Privacy and Security in Disasters or Emergencies

Families searching for loved ones in a presidential-declared disaster, whether a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or unnatural disasters, should not have to also overcome HIPAA privacy roadblocks. As our nation winds down mid-western tornado season and steps up Hurricane season, review the guidance issued by DHHS after hundreds of thousand of Hurricane Katrina and Rita displaced citizens tried to locate loved ones. Privacy and Security in Disasters or Emergency Guidance If the president declares an emergency or disaster and the secretary of HHS declares a public health emergency, the secretary may waive sanctions and penalties against a covered hospital that does not comply with certain provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule,…

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