Privacy Officer's Roundtable

OCR notice/telehealth

  • 1.  OCR notice/telehealth

    Posted 03-19-2020 11:15 AM
    ​With the notice from OCR that broadens the technologies used in telehealth during this emergency - there's language about encouraging providers to notify patients of the risks.  Has anyone given any thought to that and have you scripted a message to your patients that you're willing to share?  I'm going on the side of simple; these efforts are around making care more accessible - I wouldn't want a message to create fear.

    Just wanted to check what others are doing/saying.


    Under this Notice, covered health care providers may use popular applications that allow for video chats, including Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, or Skype, to provide telehealth without risk that OCR might seek to impose a penalty for noncompliance with the HIPAA Rules related to the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.  Providers are encouraged to notify patients that these third-party applications potentially introduce privacy risks, and providers should enable all available encryption and privacy modes when using such applications.

    Timothy Koob
    Compliance Officer & Director

    SCCE Membership

  • 2.  RE: OCR notice/telehealth

    Posted 03-20-2020 09:34 AM
    I have been encouraging providers to discuss it like they would any other proposed procedure/ service where they are trying to get informed consent- stating the benefits as well as the risks, and also discussing what the provider themselves is doing to ensure security (i.e., not doing a telehealth session in their kitchen while their family mills around). I've also been heavily reminding providers to document that conversation and the individual's consent.

    Katrin Sanford, LMFT, CHC, CHPC
    Privacy Officer
    Fallon Health
    10 Chestnut Street | Worcester, MA 01608

    *Anything is solely my opinion and does not represent my company*

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