USA waives health privacy penalties in addressing coronavirus outbreak

According to CNET, doctors in the USA can now use Facebook Messenger and FaceTime to diagnose patients, without worrying about violating privacy laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The Trump administration has announced it would temporarily loosen some of those requirements for Medicare patients, as doctors are asking patients to shift outpatient activity into video chats, voice calls, texts and emails. The Washington Post reports that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar indicated that providers “will be allowed to use everyday technologies to talk to telehealth patients.”