HHS lifts HIPAA penalties in Texas due to winter storm

HHS has waived some HIPAA requirements for Texas healthcare providers to assist in disaster relief after winter storms caused water and power outages across the state. 

HHS will not impose penalties on healthcare providers or their business associates in disaster zones.

To be compliant with this waiver, a hospital must be located in an emergency area for the emergency declaration period and have instituted a disaster protocol. The waiver only applies for up to 72 hours after the disaster protocol was implemented.

HHS will waive sanctions or penalties for the following five HIPAA provisions:

1. The requirement to obtain a patient's agreement to speak with family or friends members involved in the patient's care

2. The requirement to honor a request to opt-out of the facility director.

3. The requirement to distribute a notice of privacy practices

4. The patient's right to request privacy restrictions

5. The patient's right to request confidential communications

To learn more, click here.

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