ISMIE Alert: HHS relaxes HIPAA penalties for telehealth during COVID-19 outbreak

March 20, 2020

Effective immediately, physicians may use any audio or video communication technology that is non-public facing to care for patients, and they won't face penalties if these telehealth technologies do not fully comply with HIPAA regulatory requirements. That's according to an announcement from the HHS Office of Civil Rights, which has chosen to exercise its HIPAA enforcement discretion due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Note that this applies to patients being treated for any reason, and is not limited to only those patients being treated for suspected COVID-19.

For more information, including examples of technologies that are considered "non-public facing," read the HHS OCR announcement in full or explore these other resources:

CMS Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet
CMS Medicare Telehealth FAQs
MGMA COVID-19 Action Center

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