Are eSignatures HIPAA Compliant?

Many businesses opt to sign documents virtually (eSigning) for the sake of business convenience. Healthcare organizations may choose to do so when signing business associate agreements with their vendors, when  having patients sign a notice of privacy practices for telehealth patients, or to get a head start on paperwork for patients being seen in the office. However, before you can do so, you must ensure that the tool you [...]

2020-03-27T08:57:30-04:00March 27th, 2020|

Can Employees Refuse to Work Under Certain Conditions?

Employees whose workplaces are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which is administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), have a limited right to refuse to work. An employee may have the right to refuse to perform a task, and the employer cannot fire the employee for that refusal (the refusal to work) under certain circumstances. When Does an Employee Have the Right [...]

2020-03-26T08:59:11-04:00March 26th, 2020|

1.5 Million Patients Affected by February Healthcare Breaches

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reported 39 February healthcare breaches, affecting 1,531,855 patients. Of the reported incidents, there were 26 breaches due to hacking/IT incidents, 6 breaches from the unauthorized access/disclosure of protected health information (PHI), 3 breaches due to theft, 2 breaches due to loss, and 2 breaches due to improper disposal of PHI. Do you have an effective HIPAA [...]

2020-03-24T17:36:19-04:00March 25th, 2020|

HIPAA and Telehealth

Telehealth is the delivery of healthcare, patient education, health information, and self-care, via telecommunications and digital communication technologies. These technologies include (among other things) live video conferencing, mobile health apps, and remote patient monitoring (RPM). The term telehealth is broader than the related term of “telemedicine.” Telemedicine is defined as the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients using telecommunications technology. Telemedicine is limited to the practice of medicine, while [...]

2020-03-24T12:08:42-04:00March 24th, 2020|

Are Patient Friend Requests HIPAA Compliant?

In the age of social media, it is important to understand how to use it in a professional manner. Healthcare providers may be interested to know if patient friend requests are HIPAA compliant. Although not prohibited by HIPAA law, it may not be the best idea to become friends with patients on Facebook.  It may be more appropriate to be Facebook friends with patients if your practice is in [...]

2020-03-23T14:40:18-04:00March 23rd, 2020|

Is Skype HIPAA Compliant?

Skype was one of the first platforms that allowed businesses to conduct meetings virtually; as such, it is a popular tool for many businesses. Recently, many health practices have turned to telehealth and telemedicine to treat patients. However, before it is permitted to utilize teleconferencing tools, HIPAA covered entities and business associates must ensure that the tool is HIPAA compliant. That begs the question: Is Skype HIPAA compliant? Is [...]

2020-03-21T09:41:56-04:00March 21st, 2020|

Is Microsoft Teams HIPAA Compliant?

As telehealth and videoconferencing increase in popularity, it is important to understand if the tool you are choosing to use is HIPAA compliant. Microsoft Teams is a platform that many businesses opt to use for virtual meetings. But is Microsoft Teams HIPAA compliant? HIPAA Compliant Software Usage Under HIPAA, software companies that “touch” (create, receive, maintain, or transmit) PHI are considered business associates. For HIPAA compliant use, software must [...]

2020-03-20T11:16:26-04:00March 20th, 2020|

Is GoToMeeting HIPAA Compliant?

Working from home and telehealth are becoming increasingly popular. Many businesses and health practices opt to meet with clients and patients virtually. Ebusiness offers many benefits as it lowers cost of operations, and allows businesses to service clients and patients that would previously have been inaccessible. One platform that may be used for virtual meetings is GoToMeeting. However, before a HIPAA business associate (BA) or covered entity (CA) decides [...]

2020-03-23T16:49:44-04:00March 20th, 2020|

Be Careful Where You Click: COVID-19 Phishing Emails

There have been recent reports of hackers posing as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to bait people into clicking on phishing emails. A phishing email is an email that is sent by hackers, disguising themselves as a trusted individual, prompting recipients to click on a malicious link. Clicking on the malicious link allows hackers to access the recipient's email account. Although you [...]

2020-03-20T14:38:15-04:00March 19th, 2020|

Telehealth Access Expanded Due to Coronavirus

In March of 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a series of measures to expand Americans' access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. The three steps HHS has taken to expand telehealth access include: Expansion of Medicare telehealth access and coverage that ensure patients can receive services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. Providing flexibility for healthcare providers [...]

2020-03-18T11:21:29-04:00March 18th, 2020|