U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights Releases a Bulletin on HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations
Bulletin comes as part of the government’s ongoing response to the Ebola threat
In light of the Ebola outbreak and other events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), is providing a bulletin to ensure that HIPAA covered entities and their business associates are aware of the ways in which patient information may be shared under the HIPAA Privacy Rule in an emergency situation, and to serve as a reminder that the protections of the Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects the privacy of patients’ health information (protected health information) but is balanced to ensure that appropriate uses and disclosures of the information still may be made when necessary to treat a patient, to protect the nation’s public health, and for other critical purposes.
OCR’s bulletin on HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations may be found here.
Additional guidance on HIPAA in Emergency Situations: Preparedness, Planning, and Response can be found here.
NAHC recently announced the creation of an Ebola task for to provide guidance and resources to the home care and hospice community in combating the spread of Ebola.
To learn more about NAHC’s Ebola Task Force and to view the available resources, please click here.