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Does FERPA or HIPAA apply to records on students who are patients at a university hospital?

Patient records maintained by a hospital affiliated with a university that is subject to FERPA are not typically “education records” or “treatment records” under FERPA because university hospitals generally do not provide health care services to students on behalf of the educational institution. Rather, these hospitals provide such services without regard to the person’s status as a student and not on behalf of a university.  Thus, assuming the hospital is a HIPAA covered entity, these records are subject to all of the HIPAA rules, including the HIPAA Privacy Rule.  However, in a situation where a hospital does run the student health clinic on behalf of a university, the clinic records on students would be subject to FERPA, either as “education records” or “treatment records,” and not subject to the HIPAA Privacy Rule.


Created 11/25/08

Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on July 26, 2013