HHS Exempts COVID-19 Testing Site Providers From HIPAA Rules


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced its Office for Civil Rights will not penalize certain COVID-19 health care providers for failure to comply with regulations imposed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

Under discretion, HIPAA penalties will not apply to qualified care providers and partners that support operations at COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Sites, HHS said in a Federal Register notice published Monday.

CBTS can be either mobile, walk-up or drive-through facilities that collect COVID-19 samples and provide public testing. HIPAA aims to ensure the security of patient information in health care practice.

HHS advises CBTS-involved entities to disclose only the minimum amount of personal health information necessary for COVID-19 treatment. The agency also recommends additional security measures, such as traffic control, to foster social distancing and prevent virus spreads from CBTS.

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