Clinical Privacy Notice

HIPAA

This notice describes how your health information may be used and disclosed by the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and how you can get access to this information. Please read carefully.

Notice of Privacy Practices Form [PDF, 266KB]

Understanding your protected health information (PHI)

Understanding what is in your health record and how your health information is used will help you to ensure its accuracy. It will also allow you to better understand who, what, when, where and why others may access your health information and assist you in making more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure of your protected health information to others. When you visit us, we keep a record of your symptoms, examination, test results, diagnoses, treatment plan, and other medical information. We also may obtain health records from other providers. In using and disclosing this protected health information (PHI), we will follow the privacy standards of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 45 CFR Part 464. The law allows us to use and disclose PHI without your specific authorization for treatment, payment, operations and other specific purposes explained below.

Understanding your health information rights

You have the right to:

  • Request a restriction on the uses and disclosures of PHI as described in this notice, although we are not required to agree to the restriction you request. You should address your request in writing to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine privacy officer. We will notify you within 30 days if we cannot agree to the restriction;
  • Obtain a paper copy of this notice and upon written request, inspect and obtain a copy of your health record for a fee of $0.60 per page and the actual cost of postage per NRS 629.061. You are not entitled to access or to obtain a copy of psychotherapy notes or information compiled for legal proceedings;
  • Amend your health record by submitting a written request with the reasons supporting the request to the privacy officer. In most cases, we will respond within 30 days. We are not required to agree to the requested amendment;
  • Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information. We are not required to account for disclosures for treatment, payment, operations, or disclosures you have authorized, among other exceptions;
  • Request in writing to the privacy officer that we communicate with you by a specific method and at a specific location. We will typically communicate with you in person or by letter, fax, email, and/or telephone;
  • Revoke an authorization to use or disclose PHI at any time except where action has already been taken.

Understanding our responsibilities

We are required by law to:

  • Maintain the privacy of PHI and provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI;
  • Abide by the terms of the notice currently in effect. We have the right to change our notice of privacy practices and we will apply the change to all of your PHI, including information obtained prior to the change;
  • Post notice of any changes to our Privacy Policy in the lobby and make a copy available to you upon request;
  • Use or disclose your PHI only with your authorization except as described in this notice.

Examples of disclosures that do not require your authorization include:

Treatment

We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, medical assistants, medical students or other University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine personnel who are involved in your care at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. For example, a doctor treating you for a broken leg may need to know if you have diabetes because diabetes may slow the healing process.

Payment

Also, we may use and disclose medical information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine may be billed to, and payment may be collected from, you, an insurance company or a third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about treatment you received at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine so that your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the treatment. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine your plan's coverage of the treatment.

Healthcare operations

We may use and disclose medical information about you for health care operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and make sure that all of our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use medical information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff. Additionally, we may contact you for patient satisfaction surveys.

Appointment reminders

We may contact you to remind you that you have an appointment at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

Treatment alternatives

We may tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.

Health-related benefits and services

We may contact you to tell you about benefits or services that we provide.

Fundraising activities

We may contact you to provide information about University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine sponsored activities, including fundraising programs and events. We would only use contact information, such as your name, address and phone number and the dates you received treatment or services at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

News gathering activities

A member of your health care team may contact you or one of your family members to discuss whether or not you want to participate in a media or news story. News reporters often seek interviews with patients injured in accidents or experiencing particular medical conditions or procedures.

Directory information

We may disclose limited information regarding your name and location for directory purposes to those persons who ask for you by name or to members of the clergy. You may request that we not include your name in the directory.

Individuals involved in your care or payment for your care

We may release medical information to anyone involved in your medical care, for example a friend, family member, personal representative, or any individual you identify. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care.

Disaster relief efforts

We may disclose medical information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status and location.

