Confidentiality

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Policy

The Moore Moore Student Health Center, hereinafter referred to as the Health Center, is firmly committed to preserving the confidentiality of all patient encounters within the limitations of the law of the State of Tennessee and the requirements of third party payors. Health Center employees include all Health Center staff; Health Center student employees; the physician and/or nurse practioner; the physician and/or nurse practioner′s contract vendors.

Practices

Patients who come to the Health Center may anticipate that healthcare providers and other Clinic employees will treat patient information as confidential and will act in such a manner to protect the privacy and confidentiality of both clinical and personal information. This means that no sensitive information will be discussed with a student′s parents unless authorized by the student, except in situations as listed below in Limitations of Confidentiality. Confidential services include, but are not limited to, contraception, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted disease, treatment for alcohol and drug abuse, and mental health services.

Patients must understand, however, that there are circumstances in which certain aspects of their healthcare services can be and will be made available to outside parties. These parties may include, but may not be limited to, health insurance companies and other payment guarantors such as parents, legal guardians, or third party payors. This loss of complete confidentiality occurs because of the need to report healthcare services to insurance companies and/or in situations as listed below in confidentiality limitations. Information which may be made available can include diagnoses, diagnostic testing information, therapeutic procedures and prescription drug information.

Patients having specific questions about confidentiality should address their concerns to the nurse practitioner or nurse at the time of service. There are a number of ways the student and healthcare professional can work together to preserve confidentiality in sensitive matters.

Any concerns about confidentiality of information should be brought to the attention Patricia Sterba, Director of the Student Health Center.

Limitations of Confidentiality

Confidentiality is limited in the following situations:
1) A court order or subpoena for medical records is issued
2) A patient is determined to be at risk of harm to self or others
3) The patient makes or authorizes a claim under a health insurance or other health benefit plan or otherwise designates someone else as responsible for payment
4) The law requires reporting of information (e.g., communicable diseases, injury by violent means) 
5) The patient is a minor

In any of these situations, information in medical records may be released, without the consent of the patient, to necessary parties, which may include but not be limited to, a court of law; parents; health insurance companies and other payment guarantors such as parents, legal guardians or third party payors; College officials; public health officers; and other healthcare professionals or law enforcement authorities.

In Tennessee, persons under the age of 18 (minors) generally must have the consent of an adult parent to obtain medical treatment. Parents of minors who obtain medical treatment will likewise normally be entitled to information about that treatment. Exceptions are recognized for the provision of contraceptives, drug abuse treatment, prenatal care, and emergency care.