Changes to Privacy Protections in the Face of COVID-19

COVID-19, Privacy & Cybersecurity

  • Privacy and Security

      Explore the ways in which patient and health system data is being protected.

Changes to Privacy Protections in the Face of COVID-19

June 26, 2020

Although the country is beginning to reopen, the COVID-19 virus remains a very real threat, and it continues to have a significant impact on all aspects of the healthcare system. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Health and Human Services acted swiftly to make a number of changes to federal privacy protections, as well as issuing updates and guidance, in order to improve the nation’s ability to share information to provide safe and effective care.


Although most of the changes are specific to the crisis and thus not intended to be permanent, there are no explicit expiration dates, and many have argued that some of the adjustments – particularly that related to telehealth – should remain in place even after the virus has been contained.


Below we summarize these changes to the privacy protections for health data and provide links to additional resources.