Your Patient Rights
Vanguard University Health Center is required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your health information. We will not use or share your health information unless you tell us we can in writing. We will also let you know if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information. That is why there is a federal law that sets rules for health care providers and health insurance companies about who can look at and receive our health information. This law, called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), gives you rights over your health information, including the right to get a copy of your information, make sure it is correct, and know who has seen it.
You can ask to see or get a copy of your medical record and other health information. If you want a copy, you may have to put your request in writing and pay for the cost of copying and mailing. In most cases, your copies must be given to you within 30 days.
You can ask to change any wrong information in your file or add information to your file if you think something is missing or incomplete. In most cases, the file should be updated within 60 days.
Know Who Has Seen It.
By law, your health information can be used and shared for specific reasons not directly related to your care, like making sure health care professionals give good care, reporting when the flu is in your area, or reporting as required by state or federal law. In many of these cases, you can find out who has seen your health information. You can:
- Learn how your health information is used and shared by your doctor or health insurer. Generally, your health information cannot be used for purposes not directly related to your care without your permission.
- Let your providers or health insurance companies know if there is information you do not want to share. You can ask that your health information not be shared with certain people, groups, or companies. If you go to a clinic, for example, you can ask the doctor not to share your medical records with other doctors or nurses at the clinic. You can ask for other kinds of restrictions, but they do not always have to agree to do what you ask, particularly if it could affect your care. Finally, you can also ask your health care provider or pharmacy not to tell your health insurance company about care you receive or drugs you take, if you pay for the care or drugs in full and the provider or pharmacy does not need to get paid by your insurance company.
Communicating Medical Information
Ask to be reached somewhere other than home. You can make reasonable requests to be contacted at different places or in a different way. For example, you can ask to have a nurse call you at your office instead of your home or to send mail to you in an envelope instead of on a postcard.
Reporting a HIPAA Violation
If you think your rights are being denied or your health information is not being protected, you have the right to file a complaint with your provider, health insurer, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
To learn more, visit www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/.
Questions? Contact the Vanguard University Privacy Official, Mary Darden, FNP-c in the VU Health Center at 714-619-6459 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.