Are you prepared? Design an emergency prepardness plan!

At the recent annual conference of the Association of Professional Developmental Disability Administrators (APDDA), we had the pleasure of hearing from administrators from facilities in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Texas and Miami, Florida who spoke about their experiences preparing for and recovering from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma last fall. Part of building an emergency preparedness plan includes making provisions to meet the needs of residents with disabilities in the event of an evacuation.

But! Even in an emergency preparedness plan, a resident’s health information is still protected by the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Check it out! The Department of Health and Human Services offers a great interactive tool, The HIPAA Privacy Decision Tool, that through a series of questions helps you determine how the HIPAA Privacy Rule would apply in specific emergency situations (it’s available as a flowchart, too!). Other emergency preparedness resources are also available through the HHS site.

Business Associates Beware!

Quietly, the Feds recently set the stage for a massive expansion of enforcement of privacy rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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