HHS OCR Issues Waiver of Requirements Under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act

PUBLISHED: Oct 17, 2017
Relevant to: Critical Access Hospitals, Hospitals

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has declared a Public Health Emergency in California due to wildfires. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a waiver or modification of requirements under section 1135 of the Social Security Act as a result of the October 2017 California wildfires.

A link to the Waiver or Modification of Requirements under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act is provided below. OCR has also issued guidance on the limited waiver of HIPAA sanctions and penalties during a declared emergency. Under the guidance, covered hospitals are reminded that they do not have to comply with the following provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule:

  • The requirements to obtain a patient's agreement to speak with family members or friends involved in the patient’s care. See 45 CFR 164.510(b).
  • The requirement to honor a request to opt out of the facility directory. See 45 CFR 164.510(a).
  • The requirement to distribute a notice of privacy practices. See 45 CFR 164.520.
  • The patient's right to request privacy restrictions. See 45 CFR 164.522(a).
  • The patient's right to request confidential communications. See 45 CFR 164.522(b).

Follow the links below for additional information.

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