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HIPAA Compliance

  • “HIPAA” stands for the Health Insurance and Portability Act of 1996. It provides guidelines for safeguarding the use and disclosure of individually identifiable health information and places certain requirements on “covered entities” that use or disclose protected health information (PHI). Covered entities are identified under the HIPAA regulation as health care plans, health care providers, and health care clearinghouses. In general, the HIPAA Privacy Rule mandates that a covered entity not use or disclose PHI except as authorized by the individual who is the subject of the information and or as explicitly required or permitted by the HIPAA regulations. If you have visited a doctor’s office or medical facility since the enactment of HIPAA, you are familiar with receiving information regarding the safeguard of your personal health information, and an acknowledgement form that designated who else, if anyone may be aware of this information.
    Gannon University is not a "covered entity" under HIPAA but a "hybrid entity"; with Gannon University's Health Plan considered a "covered entity". The health plan includes health and vision coverage provided through Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Dental coverage provided through Benefit Administrators, Inc. What this means to you is that if you are a member of the health plan, the plan will maintain the privacy of your protected health information.

    Your personal health information is further protected by the use of our third party plan administrator, C. H. Reams & Associates. Reams & Assoc. is governed under an agreement with Gannon's Health Plan and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, your health care provider; as well as BAI your dental insurance provider, to safeguard your information. If there are any questions regarding health services, you are directed either to Highmark or BAI (at the number on your card), or if you need further assistance, to C. H. Reams and Associates at (814) 453-4357. University officials do not have access to your health care information covered under the health plan.

    If you are injured on the job your care would fall under workers compensation insurance, and in this case the health information related to the worker's compensation claim is available to designated university officials on a need to know basis. This is outside of HIPAA.


    If you believe your privacy rights have been violated you may file a complaint with the Privacy Official in Human Resources. To request information please contact the person named below. To file a complaint please submit a written statement to: HIPAA Privacy Official, Human Resources. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.

    Contact Person

    If you have any questions regarding HIPAA compliance, please contact:

    Carolyn Cartwright 
    Associate Director of Human Resources
    Gannon University
    Phone: (814) 871-5624

    Follow this link to the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices.