Doctors take note: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) just kicked things up a notch with new regulations that could significantly impact which telemedicine and telepsychiatry partner you choose. HIPAA changes announced by the Department of Health and Human Services on January 17, 2013, make all business associates of covered entities directly liable for HIPAA compliance.
COLD SPRING, N.Y., Feb. 6, 2013 – Doctors take note: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) just kicked things up a notch with new regulations that could significantly impact which telemedicine and telepsychiatry partner you choose. HIPAA changes announced by the Department of Health and Human Services on January 17, 2013, make all business associates of covered entities directly liable for HIPAA compliance. Included in this widespread sweep of patient privacy obligations is the means by which doctors provide online medical consultations to patients. The new HIPAA regulations clearly stipulate that physicians must use a HIPAA-compliant partner when practicing telepsychiatry.
In recent years, doctors and patients have welcomed the Internet as a means for providing and receiving healthcare. However, limited telepsychiatry solutions targeting private practices and vague security guidelines for online medical consultations left doctors with few viable options. Many turned to Skype, despite growing concerns over user privacy. In light of new regulations, how then can healthcare providers meet the growing demands for telemedicine services while safeguarding their patients and their practice? CloudVisit telepsychiatry has the answer.
CloudVisit psychiatry is the only private practice telepsychiatry solution that provides affordable, easy, and safe doctor-to-patient connectivity online. President and CEO, Daniel Gilbert, explains how these new HIPAA regulations highlight the pinnacle of CloudVisit’s business model, “CloudVisit was built solely as a telemedicine solution. From conception to launch, our measures of success have been ease of use and information security.” CloudVisit puts telepsychiatry in the hands of private practice physicians with everything for scheduling, conducting, invoicing, and tracking online patient sessions.
Choosing a HIPAA-compliant telepsychiatry provider
Knowing what to look for in a telepsychiatry software can be challenging, particularly for doctors new to online methods of care. Beyond affordability and ease of use, keep in mind these three key requirements when evaluating telepsychiatry providers for HIPAA-compliance:
- Your provider is responsible for the data they hold. All sensitive patient information must be encrypted and protected while being transmitted and stored on their servers.
- Your provider must be able to present audit trails and a detailed disaster recovery plan in case of intrusion or system failure.
- HIPAA-compliance requires a signed Business Associate Agreement (BAA) between you and your telemedicine provider. The purpose of this agreement is to confirm that they abide by all of the rules and regulations as presented by HIPAA.
“There’s no question that healthcare partners have a responsibility to protect the patients of the doctors they support,” says Gilbert. “Telepsychiatry should be no exception and CloudVisit is ready. We’ve been protecting patient information since day one.” CloudVisit provides extensive details on their security measures and disaster recovery plans and enters BAAs with subscribing physicians to ensure full HIPAA compliance.