- Understanding Healthcare Information and Your Rights to Privacy & Confidentiality
- Our Pledge Regarding the Privacy and Confidentiality of Your Health Information
- Notice of Privacy Practices
- Your Privacy Rights
- Changes to this Notice
Understanding Healthcare Information and Your Rights to Privacy & Confidentiality
Each time you visit your campus healthcare professional a record of that visit is made. It typically includes an evaluation of your symptoms and details of the treatment you received. The record serves a number of purposes. First, it allows for continuity of medical services by recording your medical history and treatment. The record also contains information on insurance and payments for the services you received. It may also serve other purposes such as a source of data for medical peer review and performance improvement activities.
The medical record is a legal document and cannot be changed but in certain circumstances may be amended. You have the right to access and review your record (with a few limitations) and to control to whom your information is sent. Understanding your record and how your health information is used helps you to ensure its accuracy, better understand who may access your health records and under what circumstances, and to make informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.
Our Pledge Regarding the Privacy and Confidentiality of Your Health Information
The privacy and confidentiality of your personal and health information is of paramount importance to us. Two federal acts, the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act 1996 (45 CFR Parts 160, 162, and 164, as amended) better known as HIPAA and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) or FERPA are the primary legal means protecting your rights to the privacy and confidentiality of your medical and educational records. You may view the specific content of these federal acts by clicking on http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/ for HIPAA and http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa for FERPA. Please understand that there are differences in the level of protections afforded by HIPAA and FERPA.
In order to protect the confidentiality of your healthcare information, Student Health Services (SHS) will release or disclose information only with your signed authorization or as required or allowed by law. Our Notice of Privacy Practices explains fully the various circumstances under which we may release or disclose protected information without your authorization.
Please read the Notice of Privacy Practices carefully and if you have questions about its content contact Keith L. McCrary, Associate Director, University of North Carolina Greensboro Student Health Services (336) 334-3147 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Student Health Services pledges to comply will all applicable federal, state, and University regulations, laws, and guidelines in place to protect the privacy of your healthcare information.
Notice of Privacy Practices – February 17, 2010
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Student Health Services (SHS) is responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your Protected Health Information (PHI). As your healthcare provider, we take this responsibility very seriously. Please ask us if you have any questions about how we protect and manage your healthcare information.
Your Privacy Rights
- To View and Obtain Copies of Your Healthcare Record. In most cases, summative information about your healthcare will meet your needs.
- To Amend Your Healthcare Record. Your healthcare record is a legal document that cannot be changed. If you wish to add additional information or dispute information contained within your record, you can amend the record and any future disclosures of your record will include the original documentation along with your amendment.
- To Request a Listing of Disclosures Related to Your Healthcare Record. The listing is related to functions that do not require your written authorization. Please refer to the section that explains under what circumstances we can disclose information without your written authorization.
- To Request Limits on the Uses and Disclosures of Your Healthcare Information. You may request that we do not use or disclose your healthcare information within certain limits. Please refer to the section that explains under what circumstances we can disclose information without your authorization.
- To Revoke Previous Permission to Use or Disclose Your Healthcare Information. You may revoke any authorization to use or disclose healthcare information at anytime. The revocation is effective the date of your request. We are not responsible for disclosures made under an existing authorization.
- To Select How We Communicate With You. Email to your UNCG email address is SHS’s primary method of communicating with you outside of our offices. The UNCG email address is used so that we can afford you the greatest security possible within the University system. Since no email system is 100% secure, you may request alternative means of communication be used. Please ask and we will assist you.
- To Obtain a Written Copy of This Notice of Privacy Practices. You will be offered a copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices upon your first visit. You will be offered a copy of the Notice annually, thereafter or if we make substantial changes since your last visit. You may request a copy at anytime. Copies of the Notice are posted in all SHS waiting areas and are available on the SHS website.
- To File a Complaint. You may file a complaint if you believe that SHS has used or disclosed your healthcare information in a manner contrary to your wishes or to law. Complaints must be in writing and can be filed with the SHS Associate Director or the University HIPAA Privacy Officer. A complaint form is available on the SHS website if you would prefer to file your complaint electronically. You may also file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services by contacting:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights
Medical Privacy Complaint Division
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201
Or by calling
CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION MAY BE USED OR DISCLOSED WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT
- For Treatment, Payment or Other Healthcare Operations (TPO). We may use internally or disclose to an outside healthcare provider who is involved in your treatment the minimum information necessary to carry out that service. In most cases (except in an emergency) we seek your authorization before disclosing healthcare information to another provider even if it is for the furtherance of your treatment. We may disclose certain healthcare information to assist you by billing your insurance company (in cases where we perform that function). We may use your healthcare information internally to discuss your case with providers other than who you saw, review the quality of services you received, or manage the internal functions of Student Health Services.
- Appointments and Reminders. We may send you appointment reminders via email unless you specifically request we communicate with you by other means.
- Public Health Activities. We are required by law to report certain communicable diseases to the local Health Department.
- Health Oversight Activities. We may be required to disclose your protected health information in furtherance of a complaint-driven inspection or investigation of a healthcare provider.
- As Required by Law Enforcement or for National Security. We may be required to disclose your protected health information if so ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction or in certain circumstances, for national security purposes.
- For Abuse Reports and Investigations. We are required by law to report instances of abuse or suspected abuse and cooperate in any corresponding investigation. In so doing, we may be required to disclose your protected health information.
- For Government Programs. We may be required to disclose protected health information should you apply for public benefits.
- To Avoid Harm. We may disclose protected health information as needed to avoid a situation where a serious threat to the health and safety of a person or the public exists.
- For Research. We may disclosure protected health information for the purposes of research. In all instances, the research must be approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and in no case will the information identify any one individual.
- Disclosure’s to Family, Friends and Others. We may disclosure protected health information to those you chose to be involved in your care. You may limit the amount of information shared or revoke at any time any person’s access to your information by doing so in writing. Information regarding the care and treatment of minor (under age 18) may be shared with a parent or guardian except in specific circumstances.
- Emergency Situations. We may disclose protected health information in emergency situations in order to further or assist in your treatment.
- Marketing. SHS does not use protected healthcare information for marketing projects.
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 our waiting area. The notice will contain on the first page, in the top right-hand corner, the effective date. Copies will be available upon request.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- Visit the official site for more information about HIPAA.
U.S. Department of Education
- Find more information about FERPA on the U.S. Department of Education website.