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Fundraising and Marketing

Drexel University Clinical Covered Entities
Privacy Program Policies and Procedures

Policy Title: Fundraising and Marketing
Policy Number: PPS-12
Effective Date: April 14, 2003; September 23, 2013
Last Revision: September 2017
Responsible Officer: Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer

Table of Contents


This policy applies to all Covered Entities within Drexel University.

Covered entities are defined in the HIPAA rules as (1) health plans, (2) health care clearinghouses, and (3) health care providers who electronically transmit any health information in connection with transactions for which HHS has adopted standards.

I. Purpose

To address the importance of properly protecting patient information and to present the differing HIPAA requirements for planning fundraising and marketing activities that involve patient mailing and contact lists.

II. Policy

Fundraising: The following information may be used for fundraising purposes or disclosed to a business associate or to an institutionally related foundation: (i) demographic information relating to an individual, including name, address, other contact information, age, gender, and date of birth; (ii) dates of health care provided to an individual; (iii) department of service information; (iv) treating physician; (v) outcome information; and (vi) health insurance status. All fundraising communications using a patient's permitted healthcare information must provide or include a clear and conspicuous opportunity to opt out of future fundraising communications. Treatment or payment may not be conditioned on the individual's choice about receiving fundraising communications.

The patient will be advised of the possibility of fundraising activities in the Notice of Privacy Practices. The patient must be provided an opportunity to "opt out" of any future fundraising in any attempt to raise funds. The method for the individual to opt out may not cause the individual to incur an undue or more burden than a nominal cost. All fundraising envelopes will offer an "opt out" box and will include pre-paid postage. Other fundraising communications will include a phone number and email address for the purpose of opting out of future fundraising communications. Individuals may be given instructions of how to opt back in to fundraising communications. All opt out requests will be honored.

Marketing: A communication about a product or service encouraging purchase or use, including any treatment or health care operations communications to an individual about health-related products or services, for which a covered entity or its business associates receive financial remuneration from a third party in exchange for making the communication. Marketing does not include: (i) communications about refill reminders and about drugs or biologics currently being prescribed for an individual, so long as the financial remuneration received for making such communication is reasonably related to the cost of making such communication (i.e. the actual costs to make the communications); or (ii) communications that promote health generally, such as messages about a healthy diet or routine preventative health. Protected Health Information is not to be used for Marketing without patient authorization unless an exception applies. Exceptions to the Marketing prohibition include, face to face marketing communications or the use of promotional gifts of a nominal value. The clinician is permitted to provide information on new therapies, provide referrals, and recommend products and services related to treatment as long as such communications are: (i) made without the receipt of financial remuneration (including by a business associate); (ii) are made as part of a face to face communication; or (iii) only involve the use of promotional gifts of a nominal value.

III. Procedure

Fundraising and Marketing efforts must be coordinated with the appropriate Institutional Advancement and Marketing resources of the University. Approval protocols are in place with the Legal, Compliance and Privacy Offices to review all Fundraising and Marketing efforts. The protocols have been in place and active prior to the Privacy regulations for compliance and legal purposes.

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