Translate
Giving
Menu
Search

Notice of Privacy Practices

Effective Date: September 23, 2013

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.

UC San Diego Health System

UC San Diego Health System is one of the health care components of the University of California (UC). UC health care components consist of the UC medical centers, the UC medical groups, clinics and physician offices, the UC schools of medicine and other health professional schools, departments engaged in clinical care, the student health service areas on some campuses, employee health units on some campuses, and the administrative and operational units that are part of the health care components of the University of California.

Our Pledge Regarding Your Health Information

UC San Diego Health System is committed to protecting medical, mental health and personal information about you (“Health Information”). We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your Health Information, provide you information about our legal duties and privacy practices, inform you of your rights and the ways in which we may use Health Information and disclose it to other entities and persons.

How We May Use and Disclose Health Information About You

The following sections describe different ways that we may use and disclose your Health Information. Some information, such as certain drug and alcohol information, HIV information, genetic information and mental health information is entitled to special restrictions related to its use and disclosure. Not every use or disclosure will be listed. All of the ways we are permitted to use and disclose information, however, will fall within one of the following categories. Other uses and disclosures not described in this Notice will be made only if we have your written authorization.

For Treatment
We may use Health Information about you to provide you with medical and mental health treatment or services. We may disclose Health Information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, students or other health system personnel who are involved in taking care of you in the health system. 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. A doctor treating you for a mental condition may need to know what medications you are currently taking, because the medications may affect what other medications may be prescribed to you. We may also share Health Information about you with other non-UC San Diego Health System providers. The disclosure of your Health Information to non-UC San Diego Health System providers may be done electronically through a health information exchange that allows providers involved in your care to access some of your UC San Diego Health System records to coordinate services for you.

For Payment
We may use and disclose Health Information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at UC San Diego Health System or from other entities, such as an ambulance company, 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 information to your health plan about surgery or therapy you received at UC San Diego Health System so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the surgery or therapy. We may also tell your health plan about a proposed treatment to determine whether your plan will pay for the treatment.

For Health Care Operations
We may use and disclose Health Information about you for our business operations. For example, your Health Information may be used to review the quality and safety of our services, or for business planning, management and administrative services. We may contact you about alternative treatment options for you or about other benefits or services we provide. We may also use and disclose your health information to an outside company that performs services for us such as accreditation, legal, computer or auditing services. These outside companies are called “business associates” and are required by law to keep your Health Information confidential. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical and other students, and other health system personnel for performance improvement and educational purposes.

Appointment Reminders
We may contact you to remind you that you have an appointment at UC San Diego Health System.

Fundraising Activities
We may contact you to provide information about UC San Diego Health System-sponsored activities, including fundraising programs and events. We may use contact information, such as your name, address and phone number, date of birth, physician name, the outcome of your care, department where you received services and the dates you received treatment or services at UC San Diego Health System. You may opt-out of receiving fundraising information for the UC San Diego Health System by contacting us at the toll-free number 1-800-588-2734 or by email optout-hsdev@ucsd.edu.

Hospital Directory
If you are hospitalized, we may include certain limited information about you in the hospital directory. This is so your family, friends and clergy can visit you in the hospital and generally know how you are doing. This information may include your name, location in the hospital, your general condition (e.g., fair, stable, etc.) and your religious affiliation. The directory information, except for your religious affiliation, may also be released to people who ask for you by name. Your religious affiliation may be given to members of the clergy, such as ministers or rabbis, even if they don’t ask for you by name. You have the opportunity to limit the release of directory information by telling UC San Diego Health System at the time of your hospitalization.

Our disclosure of this information about you if you are hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital will be more limited.

Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment for Your Care
We may release medical information to anyone involved in your medical care, e.g., a friend, family member, personal representative or any individual you identify. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. We may also tell your family or friends about your general condition and that you are in the hospital.

Disaster Relief Efforts
We may disclose Health Information about you to an entity assisting in a disaster relief effort so that others can be notified about your condition, status and location.

Research
The University of California is a research institution. We may disclose Health Information about you for research purposes, subject to the confidentiality provisions of state and federal law. All research projects involving patients or the information about living patients conducted by the University of California must be approved through a special review process to protect patient safety, welfare and confidentiality.

