Patient Privacy and HIPAA Rights

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is committed to ensuring that your medical information is private and secure. The hospital protects medical information as required by state laws and the federal privacy rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Notice of privacy practices

Children's Hospital maintains a Notice of Privacy Practices in English and in Spanish that describes the privacy rights of patients and the ways we may use and share medical information. We provide a copy to all patients/families when they first receive services from Children's Hospital. At that time, you will be asked to sign to acknowledge that you received a copy of our Notice.

Use and sharing of information

In general, written authorization from the patient or parent/legal guardian is needed before information may be released by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In some cases, as described in our Notice of Privacy Practices, we may use and share information for certain purposes without the written authorization of a patient/parent/legal guardian.

For example, we may:

  • Use and share information with doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to treat the patient.
  • Share information with health insurance companies to get paid for the services we provide.
  • Use information to review the quality of our services.
  • Share information with local health departments to report certain contagious diseases, such as meningitis.
  • Share information with local authorities about suspected child abuse or neglect.
  • Share limited information with police in certain situations, such as if the patient was the victim of a crime.

Please direct any questions to our Privacy Office at 267-426-6036.

Privacy rights

Patients or their parents/legal guardians have certain privacy rights under HIPAA, including the right to:

In most situations involving patients who are children, the child's parent or legal guardian is the one who may carry out these rights on behalf of their child. In situations where a child may consent to his/her own care without parental consent (i.e., testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases), the patient is the one who has these rights.

Your medical information and Health Information Exchanges

It’s not uncommon for the patients we treat to receive medical care from many different healthcare providers, not all of whom are affiliated with CHOP. Allowing our patients’ healthcare providers electronic access to medical information can reduce the risk of unnecessary or duplicate services, prevent delays in treatment, and improve the overall quality of the care for our patients.

Learn more about Health Information Exchanges.

Next Steps