OCR Issues Bulletin on Civil Rights Laws and HIPAA Flexibilities That Apply During the COVID-19 Emergency

March 28, 2020

OCR Issues Bulletin on Civil Rights Laws and HIPAA Flexibilities That Apply During the COVID-19 Emergency

Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a bulletin to ensure that entities covered by civil rights authorities keep in mind their obligations under laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, and exercise of conscience and religion in HHS-funded programs, including in the provision of health care services during COVID-19.

OCR is particularly focused on ensuring that covered entities do not unlawfully discriminate against people with disabilities when making decisions about their treatment during the COVID-19 health care emergency.

OCR enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Age Discrimination Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act which prohibits discrimination in HHS funded health programs or activities.  These laws, like other civil rights statutes OCR enforces, remain in effect. As such, persons with disabilities should not be denied medical care on the basis of stereotypes, assessments of quality of life, or judgments about a person’s relative “worth” based on the presence or absence of disabilities or age. Decisions by covered entities concerning whether an individual is a candidate for treatment should be based on an individualized assessment of the patient and his or her circumstances, based on the best available objective medical evidence.

“Our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life from ruthless utilitarianism,” said Roger Severino, OCR Director.  “HHS is committed to leaving no one behind during an emergency, and helping health care providers meet that goal.” “Persons with disabilities, with limited English skills, and older persons should not be put at the end of the line for health care during emergencies.”  Severino added.

The Bulletin may be found at: https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocr-bulletin-3-28-20 – PDF

Today’s bulletin also reminds health care covered entities of unprecedented HIPAA flexibilities recently made available by OCR in response to the COVID-19 emergency concerning:

For general information regarding COVID-19, please see: https://www.coronavirus.gov/

Sincerely, 

~Laura S. Nata   

Director of Peer Support

Families Helping Families of  Greater New Orleans &

Louisiana Parent Training and Information Center
700 Hickory Avenue,  Harahan LA  70123

504.888.9111 (ext) 209  (fax) 504.353.2350  (toll free) 1.800.766.7736

 

Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans d/b/a Families Helping Families of Jefferson and Louisiana Parent Training and Information Center is a statewide agency and an IRS approved 501 (c) 3 charitable organization.  All of our programs, services  and resources are free to families of children with disabilities in the state of Louisiana.

Donations are gladly accepted and appreciated.

Any information provided by Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans (FHF) and/or Louisiana Parent Training and Information Center (LaPTIC), its staff, and/or its volunteers is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Any information expressed or implied is not intended nor should be construed as legal, medical, or other professional advice. FHF and/or LaPTIC does not render legal, medical, or professional advice or recommendations; nor is legal, medical, or other professional advice implied by any information given. Any information provided should not replace consultations with qualified legal, educational, healthcare, or other professionals to meet individual or professional needs. Reference to any program, service, therapy, links to external websites, surveys or treatment option does not imply endorsement or support a product, service or opinion by FHF and/or LaPTIC or by its organizational staff/members and should not be construed as such. If any content is ever incorrect, inappropriate or unclear, we will always do what is appropriate to rectify and correct any errors.

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s