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Privacy as it Pertains to Health Information on Students, Faculty, and Staff
The State University of New York adheres to the federal laws that are a part of HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). The primary purpose of these laws is to standardize transactions and codes, protect individual identifiable health information (PHI), notify patients of their rights with regard to protection and disclosure of their health information, and cost reduction in health care.
This patient privacy requirement is nothing new. There are several laws such as the Privacy Act of 1974, the New York State mental hygiene law protecting mental health records, and the New York State public health laws regarding AIDS and alcohol and drug records that have addressed patient privacy for many years.
Each department at the college has set guidelines that adhere to HIPAA regulations as they pertain to that individual department. More stringent rules apply, of course, to our Health and Wellness Services and Human Resources Offices. Information about a student's health or condition is kept strictly confidential and released only with the written consent of the student. This applies to students 18 years of age and over. Under the age of 18, parental or guardian consent must be obtained. This confidentiality of information is strictly adhered to, including non-disclosure to parents, guardians, faculty, or anyone else without the written consent of the student.
For more information about HIPAA, you may access the government Web site at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa.