Patient Privacy Rights

Privacy is a fundamental right in the American legal system and as such, federal and state law affords patients privacy rights in connection with their care as well as medical, mental health and personal information (more broadly referred to as “health information”). UCSF respects those privacy rights and works to help patients exercise those rights. Specifically, the federal HIPAA patient rights include the following:

  1. Right to receive notification of UCSF’s privacy practices;
  2. Right to inspect and obtain a copy of the health information that UCSF maintains about them;
  3. Right to request an amendment to their medical record;
  4. Right to an accounting of UCSF’s disclosure(s) of their health information;
  5. Right to request a restriction on the use or disclosure of their health information;
  6. Right to request a restriction on the method by which UCSF communicates with them.

Right to Receive Notice of Privacy Practices

Patients have the right to be notified of UCSF’s privacy practices. To do so, UCSF provides each patient with a copy of UCSF’s Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) at their first visit at a UCSF hospital or clinic. Additional copies are given to patients upon request. Copies of the NPP are also posted in plain sight throughout UCSF facilities.  The UCSF Medical Center NPP (in various languages) can be accessed at the hyperlinks below:

UCSF Medical Center NPP Acknowledgement of Receipt forms (in various languages) can be accessed at the hyperlinks below:

Note for UCSF Campus departments that provide care to patients: You need to develop your own Notice of Privacy Practice. Please contact the Privacy Office for guidance prior to implementing an NPP that you have developed. Campus departments that already have NPP documents include the UCSF School of Nursing's Valencia Health Clinic, LPPI and the School of Dentistry. Like the Medical Center, campus departments need to document compliance with the distribution of the NPP and to provide this documentation to the Privacy Office upon request.

Right to Inspect and Obtain PHI

Patients have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of their health information. There are certain exceptions to this right, such as the type of information that can be accessed. For more information please review the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidance.

To access and/or obtain a copy of your health information please contact the appropriate Medical Records Department of the UCSF hospital or clinic.

  • For the UCSF Medical Center, visit UCSF Medical Center’s Medical Records website. There you will find instructions on how to request your record, including a form you will need to fill out and the address to which you will need to send the completed form.
  • For UCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, please contact their HIMS Department at (415) 476-7330

Right to Request an Amendment to Your Medical Record

Patients who feel that the information in their UCSF medical record is inaccurate have the right to request that UCSF amend their information. This request can be denied for certain reasons. For UCSF Medical Center patients, visit Your Rights Regarding Your Medical Information, which explains the process to submit an amendment request to UCSF Medical Center.

Right to an Accounting of Disclosures

Patients have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of their health information during the previous six year period. Certain disclosures – such as those made pursuant to the patient’s authorization and those made for treatment, payment, or operations purposes – are exempted from this accounting. For more information about the exceptions please visit the DHHS website.

To request an accounting of disclosures from UCSF Medical Center, please complete UCSF Medical Center’s Request for an Accounting of Disclosure form and then visit Your Rights Regarding Your Medical Information for instructions on how to submit your request.

Right to Request a Restriction on the Use or Disclosure of PHI

Patients have a right to request that their health information not be used or disclosed for certain treatment, payment, or operations. However, unless the health information pertains solely to an item or service for which the patient paid fully out-of-pocket UCSF is not required to agree to the request. Additionally, UCSF does not have to agree to requests for restrictions on disclosures for treatment purposes even if the PHI pertains solely to a fully out-of-pocket paid item or service.

For more information about your right to request a restriction on the use or disclosure of health information please visit the DHHS website. For instructions on how to request a restriction on the use or disclosure of your health information please visit UCSF Medical Center’s Your Rights Regarding Your Medical Information website.

Right to Request a Restriction on the Manner and Method of Confidential Communication

Patients have the right to request that UCSF send confidential communications to them in a specific method and manner. UCSF will accommodate reasonable requests based on administrative ability to comply. For more information about your right to request such a restriction please visit the DHHS website. For instructions on how to request a restriction on UCSF Medical Center’s communication please visit UCSF Medical Center’s Your Rights Regarding Your Medical Information website.