Privacy of Medical Information
We understand that your medical information is sensitive and personal. We are committed to protecting your privacy, and will not disclose confidential medical information without your consent unless required to do so by law. The privacy of your medical information is protected under various federal and state laws, along with ethical guidelines for health care personnel.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of students education records. Under FERPA, the medical records maintained by the Student Health Clinic are either education records or treatment records. Both of these records are excluded from coverage under the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. FERPA describes rules that govern the release of these records. In general, 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 certain situations such as:
- For medical treatment and services.
- For healthcare operations such as Quality Assurance and other administrative 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.
- See FERPA regulations https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/2012-final-regs.pdf for a full list of allowed disclosure without written consent under FERPA.
The California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) is an important state law that also protects the privacy of your medical information. In some situations, the protections under CMIA are more stringent than the protections under FERPA.
The Student Health Clinic (SHC) also complies with state and federal mandatory reporting requirements for reasons such as disease surveillance, public health activities, abuse or domestic violence, etc.
Whenever the SHC must disclose any medical information, we will always consider the impact of sharing this information, and only disclose the minimum amount necessary for the intended purpose.
Please let us know if you have any concerns regarding the privacy of your medical information, or if you would like more details regarding your privacy rights under FERPA and CMIA.