The United States Department of Health and Human Services‘ (HHS) Office of Civil Rights, which oversees the administration of HIPAA, will begin working closely with mobile health companies to make sure HIPAA rules are clear and unambiguous, according to an HHS letter.
“I think the letter … is absolutely critical,” Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT, told MobiHealthNews few days ago. “I think the fact that HHS, right there in the bottom part of that first page writes ‘we acknowledge’, … with regard to HIPAA guidance not being up to date with current technology, I think was a wonderful statement by OCR to demonstrate the fact that, hey, they are really working to make sure that HIPAA isn’t getting in the way of improved patient care.”
Particular areas of confusion include patients texting with physicians, patients emailing with physicians, and patients transmitting data from health wearables to their physicians via an app. Questions about which parties need to be business associates under HIPAA are holding back innovation for many developers, Reed argues.
To read the HHS’ letter, please click here.
To read the original MobiHealthNews article in regards to the topic, please click here.