HHS Clarifies Emergency Disclosures
Health Data Management (September 12, 2005)

Providers may receive information necessary to treat persons affected by Hurricane Katrina and worry about certain privacy rule provisions later, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The department for the second time in recent days has clarified privacy rule provisions for disclosing information in emergency situations.

In a bulletin, available at hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa, the department’s Office for Civil Rights advises providers, health plans and others to share data they need to treat patients now and execute required business associate contracts when practical.

“Health plans and health care providers are working together with other industry segments to gather and provide information to the appropriate points of care for the evacuees,” the office acknowledges.

Posted to HIPAAcomply 9/13/05