Privacy and HIPAA

According to the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” (HIPAA), a federal law, everyone has rights concerning the use of individually identifiable health information. Only individuals with a legitimate “need to know” may access, use or disclose patient information. Protected health information may be released to other covered health care providers without patient authorization if used for treatment, payment, health care operations, or for public good purposes as permitted by state and federal laws. Disclosures of protected health information for uses and disclosures outside treatment, payment and health care operations require patient authorization.
North Shore Medical Center patient discussing patient privacy with doctor

You control your privacy when you are a patient at NSMC


  • While receiving care at NSMC Salem or NSMC Union Hospitals, patients may ask that their name not be included in the hospital directory. Making this request means that anyone who calls and asks for the patient by name will be told “I have no information about this patient.”
  • Patients who DO want to receive phone calls, visitors or deliveries of cards and flowers should request that their name be included in the hospital directory. In this case the name also appears on a list provided to clergy members of the patient's stated faith. However, receiving a visit is optional.
  • For a listing of other HIPAA privacy rights, patients are asked to refer to the Notice of Privacy Practices given to them at registration time.
  • Patients may call 978.354.4254 if they have any concerns about privacy. This page about patient rights and responsibilities may also be useful.