HIPAA – COVID-19 Update

HIPAA – Waiver of security and privacy rules relating to telehealth – OCR has announced that it will not penalize health care providers that serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. This applies to widely available communications apps, such as FaceTime or Skype, when used in good faith for any telehealth treatment or diagnostic purpose, regardless of whether the telehealth service is directly related to COVID-19. The waiver covers security issues, BAA requirements with the video communication vendors, and other noncompliance issues that relate “to the good faith provision of telehealth services during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.”

https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html.

HIPAA – OCR Guidance on privacy during public health emergencies – OCR has also published a general discussion “of the ways that patient information may be shared under the HIPAA Privacy Rule in an outbreak of infectious disease or other emergency situation, and to serve as a reminder that the protections of the Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency.”

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/february-2020-hipaa-and-novel-coronavirus.pdf

Written By: Gregory D Frost

Frost Gregory headshot

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