California Health and Human Services

California Office of Health Information Integrity

Logo for California Office of Health Information Integrity

The California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII) is responsible for ensuring applicable California state departments are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other related state and federal laws.

CalOHII is a resource to all state departments on HIPAA to help them safeguard their constituents’ protected health information from unauthorized access or disclosures.

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COVID-19 Disaster Response and Information Sharing During Emergency

CalOHII’s guidance and other information can be found on the Emergency Information Sharing page.

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April Updates:

April 2, 2020 – Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announces notification of enforcement discretion to allow uses and disclosures of protected health information by Business Associates for public health and health oversight activities during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency  – information can be found on the Emergency Information Sharing page.

March Updates:

March 24, 2020 – OCR issues guidance regarding disclosures to law enforcement, paramedics, other first responders and public health authorities – information can be found on the Emergency Information Sharing page.

March 23, 2020 – Added links to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) COVID-19 Guidance and Resources as well as U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), OCR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Telehealth and HIPAA during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency on the Emergency Information Sharing page. 

March 19, 2020 –  SAMHSA provided COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 guidance to ensure that substance use disorder treatment services are uninterrupted during this public health emergency – this guidance can be found on the Emergency Information Sharing page.

March 18, 2020 – CalOHII published guidance on Disaster Response and Information Sharing during Emergencies – this document can be found on the Emergency Information Sharing page.

March 18, 2020 – HHS OCR announces “Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency” which according to the announcement “will waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.” In addition, HHS OCR published a bulletin on “Rights and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).”  The links to these announcements can be found on the Emergency Information Sharing page.

March 17, 2020 – HHS OCR published a bulletin on “COVID-19 & HIPAA Bulletin – Limited Waiver of HIPAA Sanctions and Penalties During a Nationwide Public Health Emergency” – this bulletin and other information regarding release of protected health information can be found on the Emergency Information Sharing page.

March 16, 2020 – The CalOHII Communication –  March Edition is available.  This month’s communication includes updates on CalOHII activities, updates from the federal Health and Human Services (HHS) and links to HIPAA-related articles/news.   Archived monthly communications can be found on the CalOHII Communications – Archive page.

March 3, 2020 – HHS OCR published a bulletin on “HIPAA Privacy and Novel Coronavirus” – this bulletin and other information regarding release of protected health information can be found on the Emergency Information Sharing page.

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