Disclosing Health Information for Public Health Purposes

April 3, 2020

On April 2, 2020, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that, under its enforcement discretion, it will not impose penalties for violations of certain provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule against health care providers or their business associates for their good faith uses and disclosures of protected health information for public health and health oversight activities during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The OCR issued a press release regarding this latest announcement and an official notification regarding the use and disclosures to which this announcement applies. OCR also created a new webpage where its guidance and notifications regarding HIPAA, Civil Rights and COVID19 can be accessed.

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