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by OppGenetix

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expanded Medicare telehealth coverage, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services waived HIPAA penalties for “good faith use” of telehealth during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates the protection and privacy of all health identification and security of electronic medical records. Under most circumstances, telehealth services must be performed using non-public facing or HIPAA-compliant communication methods. 

The HIPAA waiver will allow medical providers to use everyday technologies like Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, and Skype to treat patients during the coronavirus outbreak. There are a few communications methods that will not be covered by the waiver, including Facebook Live, Twitch, TikTok, and “similar video communication applications.” Healthcare providers should also inform patients that these applications may are potential privacy risks and should take as many precautions to protect patients’ privacy as possible.

For more information about the HIPAA waiver and expanded telehealth coverage, visit hhs.gov.

OppGenetix Team
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HHS Expands Medicare Telehealth Coverage and Waives HIPAA Penalties