Telehealth, HIPAA Compliance, and COVID-19

The Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services will be exercising its discretion in enforcement of HIPAA compliance during the nationwide public health emergency created by COVID-19. Physicians acting in good faith and using professional judgment to communicate with patients and provide telehealth services will not be subject to penalties for noncompliance with HIPAA requirements. Covered entities may request to examine a patient exhibiting COVID- 19 symptoms or treat other medical conditions using a video chat application connecting the provider’s or patient’s phone or desktop computer in order to assess a greater number of patients while limiting the risk of exposure to others. Covered entities may use FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, Zoom, or Skype to provide telehealth without risk of penalty for noncompliance with the HIPAA Rules, subject to a good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. Providers should inform patients of the potential privacy risks and enable all security settings possible. Cover entities SHOULD NOT USE Facebook Live, Twitch, TikTok, or video communication applications that are public facing to provide telehealth services.

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For more information, please contact Susan T. Fountain or David A. Senter, Jr.

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Electronic mail or other oral or written communication to Young Moore and Henderson P.A. in connection with a matter for which we do not already represent you may not be treated as privileged or confidential. Communications are not privileged until the client and lawyer have agreed on legal representation. Please do not send confidential information to us via e-mail or in any other manner without first communicating directly with us about the attorney-client relationship. The transmission of an e-mail request for information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Your initial email should only contain a list of the parties interested in the matter so that we can make sure we have no conflicts before you convey any information about your case.

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