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Privacy & Confidentiality

Information in your medical record at Norris Health Center is confidential and will only be released to another individual or facility by your request and signed release, except as otherwise required by law. If you choose to use e-mail to contact your provider, please be aware that it is not a confidential means to communications. Please see Norris Health Center's e-mail guidelines for more detailed information.

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.

Each time you visit or contact the Norris Health Center (NHC), a record is made. This record contains identifiable information about your health, your health care, and your payment for health care and is referred to as your "health information". The health care information of students maintained by us is protected by a Federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and several state laws. Your health information may not be disclosed without your written consent unless otherwise allowed by law. In the course of providing health care and training health care professionals, NHC creates, maintains and may disclose your health information. The purpose of this notice is to describe the privacy practices that we will use related to your health information. Our privacy practices are intended to protect the confidentiality of the health information that specifically identifies or could be used to identify you. We are providing you with this Notice about our privacy practices so you know how, when and why we may use or disclose your health information. Except in the situations set out in the Notice, we will use or disclose only the minimum necessary health information to carry out the use or disclosure.

We may change the terms of this notice if its privacy practices change or as Federal or state requirements change. Each notice will have an effective date listed on the document. We reserve the right to make the amended notice effective for any health information we have at the time the change is made, as well as for future health information. If we revise the Notice, you may read the new version of the Notice of Privacy Practices on our website at http://www.nhc.uwm.edu/. You also may request a revised copy of the Notice by calling us at 414-229-4716 and asking us to mail you a copy or requesting a copy at your next appointment.

Uses and Disclosures of Your Health Information For the Purpose of Providing You With Medical Care

Providing you with treatment, collecting payment, and conducting health operations are necessary activities for delivering health care. In many instances, state and federal law allows NHC to make the following disclosures without your express consent. However, in some instances, that is not the case. As a result, you will be asked to sign a separate consent to allow NHC to make the following disclosures as it deems appropriate:

For treatment purposes. We may disclose your health information to doctors, nurses and others who provide your health care. For example, your information may be shared with people performing lab work or x-rays, your primary care physician, or to a specialist or emergency room where you are receiving care.

To obtain payment. We may disclose your health information in order to collect payment for your health care. For instance, we may release information to your insurance company.

For health care operations. We may use or disclose your health information in order to perform business functions like employee evaluations, improving the services we provide, and for accreditation, certification or licensing purposes. We may disclose your information to students training with us. We may use your information to contact you to remind you of your appointment or to call you by name in the waiting room when your doctor is ready to see you.

Uses and Disclosures of Your Health Information That Do Not Require Your Authorization

When required by law. We may be required to disclose your health information to law enforcement officers, courts or government agencies. For example, we may have to report abuse, neglect or certain physical injuries.

For public health activities. We may be required to report your health information to government agencies to prevent or control disease or injury. We also may have to report work-related illnesses and injuries to your employer so that your workplace may be monitored for safety.

For health oversight activities. We may be required to disclose your health information to government agencies so that they can monitor or license health care providers such as doctors and nurses.

For activities related to death. We may be required to disclose your health information to coroners, medical examiners and funeral directors so that they can carry out duties related to your death, such as determining the cause of death or preparing your body for burial. We also may disclose your information to those involved with locating, storing or transplanting donor organs or tissue.

For studies. In order to serve our patient community, we may use or disclose your health information for research studies, but only after UWM's Institutional Review Board or a special privacy board approves use. In most cases, your information will be used for studies only with your permission.

To avert a threat to health or safety. In order to avoid a serious threat to health or safety, we may disclose health information to law enforcement officers or other persons who might prevent or lessen that threat.

For specific government functions. In certain situations, we may disclose health information of military officers and veterans to correctional facilities, to government benefit programs and for national security reasons.

For workers' compensation purposes. We may disclose your health information to government authorities under workers' compensation laws.

Communicating Additional Services Provided by NHC. Under certain conditions, NHC may use your health information to inform you of additional or health-related services it has to offer.

Uses and Disclosures of Your Health Information That Require Your Authorization

Without your permission, we will not use or disclose your health information under any circumstances that are not described in this Notice or otherwise permitted by law.

Your Rights Regarding Your Health Information
You have the following rights related to your health information:

To inspect and request a copy of your health information. You may look at and obtain a copy of your health information in most cases. You may not view or copy psychotherapy notes, information collected for use in a legal or government action and information that you cannot access by law.

To request that we correct your health information. If you think that there is a mistake or a gap in our file of your health information, you may ask us in writing to correct the file. We may deny your request if we find that the file is correct and complete, not created by us, or not allowed to be disclosed. If we deny your request, we will explain our reasons for the denial and your right to have the request and denial with your written response added to your file. If we approve your request, we will change the file, report that change to you, and tell others that need to know about the change in your file.

To request a restriction on the use or disclosure of your health information. You may ask us to limit how we use or disclose your information, but we do not have to agree to your request. If we agree to all or part of your request, we will put our agreement in writing and obey it except in emergency situations. We cannot limit uses or disclosures that are required by law.

To request confidential communication methods. You may ask that we contact you at a certain address or in a certain way. We will agree to your request as long as it is reasonably easy for us to do so.

To find out what disclosures have been made. You may get a list describing when, to whom, why, and what of your health information has been disclosed during the past six years. We will respond to your request within sixty days of receiving it. We will only charge you for the list if you request more than one list per year. The list will not include disclosures made to you or for purposes of treatment, payment, health care operations, national security, law enforcement, and certain health oversight activities.

To obtain a paper copy of this Notice. Upon your request, we will give you a paper copy of this Notice.

If you have any questions about these rights, please contact the NHC Privacy Officer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Norris Health Center, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI, 53201-0413, telephone: 414-229-2980.

How to Complain about Our Privacy Practices

If you think we may have violated your privacy rights, or if you disagree with a decision we made about your health information, you may file a complaint with the NHC Privacy Officer by writing to NHC Privacy Officer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201.

We will take no action against you if you make a complaint.

How to Receive More Information About our Privacy Practices

If you have questions about this Notice or about our privacy practices, please contact the NHC Privacy Officer, Beth K. Becker Vilkkila, at 414-229-2980.

Effective Date

This Notice became effective on September 4, 2013.


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