Health Information Management

OCR addresses HIPAA privacy during a national or public emergency

HIM-HIPAA Insider, October 13, 2008

The OCR recently posted an FAQ regarding the status of the privacy rule during a national or public health emergency on the OCR Web site.
 
The new FAQ addresses the question, “Is the HIPAA Privacy Rule suspended during a national or public health emergency?”
 
The OCR confirms in the FAQ that the HIPAA privacy rule is not suspended. However the Secretary of HHS may wave certain aspects of the rule pursuant to the Project Bioshield Act of 2004.
 
The Secretary of HHS may choose to waive sanctions and penalties for noncompliance with several privacy rule provisions when the President declares a disaster or emergency and the Secretary of HHS declares a health emergency. These provisions include:
  • The requirement for authorization to discuss care with a patients’ family members or friends
  • The requirement that covered entities distribute the notice of privacy practices
  • The right of a patient to request privacy restrictions or confidential communications

For more information, click here.

Comments

0 comments on “OCR addresses HIPAA privacy during a national or public emergency

 

Most Popular