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Notice of Privacy Practices

Your Information. Your Rights. Our Responsibilities.


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.


Student Health Services (SHS) is required by federal and state law to maintain the privacy of your health information. If you are a student, treatment of your health information is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and requirements of applicable South Carolina State law. The health information of all others is governed by regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as amended, and the requirements of applicable South Carolina State law. For health information covered by HIPAA, SHS is required to provide you with this notice and abide by this notice with respect to health information covered by HIPAA.


Your Rights

When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Your mental health (including alcohol and drug abuse treatment) information will only be released with your written authorization. Exceptions under the law include


  • threat of harm to self or others,

  • suspected child abuse,

  • suspected abuse of elderly or disabled,

  • court-ordered release of records.

Disclosure of HIV/AIDS information must have your specific consent. Information released without consent will only be for continuity of care and/or treatment, or as required by law.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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.

  • You can complain if you think we have violated your rights by contacting us using the information at the bottom of this notice.

  • 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.


Your Choices

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.


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.


Note: We do not maintain a hospital directory.


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.


Note: We never market or sell your personal information.


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.

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.

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.

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. LEARN MORE

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.

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.

We can share health information about you with organ procurement organizations.

We can share health information with a coroner, medical examiner or funeral director when an individual dies.

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

We can share health information about you in response to a court or administrative order or in response to a subpoena.


Our Responsibilities

  • 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.

LEARN MORE 


Unemancipated Minors: In South Carolina, if you are under the age of 18, are not married and have not been legally emancipated, you can consent to treatment for pregnancy, drug and/or alcohol abuse, venereal disease or emotional disturbances without an adult. This information will remain confidential, unless your doctor determines your parents or guardian need to know this information because there is a serious threat to your life or health, or your parents or guardian have specifically asked about your treatment. Minors are still required to get parental or court consent for an abortion.

  • you have a complaint;

  • you have any questions about the notice;

  • you wish to request restrictions on uses and disclosures for health care treatment, payment or operations;

  • you wish to obtain a form to exercise your individual rights described in this notice.

Privacy Officer: 864-656-2590, spharri@clemson.edu

We can change the terms of this notice. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office and on our website.


Effective date: September 1, 2014