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  • HHS Issues Letter to Providers on Disclosures to Avert Threats to Health or Safety

    Prompted by the recent mass shootings across the country, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week released a letter to healthcare providers to emphasize that the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule does not prevent a provider from disclosing information about a patient "…to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or other persons [who may reasonably be able to prevent or lessen the risk of harm], when you believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or other people."

    Issued by HHS' Office of Civil Rights, the letter recommends that providers consult their state law, court decisions, and professional practice acts for any additional requirements related to disclosure of patient information to prevent or lessen the risk of harm.

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