Answering Service

HIPAA

What is HIPAA and why does it matter?

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, refers to a set of laws intended to help protect the privacy of patients and their personal information. HIPAA, as well as HIPAA HITECH (The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) apply to healthcare providers and organizations, as well to as their business associates.

We are considered HIPAA “business associates.”

As a company that provides outsourced answering service services to medical offices, healthcare providers and other entities in the health and medical fields, our company, Answering Service Care, falls under this “business associate” category and as such, we take HIPAA compliance very seriously.

We are committed to protecting and securely storing and exchanging our answering service clients’ (and their clients’ and patients’) protected health information. That’s why each of our answering service agents is HIPAA-certified and proficient in how HIPAA applies to callers, patients and your practice.

What does all of this mean for your business in the healthcare or medical field?

Most of the more common ways of relaying answering service messages to our clients – including text/SMS, email, live, recorded, fax and pager – are not considered secure by HIPAA standards.

To that end, we have developed proprietary software that allows us to be fully HIPAA-compliant while still providing our healthcare/medical answering service clients with easy, one-click ways to retrieve their phone messages. Our secure messaging software is a web-based application that transmits encrypted data between our answering service operators and our clients.

How does the secure messaging process work?

  • Once a call is taken on our end for a HIPAA-compliant client, our agent creates the message.
  • Secure messaging is activated and our client receives a notification via text or email informing them “you have a new secure message.”
  • The client logs into the secure web portal and can view messages, either from a desktop computer or through their mobile device.

Secure, compliant…and still easy to do business with us. As a premier answering service, it is our goal to be fully compliant and to make it easy and efficient to work with us. Our secure portal and messaging system is both secure and easy to work with, and our clients know we have their best interests at the heart of all that we do. Click here to download our HIPAA agreement.

If you’d like to read more about the latest on HIPAA, here and here are some good resources.