Privacy/Patient Rights

Student Health Clinic Privacy Policy

We understand that your medical information is sensitive and personal. Student Health Clinic is committed to protecting your privacy.

The privacy of your health information is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ education records. Under FERPA, the records maintained by Student Health Clinic are either “Treatment Records” or “Education Records.” These records are covered under FERPA, and are excluded from coverage under HIPAA. Student Health Clinic is dedicated to protecting patient confidentiality under FERPA, along with upholding the highest ethical standards for patient confidentiality in medical and nursing practice.

FERPA regulations detail federal rules that Student Health Clinic must follow in protecting the privacy of a student’s medical and counseling records. Usually we will ask you to sign a written consent before we disclose any medical information. However, FERPA allows us to disclose medical information without your written consent in some situations such as:

  • For medical treatment and services.
  • For healthcare operations such as Quality Assurance and other administrative and planning activities necessary to provide medical care in the clinic.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawful subpoena.
  • Lawsuits and disputes involving the college and you or your parents.
  • To avert a serious threat to health or safety, if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of you or other persons.
  • For public health risks.
  • As required by federal, state, or local law.
  • SeeFERPA regulations(http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/2012-final-regs.pdf) for a full list of all situations in which we may disclose your medical information without written consent.

Additional federal guidance requires us when disclosing personally identifiable information including medical records without consent, to always consider the impact of sharing this information, and to disclose the minimum amount necessary for the intended purpose.

Please let us know if you have any concerns regarding the privacy of your protected health information, or if you would like more details regarding your privacy rights under FERPA.

References:
  1. Joint Guidance on the Application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) to Student Health Records, November 2008.
  2. US Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter to School Officials at Institutions of Higher Education,August 18, 2015.