About the PCHS
Our mission is:
To provide excellent clinical health care to Barnard students of all genders and identities in a sensitive, nonjudgmental and responsive manner. To promote the health of body, mind, and spirit within the student community. To educate students to become knowledgeable and effective users of health care.
Services are available to all students regardless of insurance status.
Barnard College Primary Care Health Service adheres to strict standards of confidentiality regarding information about a student’s illness, health care services rendered, or any other privileged information to which the Primary Care Health Service has access.
Strict standards of confidentiality are maintained in our clinical services. Clinicians work as a team and consult with one another, as needed. When necessary to ensure the quality and coordination of health care, there may also be communication with other health-related services at Barnard including the Furman Counseling Center, Denise LeFrak Foundation Alcohol and Substance Awareness Program (ASAP), the Office of Disability Services (ODS) and the Barnard-Columbia Rape Crisis Anti-Violence Support Center.
The Primary Care Health Service maintains secure and private treatment records. These records are not part of a student’s educational records and are not available to a student’s deans or faculty. To further protect privacy, we require a student's written consent to release information about her care. This includes giving information to her parents/family. Information is released in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
There are rare exceptions to the right to privacy and to the confidentiality practices described above, such as in situations that pose a threat to life or in which there is reason to believe a child is being abused. If you have questions regarding our confidentiality policies, please contact us at 1-212-854-2091.
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.
I. About this Notice
This notice applies to the Barnard College Primary Care Health Service (PCHS) employees. PCHS values every patient's right to privacy, and will not release individually identifiable health information without your permission, unless such action is in accordance with state and federal law, or under the circumstances stated in this notice.
The PCHS reserves the right to change these practices at any time and to make new provisions effective for all confidential health information we maintain. In case of such amendment, we will post a revised notice on the PCHS website.
II. PCHS Responsibilities
All PCHS staff members are required to uphold your privacy in all settings. We have procedural and electronic safeguards in place that protect your health information. As your health care provider we have the responsibility to:
- Maintain the privacy of health information that identifies you
- Provide you with a notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to your health information
- Abide by the terms of this notice
- Notify you if we are unable to agree to a restriction you have requested in writing
III. Use and Disclosure of Health Information
As a patient of the PCHS, you consent that we use your health information for internal purposes to provide you with the best possible care. Confidential health information will be shared, without your authorization, to ensure appropriate:
- Treatment - to a provider, such as physicians, hospitals, and others who provide medical care and services to you
- Payment - to an insurance company
- Health Care Operations – that are intended to improve the quality of care through activities such as accreditation, quality assessment and training
The PCHS will also disclose health information for external purposes, without your authorization, to the following entities:
- Public Health or Other Authority – in order to avert a serious threat to health or safety (for example, to report a contagious disease). Disclosure would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat or resolve the unsafe crisis.
- Government or Regulatory Body - a law enforcement agency to investigate a crime; in response to a judicial subpoena or other required legal proceeding; specialized government functions such as national security and intelligence activities; health oversight activities such as audits; or to report a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence when mandated by law
- Professions Relating to Decedents - coroners, medical examiners, or funeral directors
- Others as required by law. Some examples include: organ and tissue donor facilitation, authorized research purposes, workers’ compensation or similar programs, and reports under the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (“SAFE Act”) of individuals “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others” and who therefore may be prohibited from legally possessing a firearms license.
- Situations in which disclosure is necessary to ensure safety or protect life.
IV. Patient Rights
Although your health record is the physical property of the PCHS, the information belongs to you. If you request a copy of your health record, one will be provided to you within ten business days. Under federal law, you also have the right upon written request to:
- Receive a paper copy of this notice of privacy practices
- Appeal for a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information
- Amend your health record, when inaccurate or incomplete
- Obtain an accounting of certain disclosures of your health information
- Rescind your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken
V. Complaints or Questions
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with Barnard College’s General Counsel or with the New York State Department of Health.
You have the right to be treated with respect, consideration, and dignity and to be seen in privacy.
It is expected that these considerations are reciprocated by you to all providers, staff, patients and visitors at this site.
You have the right to receive treatment without discrimination as to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.
You have the right to be provided care in a private, clean and safe environment.
Your medical records are confidential. Unless required by law, they will not be released outside of the Primary Care Health Service without your written consent.
You are entitled to all information concerning your diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and prognosis.
You have the right to request information and discuss information in regard to end of life care and advanced directives.
You are entitled to participate in decisions regarding your health care.
Whenever possible, we will attempt to make your appointment with the provider of your choice.
You are entitled to change providers if you are not comfortable with your current provider.
You have the right to request to see or inquire about the credentials of your healthcare provider.
You have the right to refuse to participate in any research project that may be offered through the Barnard Primary Care Health Service without in any way jeopardizing your right to care.
You have the right to refuse treatment, examination and observation and be told what effect this may have on your health.
As agreed to in your health insurance waiver, you accept financial responsibility for any charges not covered by your health insurance.
We will provide all services in a language you are most comfortable and familiar with.
You have the right to give us feedback, both positive and negative, about any aspect of the Primary Care Health Service. You can do so in person, through the Suggestion Box located directly outside to the right of the Health Service door, or directly to the Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness Mary Joan Murphy via telephone at 212-854-2091.
You are responsible for providing us with complete and accurate information about your health, to the best of your ability, including allergies and any medications or supplements, both prescription and over-the-counter, that you are currently taking.
We ask that you follow the treatment plan prescribed by your provider and to ask questions if you are unsure. Our goal is to provide you with excellent medical care, both on site and through referral. We ask that you treat us with courtesy as we work together to meet your health needs.
You have the right to understand and use these rights. If for any reason you need help in understanding these rights or any other aspect of your care, Barnard Primary Care Health Service will provide assistance.