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What the ‘good faith’ rule means for HIPAA during COVID-19 pandemic

Mar 31, 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is acknowledging that strict adherence to HIPAA rules may not be feasible during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Healthcare providers may communicate with patients using remote communication technologies.

If healthcare providers are operating in good faith, the HHS will not impose penalties for noncompliance with regulatory requirements.

A covered healthcare provider that wants to use audio or video communication technology to provide telehealth to patients during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency can use any non-public facing remote communication product that is available to communicate with patients. 

Examples of non-public facing remote products include:

  • Microsoft Teams/Skype for Business
  • Apple FaceTime
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • Google Hangouts Meet
  • Zoom for Healthcare
  • Cisco Webex/Webex Teams
  • GoToMeeting
  • Amazon Chime
  • Doxy.me

The good faith provision is in effect as long as the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency continues. 

Read more articles on HIPAA and COVID-19

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Author(s)

Rick Ensenbach
Rick Ensenbach, CISSP, CISA, CISM, ISSMP, CCSFP
Director, Risk Advisory Services
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