HHS issues guidelines on HIPAA and disclosure of protected health information for extreme risk protection orders

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issues guidance to help clarify how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule enables Covered health care providers to disclose protected information. health information to support requests for extreme risk protection orders that temporarily prevent a person in crisis, who is a danger to themselves or to others, from gaining access to firearms. These guidelines help implement the United States Department of Justice’s Extreme Hazard Protection Order Model Law, which provides a framework for states to consider in creating laws that allow law enforcement forces. order, affected family members or others to seek these orders and intervene in an effort to save lives. These orders can be an important step in improving public safety by helping to prevent gunshot wounds and deaths.

The guidelines released today by the OCR provide new guidance to support an extreme risk protection order on how HIPAA allows covered healthcare providers to disclose protected health information about an individual, without the person’s authorization. The guide includes specific examples for each authorization.

“Too often, communities bear the brunt of the heartbreaking tragedies caused by the epidemic of gun violence in our country,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Today’s guidelines on HIPAA and tail risk protection orders are an important step the Biden-Harris administration is taking to protect communities from gun violence by enabling law enforcement, members family members or others to prevent someone in crisis from gaining access to firearms. “

“HIPAA shouldn’t be a communication barrier for law enforcement, affected family members, healthcare providers and others when they see someone in crisis,” said Lisa J. Pino , Director of OCR. “Today’s advice helps clarify legal requirements and better support people in crisis.”

Guidelines on HIPAA and Protected Health Information Disclosures for Extreme Risk Protection Orders can be found at: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/guidance / extreme-risk-protection-orders / index. html.

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