Research

The University of Nevada, Reno is a research institution. All research projects conducted by the University of Nevada, Reno must be approved through a special review process to protect patient safety, welfare and confidentiality. Your medical information may be important to further research efforts and the development of new knowledge. We may use and disclose medical information about our patients for research purposes, subject to the confidentiality provisions of state and federal law. On occasion, researchers contact patients regarding their interest in participating in certain research studies. Enrollment in those studies can only occur after you have been informed about the study, had an opportunity to ask questions, and indicated your willingness to participate by signing a consent form. When approved through a special review process, other studies may be performed using your medical information without requiring your consent. These studies will not affect your treatment or welfare, and your medical information will continue to be protected. For example, a research study may involve a chart review to compare the outcomes of patients who received different types of treatment.

As required by law

We will disclose medical information about you when required to do so by federal or state law.

To avert a serious threat to health or safety

We may use and disclose medical information about you when necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure would be to someone able to help stop or reduce the threat.

Special situations

Organ and tissue donation

If you are an organ donor, we may release medical information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank, as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.

Military and veterans

If you are or were a member of the armed forces, we may release medical information about you to military command authorities as authorized or required by law. We may also release medical information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority as authorized or required by law.

Workers' compensation

We may use or disclose medical information about you for workers' compensation or similar programs as authorized or required by law. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses.

Public health disclosures

We may disclose medical information about you for public health purposes. These purposes generally include the following:

  • preventing or controlling disease (such as cancer and tuberculosis), injury or disability;
  • reporting vital events such as births and deaths;
  • reporting child abuse or neglect;
  • reporting adverse events or surveillance related to food, medications or defects or problems with products;
  • notifying persons of recalls, repairs or replacements of products they may be using;
  • notifying a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition; reporting to the employer findings concerning a work-related illness or injury or workplace-related medical surveillance;
  • notifying the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence and make this disclosure as authorized or required by law.
Health oversight activities

We may disclose medical information to governmental, licensing, auditing, and accrediting agencies as authorized or required by law.

Legal proceedings

We may disclose medical information to courts, attorneys and court employees in the course of conservator-ship and certain other judicial or administrative proceedings.

Lawsuits and other legal actions

In connection with lawsuits or other legal proceedings, we may disclose medical information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena, discovery request, warrant, summons or other lawful process.

Law enforcement

If asked to do so by law enforcement, and as authorized or required by law, we may release medical information

  • to identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person;
  • about a suspected victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person's agreement;
  • about a death suspected to be the result of criminal conduct;
  • about criminal conduct at University Health System;
  • in case of a medical emergency, to report a crime, the location of the crime or victims, or the identity, description or location of the person who committed the crime.
Coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors

In most circumstances, we may disclose medical information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary, for example, to identify a deceased person or determine cause of death. We may also disclose medical information about patients of University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.

National security and intelligence activities

As authorized or required by law, we may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities.

Protective services for the president and others

As authorized or required by law, we may disclose medical information about you to authorized federal officials so they may conduct special investigations or provide protection to the President, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state.

Inmates

If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of law enforcement officials, we may release medical information about you to the correctional institution as authorized or required by law.

Disclosures requiring authorization

All other disclosures of protected health information will only be made pursuant to your written authorization, which you have the right to revoke at any time, except to the extent we have already relied upon the authorization.

Acknowledgement of receipt

Federal law requires that we seek your acknowledgment of receipt of this Notice of Privacy Practices, effective April 14, 2003. Please signify your acknowledgement with your signature beneath the following statement:

I have received or I have been provided the opportunity to receive a copy of the "Notice of Privacy Practices" that explains when, where, and why my confidential health information may be used or shared. I acknowledge that University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, the physicians, the nurses, and other University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine staff may use and share my confidential health information with others in order to treat me, in order to arrange for payment of my bill and for issues that concern University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine's operations and responsibilities. I further acknowledge that I understand that if I have any questions regarding this Notice, or wish to file a complaint, I may contact the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine privacy officer listed below. I also understand that no other staff member, physician or nurse or any other person is authorized to accept a request to exercise my rights but the privacy officer for University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

Privacy Officer
University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
401 West Second Street, Suite 227
Reno, Nevada 89503

Tel (775) 784-1223 ext. 286