In the wake of the national opioid overdose crisis, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has provided clarification on when covered entities are permitted to disclose patient information during opioid emergencies.

The OCR commented that some health care providers believe that they must have the patient’s consent in order to share information with family members about a patient’s opioid overdose.

The OCR has clarified that health care providers may share limited protected health information in natural disasters and during drug overdoses, if sharing the information could prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to a patient’s health or safety.
Continue Reading OCR Clarifies Privacy Rule for Sharing PHI on Opioid Overdoses

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told reporters that he is in talks with representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice about easing HIPAA restrictions in situations where individuals have experienced an opioid overdose. Gov. Christie chairs the presidential commission on opioid abuse. Speaking to