Index > Student Life Policies > Health Services Missed Class Policy

Health Services Missed Class Policy

This policy clarifies the circumstances under which Health Services will provide verification or documentation for a student’s absence from class due to a medical reason.

This policy applies to all RISD students, faculty and staff.

This policy will clarify the circumstances under which Health Services is able to provide verification to faculty or staff members that a student has been ill and/or seen by Student Health Services as required in order to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA").

The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information ("Privacy Rule") establishes, for the first time, a set of national standards for the protection of certain health information. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") issued the Privacy Rule to implement the requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"). The Privacy Rule standards address the use and disclosure of individuals' health information—called "protected health information" by organizations subject to the Privacy Rule, as well as standards for individuals' privacy rights to understand and control how their health information is used.

Student Health Services provides documentation for missing class only in cases of hospitalization or debilitating illness. In these circumstances, Health Services will work with the Student Affairs Office to notify the student’s faculty.

Health Services does not provide excuses for minor illnesses. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their instructor or department if they have missed class due to a minor illness. Due to Federal confidentiality law, Health Services cannot share any information regarding a student without the student’s consent, including whether or not they were seen in Health Services.

When requesting documentation be provided for an absence as set forth above (hospitalization or debilitating illness), the student and/or faculty member will communicate with the Student Affairs Office which will then communicate with the Health Services to provide documentation or verification of absence for a medical reason.

This policy was created under the title “Excuse Policy” October 4, 2014 and published on the RISD Intranet.
This policy was revised and published on the website on August 7, 2023.
This policy will be revised as required by law.


Issuing Office:
Student Health Services

Responsible Officer:
Vice President of Student Life

Individuals/offices required for review and changes:
Director, Health Services