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Patient Advocacy Office

A diagnosis of cancer may be the most difficult challenge you or your loved ones will ever face. Your team of healthcare professionals at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center is available to give you as much support as you need.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your care, please contact:

Patient Advocacy Office

(203) 688-3430

Notice of Privacy Practices

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. If you have any questions, please contact our privacy office at the following address and/or phone number:

Yale University
HIPAA Privacy Office
2 Whitney Ave, Suite 204
(203) 432-5919

Frequently Asked Questions

Who will follow this notice?

Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS) and Yale School of Medicine (YSM) facilities provide health care to our patients in partnership with other professionals and healthcare organizations. The information privacy practices in this notice will be followed by:

  • Any healthcare professional who treats you at any of our locations
  • All departments and affiliated covered entities of Yale New Haven Health System, including; Bridgeport Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Northeast Medical Group, and Yale-New Haven Hospital
  • Yale School of Medicine
  • The clinical care providers of Yale School of Nursing as well as their affiliates
  • All employees, medical staff, affiliates, trainees, students, or volunteers of the entities listed above

While each of these facilities and affiliates operates independently, they may share your health information for coordination of care, treatment, payment, and healthcare operations purposes.

We understand that medical information about you is personal. We are committed to protecting medical information about you. We create a record of the care and services you receive to provide quality care and to comply with legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by any of the separate facilities and providers described below. We are required by law to:

  • Keep medical information about you private;
  • Give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to medical information about you; and
  • Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.

How may you use and disclose medical information about me?

We may use and disclose medical information about you without your prior authorization for treatment, such as sending medical information about you to a specialist as part of a referral (this includes psychiatric or HIV information if needed for purposes of your diagnosis and treatment); to obtain payment for treatment, such as sending billing information to your insurance company or Medicare; and to support our healthcare operations, such as comparing patient data to improve treatment methods or for professional education purposes (Note: only limited psychiatric or HIV information may be disclosed for billing purposes without your authorization). If you are treated in a specialized substance abuse program, your special authorization is required for most disclosures other than emergencies. Other examples of such uses and disclosures include contacting you for appointment reminders and telling you about or recommending possible treatment options, alternatives, health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you. We may also contact you to support our fundraising efforts. It is always your choice to opt out of receiving fundraising communications from us.

We may use or disclose medical information about you without your prior authorization for several other reasons. Subject to certain requirements, we may give our medical information about you, without prior authorization for public health purposes, abuse or neglect reporting, health oversight audits or inspections, medical examiners, funeral arrangements and organ donation, workers' compensation purposes, emergencies, national security and other specialized government functions, and for members of the Armed Forces as required by Military Command authorities. We also disclose medical information when required by law, such as in response to a request from law enforcement in specific circumstances, or in response to valid judicial or administrative orders or other legal process.

Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose health information about you for research purposes, subject to a special approval process. We may also allow potential researchers to review information that may help them prepare for research, so long as the health information they review does not leave our facility, and so long as they agree to specific privacy protection. For more information on research and how to opt out of research use of your records see or 1-877-978-8343.

If admitted as an inpatient, unless you tell us otherwise, we will list in the patient directory your name, location in the hospital, your general condition (good, fair, etc.) and your religious affiliation, and may release all but your religious affiliation to anyone who asks about you by name. Your religious affiliation may be disclosed only to clergy members, even if they do not ask for you by name.

We may disclose medical information about you to a friend or family member whom you designate or in appropriate circumstances, unless you request a restriction. We may also disclose information to disaster relief authorities so that your family can be notified of your location and condition.

Other uses of Medical Information: In any other situation not covered by this notice, including the use or disclosure of psychotherapy notes, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing medical information about you. If you choose to authorize use or disclosure, you can later revoke that authorization by notifying us in writing of your decision.

Other uses of medical information:

In any other situation not covered by this notice, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing medical information about you. If you choose to authorize use or disclosure, you can later revoke that authorization by notifying us in writing of your decision.

Do I have the right to access and/or amend my records?

In most cases, you have the right to look at or get a copy of medical information that we use to make decisions about your care. All requests for copies or access must be submitted in advance, in writing. If your request for inspection is granted, we will arrange for a convenient time and place for you to look at your record. If you request copies, we may charge a fee for the cost of copying, mailing, or other related supplies. If we deny your request to review or obtain a copy, you may submit a written request for a review of that decision.

If you believe that information in your record is incorrect or that important information is missing, you have the right to request that we correct the records, by submitting a request in writing that provides your reason for requesting the amendment. We could deny your request to amend a record if the information is not maintained by us; or if we determine that your record is accurate. You may submit a written statement of disagreement with a decision by us not to amend a record.

Do I have the right to an accounting?

You have the right to request a list accounting for any disclosures of your health information we have made, as required by law.

To request this list of disclosures, indicate the relevant period which must be within the past six years. You must submit your request in writing to the Medical Record or Billing Department as appropriate.

Will I be notified of a breach?

We will notify you in the event that the confidentiality of your information has been breached.

Do I have the right to request restrictions?

You may request, in writing, that we not use or disclose medical information about you for treatment, payment or healthcare operations or to persons involved in your care except when specifically authorized by you, when required by law, or in an emergency. We will consider your request and work to accommodate it when possible, but we are not legally required to accept it unless all of the conditions below are met:

  •  You request that your information is not shared with an insurer for purposes of payment or other purposes unrelated to your treatment;
  • You pay all charges associated with the services you received out-of-pocket in full; and
  • We are not required by law to release your information to the insurer.

Can I request confidential communications?

You have the right to request that medical information about you be communicated to you in a confidential manner, such as sending mail to an address other than your home, by notifying us in writing of the specific way or location for us to use to communicate with you.

Can I request a paper copy of this notice?

You may receive a paper copy of this Notice from us upon request, even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically.

Will there be changes to this notice?

We may change our policies at any time. Changes will apply to medical information we already hold, as well as new information after the change occurs. Before we make a significant change in our policies, we will change our notice and post the new notice in waiting areas, exam rooms, and on our Web site at or You can receive a copy of the current notice at any time. The effective date is listed at the end. Copies of the current notice will be available each time you come to our facility for treatment. You will be asked to acknowledge in writing your receipt of this notice.

How are complaints handled?

If you are concerned that your privacy rights may have been violated, or you disagree with a decision we made about access to your records, you may contact the Privacy Office listed above.

If you are not satisfied with our response, you may send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights. Our Privacy Office can provide you the address. Under no circumstances will you be penalized or retaliated against for filing a complaint.