April 24, 2020
The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it won’t penalize providers for “good faith” telehealth use during the COVID-19 emergency even if that use violates the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Healthcare providers are well-advised to select and use audio-video platforms and applications in a manner that best protects patient data. Providers should research and choose video conferencing platforms that are HIPAA compliant, make use of all available privacy and security features of their chosen platforms, and, if necessary, enter into business associate agreements (BAAs). The use of technology that is not truly HIPAA-compliant and which results in patient privacy violations may expose providers to lawsuits and enforcement action. For additional tips regarding the use of audio-video conferencing for telehealth, click here.