FAQs on Telehealth, Telemedicine and HIPAA
Did you know the origins of Telehealth go all the way back to the 19th century? Only a few years after the invention of the telephone, an article in Lancet mentioned this then-revolutionary technology as a possible solution to cut back on unnecessary office visits.
Technology has certainly come a long way since then, and many people now have everyday access and experience with video conferencing platforms – but there are still many common questions that arise when it comes to HIPAA compliance and telecommunications.
Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions we get:
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about telehealth, telemedicine and HIPAA compliance you are not alone. Here are some of the most common:
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) compliance is the obligation of healthcare providers to keep patients Personal Healthcare Information (PHI) private. When using telehealth options, like HIPAAvideo.net, that means end-to-end encryption and HITECH compliant software to guarantee the security of patient data. HIPAAvideo.net also provides a Business Associate Agreement to safeguard protected health information.
HIPAAvideo.net is the lowest-price, full service, HIPAA compliant Telehealth option on the market today. While there are other options, none offer seamless API integration, integrated calendar for appointments, HITECH compliant platform and software, and knowledgeable live customer support that HIPAAvideo.net does.
Yes. Dentists and Doctors must comply with HIPAA in order to ensure the safe digital transmission of patient healthcare information (PHI). While some doctors and dentists might not be an individually covered entity, the HIPAA laws surrounding their practice should ensure the safe transmission and storage of PHI online.
For a video chat to be HIPAA compliant it must have three things: encryption, access controls, and audit controls. EPHI (Electronic Protected Health Information) should be safely protected and encrypted, or an equally secure security measure should be in place. Access controls refer to the level of access individuals have to specific information. Audit controls monitor access to secured files to quickly detect and alert for unauthorized access.
HIPPAvideo.net costs $24 per active provider per month. This includes end-to-end encryption, HITECH compliant platform and software, Business Associate Agreement, live customer support and demonstrations, and it has API Integration so that it can be seamlessly integrated into your current software and systems.
No, telemedicine does not require video. Telemedicine can take place over the phone or through text-based messaging as well. These features, also offered by HIPAAvideo.net, include the same end-to-end encryption and are available through the HITECH HIPAA compliant platform and software.
It can be. Telemedicine also includes phone calls and text-based messaging involving patient information. Telemedicine has become increasingly popular over the last year and a full-service, HIPAA compliant telemedicine option is available to you through www.hipaavideo.net
Yes and no. Telemedicine can take place on a video call, over the phone, or through text-based messaging. Telemedicine is defined as receiving healthcare from your provider from an alternate location through a digital channel. www.hipaavideo.net offers a full-service telehealth audio and video option for healthcare providers.
In order to access a HIPAA compliant version of Zoom, you need to download EPIC, an integration system compatible for Zoom scheduling or you would need to upgrade to the very expensive Zoom for Healthcare plan. In contrast, HIPAA Video has all the capabilities built right into its platform within the platform and is more cost effective per provider per month.
In order for Google Meet (formerly Hangouts Meet) to be HIPAA compliant, you must purchase a Google Workspace account and sign a BAA with Google. To meet the security standards of HIPAA compliance, you need to purchase at least a Business Plus , but to have all the encrypted security of HIPAA Video, you need to purchase an Enterprise account. This is considerably more expensive than the HIPAA Video platform.
No, standard Skype video is not compliant with HIPAA standards for patient security. The company does not offer a Business Associate Agreement or notify clinicians when data breeches occur. While Skype for Business can be made HIPAA compliant, it requires upgrading to the expensive Enterprise package. HIPAA Video provides a Business Associate Agreement, HITECH compliant software that ensures patient information is safeguarded, 256-bit encryption and 2-factor authentication to ensure client identity, at all levels of service.
Google Hangouts by itself is not fully HIPAA compliant unless you want to use Google Workspace for your company. While Google Hangouts’ BAA covers services such as Google Drive and Google Calendar, it does not cover Google Groups, Google Contacts and Google+. Additional issues come into play when users are on their mobile device and added security settings are necessary to ensure patient healthcare information is secure.
No. Apple is a cloud service provider, and to ensure meeting the requirements under HIPAA rules, it would need to sign a Business Associate Agreement. They have not, making Facetime not HIPAA compliant. While end-to-end encryption is available, Facetime does not allow for video recording or scheduling like HIPAAvideo.net does.
Doxy.me only has an Android-based app with limited features. There is currently no app for Apple products, such as the iPhone or iPad.
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- 5.0 from 5 reviews
Susan Blum, LCSW, New York, NY.
I am thrilled with how robust and simple the system is, and with the clarity of both the video and the audio transmission. Best by far of any platform I've tried! I know this will enhance my practice, and I am very grateful to you and to the rest of the team for doing all the behind the scene work so that we therapists can focus on our patient.
Dr Bob Goldberg, New York, NY.
It probably goes without saying that this experience was completely different from my outreach to Zoom to learn more about their HIPAA-compliant platform. It's been over a week since I got a form email from them saying that someone would be back in touch with me "as soon as possible." Not holding my breath… Any colleagues I speak to have found Zoom to be confusing and/or unresponsive. All this, for Zoom's outrageous charge of $200/month.
Dr. Stephanie Wellon, M. Ed, PA
I am forever grateful for the day that I made contact with you by phone. It was to my surprise (amid a public health crisis due to Covid -19) that I was able to actually speak with a live person that is and after scurrying through many websites and contacts to inquire about tele-counseling options to support the students in our school district.
Dr. Efi Inyang, Clinton, MD.
Thank you for helping us to make a smooth transition to HipaaVideo with the sudden change we had to make in light of the Corona virus pandemic. Our clinicians are able to hold their therapy sessions and the doctor is able to see her patients for medication management with ease. It is also great that your system is Hipaa compliant. We are already recommending HipaaVideo to others and will continue to highly recommend it.
Dr. Terry Martin & Bob Cayne Scottsdale, AZ.
HIPAAVIDEO.NET fits perfectly with our digital practice, NoCouchTherapy.com that conducts telehealth sessions globally. Thank you, Frank and Marlene.