HHS releases guidance on patient privacy after SCOTUS decision on Roe vs. Wade

HHS wants to protect patient privacy on apps and phones as well
Biden Cabinet HHS
Posted at 11:30 PM, Jun 29, 2022

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidance to "protect access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, pregnancy complications, and other related care," writing in a statement on Wednesday that the agency is making the move after the Supreme Court ruling to "take away" the "right to a safe and legal abortion."

HHS says the guidance is meant to do two things. One is to address "how federal law and regulations protect an individual's private medical information (known as protected health information or PHI) relating to abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care."

The other is to address "the extent to which private medical information is protected on personal cell phones and tablets, and provides tips for protecting an individual's privacy when using period trackers and other health information apps."

HHS said in the statement, “How you access health care should not make you a target for discrimination."

The agency warns that HIPAA Privacy and Breach Notification Rules don't protect patient privacy or the security of individual healthcare information when accessed or stored on personal cell phones or tablets.