[ Friday, September 02, 2005 ]


Hurricane Katrina Information: Obviously, the hurricane is having an impact on the delivery of healthcare, with sick, injured, infirm, and hospitalized patients being airlifted to hospitals away from the destruction, often resulting in patients being treated in hospitals away from their families. Many children, including infants, as well as older patients, may not be able to provide usual consents to records disclosures. Of course, disclosures for treatment purposes are OK. Additionally, certain HIPAA niceties may not be met, such as the delivery of a notice of privacy practices. HIPAA does take these types of emergencies into account, as HHS has noted in this bulletin.

Use common sense. Keep the patient's best interest foremost in your decisionmaking. And don't worry about HIPAA if it's an emergency; seriously, there's no such thing as the HIPAA police, and neither HHS nor OCR is going to fault you later for trying to do what was best for your patients.

Jeff [9:56 PM]

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