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Is Your Medical Answering Service HIPAA Compliant? Find Out Now - Continental Message Solution - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Is Your Medical Answering Service HIPAA Compliant? Find Out Now

Quality patient care is necessary for your healthcare practice to stand out from the rest. Your patients move at a very fast pace and are very tech-friendly, which means they expect the same from their healthcare provider. A professional medical answering service is one way you can give your patients the care they may need when your office is closed for the day. You may think you have found the right answering service for your medical practice, but is your medical answering service HIPAA compliant?

What is HIPAA and why is it so important?

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It refers to a group of laws that protect a patient’s privacy by keeping their personal information secure.

Who needs to comply with HIPAA?

All healthcare organizations and their business associates should comply with the HIPAA and the HIPAA HITECH (the Health Information Technology for Economical and Clinical Health Act). Medical answering services fall under the “business associate” category, meaning they must strictly comply with every HIPAA guideline while providing answering services to healthcare organizations, medical offices and other companies in the healthcare industry that are trusted with patient information.


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What does this mean for your medical answering service?

Your medical answering service should provide a safe and secure location (either online with a software or offline in their physical office) for patient information to be exchanged. Every answering service agent must understand and comply with HIPAA regulations.

Anyone working in the healthcare industry knows the significance of HIPAA-compliance for the protection of a patient’s health information, but there is no guarantee that your medical answering service knows about the guidelines. Below are some questions you can ask your medical answering service to see if they are HIPAA compliant:

Do they send protected health information (PHI) to your phone?

Most physicians are unaware that receiving a patient’s health information (like name, contact number and health complaint) via an unsecured SMS or text message from an answering service violates HIPAA regulations. A text message is not safe for multiple reasons. Any information sent to your phone is not encrypted. Although a provider may use a password protected phone, it does not prevent others from reading their patient’s medical information once it is unlocked. If your phone is stolen or accidentally left behind, it could be quite easy for others to gain access to the sensitive information.

Do they email valuable patient information?

If your answering service sends an email with a patient’s medical information, you must make sure that it is encrypted. An unencrypted email sent from one user’s computer to another is vulnerable to hackers. These type of emails not only put the patient’s information at risk, it also reveals the identities of the sender and receiver.

Even though the answering service verifies that the message is encrypted on their side, if the information pops up on the doctor’s screen, he is in the violation of the HIPAA laws. As a physician, it is your responsibility to prevent such mistakes from happening.  However, many providers are not aware that this type of communication is not considered secure by HIPAA standards.

Overall, HIPAA compliance is an ongoing process. Being a physician, it is your responsibility to ensure that your medical answering service is protecting you and your patients in every stage of the communication process. If for some reason their service does not meet your guidelines, it may be in your best interest to hire a new company.

Contact us if you would like to learn more. We have provided superior quality call center related services to healthcare related businesses since 1967.

Source: https://www.continentalmessage.com/blog/is-your-medical-answering-service-hipaa-compliant-find-out-now/

Publish Date: April 13, 2016 5:00 AM


2021 Buyers Guide Consultancies

 
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3D Vision Consulting

. Contact Center setup, management and transformation across all key components including Vision & Strategy, People, Technology, Quality, Processes, Communication and Facilities.
• Customer Experience strategy, design and implementation across multiple delivery channels.
• Design and implementation of full-cycle Ticket/Complaint Management Process/System.
• Develop Customer Satisfaction, Staff Satisfaction and Staff Motivation strategy and programs.
• Develop end-to-end Business Processes, efficient SOPs and well-structured SLAs.
• Build modern customer communication channels including Live Chat, AI Chat Bots, WhatsApp and Social Media Integration.
• Design Sales/Telesales structure, p...
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CC-CMM Certification

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Service Journey Thinking
Service Journey Thinking is a comprehensive approach for improving the experience customers have along the service journey. It considers the service journey not only from the customer’s perspective, but it also examines the components that support the experience, including people, technology, processes and policies. By applying Service Journey Thinking, COPC Inc. helps brands promote greater efficiency, improved performance and reduced cost within their operations. For customers, this means reduced effort, improved satisfaction and enhanced loyalty.

