To help loved ones stranded by Hurricane Harvey, federal health officials have relaxed rules dealing with how hospitals and medical providers share certain information about patients.

Photo credit: Houston Chronicle via AP. Rescuers transfer a Hurricane Harvey victim.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has given hospitals and medical providers permission to let family members know if their loved one is a patient at their facility and to talk with them about the individual’s condition and care needs.

The relaxation of the HIPAA privacy rules enables easy communication between a medical professional and a family member who lives hundreds or thousands of miles away. An adult child can provide vital medical details, such as the specific medicines a parent takes or what nursing facility they reside in, in case the individual has become separated from a caregiver.

To learn more, read this story that was first posted on Aug. 31:  Medical Red Tape Cut for Hurricane Victims.

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