HIPAA rules relaxed at community-based testing sites

The Office for Civil Rights of HHS announced April 9 that it will not penalize community-based testing sites for potential HIPAA violations during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

Hospitals and business associates will be able to share a limited amount of patient information in good faith without violating HIPAA. The relaxed rules are aimed at supporting large pharmacy chains and business associates participating in community-based testing sites, which includes mobile, drive-thru and walk-up sites.

The HIPAA rules have been relaxed immediately but have a retroactive effect to March 13.

"We are taking extraordinary actions to help the growth of mobile testing sites so more people can get tested quickly and safely," said Roger Severino, OCR director. "President Trump has ordered the federal government to use every tool available to help save lives during this crisis, and this announcement is another concrete example of putting the President's directive into action."

To learn more about the relaxed rules, click here.

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