In addition to disclosing Health Information for research, researchers may contact patients regarding their interest in participating in certain research studies. Researchers may only contact you if they have been given approval to do so by the special review process. You will only become a part of one of these research projects if you agree to do so and sign a specific permission form called an Authorization. When approved through a special review process, other studies may be performed using your Health Information without requiring your authorization. These studies will not affect your treatment or welfare, and your Health Information will continue to be protected.

As Required By Law
We will disclose Health Information about you when required to do so by federal or state law.

To Prevent a Serious Threat to Health or Safety
We may use and disclose Health 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.

Organ and Tissue Donation
If you are an organ donor, we may release your Health Information to organizations that obtain, bank or transplant organs, eyes or tissue, 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 Health Information about you to military command authorities as authorized or required by law.

Workers’ Compensation
We may use or disclose Health Information about you for Workers’ Compensation or similar programs as authorized or required by law. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.

Public Health Disclosures
We may disclose Health Information about you for public health activities such as:

  • 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.

Abuse and Neglect Reporting
We may disclose your Health Information to a government authority that is permitted by law to receive reports of abuse, neglect or domestic violence.

Health Oversight Activities
We may disclose Health Information to governmental, licensing, auditing and accrediting agencies as authorized or required by law.

Lawsuits and Other Legal Proceedings
We may disclose Health Information to courts, attorneys and court employees in the course of conservatorship, writs and certain other judicial or administrative proceedings. We may also disclose Health Information about you in response to a court or administrative order, or in response to a subpoena, discovery request, warrant or other lawful process.

Law Enforcement
If asked to do so by law enforcement, and as authorized or required by law, we may release Health Information:

  • To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, certain escapees, 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 UC San Diego Health System; and
  • 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
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 UC San Diego Health System to funeral directors as necessary to carry out their duties.

National Security and Intelligence Activities
As required by law, we may disclose Health Information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence and other national security activities.

Protective Services for the President and Others
As required by law, we may disclose Health 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 Health Information about you to the correctional institution as authorized or required by law.

Psychotherapy Notes
Psychotherapy notes means notes recorded (in any medium) by a health care provider who is a mental health professional documenting or analyzing the contents of conversation during a private counseling session or a group, joint, or family counseling session and that are separated from the rest of the individual’s medical record.

Psychotherapy notes have additional protections under federal law and most uses or disclosures of psychotherapy require your written authorization.

Psychotherapy notes have additional protections under federal law and most uses or disclosures of psychotherapy require your written authorization.

Marketing or Sale of Health Information
Most uses and disclosures of your Health Information for marketing purposes or any sale of your Health Information would require your written authorization.

Other Uses and Disclosures of Health Information

Other uses and disclosures of Health Information not covered by this Notice will be made only with your written authorization. If you authorize us to use or disclose your Health Information, you may revoke that authorization, in writing, at any time. However, the revocation will not be effective for information that we have already used and disclosed in reliance on the authorization.

Your Rights Regarding Your Health Information

Your Health Information is the property of UC San Diego Health System. You have the following rights regarding the Health Information we maintain about you:

Right to Inspect and Copy`
With certain exceptions, you have the right to inspect and/or receive a copy of your Health Information. If we have the information in electronic format then you have the right to get your Health Information in electronic format if it is possible for us to do so. If not, we will work with you to agree on a way for you to get the information electronically or as a paper copy.

To inspect and/or to receive a copy of your Health Information, you must submit your request in writing to Health Information Services, UC San Diego Medical Center, 200 West Arbor Drive, MC 8825, San Diego, CA 92103-8825, Attn: Release of Information Unit. If you request a copy of the information, there is a fee for these services.

We may deny your request to inspect and/or to receive a copy in certain limited circumstances. If you are denied access to Health Information, in most cases, you may have the denial reviewed. Another licensed health care professional chosen by UC San Diego Health System will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.

Right to Request an Amendment or Addendum
If you feel that Health Information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information or add an addendum (addition to the record). You have the right to request an amendment or addendum for as long as the information is kept by or for UC San Diego Health System.

