Last reviewed: 12/22/2022

Confidentiality, Patient Rights, & Patient Responsibilities

Columbia Health adheres to strict standards of confidentiality regarding health-related information, services rendered, or any other privileged information to which Columbia Health has access. Please review the Notice of Privacy Practices, Patient Rights, Patient Responsibilities, and unit specific details below.

Communicating with Us

Throughout our website, we list email addresses as a convenient option for contacting Columbia Health. However, we cannot guarantee the confidentiality or immediacy of email communication, and therefore, email should never be used in an emergency.

Students: please use the secure messaging on the Patient Portal in lieu of email. You will need your UNI and password.

Notice of Privacy Practices

These records are not part of students’ educational records and are not available to deans or faculty. To further protect the privacy of students, we require students' written consent (for Counseling and Psychological Services as well as for Medical Services) to release information about their care.

There are rare exceptions to the right to privacy and to the confidentiality practices described above, such as in situations that pose a threat to life or in which there is reason to believe a child is being abused. If you have questions regarding our confidentiality policies, contact us:

  • For Counseling and Psychological Services, questions may be directed to Associate Director for Operations at 212-854-2878.
  • For Medical Services, questions may be directed to Associate Director of Patient Services at 212-854-7426.
  • For more information about patients' rights and responsibilities, download the Patient Bill of Rights and the Patient Responsibilities resources.

Clinicians work as a team and consult with one another as needed. When necessary to insure the quality and coordination of care, there may also be communication between these two clinical services and other divisions of Columbia Health.

Each clinical service maintains secure and private treatment records. Read our Notice of Privacy Practices for more info.

The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates disclosure of disability documentation and records maintained by Disability Services. Under this federal act, prior written consent by the student is required before Disability Services may release disability documentation or records, except under very specific circumstances. Read our Notice of Privacy Practices for more info.

Neither your registration with Disability Services nor approval for accommodations is indicated in any way on your Columbia transcript.

Sexual Violence Response is a New York State-certified rape crisis center, providing confidential crisis counseling, intervention, and advocacy on behalf of survivors of violence.

Under N.Y. CPLR § 4510 – New York State Rape Crisis Counselor Confidentiality, a rape crisis counselor shall not be required to disclose a communication made by his or her client to him or her, or advice given thereon, in the course of his or her services nor shall any clerk, stenographer or other person working for the same program as the rape crisis counselor or for the rape crisis counselor be allowed to disclose any such communication or advice given thereon nor shall any records made in the course of the services given to the client or recording of any communications made by or to a client be required to be disclosed, nor shall the client be compelled to disclose such communication or records, except:

  1. that a rape crisis counselor may disclose such otherwise confidential communication to the extent authorized by the client; 
  2. that a rape crisis counselor shall not be required to treat as confidential a communication by a client which reveals the intent to commit a crime or harmful act; 
  3. in a case in which the client waives the privilege by instituting charges against the rape crisis counselor or the rape crisis program and such action or proceeding involves confidential communications between the client and the rape crisis counselor.