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February 20, 2020

HIPAA and Coronavirus

OCR released a Bulletin to ensure that covered entities and their business associates are aware of the ways that patient information may be shared under HIPAA during an outbreak of an infectious disease such as the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The Bulletin serves as a reminder that the protections of the Privacy Rule still apply during an emergency. Among other things, OCR reminds covered entities that they may disclose needed protected health information without individual authorization to a public health authority, to persons at risk, and at the direction of a public health authority to a foreign government agency that is acting in collaboration with the public health authority. 

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