The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives patients the new right to be informed about the privacy practices of their health care providers, as well as rights with respect to their own protected health information. As health care providers we are required to distribute a notice of our privacy practices to our patients. The Clark University Health Service is a contracted service through UMass Memorial Health Care.
Joint Notice of Information Practices
Effective: April 14, 2003
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Please review this carefully.
UMass Memorial Health Care is an organized health care arrangement (OHCA). This joint notice applies to member organizations and physicians as listed in this brochure.
At UMass Memorial, your privacy is a priority.We follow strict federal and state guidelines to maintain the confidentiality of your medical (protected health) information.
Protected Health Information
Protected health information(PHI) is any information about your past, present, or future health care, or payment for that care that could be used to identify you.
Members of our workforce and our business associates may only access the minimum amount of protected health information that they need to complete their assigned tasks.
Use and Disclosure of PHI
When you visit a UMass Memorial facility, we use and disclose your protected health information to treat you, to obtain payment for services and to conduct normal business known as health care operations. We may also share information with a contracted business associate who must meet our privacy requirements. Examples of how we use and disclose your information include:
- Treatment - We document each visit and/or admission. This documentation may include your test results, diagnoses, and medications, and your response to medications or other therapies. This allows your doctors, nurses and other clinical staff to provide the best care to meet your needs.
- Payment - We document the services and supplies you receive at each visit or admission so that you, your insurance company or another third party can pay us. We may tell your health plan about upcoming treatment or services that require its prior approval.
- Health Care Operations - Medical information is used to improve the services we provide, to train staff and students, and for business management, performance improvement, and customer service.
We may also use the information to:
- Recommend treatment alternatives
- Tell you about health benefits and services
- Communicate with other UMass Memorial OHCA members or business associates for treatment, payment or health care operations
- Send appointment reminders
- Communicate with family or friends involved in your care with your permission
- Include you on the inpatient list for callers or visitors if you are admitted*
- Respond to media inquiries should they be made*
- Let clergy know if you are admitted*
- Contact you about support for the UMass Memorial Foundation (fundraising)*
Services followed by an asterick (*) are optional. Tell the admitting clerk or fundraiser (if contacted) that you do not wish to participate .
There are limited times when we are permitted or required to disclose medical information without your signed permission. These situations include the following:
- For public health activities such as tracking disease or medical devices
- To protect victims of abuse or neglect For federal and state health oversight activities such as fraud investigations
- For judicial or administrative proceedings
- If required by law or for law enforcement
- To coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors
- For organ donation
- To avert serious threat to public health or safety
- For specialized government functions such as national security and intelligence
- To workers’ compensation if you are injured at work
- To a correctional institution if you are an inmate
- For research following strict review to ensure protection of information
Other uses and disclosures not previously described may only be done with your signed authorization. You may revoke your authorization, in writing, at any time.
UMass Memorial is required by law to maintain the privacy of your medical information, provide this notice of our duties and privacy practices, and abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect. We reserve the right to change privacy practices and make new practices effective for all the information we maintain. Revised notices will be posted in our facilities and will be available from your health care provider.
You have the right to:
- Request that we restrict how we use or disclose your medical information (we are not required to abide by your request)
- Request that we use a specific telephone number or address to communicate with you
- Inspect and copy your medical information (fees will apply)*
- Request amendment to your medical information (reason required)*
- Receive an accounting of how your medical information was disclosed (excludes disclosures for treatment, payment, health care operations and some required disclosures; fees may apply)*
- Obtain a paper copy of this notice even if you receive it electronically
- Register a complaint
- Opt out of our inpatient list or fundraising requests
*Request must be in writing
To Contact Us
If you have questions about this notice, contact the privacy officer or visit www.UMassmemorial.org.
If you would like to exercise your rights or if you feel your privacy rights have been violated, contact the privacy officer:
UMass Memorial Medical Center
Hahnemann Campus Privacy Office
281 Lincoln Street
Worcester, MA 01605
All complaints will be investigated and you will not suffer retaliation for filing a complaint. You may also file a complaint with the secretary of health and human services in Washington, DC.
Members of Our Organized Health Care Arrangement (OHCA)
All UMass Memorial facilities and services including:
- UMass Memorial Medical Center
- UMass Memorial - Clinton Hospital
- UMass Memorial - Community Healthlink
- UMass Memorial - HealthAlliance
- UMass Memorial - Marlborough Hospital
- UMass Memorial - Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers
- UMass Memorial - University Commons
- UMass Memorial MRI - CMMIC Branch
- UMass Memorial Medical Group
- Private, hospital-based physicians
- Other private physicians while working at our facilities
Each OHCA member is individually responsible for abiding by the privacy practices, and for resolving its own privacy complaints or violations.