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CTCOMM

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Call Centers, Contact Centers and Cloud Solutions Consultancies

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Customer Support Asia assures the success of service offshoring initiatives in the Philippines. Our consultancy serves both:
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- clients that desire to outsource services to the Philippines for the first time, and need expert help to qualify an an "ideal fit" partner, and manage an end-to-end service transition

We support both contact center services and "back office" BPO projects, limiting our practice to sites in the Philippines

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CX Central

Contact Centre Specialist Consulting
CX Consult provides specialist contact centre consulting with decades of experience across Australia and Asia/Pacific lead by industry expert Justin Tippett. Services include health checks, optimisation, outsourcing (local and offshore), technology upgrades, strategy and more.

Whether you have a 5 seat contact centre or a large multi-site operation we'll provide you with expert advice to ensure you can achieve your business objectives.

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Contact Center Consulting & Profit Improvement (Lean Six Sigma), Inside Sales, Efficiencies, Call Center Audit, Technology & vendor selection, Telephony, Recruiting, Training, Performance Management, Customer Journey Mapping, Software (CRM) Implementations

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Lieber & Associates assists organizations with contact center issues.This includes management, processes, training, and technology. The firm's assessments evaluate and make recommendations for 15 call center areas ranging from call seasonalities to staffing to better use of the telephone systems. Contact center technology services range from new technology selection and implementation to problem-solving and optimization to technical trouble-shooting. Senior consultants have more than 20 years of experience each and are leaders in their discipline. Clients span most business sectors.

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Mpathy Plus transform service, improve performance and provide operational support. We work in all areas of customer service and contact centres from initial strategy, feasibility studies, business cases, project management through to operational reviews, resource planning etc. We are independent and have vast experience of implementing, managing and changing contact centres and the customer experience.

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Outsourcing Solutions Europe is an advisory firm that helps companies to find the right contact center/BPO partner to serve European customers

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I work with contact centers to position their companies to take advantage of opportunities that exist for them. We also work with their existing sales team to improve their communication and hunting skills. 'Growth' is our greatest ability.

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Pelorus Associates

Marketing Communications
Pelorus Associates is a market research and marketing communications company that assists developers of contact center solutions by providing in-depth market research and by authoring white papers, e-books, and blog posts.

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We can help You boost Your business results by:

- Building or developing high performing multi-channel customer care operations

- Improving metrics like Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), First Contact Resolution (FCR), Customer Retention rate, Inbound conversions

- Developing Your teams' skills to excel front and back-office operations and Customer relations

- Preparing and executing efficient Voice of the Customer and Customer Advocacy approach

- We will help You manage challenges and risks when changes affect people, operations and technology.

15.) 
Vads

PT VADS Indonesia provides consultancies with trainers, modules, a development programs for individuals and/or teams. Types of consultancies provided by PT VADS: Knowledge Process, Transformation Consultancy, Customer Services, Contact Center, Leadership, Interpersonal Development, Motivation, Training for Trainers and Digital Marketing.

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SCC Services Group

Contact Center Operations Performance Management
In today’s competitive business environment, contact center and marketing professionals are constantly challenged to manage a growing business, achieve superior performance levels and at times are asked to support services and products that are becoming more complex.

Faced with this reality, the consulting disciplines that SCC Services Group focuses on are operations management and service delivery excellence in the customer service, contact center and brand marketing arenas.

Our consulting practice puts emphasis on:

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Established in 2003, The Taylor Reach Group is an award winning, call, contact centre and customer experience consulting and advisory firm. The company is based in Toronto and has offices in New York, Atlanta, Washington, Ottawa, London, Bangalore, Hong Kong and Beijing. We are vendor agnostic and do not partner with technology or outsource agencies. The only one who pays us are our clients. Each of our consultants possess a minimum of 20 years of ‘hands-on’ call/contact center operational management experience. We do not sell the pyramid, the seasoned experts you deal with through the sales process are the same people who will complete your project.
Taylor Reach has worked with contact cen...
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