All Points Mobile Shredding Blog

Some HIPAA Regulations Suspended During COVID-19

Changes to Privacy Rules You Need to Know

On April 3, 2020, as the coronavirus continued to spread across the country, the OCR (Office for Civil Rights) and the HHS (United States Department of Health and Human Services) announced a change in regulation of HIPAA privacy rule.

HIPAA Enforcement Changes

Although the change applies mostly to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) and those that work with these agencies, doctors and medical care facilities should be aware of this modification as you continue to treat patients during the pandemic.

The relaxation of enforcement of HIPAA comes at a time when the CDC and CMS, along with the department of health, need disclosure on COVID-19 cases. In an effort to contain this disease that has ravaged the United States and the world, HIPAA, usually stringently enforced, has been scaled back a bit.

The order issued by the HHS, states that this change should allow public health aggregators to be able to share health data related to the coronavirus with public health agencies. This is seen as a necessary step in helping with the treatment and containing the virus. Since doctors, hospitals, treatment facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are on the front lines of the outbreak, it’s vital for them to report stats and data that under HIPAA might otherwise be protected.

Is This a Breach of Patient’s Private Medical Health Information?

Although HIPAA was established to protect patient’s private medical information, this relaxation in the regulation, which is likely for the short term, is an effort to ensure that people get the treatment they need and that agencies like the CDC and CMS are on top of the numbers. Having this information identifies needs to fight COVID-19, like bed capacity, testing capacity, inventory on treatment and testing supplies and much more.

There’s no doubt that this is an unprecedented time for all of us. Whether you’re a medical professional who is testing and treating patients or you’re working in some other capacity in the health and wellness field, it’s always been a priority to protect patient’s privacy and their identity. This step made by the OCR is deemed as necessary to continue fighting the coronavirus and will ensure that you are following the proper protocols until the pandemic has wavered.

All Points Mobile Shredding is a family owned and operated company located in Stuart, Florida. We provide shredding and destruction services to commercial and residential customers throughout South Florida and are committed to helping prevent ID theft and data breaches. Give us a call today or fill out this form to find out more about what we do and how we can assist you.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Mobile Shredding. All Points Mobile Shredding is a family-owned and operated on-site document destruction company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.

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