Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Your Information. Your Rights. Our Responsibilities.

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.

Your Rights

When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights. This section explains your rights and some of our responsibilities to help you.

Get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record

  • You can ask to get an electronic or paper copy of your medical
    record and other health information we have about you. Ask us how to
    do this.
  • We will provide a copy or summary of your health information,
    usually within 30 days of your request. We may charge fees as
    allowed by the state.

Ask us to correct your medical record

  • You can ask us to correct health information about you that you
    think is incorrect or incomplete. Ask us how to do this.
  • We may say “no” to your request, but we’ll tell you why in writing
    within 60 days.

Request confidential communications

  • You can ask us to contact you in a specific way (for example, home
    or office phone) or to send mail to a different address.
  • We will say “yes” to all reasonable requests.

Ask us to limit what we use or share

  • You can ask us not to use or share certain health information for
    treatment, payment or our operations. We are not required to agree
    to your request and we may say “no” if it would affect your care.
  • If you pay for a service or health care item out-of-pocket in full,
    you can ask us not to share that information for the purpose of
    payment or our operations with your health insurer. We will say
    “yes” unless a law requires us to share that information. 

Get a list of those with whom we’ve shared information

  • You can ask us for a list (accounting) of the times we’ve shared
    your health information for six years prior to the date you
    ask, who we shared it with, and why.
  • We will include all the disclosures except for those about
    treatment, payment, and health care operations, and certain other
    disclosures (such as any you asked us to make). We’ll provide one
    accounting a year for free but will charge a reasonable, cost-based
    fee if you ask for another one within 12 months.

Get a copy of this privacy notice

  • You can ask for a paper copy of this notice at any time, even if you
    have agreed to receive the notice electronically. We will provide you with a paper copy

Choose someone to act for you

  • If you have given someone medical power of attorney or if someone is
    your legal guardian, that person can exercise your rights and make
    choices about your health information.
  • We will make sure they have this authority and can act for you
    before we take any action.

File a complaint if you feel your rights are violated

  • You can complain if you feel we have violated your rights by
    contacting us using the contact information at the bottom of this
  • You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and
    Human Services Office for Civil Rights by sending a letter to 200
    Independence Ave, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, calling
    1-877-696-6775, or by visiting 


Your Choices

For certain health information, you can tell us your choices about what we share. If you have a clear preference for how we share your information in the situations described below, talk to us. Tell us what you want us to do, and we will follow your instructions.

In these cases, you have both the right and the choice to tell us to:

  • Share information with your family, close friends, or others involved in your care
  • Share information in a disaster relief situation

If you are not able to tell us your preference, for example if you are unconscious, we may go ahead and share your information if we believe it is in your best interest. We may also share your information when needed to lessen a serious and imminent threat to health or safety.

In these cases, we never share your information unless you give us written permission:

  • Marketing purposes
  • Sale of your information
  • Most sharing of your psychotherapy notes

In the case of fund raising:

  • We may contact you for fundraising efforts, but you can tell us not to contact you again.


Our Uses and Disclosures

How do we typically use or share your health information? We typically use or share your health information in the following ways:





We are allowed or required to share your information in other ways – usually in ways that contribute to the public good, such as public health and research. We have to meet many conditions in the law before we can share your information for these purposes. For more information see: 



There is some health information that we can release only with your permission or a judge’s order:

  • HIV Status/Testing Results (You must authorize each in writing)
  • Consent for Abortion
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Genetic Test Results
  • Social Work Communications
  • Domestic Violence Victims' Counseling
  • Sexual Assault Victims' Counseling
  • Alcohol & Drug Abuse Records
  • Communications with Mental Health Providers (psychologist, psychiatrist, nurse mental health specialist, licensed mental health counselor, marriage, family, rehabilitation and education psychologist and family therapist)



We record health information in paper, electronic, or photographic form and keep them for twenty (20) years following the discharge or final treatment. Radiology films and scans, other image records, EEG/EKG tracings; and raw psychological testing data do not have to be kept as long and may be destroyed five (5) years after the date of services, as long as any reports that note the results of such tests and procedures are mentioned as part of the legal medical record.

Our Responsibilities

  • We are required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your protected health information.
  • We will let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
  • We must follow the duties and privacy practices described in this notice and give you a copy of it.
  • We will not use or share your information other than as described here, unless you tell us we can in writing. If you tell us we can, you may change your mind at any time. Let us know in writing if you change your mind.

For more information see:


We can change the terms of this notice, and the changes will apply to all information we have about you. The new notice will be available upon request, in our office, and on our website.

The effective date of this notice is November 3, 2015.

This Notice of Privacy Practices applies to the following individuals and organizations:

  • Any healthcare professional authorized to enter information into your health record
  • Any healthcare provider who is a member of the SBCHC staff
  • All SBCHC workforce members, including employees, staff, volunteers, and other health center personnel


Boston Medical Center and the following health centers of Boston HealthNet share health information to participate in an integrated healthcare delivery system and engage in a number of joint activities such as quality review of services:

  • Codman Square Health Center
  • The Dimock Center
  • DotHouse Health
  • East Boston Neighborhood Health Center
  • Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center
  • Greater Roslindale Medical & Dental Center
  • Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center
  • Health Care for the Homeless
  • Manet Community Health Center
  • Mattapan Community Health Center
  • Neponset Health Center
  • South Boston Community Health Center
  • South End Community Health Center
  • Upham’s Corner Health Center
  • Whittier Street Neighborhood Health Center

South Boston Community Health Center (SBCHC) is part of an organized health care arrangement including participants in OCHIN, Inc. A current list of OCHIN participants is available at As a business associate of South Boston Community Health Center, OCHIN supplies information technology and related services to SBCHC and other OCHIN participants. OCHIN also engages in quality assessment and improvement activities on behalf of its participants. For example, OCHIN coordinates clinical review activities on behalf of participating organizations to establish best practice standards and assess clinical benefits that may be derived from the use of electronic health record systems. OCHIN also helps participants work collaboratively to improve the management of internal and external patient referrals. Your health information may be shared by SBCHC with other OCHIN participants when necessary for health care operations purposes of the organized health care arrangement.

This NOPP also applies to business associates, affiliates, and assignees to contact you for any purpose related to your care including to collect payments on accounts, to remind you about appointments or prescriptions by telephone at any number associated with you now or in the future, and by using pre-recorded/artificial voice messages, electronic communication, text messages/SMS and/or an automatic dialing device (ATDS) regardless of incurred charges. This includes contact via answering machine, voicemail message, text message or email.

If you have questions, would like additional information, or you believe your privacy rights have been violated, please contact the Privacy Officer at SBCHC, 409 West Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127 or (617) 269-7500.

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