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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

During the COVID-19 national emergency, physicians may want to communicate with patients, and provide telehealth services, through remote communication technologies. Some of these technologies, and the manner in which they are used, may not fully comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

HHS is therefore temporarily waiving penalties for HIPAA violations against physicians that serve patients in good faith through everyday communications technologies, such as Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, or Skype during the emergency. 

ACEP has asked the Trump Administration for a more expansive HIPAA waiver. Physicians should have full flexibility to communicate with patients and share patient data as they deem appropriate.

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