It is good practice to always use HIPAA compliant telecommunication when treating patients and having learners or any other participants log in remotely, however, for the time being, HIPAA rules have relaxed. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. government office responsible for enforcing certain regulations issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA):
During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- A covered health care provider that wants to use audio or video communication technology to provide telehealth to patients during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency can use any non-public facing remote communication product that is available to communicate with patients. OCR is exercising its enforcement discretion to not impose penalties for non-compliance with the HIPAA Rules in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth using such non-public facing audio or video communication products during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. This exercise of discretion applies to telehealth provided for any reason, regardless of whether the telehealth service is related to the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions related to COVID-19.
- 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, Zoom, or Skype, to provide telehealth without the risk that OCR might seek to impose a penalty for non-compliance with the HIPAA Rules related to the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.
After the COVID-19 Pandemic
The list below includes some vendors that represent that they provide HIPAA-compliant video communication products and that they will enter into a HIPAA Business Associates Agreement:
- Skype for Business / Microsoft Teams
- Zoom for Healthcare
- Google G Suite Hangouts Meet
- Cisco Webex Meetings / Webex Teams
- Amazon Chime
- Spruce Health Care Messenger
Note: AmeriClerkships has not reviewed the BAAs offered by these vendors, and this list does not constitute an endorsement, certification, or recommendation of specific technology, software, applications, or products. There may be other technology vendors that offer HIPAA-compliant video communication products that will enter into a HIPAA BAA with a covered entity. Further, AmeriClerkships does not endorse any of the applications that allow for video chats listed above.
Click here to read more.