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Section VIII:

Privacy and Security


Privacy Manual


Use and Disclosure, Marketing and Fundraising

Current Effective Date:

2/1/16, 11/15/15, 5/1/05

Revision History:

2/19/04, 11/15/15

Original Effective Date:




Marketing’ is defined as a communication about a product or a service, the purpose of which is to encourage clients to purchase or use the product or service. The following are examples of communications that are NOT considered marketing:

Fundraising’ is defined as an organized activity of raising funds for an agency cause, including appeals for money and sponsorship of events.


DHHS agencies shall not disclose individually identifiable health information about clients without authorization for marketing or fundraising purposes. Such authorization must include the specific reason for using the client’s information.

Agencies shall not disclose, sell, or coerce a client to permit disclosure of individually identifiable health information for marketing purposes without the authorization of the client who is the subject of the confidential information or the client’s personal representative. This prohibition includes the disclosure, use, or selling of prescription drug patterns.

Exception: DHHS agencies must obtain an authorization for marketing except when the communication is in the form of:

This provision allows agencies to discuss products or services as well as provide sample products without restriction.

The health care services listed below are common communications that a client generally expects to receive as part of his/her continued health care services and are not considered marketing.

Agencies performing fundraising activities, including appeals for money and sponsorship of events, may internally use only dates of treatment and demographic information, unless the client or the client’s personal representative gives authorization for more expansive use of the client’s individually identifiable health information. Demographic information that may be disclosed without authorization typically includes:

Disease-related information such as diagnosis may not be used in fundraising. In addition, information about the component from which a client received services also cannot be used for fundraising purposes without the client’s authorization if that information could reveal the nature of the diagnosis, service, or treatment the client received.

Agencies that allow clients to participate in fund-raising activities (e.g., raffle to raise funds to help pay for an off campus trip for a patient care unit) must ensure that the client’s participation is voluntary. For incompetent clients, authorization from the client’s guardian is required before the client can participate in such fund-raising activities.

Agencies may disclose a client’s dates of treatment and demographic information for fundraising purposes without the client’s authorization only as follows:

DHHS agencies that are engaged in marketing or fundraising activities must ensure that the requirements listed below are met.

An authorization for the purposes of marketing and fundraising must state that the purpose of the disclosure is for marketing or fundraising activities and denote whether the individual's health information will be disclosed to a third party.

Fundraising materials must describe how an individual may opt-out of receiving any further fundraising communications. Covered health care components must document a process for fulfilling those requests.

For questions or clarification on any of the information contained in this policy, please contact DHHS Privacy Officer. For general questions about department-wide policies and procedures, contact the DHHS Policy Coordinator.

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