This notice describes how your health information may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.
Our Pledge Regarding Your Protected Health Information
We understand that health information is personal. We are committed to protecting the privacy of health information that we create and maintain as a result of the health care we provide. Each time a student visits a healthcare provider in the University of Massachusetts Lowell Health Services, a record is made of the visit. Typically, this record contains symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, a plan for future care or treatment, and possibly insurance and billing information.
How We May Use and Disclose Your Health Information
- For Treatment: We may use and disclose your personal health information (PHI) to anyone involved in the provision of health care to you including University nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, and other medical professionals, including nursing students or interns. We may also disclose your PHI to outside treating medical professionals and staff, as deemed necessary to your health care.
- For Health Care Operations: We may use and disclose your PHI for our own health care operations. For example, we may use your PHI to assess your care in an effort to improve the quality of our service to you and others, to evaluate the skills, qualifications, and performance of our health care providers, to learn how to improve our facilities and services, and to provide training to health profession students and trainees. In addition, the university’s accountants, auditors, and attorneys may use your PHI to assist our compliance with applicable law.
- For Payment: We may use and disclose your PHI to others for purposes of receiving payment for treatment and services you receive at UMass Lowell Health Services. For example, a bill may be sent to your insurance company and the information on the bill may contain information that identifies you, and your diagnosis.
- Business Associates: There are some services provided to our organization through contracts with business associates, such as, laboratory and health insurance companies. We may disclose your health information to our business associates, so they can perform these services. We require the business associates to safeguard your information to our standards and we will only disclose what is necessary for business.
- Legal Requirements: Health Services may use and disclose information about you as required by law for the following purposes: legal proceedings with a valid summons or subpoena, to report information related to victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, and to assist law enforcement officials in their law enforcement duties.
- Public Health: Your health information may be used or disclosed for public health activities to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability, or for other health review activities.
- Information Regarding Decedents: We may disclose health information regarding a deceased person to coroners and medical examiners to identify cause of death or funeral directors for their required duties.
- Research: We may use your health information for research purposes, if the research has been reviewed and approved by the University’s Institutional Research Review Board to ensure your privacy.
- Serious Threat to Health or Safety: Your health information may be disclosed to avoid a serious threat to the health or safety of yourself or any other person.
- Workers Compensation: Your health information may be used to comply with laws and regulations related to Workers Compensation.
- Contacting You: We may use your PHI to contact you by phone or email. Students will be asked to provide up to date contact information once per semester during a visit to Health Services.
Although your health record is the physical property of the health care practitioner or the Health Services department that compiled it, you have the right:
- To obtain a paper copy of this Notice and upon written request submitted to the University of Massachusetts Lowell Health Services maintaining your record, to inspect and/or obtain a copy of your health record that may be used to make decisions about you. We may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other expenses associated with your request.
- To amend your health record by submitting a written request with the reasons supporting your request to the University of Massachusetts Lowell Health Services. We may deny your request if it is not in writing and does not include a reason to support the request.
- We may also deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
- Was not created by us, unless the person or organization that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment.
- The record is not part of the health information used to make decisions about your care.
- We believe the record is accurate and complete.
- Is not part of the information you would have the right to inspect and copy.
Disclosures Requiring Authorization
Other uses and disclosures of medical information not covered by this notice or the law will only be made with your written permission. You have the right to revoke this authorization, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your permission, we will no longer use or disclose medical information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization, except to the extent that we have already made disclosures pursuant to your authorization. We are required to retain our records of the care that we provided to you. Such records will be retained for seven (7) years from your graduation or withdrawal date from the university. Revised 3/2013