New HIPAA Rules for Communicating with Patients by Unencrypted Email and Text Messages

On-Demand Schedule Thu, May 23, 2024 - Thu, May 30, 2024
Duration 60 Mins
Level Advanced
Webinar ID IQW19C0327

This webinar for HIPAA Covered Entities and Business Associates will cover:

  • A clear explanation of the simple 3 Step HIPAA Safe Harbor that protects Covered Entities and Business Associates acting on their behalf from liability related to Patient Engagement by unencrypted email and text messaging.
  • What makes an email or text message subject to HIPAA law.
  • A clear explanation of how HIPAA defines PHI – it's not just information about, for example, a diagnosis, disease, surgery or prescribed treatment.
  • How a 2015 Federal Communications Commission Order about health care text messages added to confusion and what it really means – the 3 Step HIPAA Safe Harbor is the only text message Safe Harbor for Covered Entities and Business Associates.
  • The interconnected liability of Covered Entities and Business Associates that provide unencrypted electronic patient engagement services like appointment reminders – and both can protect themselves.

Overview of the webinar

Effective communication with patients is a cornerstone of quality patient care and email and texting are simple and time saving communication tools. HIPAA law applies to these forms of communication but is misunderstood by most health care providers and business associates. 

Who should attend?

  • Hospital Trustees
  • C-Suite Executives
  • HIPAA Compliance Official
  • HIPAA Privacy Officer
  • HIPAA Security Officer
  • Health Information Technology Supervisor
  • Practice Manager
  • Risk Manager
  • Dentist
  • Optometrist
  • Chiropractor
  • Physical Therapist
  • Podiatrist

Why should you attend?

  • Patient Engagement is a cornerstone of effective patient care. Communication technology offers indispensable patient engagement tools. Secure patient portals are available. So are encrypted text message and email products. But patients overwhelmingly choose non-secure communication tools like text messaging and email.
  • Appointment reminders, healthcare instructions, patient satisfaction surveys, health and wellness newsletters and recall reminders are just a few patient engagement tools sent electronically by regular (unencrypted) email and text messaging.
  • The HIPAA Rules for sending Protected Health Information (PHI) by unencrypted electronic transmission are clear – and new. The first became effective with the HIPAA Omnibus Rule (September, 2013). Further, important guidance was published by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2014 and 2016.
  • There is a simple 3 step HIPAA "safe harbor" that frees Covered Entities and Business Associates from any responsibility or liability for unauthorized access to Protected Health Information (PHI) in unencrypted emails and text messages during transmission and after receipt by the patient.
  • There are widespread violations of the HIPAA Rules for communicating with patients by unencrypted email and text message - largely because Providers and Business Associates just don't know the rules – and don't understand what PHI really is – as defined by HIPAA.
  • The HIPAA Rules and HHS/OCR guidance provide a simple, easy to use 3 Step Safe Harbor for using unencrypted email and text messaging to engage patients. This session will explain the 3 Step HIPAA Safe Harbor.
  • The secret is – HIPAA Rules are easy to follow, step-by-step – when you know the steps.

Faculty - Mr.Paul R. Hales

Paul R. Hales, J.D. is widely recognized for his ability to explain the HIPAA Rules clearly in plain language. Paul is an attorney licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States and a graduate of Columbia University Law School with an international practice in HIPAA privacy and security. He is the author of all content in The HIPAA E-Tool®, an Internet-based, complete HIPAA compliance solution with separate editions for Covered Entities, Business Associates, Health Plans and Third Party Administrators.

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