The new HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) rule, which took effect on March 26, 2013 for compliance by Sept. 23, 2013, has caused some confusion among dental offices regarding email. During the last few months, you may have contacted by a consulting firm offering their services to ensure that your email is secure and HIPAA compliant. Our development team at Business Promotion, however, is happy to take care of this issue for you!
What do you need to do to be certain that your email communications meet the new HIPAA requirements? The most essential step is to take reasonable precautions to ensure that you are sending your email communication to the correct location. Before sending personal, sensitive, or confidential information in an email (to a patient, client, or other authorized entity), send an email requesting that they verify their identity. After they respond, confirming that they are the correct party, you can send the information via email. This process ensures that you are sending the information to the correct email address. Once the email is in transit or has been delivered to the patient, you are no longer held responsible.
If a patient or client requests that you send encrypted emails, Business Promotion can install SSL certificates to secure your email communication. SSL certificates allow you to send encrypted emails, ensuring that any sensitive information is secure. Depending on your service agreement with Business Promotion, installing SSL certificates for your email communication may come at no extra cost to your dental practice! Although using encrypted email is recommended, it is not required by the new HIPAA rules.
For more information, we welcome you to review the ADA’s statement on how the new HIPAA rules affect email communication. If you have any questions about how we can assist you in making your email communication HIPAA compliant, please feel free to contact Business Promotion at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to help you!