For Students of the University of Cincinnati - Notice of Privacy Practices
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.
IF YOU ARE A STUDENT your records are protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
Federal regulations make clear that university Education Records and Treatment Records are excluded from coverage under the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. Accordingly, the FERPA regulations prescribe the federal rules that UHS must follow in protecting the privacy of a student's medical and counseling records. Of course, all UC facilities also comply with any applicable state laws and University policies regarding the privacy and confidentiality of records.
What about counseling or mental health records?
In addition to FERPA, there are other state laws that place additional privacy protections and disclosure restrictions on mental health and counseling records.
All medical information and records at the University Health Services are maintained under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and State of Ohio confidentiality statutes. Information in your records is used for treatment purposes and can be disclosed to individuals involved in your treatment. Disclosures from your medical record to individuals or organizations not involved in your treatment will be per a written, signed and dated request by you. There are specific exceptions when a written release is not required which include: review by accrediting organizations; judicial order or subpoena; and health and safety emergencies. In the case of health or safety emergencies disclosure of health information may occur to protect your health or the health of others.
If you have a complaint:
You may contact UHS staff at (513) 556-2564 or the UC Director of Privacy at (513) 558-2733 if you have any questions or complaints.
FERPA also affords students the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.
Please review it carefully.
When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.
Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record:
- You can ask to see or get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other health information we have about you. Ask us how to do this.
- We will provide a copy or a summary of your health information, usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee.
- You have the right to receive your test reports directly from laboratories and to request that copies of your test reports be sent to other persons or organizations that you want to receive them.
Ask us to correct your medical record:
- You can ask us to correct health information about you that you think is incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this.
- We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing within 60 days.
Request confidential communications:
- You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address.
- We will say "yes" to all reasonable requests.
Ask us to limit what we use or share:
- You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for treatment, payment, or our operations.
- We are not required to agree to your request, and we may say “no” if it would affect your care.
- If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full, you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of payment or our operations with your health insurer.
- We will say “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information.
Get a list of those with whom we've shared information:
- You can ask for a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared your health information for six years prior to the date you ask, who we shared it with, and why.
- We will include all the disclosures except for those about treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We’ll provide one accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.
Get a copy of this privacy notice:
- You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy promptly.
Choose someone to act for you:
- If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make choices about your health information.
- We will make sure the person has this authority and can act for you before we take any action.
File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated:
- You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by contacting us using the information on page 1.
- You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling 1-877-696-6775, or visiting www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/.
- We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.
In these cases, you have both the right and choice to tell us to:
- Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
- Share information in a disaster relief situation
- Include your information in a hospital directory
- Contact you for fundraising efforts
If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.
In these cases we never share your information unless you give us written permission:
- Marketing purposes
- Sale of your information
- Most sharing of psychotherapy notes
In the case of fundraising:
- We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again and may do so by sending an E-mail to the UC Health Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 513-585-UOPT (513-585-8678) to be removed from the list. You may also mail your name and address to the UC Health Foundation, 3200 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229. Please include a brief statement with your wish not to receive fundraising materials or communications from us.
Our Uses and Disclosures
How do we typically use or share your health information? We typically use or share your health information in the following ways.
- We can use your health information and share it with other professionals who are treating you.
Example: A doctor treating you for an injury asks another doctor about your overall health condition.
Run our organization
- We can use and share your health information to run our practice, improve your care, and contact you when necessary.
Example: We use health information about you to manage your treatment and services.
Bill for your services
- We can use and share your health information to bill and get payment from health plans or other entities.
Example: We give information about you to your health insurance plan so it will pay for your services.
How else can we use or share your health information?
We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see:
Help with public health and safety issues
- We can share health information about you for certain situations such as:
- Preventing disease
- Helping with product recalls
- Reporting adverse reactions to medications
- Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
- Preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety
- We can use or share your information for health research.
Comply with the law
- We will share information about you if state or federal laws require it, including with the Department of Health and Human Services if it wants to see that we’re complying with federal privacy law.
Respond to organ and tissue donation requests
- We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations. Work with a medical examiner or funeral director
- We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director when an individual dies.
Address workers' compensation, law enforcement, and other government requests
- We can use or share health information about you:
- For workers’ compensation claims
- For law enforcement purposes or with a law enforcement official
- With health oversight agencies for activities authorized by law
- For special government functions such as military, national security, and presidential protective services
Respond to lawsuits and legal actions
- We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena.
We maintain a facility directory that includes your name, room number, general condition and, if you wish, your religious affiliation. You can ask us not to include your information in the directory.
Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Records
- We may not share information on any alcohol or drug use without your written permission or a court order except when it is needed by medical personnel in a medical emergency or needed for research, auditing or program evaluation.
HIV Test and AIDS-related conditions
- Ohio law requires that we have your permission or a court order before we share the results of any HIV test or any diagnosis of AIDS or an AIDS-related condition.
- We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
- We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
- We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.
- We will not use or share your information other than as described here unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.
For more information see: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/noticepp.html
Changes to the Terms of This Notice
We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our web site.
This Notice of Privacy Practices became effective October 1, 2014
This Notice of Privacy Practices applies to the following organizations.
This notice applies to UC Health, LLC, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, LLC, Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care, LLC, West Chester Hospital, LLC, and University of Cincinnati Physicians Company, LLC and all UC Health associates (collectively, “UC Health”).
If you have questions or need further assistance regarding this Notice:
- For University of Cincinnati Medical Center, you may contact Patient Relations at (513) 584-1000
- For West Chester Hospital, you may contact Patient Relations at (513) 298-3000
- For Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care, you may contact Patient Relations at (513) 418-2500
- For UC Physicians Company and UC Primary Care Network, you may contact the Administration office at (513) 475-7227
For all other questions you may contact the UC Health Privacy Office at 3200 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229 or by telephone at (513) 585-7155.