U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights Provides Bulletin on HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations

March 3, 2014

Due to recent events, such as the Ebola outbreak, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), is reminding HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates that protections of the HIPAA Privacy Rule are not “set aside” during an emergency. The bulletin also aims to increase awareness of ways in which patient information may be shared under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

As stated by the OCR, “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.”

Read the full bulletin on HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations here.

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