To ensure the security of their patient health information (PHI), medical personnel must abide by certain rules set by HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA specifically refers to legislation that safeguards individuals’ privacy and individualized medical records.
Legislation under HIPAA regulations is anyone working in the healthcare sector and any associates they have contracts with is subject to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. This means that the physician’s practitioner and the contractors must comply with HIPAA if they are a doctor and hire a legal or IT contractor.
All parties involved in a doctor’s office that uses a cloud-based storage firm for medical records and a third party to manage invoicing must comply with HIPAA. As a result, if your medical office uses a phone answering service to manage calls, that service is also a business associate and must adhere to HIPAA regulations.
If you work in healthcare, you presumably already understand the significance of HIPAA whenever it comes to technology and communication. However, if you are thinking about using a healthcare answering service to handle your phone answering needs, you must be certain that they are HIPAA-compliant answering service.
A HIPAA-Compliant Medical Answering Service: What Is It?
Medical practices often have two options when it concerns managing phone communication: maintaining it in-house or outsourcing to a specialized call center or answering service. Many healthcare facilities now decide to work with a medical answering service to save time, money, and internal resources.
But it’s essential to confirm a medical answering service is HIPAA-compliant and committed to safeguarding patient medical details before you hire one (EMR). Medical answering services that are HIPAA compliant should be able to provide the ideal mix of effectively assisting patients, providing top-notch customer service, and fully adhering to HIPAA’s privacy requirements.
It’s crucial to confirm that the medical answering service you select has policies to adhere to HIPAA rules whenever a call is placed on behalf of your business. The answering service should also have HIPAA-compliant software and HIPAA training to achieve complete compliance.
How Do Medical Telephone Communications Impact By HIPAA?
Healthcare facilities are required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to maintain strict confidentiality regarding patient data and medical records. Every medical practice is required by law to adhere to HIPAA compliance guidelines. Since medical procedures now have access to a wide range of technology, including VoIP phone systems and medical management software, healthcare practitioners must ensure that all their communications and technological systems are fully HIPAA-compliant.
Telephone conversations at medical practices are impacted by Title II of HIPAA, including any medical answering service the course may employ. This implies that, whether you handle your phone answering requirements in-house or through outsourcing, you must ensure that the person managing your phone-based communications complies with HIPAA standards. Medical answering services should have thorough training on HIPAA compliance, employ HIPAA-compliant software, and be able to vouch for their ability to safeguard patient data.
A Medical Answering Service’s Failure To Comply With HIPAA: Know The Red Flags
Keep an eye out for “warning indications” that the service is not HIPAA-compliant when considering medical answering services. An answering service will make it clear on its website if it is entirely HIPAA-compliant. However, if a certain medical answering service’s HIPAA information is difficult to locate, watch out for these red flags:
They are not certified as HIPAA compliant. If a service is HIPAA certified, they will typically mention this on their website. Make sure to phone the business and get a HIPAA compliance certification if you can’t find one. Take caution when working with this company if they can’t show you their certificate.
According to one of the regulations, it is against the law for HIPAA-compliant answering services to disclose patient medical information through phone or text. They text or call patients to release information. Data encryption and security must be used while revealing such information. Text communications, in particular, should be taken with a grain of salt because they rarely use secure or encrypted data.
Be wary of partnering with a company if they do not frequently train its staff on HIPAA regulations. They don’t make use of any HIPAA training courses. Make sure to find out from the company which HIPAA training course its agents receive.
To Sum It Up
Non-HIPAA-compliant answering firms are notorious for their shoddy work. Because of their lower standards, they handle more calls incorrectly or provide details to callers that they shouldn’t. Wouldn’t it be preferable to have an answering service that will protect caller privacy, treat consumers politely, and represent your business by delivering a polished phone experience?
You would, of course! Therefore, selecting a HIPAA-compliant answering service is always advisable regardless of your sector. You will be working with a premier business associate who values caller information. Customers will appreciate their secrecy, and you’ll feel secure knowing that all your callers are being taken care of.
When selecting a medical answering service, research is crucial. There are many fantastic HIPAA-compliant services available, and many of them may greatly reduce your time and financial costs when it pertains to phone answering requirements! Fortunately, if you do your homework, you may locate a well-regarded, trustworthy, and HIPAA-compliant medical answering service.