Amendment
To request an amendment, your request must be made in writing and submitted to the Health Information Services, Attn: Release of Information Unit; UC San Diego Medical Center, 200 West Arbor Drive, MC 8825, San Diego, CA 92103-8825: call 619-543-6704 or fax 619-543-7128. You must be specific about the information that you believe to be incorrect or incomplete and you must provide a reason that support the request.

We may deny your request for an amendment if it is not in writing, we cannot determine from the request the information you are asking to be changed or corrected or your request does not include a reason to support the change or addition. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:

  • Was not created by UC San Diego Health System;
  • Is not part of the Health Information kept by or for UC San Diego Health System;
  • Is not part of the information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy; or
  • UC San Diego Health System believes to be accurate and complete.

Addendum
To submit an addendum, the addendum must be made in writing and submitted to the Health Information Services, Attn: Release of Information Unit; UC San Diego Medical Center, 200 West Arbor Drive, MC 8825, San Diego, CA 92103-8825: call 619-543-6704 or fax 619-543-7128. An addendum must not be longer than 250 words per alleged incomplete or incorrect item in your record.

Right to an Accounting of Disclosures
You have the right to receive a list of certain disclosures we have made of your Health Information.

To request this accounting of disclosures, you must submit your request in writing to the Health Information Services, Attn: Release of Information Unit; UC San Diego Medical Center, 200 West Arbor Drive, MC 8825, San Diego, CA 92103-8825: call 619-543-6704 or fax 619-543-7128. Your request must state a time period that may not be longer than the six previous years. You are entitled to one accounting within any 12-month period at no cost. If you request a second accounting within that 12-month period, there will be a charge for the cost of compiling the accounting. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.

Right to Request Restrictions
You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the Health Information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the Health Information we disclose about you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, such as a family member or friend.

To request a restriction, you must make your request in writing to the Health Information Services, Attn: Release of Information Unit; UC San Diego Medical Center, 200 West Arbor Drive, MC 8825, San Diego, CA 92103-8825: call 619-543-6704 or fax 619-543-7128. In your request, you must tell us (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply, for example, only to you and your spouse. We are not required to agree to your request except in the limited circumstance described below. If we do agree, our agreement must be in writing, and we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency care.

We are required to agree to a request not to share your information with your health plan, if the following conditions are met:

  1. We are not otherwise required by law to share the information;
  2. The information would be shared with your insurance company for payment purposes;
  3. You pay the entire amount due for the health care item or service out of your own pocket or someone else pays the entire amount for you.

Right to Request Confidential Communications
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about your Health Information in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you may ask that we contact you only at home or only by mail.

To request confidential medical communications, you must make your request in writing to the Health Information Services, Attn: Release of Information Unit; UC San Diego Medical Center, 200 West Arbor Drive, MC 8825, San Diego, CA 92103-8825: call 619-543-6704 or fax 619-543-7128. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.

Right to a Paper Copy of this Notice
You have the right to a paper copy of this Notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this Notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this Notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this Notice.

Copies of this Notice are available throughout UC San Diego Health System, or you may obtain a copy at our website: health.ucsd.edu.

Right to be Notified of a Breach
You have the right to be notified if we or one of our Business Associates discovers a breach of unsecured Health information about you.

Changes to UC San Diego Health System’s Privacy Practices and this Notice

We reserve the right to change UC San Diego Health System’s privacy practices and this Notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed Notice effective for Health Information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current Notice throughout UC San Diego Health System. In addition, at any time you may request a copy of the current Notice in effect.

If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact:

Patient Experience
UC San Diego Health System
200 West Arbor Drive, Mail Code 8916
San Diego, CA 92103 - 8916
Call 619-543-5678 or fax 619-543-6817; E-mail: welisten@ucsd.edu

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with UC San Diego Health System or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights. To file a written complaint with UC San Diego Health System contact:

Patient Experience
UC San Diego Health System
200 West Arbor Drive, Mail Code 8916
San Diego, CA 92103 - 8916
Call 619-543-5678 or fax 619-543-6817.

You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.