HIPAA-covered entities can now provide audio-only telehealth services

Health and Wellness Informatics News

HHS bringing out the new notice for providing better privacy and security. This will be highly useful for the disabled and people in rural areas.

The new guidance issued from the Civils Rights at the U.S. Department entails the use of telehealth services only in audio. It is to focus on remote communication technologies.

The purpose is to offer consistency in such operations. HIPAA’s notification rules concerning the Privacy, Breach, and Security of OCR notification for telehealth expired. However, the new notification brings up the audio-only virtual care. This will also improve citizens’ confidence in choosing telehealth services.

The OCR officer also explains that, “This guidance will help ensure that individuals can continue to benefit from audio-only telehealth by clarifying how covered entities can provide telehealth services and improving public confidence that covered entities are protecting the privacy and security of their health information.”

There are several questions concerning the health plans’ use of remote communication technology. First, what would be the HIPAA privacy permit rule for health care plans and providers?

The concern for health care providers and health plans concerns the security tule to use of communication technologies. Will audio-only telehealth service will be able to satisfy patients. Will the Rules permit allow providers to offer audio-only telehealth services without any need for business associates?

The purpose of bringing up the audio-only telehealth service is to eliminate the digital divide. But, unfortunately, there are certain sections in society that have a hard time dealing with audio-visual telehealth. There can be plenty of reason behind it.

For example, financial resources, internet, no broadband facilities, and disability or cell coverage. This is mainly faced by people in rural areas. The new guideline also aims to eliminate this vulnerability when it comes to offering health care services to these individuals.

The use of audio-only telehealth is to ensure that there is no need for broadband. Instead, the healthcare providers can operate on the need of patients in that area over the phone, founded by the University of California study of telehealth implementation. This will also bring great convenience to the disabled and the patients in rural communities.

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