Medical Records: Privacy & HIPAA

In response to growing concerns about keeping health information private, the United States Congress adopted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. This privacy rule creates national standards to protect individuals' personal health information. Most healthcare providers implemented these standards in 2003.

In keeping with HIPAA and the Medical Center Rights & Responsibilities of Patients and Medical Center Staff, St. Vincent’s Medical Center will consistently strive to respect personal privacy and confidentiality of information and records regarding patient care. Protected Health Information will only be used and disclosed in accordance with hospital policies and State and Federal laws to maintain privacy of individually identifiable health information.

Each patient should expect to receive a Notice of Information Practices at the time of registration, a document describing how personal medical information may be used and disclosed and how to access such information.

Protecting your Privacy

The Notice of Information Practices also describes an individual's right to: 

  • Request restrictions on the use and disclosure of personal health information.
  • Limit communications to alternative locations or by alternative means.
  • Inspect and obtain copies of his/her health records.
  • Request an amendment to health information.
  • Request an accounting of disclosures.
  • File a privacy complaint.
  • Obtain a paper copy of the Notice of Information Practices.

Privacy complaints should be directed to the Privacy Officer at 203.576.5050. The Privacy Officer or designee will respond to such complaints as soon as possible.