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EXPLORE NORTHEASTERN

Confidentiality

University Health and Counseling Services are committed to providing confidential medical and mental health care to Northeastern University students.

Confidentiality and Privacy

The University Health & Counseling Services (UHCS) will keep all records and communications confidential to the fullest extent of the law. Please be aware of the following exceptions that apply to all medical and mental health treatment.

  • If a clinician has reason to believe that there is imminent danger of serious harm to yourself or others, they may share information and take appropriate steps to prevent harm.
  • If a clinician has reason to believe that a child under the age of eighteen (18), an elderly person (60 or over), or a disabled person is being abused or neglected, they are obligated to report this situation to the appropriate state agency.
  • A court may subpoena medical and mental health records.

Phone and video consultations during COVID-19 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Northeastern students can schedule remote consultations by phone and/or online video calls with UHCS medical and mental health providers. To schedule a remote consultation, call UHCS at 617.373.2772 and speak with a Patient Associate or leave a message. A clinician will then call you back to conduct a brief assessment and make recommendations for care. If appropriate, the clinician will send you an invitation for a video visit. This invitation will include a link to a HIPPA-compliant video communication platform for the visit.

UHCS makes every attempt to maintain confidentiality while engaging in phone and video consultations.  

To maintain confidentiality and call quality, it is important that you: 

  • Locate a private space for the call with limited background noise and free of distractions. 
  • Use a secure internet connection rather than public/free WiFi. 
  • Make a plan with your provider in advance in case someone else enters your private location during the call. 
  • Prepare to share your location and the best phone number to reach you, in case the connection is lost or you need local emergency services. 
  • Do not record your session. 

Your provider will review confidentiality at the beginning of your call. Please share any questions or concerns at that time. 

Request a release of your information

If you would like UHCS to share your health records or communicate any information about your care, you must first complete a Release of Medical Records form. This form acknowledges that you give UHCS permission to release your information to the identified party (i.e., another health care provider, a parent, a staff member at Northeastern).

It is important that all sections and questions on the form be completed in full.

At this time, UHCS staff are working off site. As such, please do not mail your completed Release of Medical Records form to the office or attempt to drop it off in person. Instead, please return it to UHCS in one of the following ways: 

Email it to: UHCS@Northeastern.edu 

Fax it to: 617-373-2601 (Please include a cover sheet)

Please allow AT LEAST TWO (2) WEEKS to process the request.

While we make every attempt to keep your emails private, please note that email is not considered a confidential form of communication since it could be intercepted in transmission or misdirected (see Confidentiality and Email, below). For this reason, faxing your form is the preferred method of submitting requests.

Ongoing communications with an identified party

Release of Medical Records form must contain the date or date range for which records are being requested. The requested date or date range may not extend past the date on which the request is signed.

Please note that UHCS provides two different release forms

  • to release records from UHCS
  • to release records to UHCS

Students at times request to sign a “blanket authorization” allowing a medical or mental health provider the ability to speak with someone such a parent or an advisor on an ongoing basis about their treatment. Federal law prohibits us from fulfilling such requests; UHCS providers can instead work directly with the student to complete a Release of Medical Records form that specifically identifies the type of information to be shared and reflecting a specific date of treatment.

Confidentiality and Billing

While the majority of services at UHCS are covered by the student health fee, some services are billed to the student’s insurance. These services including blood work, testing, etc. In such cases, we do release information to your insurance company according to any agreements you have signed when accepting your insurance plan.

Confidentiality and Title IX

UHCS staff provide confidential support and services to those affected by sexual violence. This means that they are NOT required to report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator  any information disclosed about an incident of Prohibited Conduct. Confidential resources are also available at through OPEN staff at OPEN’s Sexual Violence Resource Center and the spiritual advisors at the Center for Spirituality Dialogue and Service.

Confidentiality and Email

Please be aware that email communication is not considered confidential as it can be intercepted in transmission or misdirected. Rather than emailing a provider, please communicate any sensitive information by telephone. Also, please note that any email communication sent to a provider may become part of the student’s medical record.

Please do not email UHCS about matters needing urgent attention. The UHCS email mailbox is not consistently monitored.