Finally! Feds tell hospitals they may share information about COVID-19 patients with first responders

Steve Wirth, Esq., EMT-P

"Many hospitals and healthcare facilities have long resisted sharing any protected health information (PHI) about patients with their EMS agency partners, even when sharing that important information was permissible under HIPAA.

Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (which enforces HIPAA) has issued important guidance to those facilities that should help clear the way for better information sharing about COVID-19 infected patients with first responders, paramedics and EMS agencies.The March 24, 2020, guidance clarifies that the HIPAA privacy rule permits a covered entity (e.g., hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities) to disclose the PHI of an individual who has been infected with, or exposed to, COVID-19, with ..."

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