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We are empowering medical providers to serve patients wherever they are during this national public health emergency. We are especially concerned about reaching those most at risk, including older persons and persons with disabilities. – Roger Severino, OCR Director.

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has provided Bulletins, Notifications of Enforcement Discretion, Guidance, and Resources that help explain how patient health information may be used and disclosed in response to the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

OCR HIPAA Announcements Related to COVID-19:

Notifications of Enforcement Discretion




* People using assistive technology may not be able to fully access information in this file. For assistance, contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights at (800) 368-1019, TDD toll-free: (800) 537-7697, or by emailing OCRMail@hhs.gov.

For more information about the release of protected health information for planning or response activities in emergency situations, please visit the HIPAA Emergency Preparedness page.

To learn more about civil rights during COVID-19, please visit Civil Rights and COVID-19.

For more information about how nondiscrimination laws apply during an emergency, please visit the Civil Rights Emergency Preparedness page.

Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on December 18, 2020