This post does an excellent job of summarizing the kind of common sense HIPAA waivers that the U.S. government can impose during a time of emergency. There remains a significant of confusion and myth-making around HITECH/HIPAA. It reminds me of the stuff of "urban legends." Compliance with HITECH/HIPAA just requires a common sense commitment to understand the Rules and "do the right thing." It is a simple as that.
Regulatory agencies are not the enemy. They have a job to do that is somewhat thankless. If you can show them that you are making, and will continue to make, a good faith effort to comply then you will see that more often than not, the agency will take a common sense approach when reviewing your initiative, giving you the benefit of the doubt when warranted.
Looking for best of breed HIPAA Training?
To stay current on the HITECH Act and its quickly changing regulatory scheme visit the HITECH Survival Guide website and/or sign up for our free monthly compliance newsletter. Also, check out our FREE EHR Checklist.