HIPAA: Protecting Patient Privacy

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Obtaining medical records

    To request that a copy of your/your child's medical record be released to you or to a designated person or organization (i.e., school, day care provider, employer), complete a request form and send it by mail or fax or deliver it in person to the Children's Hospital location indicated below. We cannot process requests by telephone or email when a signature is required to release records. Telephone requests may be processed for immunizations to be sent directly to a school. If you pick up a copy of the medical record in person, we will ask for photo identification. There may be a fee for providing copies of the medical record.

    Due to the large volume of requests and compliance regulations, production or copies of medical records are not immediately available.  As soon as we can complete your request, it will be provided or sent.

    Authorization to Release / Obtain Patient Information (PDF) 
    Autorización para obtención / divulgación de información sobre el paciente (PDF) - Spanish

    To request information about:Send Form to the location indicated below:
    Inpatient services provided at the Main Hospital or Urgent Care Center or Children's Seashore House, including Emergency Department visits, day surgery, and stays lasting 23 hours or longer
    Health Information Management Department
    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    34th and Civic Center Boulevard
    Level A, Room AW80
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Telephone: 215-590-3640
    Fax: 215-590-4193
    Outpatient services (i.e., doctor visits, blood tests) provided at the Main Hospital*
    Send to the department where service was provided or call 215-590-1000 to reach the appropriate department.
    Outpatient services (i.e., occupational or physical therapy, speech, rehabilitation, psychology) provided at Children's Seashore House
    Health Information Management Department
    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    34th and Civic Center Boulevard
    Level A, Room AW80
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Telephone: 215-590-3640
    Fax: 215-590-4193
    Services provided at Primary Care Centers
    Send to the Specialty Care Center where service was provided.
    Services provided at Primary Care Centers
    Send to the Care Center where service was provided.
    X-rays or other radiological images, including CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds. (Radiological images are released on CD.)
    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    Radiology Department
    Radiology File Room
    34th and Civic Center Boulevard
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Telephone: 215-590-1000
    Fax: 215-590-4783

    *If a test was ordered by a physician who is not affiliated with Children's Hospital, please contact that physician directly.

  • Your medical information and Health Information Exchanges

    It’s not uncommon that the patients we treat 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 >