US HHS amends HIPAA privacy rule for plasma donation

With the authorisation from the Trump Administration, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an amendment on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. Healthcare providers and health plans are now allowed to contact their patients and beneficiaries who have recovered from COVID-19 to inform them about how they can donate their plasma that contains antibodies, also known as convalescent plasma, to help treat other patients with COVID-19. The new guidance emphasises that providers and health plans are not able to receive any payment from a plasma donation centre without patient authorisation.