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Policies

HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices

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.

According to the federal law called HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act), disclosures of information about you for some purposes do not need special consent. These disclosures are for the purposes of providing your medical care or for billing your insurer. Your healthcare provider may discuss your medical problems with other healthcare providers without special consent. We may contact your insurer about a claim without special consent (although this would be rare as most health care is given without charge). We may arrange for your care from a pharmacy without special consent.

There are some disclosures of your private information that are required by law, such as reporting certain diseases to the public health agencies and reporting victims of abuse or suspected infliction of harm to self or others.

We may not disclose your protected health information to family members, friends, or University personnel without your expressed consent (see next paragraph for exceptions). Consent may be provided verbally by instructing the health care provider to provide such information and to whom information should be provided. In the case of a student being incapacitated or unable to give consent health information will be shared with the emergency contact on the admission health document. Consent must be obtained for each new illness or injury.

We may disclose your protected health information pertaining to mental health issues to the Counseling Services providers for purposes of consultation. We may disclose immunization information to the Health Science majors.

You have the right to request and we have the right to accommodate any reasonable request for you to receive confidential information by alternative means or at alternative locations. For example, you might wish to receive a letter from us at an address not your usual residence, and we would try to accommodate you.

You have a right to inspect and receive a copy (for a fee) of your health information in this office. Western New England University Health Services may deny access to records if there were a question of endangerment to you or to others by that access.

You have a right to request an amendment of your confidential information, but we have a right to deny that request in certain circumstances. You cannot amend a record we did not create.

HIPAA Policy for Intercollegiate Athletes

We will be disclosing private health information relevant to practice or play to the athletic trainers, coaches, and athletic administration.

We proactively intend to follow the letter and spirit of the confidentiality law.

If you have a complaint about privacy of your medical records, or you believe that your privacy rights have been violated you may complain in writing, addressed to:
Privacy Officer Health Services
Western New England University Health Services
1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119

It is the policy of Western New England University that no retaliatory action will be made against any individual who submits or conveys a complaint of suspected or actual non-compliance or violations of the privacy standard. The effective date of this policy is 4/4/2003.

COMMUNICABLE DISEASE POLICY

This Policy outlines the principles Western New England University (WNE) will follow to protect patients, students, faculty and staff, whenever possible, from exposure to certain communicable illnesses such as tuberculosis, meningitis, measles, etc. This policy will apply university-wide.

It is the policy of WNE Health Services to review, evaluate and respond on an individual case-by-case basis, when possible, to any known suspected or confirmed instances of certain communicable illnesses among members of the WNE community which may be transmitted in a normal business, academic, recreational, housing, or patient care setting. Such individual review, evaluation, and response should take into consideration applicable federal and state laws; the recommendations of the U.S. Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control, the American College Health Associations, and various professional associations; other relevant medical, scientific and legal literature; the expressed desires and opinions of the individual with such illness, the individual's personal health care provider; the university's commitment for the protection of the community at large, to the extent possible of both public heath and individual rights.

WNE recognizes that employees with any suspected or confirmed communicable illness may wish to continue their employment. As long as they are able to meet acceptable performance standards, and the medical evidence indicates that their conditions are not a threat to themselves or others, it is the policy of WNE that these employees be treated consistently with other employees in matters of employment. All members of the WNE community will be evaluated on a case-by case basis, when possible, to determine what if any restrictions apply, given the type of illness, the individual's health status and the nature of work or work setting, among other relevant factors. In the setting of a large epidemic or pandemic, the case-by case evaluation may not be possible and broad restrictions may be implemented.

WNE will address issues involving communicable illnesses in a sensitive and responsible manner, with concern for the rights and welfare of patients, faculty, staff and students.

Medical Records and Confidentiality. If a patient has a suspected or confirmed communicable illness, this information should be included in the patient's medical record if evaluated in Health Services. Medical record results should contain only objective information that is relevant to the patient's care and treatment. The patient's medical record must be afforded the same confidentiality protections that WNE affords other medical records. Care should be taken to ensure that the patient's medical record is not disclosed to others except as required or permitted by law or as authorized in writing by the patient. All medical records and the patient information therein must be handled in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).

Medical Care. Any member of the WNE community who believes he or she has contracted a communicable illness that may be transmitted should contact Health Services to report the symptoms or illness. Individuals with suspected or confirmed communicable illnesses are encouraged to seek proper medical care, counseling, and education. Faculty, staff and students should look primarily to their personal health care provider for appropriate medical care and counseling. Any WNE employee or student with a suspected or confirmed communicable illness who is experiencing difficulty in obtaining expert medical care and counseling is encouraged to seek assistance from Health Services.

Each department head shall be responsible for understanding and implementing this policy.