The importance of HIPAA in our digital age is immense. Medical records of patients are stored in digital platforms and are often transferred over the internet. HIPAA is the ultimate compliance requirement that protects against leaks of patient information. Patient Health Information (PHI) is protected by multiple security measures including encrypted data storage and transmitted only through encrypted networks (SSL). The compliance standards of HIPAA are set by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and executed by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The HIPAA standards are followed by health care providers, medical insurance providers, health care clearinghouses, and business associates who handle personal health (PHI) information. Any medical institution or establishment which deals with protected health information (PHI) is regulated by HIPAA standards.
What is HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, abbreviated as HIPAA, was enacted by the US Congress to regulate the proliferation of protected health information (PHI). All medical establishments and peripheral service providers, dealing with sensitive patient information, fall under the ambit of HIPAA.
HIPAA sets a series of checks and balances for protecting patient information. The standards of practice and breach protocols are enshrined in five fundamental rules.
Why is HIPAA Compliance Important for the Physician Answering Services?
In a typical medical answering service, patient information is often documented in call centers and stored for long durations in cloud networks. Protected health information (PHI) is also transmitted to medical establishments from call centers over the internet and text services. Hence, Medical Answering Services are treated as health care clearinghouses under the HIPAA and are required to fulfill all necessary compliances like proper employee awareness, encryption technology for data transmission, security infrastructure, contingency plans, and respecting the rights of sensitive patient information.
Is MedContact HIPAA compliant?
MedContact is fully compliant with HIPAA standards and we follow the privacy and the security rules in letter and spirit. We invest in the latest hardware and custom-made software for all our processes. We also use 256-bit SSL encryption to make sure that patient information is totally leakproof during transmission.
We also conduct regular auditing to make sure that no breach of information has taken place at the administrative, technical, or physical level. MedContact also conducts regular employee-training sessions to cultivate security and privacy awareness.
With MedContact as your medical answering service partner, you can be assured of full security and privacy of your patient’s sensitive medical information.