The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights will immediately exercise its enforcement discretion and waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency, the agency announced today. 

The discretion 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, HHS said. 

“In support of this action, OCR will be providing further guidance explaining how covered health care providers can use remote video communication products and offer telehealth to patients responsibly,” the agency said.

For more on HIPAA and COVID-19, see OCR's February Bulletin.
 

Related News Articles

Headline
The Health Resources and Services Administration yesterday awarded $15 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds to 52 tribal health…
Headline
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot across the health care landscape, including how care teams communicate, interact and collaborate with others. In this…
Headline
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response yesterday released resources focused on…
Headline
The Federal Emergency Management Agency this month issued COVID-19 pandemic operational guidance for the forthcoming hurricane season. Included in the document…
Headline
The Food and Drug Administration May 27 authorized the emergency use of the Stryker Sustainability Solutions VHP N95 Respirator Decontamination System during…
Headline
A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released today shows community transmission of COVID-19 in the U.S. was occurring in February of this…