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New HHS Guidance on on HIPAA, COVID-19 Vaccinations, and the Workplace

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released a new guidance for the public entitled “HIPAA, COVID-19 Vaccination, and the Workplace.” It reviews and answers the following five frequently asked questions in detail:

     

  1. Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibit businesses or individuals from asking whether their customers or clients have received a COVID-19 vaccine?
  2. Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule prevent customers or clients of a business from disclosing whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine?
  3. Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibit an employer from requiring a workforce member to disclose whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine to the employer, clients, or other parties?
  4. Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibit a covered entity or business associate from requiring its workforce members to disclose to their employers or other parties whether the workforce members have received a COVID-19 vaccine?
  5. Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibit a doctor’s office from disclosing an individual’s protected health information (PHI), including whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine, to the individual’s employer or other parties?
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    View the complete guidance.