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September 12, 2017

During Hurricane Season, Await Possible HIPAA Privacy Relief

By Patricia A. Markus

Law 360

On Sept. 7, 2017, as Hurricane Irma devastated several islands in the Caribbean and headed directly toward Miami, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued its second bulletin in as many weeks addressing how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act applies in emergency situations.

Sept. 7 Bulletin

In the bulletin, OCR reminded HIPAA-covered entities and business associates of the HIPAA security rule’s requirement that they implement strategies to protect electronic protected health information (ePHI) during an emergency so that ePHI continues to be available and accessible both during and after the emergency situation.