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Confidentiality

Widener University Health Services is designated as a covered entity by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and as such is governed by the privacy and security regulations provided within the HIPAA legislation. The Health Service Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) is made in compliance with the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (the Privacy Standards) established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and summarizes the privacy practices of the Health Services at Widener University.

Protected Health Information

Protected Health Information (PHI), as defined by HIPAA and its accompanying regulations (the Privacy Standards), is individually identifiable health information, including demographic information, that is created, received, transmitted or maintained by Health Services, regardless of form (oral, written, or electronic), that relates to:

  • the past, present or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual;
  • the provision of health care services to an individual; or
  • the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.

PHI may include, but is not necessarily limited to, medical records, billing records, medical images, consultant reports, laboratory or other diagnostic testing results, and any other individually identifiable information.

Confidentiality of Records

All PHI created, received, transmitted, or maintained by Health Services is confidential and remains the property of Health Services. Confidentiality extends to PHI in any medium, including information that is on paper, in the computer systems of Widener University, or communicated verbally.

Employees may not divulge, copy, transfer, alter, or destroy any PHI, or remove any PHI from Health Services, except as authorized by Health Services. Employees must hold in strictest confidence any and all access codes, passwords, and/or authorizations provided by Health Services as an Employee of Health Services.

Administrative Safeguards

Health Services has implemented appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of PHI and to safeguard PHI from any intentional or unintentional uses or disclosures that are in violation of the Privacy Standards and/or the policies and procedures of Health Services. Employees must strictly comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and all policies and procedures established by Health Services relating to the confidentiality and protection of PHI.

Release of Records

Medical records are released only with the completion of a Widener University Health Services Release of Information Form. Requests for copies of medical records require a 48-hour waiting period.

Medical Excuses

Student Health Services does not issue written medical excuses covering class absences, missed examination, etc.

At the request of a professor and with the written permission of the student, a healthcare provider can verify visits to the Health Center. If a student is required to miss classes due to an illness, we recommend that the student contact his/her professors to inform them of the absence.