is correct.
- Bozeman Health Big Sky Medical Center—located at 334 Town Center Ave. in Big Sky. Use full name on first reference; Big Sky Medical Center is only appropriate on second reference. No other variation is correct.
- Bozeman Health Hillcrest Senior Living—located at 1201 Highland Blvd. in Bozeman. Use full name on first reference; Hillcrest Senior Living is only appropriate on second reference. Use specific community living name if appropriate or suitable to the news piece:
- Bozeman Health Hillcrest Senior Living Aspen Pointe (Independent Living)
- Bozeman Health Hillcrest Senior Living Birchwood (Assisted Living)
- Bozeman Health Belgrade Clinic + UrgentCare—located at 206 Alaska Frontage Road in Belgrade. Use full name on first reference; Belgrade Clinic + UrgentCare is appropriate on second reference.
- Bozeman Health Cottonwood Clinic + Surgery Center—located at 875 S Cottonwood in Bozeman. Use full name on first reference; Cottonwood Clinic is appropriate on second reference.
- Bozeman Health clinics and employed physician practices—typically Bozeman Health followed by the specialty, e.g., Bozeman Health Pediatrics or Bozeman Health Family Medicine. Contact the system director of marketing and communications for specific questions.
- B2 MicroCare, B2 UrgentCare, B2 VirtualCare —our retail health care sites are powered by Bozeman Health. The "B" is followed by the numeral 2. There is a space between B2 and the service type. The clinic type is written with capital first letters and no space between the words.
The care and privacy of our patients is of the highest importance to Bozeman Health.
We adhere to all regulations and standards governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regarding the use and release of a patient's protected health information (PHI). Click here for more information on HIPAA or PHI.
The American Hospital Association* provides guidance on the release of patient information:
Patient condition may be provided consistent with the limitations imposed by the HIPAA privacy standards. The HIPAA privacy regulations have specific provisions for the release of limited information about a patient without the patient's authorization when someone specifically asks about the patient by name. Unless a patient objects, the following information may be placed in a hospital directory:
- The patient's name
- The patient's location in the healthcare provider's facility
- The patient's condition, described in general terms that do not communicate specific information about the individual
Should a member of the media, family member, friend or individual ask about the condition of a patient, the following guidelines, provided by the American Hospital Association, will be followed. One-word descriptions of a patient's general condition will be given:
- Undetermined: Patient awaiting physician assessment.
- 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. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
A patient's location within Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital or Bozeman Health Big Sky Medical Center will not be given to members of the media.
There are instances when we may not provide information, including:
- The patient, or their designated representative, has requested that they be marked "confidential," meaning that they do not wish to have any information shared
- The patient was not admitted
- The patient was treated and transferred to another facility
- The patient was treated and released
- The patient refused medical attention
We report any death of a patient to the authorities as required by law. Typically, public information about a death will be disclosed after efforts have been made to notify the next-of-kin. Information about the cause of death must come from the patient's physician, and a legal representative of the deceased must approve its release. This means that we cannot share information with the media on the specifics about sudden, violent or accidental deaths, or deaths from natural causes, without the permission of the decedent's next-of-kin or other legal representative.
Police reports and other information about hospital patients are often obtained by members of the media. The claim is frequently made that once information about a patient is in the public domain, the media is entitled to any and all information about that individual. This is not true. Healthcare providers are required to observe HIPAA privacy standards, state statutes or regulations, and the common law, regardless of what information is in the hands of public agencies or the public in general.
For additional information on HIPAA, PHI and patient condition reports, visit the Health and Human Services website.
*Content from the American Hospital Association.