NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED.
IF YOU ARE A STUDENT:
The privacy of your health records at Student Health Services (SHS) is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the Virginia Health Records Privacy law, Va. Code § 32.1-127.1:03 (VHRP). Both of these laws limit the ways in which your health records can be shared without your consent.
Under FERPA, the records maintained by Mason Student Health Services are either Treatment Records or Education Records. The majority of records maintained at Student Health Services are considered to be Treatment Records. Treatment records are records that are made or maintained by a health care professional; are used only for your medical or psychological treatment; and are shared only with other treatment providers. Education Records are records maintained by SHS that are not related to your treatment or records related to your medical or psychological treatment that have been shared with individuals other than your treatment providers (e.g., you or others whom you have given consent to receive your records). Additionally, any record maintained by SHS related to you and the health services provided to you are also protected by the VHRP.
What this means in practice, is that we may disclose your records to other healthcare providers who are also providing you with treatment. In general, we will ask you to sign a written consent form before we provide your information to another healthcare provider for treatment. If there is an emergency situation, however, we may provide this information to other providers for your treatment without having you sign a written consent. At your request, we will also provide your Treatment Records to a healthcare provider for review. We will also ask you to sign a written consent before we disclose your Student Health Services records to anyone for a purpose other than treatment, unless the disclosure is permissible under both FERPA and the VHRP. Some examples of situations where we may disclose records without your consent are (1) in connection with SHS’s internal operations, (2) in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or other judicial order, (3) when required by law, (4) in order to obtain payment, (5) to defend SHS or its employees against an accusation of wrongdoing related to your treatment by SHS, or (6) in the case of an emergency or to address a public health situation. Your privacy right in your health records continues even if you are no longer a student at Mason.
For a copy of your health records ask the Front Office for a Release of Health Records From Mason form or go online https://shs.gmu.edu/about/forms/. There is a fee to obtain a copy of your records.
If you would like to file a complaint regarding the privacy of your health records, you may contact the University’s FERPA Compliance Specialist or the Family Policy Compliance Office within the U.S. Department of Education. If you have additional questions about FERPA, please see the University’s Annual Notice of Privacy Rights under FERPA, available on the Mason Registrar’s website: https://registrar.gmu.edu/ferpa/annual-notification-ofrights/.
IF YOU ARE NOT A STUDENT:
The privacy of your health records at SHS is governed by the Virginia Health Records Privacy law, VA Code § 32.1-127.1:03. In general, your health records may not be shared without obtaining your consent except (1) when necessary in connection with the care of the individual, (2) in connection with SHS’s internal operations, (3) in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or other judicial order, (4) when required by law, (5) in order to obtain payment, (6) to defend SHS or its employees against an accusation of wrongdoing related to your treatment by SHS, or (7) if another exception provided by the Virginia Health Records Privacy law applies. Before sharing your health records in any manner not authorized by the Virginia Health Records Privacy law, SHS will obtain your affirmative written consent.
You have the right to obtain a copy of your health records, except as provided in the Virginia Health Records Privacy law. For a copy of your health records ask the Front Office for a Release of Health Records From Mason form or go online https://shs.gmu.edu/about/forms/. There is a fee to obtain a copy of your records.
If you would like to file a complaint regarding the privacy of your health records, you may contact the SHS Privacy Officer by calling 703 993-2831 or writing to the Privacy Officer of George Mason University Student Health Services at 4400 University Drive, MSN 2D3, Fairfax, VA 22030.
To file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health & Human Services, contact them on-line or write to them at 200 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C., 20201
FOR ALL PATIENTS:
George Mason Student Health Services is required to abide by the terms set forth in this privacy notice but we reserve the right to change the terms and to make the new privacy notice in a prominent location within our offices and provide you with a copy of the revised notice.