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How HIPAA Applies to Telehealth

a person watches a doctor talking about hipaa and telehealth on a computer

Telehealth capabilities and the popularity of remote care were already on the rise when COVID-19 shut down many social opportunities. The global pandemic accelerated access and the need to see doctors and communicate with other medical providers via technology. Suddenly, the entire country turned to telehealth as a way to replace traditional office visits and monitor patients who were isolated at home. As your organization continues to manage both HIPAA and telehealth opportunities for caring for patients, contact Sunwave Health today online or by calling us at 561.576.6037 to learn about how our software tools for telehealth providers can help your team better manage compliance during virtual care sessions.

What Is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that requires the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. Since telehealth sessions and some of their records exist in the cloud, on apps, and over telecommunication devices, HIPAA and virtual care are intrinsically linked. To succeed in this new world of health care, your business must follow, understand, and stay compliant with HIPAA regulations.

HIPAA and Telehealth

The lasting power of telehealth is being seen across the entire healthcare industry, with more and more medical providers using telehealth to extend patient care and make it more accessible. Additionally, more patients are comfortable with telehealth appointments and are willing to adopt the service. This means that your organization will continue to pivot toward remote access to health care and consider HIPAA and telehealth compliance.

The HIPAA guidelines that exist for telemedicine affect all medical professionals and healthcare organizations that are providing virtual care services to their patients. The channels of communication being used for protected health information have to be HIPAA-compliant if medical professionals and healthcare organizations want to comply with HIPAA and telehealth privacy rules and regulations. This element of HIPAA and virtual care stipulates that:

  • Only authorized users should have access to electronically protected health information
  • A system of secure communication needs to be in place to protect the privacy and integrity of a patient’s medical records through software tools for telehealth providers
  • Software tools should be monitored

Electronic protected health information must remain safe and secure even when communicating with patients at a distance.

The Right Software Tools Help with HIPAA and Telehealth

Staying compliant and up to date on the rules and regulations surrounding HIPAA and virtual care can be a challenge for any medical provider. Thankfully, the right software tools can help not only ensure your patients’ data is safe and secure but make delivering care to communicating with your patient more efficient.

Easy Access

Software tools that manage both HIPAA and telehealth channels can provide your organization with video and phone access to your healthcare specialists and patients.

Patient Portal

The success of virtual care depends on the ease of access for both providers and patients. Having a secure web-based portal for patients to initiate chats, access their medical records and test results, and schedule appointments can further break down walls to receiving the best care.

The Delivery of Care

Your organization needs the tools to manage HIPAA and telehealth appropriately, securely, and flawlessly to deliver care to your patients on time and with the privacy required by law.

Learn More at Sunwave Health

Healthcare organizations like yours can harness the power of virtual care to reach patients where they are when they need you the most. Telehealth access expanded during the pandemic, and HIPPA and virtual care are both ongoing concerns for medical professionals. Sunwave Health’s software tools for telehealth providers can help your center run smoother, facilitate better care for and communicate with your patients, and stay HIPAA compliant. Learn how more by calling us 561.576.6037 or reaching out to us online today.