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PH COVID-19 Client Alert Series: Relaxation of HIPAA Restrictions in the COVID-19 Era

April 10, 2020

By Sherrese Smith & Adam Reich

As the nation races to identify treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, enforcement of the privacy strictures of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) has been relaxed. In March, 2020, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that OCR would exercise enforcement discretion to not impose penalties for HIPAA violations against healthcare providers treating patients through commonly used social media apps.