Q. Does SCDHHS require use of a certain platform to provide telehealth services?

A. Providers have the same ethical and other obligations to maintain the security and privacy of their patients’ information and the service delivery platform. The agency understands not everyone has the same capabilities and/or has adopted a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant platform and is expecting providers to use reasonable judgement and show evidence of a good faith effort. SCDHHS does not want technical compliance with certain requirements to stand in the way of patient care during this emergency response period. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued guidance on the enforcement of HIPAA regarding services authorized for telemedicine, which is available here: https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/hipaa-and-covid-19-limited-hipaa-waiver-bulletin-508.pdf. CMS has also issued helpful guidance for alternatives available on the marketplace for providers to deliver teletherapy even if not-HIPAA compliant under traditional rules, which is available here: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html.

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