As she explains, Section 1135 Subsection B in the Social Security Act provides express authority to the HHS Secretary to waive a number of requirements, including the HIPAA privacy rule. In response to the pandemic, the Secretary was given additional authority to make amendments to HIPAA by program instruction or otherwise. These are no longer subject to public hearing or comment period.
However, a waiver is only effective for three days after implementation. As a results she advises not to adjust your organization’s processes. Instead continue to maintain normal operations.
In addition, compliance teams need to remember that many states have laws that are even stricter HIPAA. As a result, the waiver may not be applicable to providers in those states.
Listen in to learn more about this complex topic.