HIPAA 2020: Texting, Emailing, And Personal Devices - New GuidanceSeptember 29, 2020 - CA US
Overview: Professional communications involving Protected Health Information must be conducted securely, according to guidance from HHS and any reasonable Risk Analysis required by the Security Rule, so any office communications must be carefully controlled to avoid breaches of PHI. But it's not only the office staff and physicians who need to communicate, communications with patients is a key part of patient care today. As HIPAA requirements for allowing patients electronic access to their health information are now in effect, and as patients increasingly come to depend on electronic communications, there are new demands for communication via e-mail and texting, using personal devices. Patients don't want to bother with secure Web-site-based solutions, they just want to use the tools they already use for communication, and they have a right to communicate how they wish. How can HIPAA requirements for privacy and security be reconciled with patient requests for information provided by e-mail and text messages? This session will discuss the differences between professional communications and patient communications, and how they must be treated to best serve patients, most efficiently enable communications, and remain within the bounds of HIPAA compliance. This session will discuss the rights of individuals under HIPAA to communicate in the manner they desire, and how to decide what is an acceptable process for communications with individuals. The session will explain how to discuss communications options with individuals so that you can best meet their needs and desires, while preserving their rights under the rules. The new 2016 guidance on individual access of information will be discussed in detail. Texting is often the preferred, or sometimes the only way of communicating with patients. Doctors and medical offices are finding that texting is far more flexible, convenient, and effective than paging, and patients want to be able to use short message texting for handling of appointments, updates, and the like, where even e-mail or the telephone would seem inconvenient. Communicating with patients' cell phones via texting or voice call for purposes of payment or providing healthcare information requires consent, and using texting for official purposes still remains out-of-bounds for physician orders. These issues must be considered when evaluating the use of texting and e-mail for all kinds of communications. In order to integrate the use of e-mail, texting, and personal devices into patient and professional communications, it is essential to perform the proper steps in an information security compliance process to evaluate and address the risks of using the technology. This session will describe the information security compliance process, how it works, and how it can help you decide how to integrate e-mail, texting, and personal devices into your organization in a compliant way. There has long been a HIPAA requirement for covered entities to do their best to meet the requests of their patients for particular modes of communication, and using e-mail or texting is no exception. Why you should Attend: With the advent of these technologies- texting, e-mailing, and personal devices - and increased desires to use e-mail, texting, and other Apps, and with increases in audits and enforcement actions following breaches, now is the time to ensure your organization meets the requirements of the regulations and meets the e-mail and texting communication needs and desires of its providers, staff, and patients. You need the proper privacy protections for health information, including documented policies and procedures on which your staff has been trained, as well as documentation of any actions taken pursuant to those policies and procedures. The stakes are high - any improper exposure of PHI against the rules may result in a breach that must be reported to the individual and to the US Department of Health and Human Services, at great cost and with the potential to bring fines and other enforcement actions if a violation of rules is involved. Likewise, complaints by a patient if they are not afforded the access they desire can bring about HHS inquiries and enforcement actions, so it is essential to find the right balance of access and control. In addition to HIPAA, there are impacts of the Telecommunications Protection Act (TCPA) that limit the use of cell phones for payment and healthcare purposes unless consent is obtained, and there have been actions by the Joint Commission to approve and then withdraw approval of using secure texting for physician orders. The session will discuss the requirements, the risks, and the issues of the increasing use of e-mail, texting, and personal devices for patient and provider communications and provide a road map for how to use them safely and effectively, to increase the quality of health care and patient satisfaction. Areas Covered in the Session: Find out the ways that patients want to use their e-mail and texting to communicate with providers, and the ways providers want to use e-mail, texting, and personal devices to enable better patient care Learn what are the risks of using e-mail, texting, and personal devices, what can go wrong, and what can result when it does Find out about HIPAA requirements for access and patient preferences, as well as the requirements to protect PHI Learn how to use an information security management process to evaluate risks and make decisions about how best to protect PHI and meet patient needs and desires Find out about limitations on the use of messages and calls to cell phones under TCPA Discover how the Joint Commission decided to allow and then withdraw allowing the use of texting for physician orders Find out what policies and procedures you should have in place for dealing with e-mail, texting, and personal devices, as well as any new technology Learn about the training and education that must take place to ensure your staff use e-mail, texting, and personal devices properly and does not risk exposure of PHI Find out the steps that must be followed in the event of a breach of PHI Learn about how the HIPAA audit and enforcement activities are now being increased and what you need to do to survive a HIPAA audit There is inadequate coverage under HIPAA for new technologies and new kinds of patient information technologies, such as contact tracing Apps Who Will Benefit: CEO HIPAA Privacy Officers HIPAA Security Officers Information Security Officers Risk Managers Compliance Officers Privacy Officers Health Information Managers Information Technology Managers Information Systems Managers Medical Office Managers Chief Financial Officers Systems Managers Chief Information Officer Healthcare Counsel/lawyer Operations Directors Jim Sheldon Dean - MentorHealthSpeaker Profile Jim Sheldon-Dean is the founder and director of compliance services at Lewis Creek Systems, LLC, a Vermont-based consulting firm founded in 1982, providing information privacy and security regulatory compliance services to a wide variety of health care entities.