HHS issues audio-only telehealth HIPAA guidance

June 30, 2022

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance for telehealth providers on how they can use remote communications technologies for audio-only telehealth in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The guidance makes clear that audio-only telehealth is permitted under the HIPAA Privacy Rule and explains which communication methods are subject to the HIPAA Privacy Rule. HHS’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued the guidance in preparation for the eventual end of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration, which would subsequently end OCR’s current enforcement discretion regarding HIPAA compliance for audio-only telehealth services. The guidance is structured as an FAQ document that reflects questions HHS “received about whether, and in what circumstances, audio-only telehealth is permissible under the HIPAA Rules.” Click here to read HHS’ full guidance document.


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