HHS Issues Blanket Waivers on Several Regulatory Requirements Including Professional Licensure, EMTALA, and Certain HIPAA Privacy Requirements

3D medical image with virus cells

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued blanket waivers for certain healthcare regulatory requirements effective 6:00 p.m. on March 15, 2020, and they are retroactive to March 1, 2020.  These waivers issued by HHS are in addition to the waivers issued by CMS on Friday, 3/13/2020.  Included in the HHS waivers are the following:

  • The waiver of requirements that physicians or other health care professionals hold licenses in the state where they are providing services as long as they are licensed in another state;
  • The waiver of sanctions under EMTALA for:
    • Not performing a medical screening examination (MSE) at the hospital emergency department (ED) and directing a patient from a hospital ED to another location (this would be an off-campus, non-hospital location) to receive the MSE, but only if that other location was set up pursuant to an appropriate State emergency preparedness plan; and
    • Transferring a person who has not been stabilized (under circumstances that EMTALA would otherwise prohibit) if the “transfer is necessitated by the circumstances of the declared Federal public health emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • The waiver of several HIPAA privacy regulations.

Attached is a copy of the waiver.  The following web site will have updates periodically: www.phe.gov/emergency

Written By: Clay Countryman


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