Email, Texting & HIPAA-TCPA Compliance - Electronic Message Rules & Myths

Duration: 60 Minutes
Instructor: Paul R. Hales
Webinar Id: 801982


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This webinar will explain how Covered Entities can protect themselves from HIPAA and TCPA violations by following the simple 3-step safeguard to communicate with patients using unencrypted email and text messages. It will also cover new HIPAA guidance and the CMS directive to explain when emails and text messages containing PHI must be encrypted.


Regular (unencrypted) Email and Text Messaging are effective engagement and communication tools that patients like and have the right to use. A simple 3 Step HIPAA Safeguard fully protects Covered Entities from violating both HIPAA and the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) to ward off expensive TCPA class actions.

Few take advantage of the 3 Step Safeguard. Unfortunately the Internet is awash with mis-information about Health Care Email and Text Messaging that can lead Covered Entities into serious trouble.

HIPAA Rules generated by the HITECH Act and OCR guidance clearly explain how Covered Entities may communicate with patients by unencrypted Email and Text Messaging. The new HIPAA Rules and a directive from the CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality/Survey & Certification Group also clarify when Covered Entities must use encrypted Email and Text Messages containing PHI.

This webinar will explain how Covered Entities can protect themselves from HIPAA and TCPA violations by following the simple 3 Step Safeguard to communicate with patients using unencrypted Email and Text Messages.

It also will cover new HIPAA guidance and the CMS directive to explain when Emails and Text Messages containing PHI must be encrypted.

Why should you Attend: You will find out how to use and document the 3 Step Safeguard to protect your organization when communicating with patients by regular Email and Text Message. The 3 Step Safeguard is a complete "Safe Harbor" from HIPAA and TCPA violations and exposure to unquestionable, serious Risks if you don’t take advantage of this safeguard.

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • Brief review of HIPAA and the TCPA
  • How HIPAA defines PHI - it's not just medical information about, for example, a diagnosis, surgical procedure or prescription
  • When an Email or Text Message contains PHI - busting common myths
  • The simple 3 Step HIPAA Safeguard that protects Covered Entities from HIPAA and TCPA violations when they use standard, unencrypted Email and Text Messages to communicate with patients
  • The worthless, dangerous "Healthcare Treatment Message Exemption" based on widespread misunderstanding of a 2015 FCC TCPA Order
  • When Covered Entities must encrypt Emails and Text Messages
  • Compliance Tips

Who Will Benefit:
  • Health Care Covered Entities
    • Health Care Providers
      • Clinics
      • Hospitals
      • Health Care Practices of all types and sizes
      • Physical, Occupational and Behavioral Therapists
    • Health Plans
      • Group Health Plan Administrators
      • Third Party Group Health Plan Administrators
      • Health Plan Administrators
    • Personnel
      • Executive Management - all Covered Entities
      • Compliance Committee - Covered Entity Board of Trustees
      • Practice Managers - Covered Entities
      • Chief Compliance Officer - all Covered Entities
      • HIPAA Compliance Officials - Privacy and Security
      • Patient Engagement and Marketing Specialists
      • Patient Outreach Coordinators
      • Risk Managers
      • Covered Entity Owners and Senior Management
      • Compliance Committee - Physician, Practitioner-owned Covered Entities
      • Attorneys for Covered Entities - In-house and Outside Counsel
    • Vendors and Business Associates
      • Vendors of Email and Text Message patient engagement services
      • Billing companies
      • Collection Agencies
      • Practice Management companies
      • Vendors of patient satisfaction surveys using Email and Text Messages
      • Health Care Marketing Consultants
      • Health Care Compliance Consultants
      • Law Firms

Speaker Profile
Paul R. Hales, J.D. is widely recognized for his expert knowledge and ability to explain the HIPAA Rules clearly in plain language. Paul is an attorney licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States and a graduate of Columbia University Law School with an international practice in HIPAA privacy and security. He is the author of all content in The HIPAA E-Tool®, an Internet-based, complete HIPAA compliance solution with separate editions for Covered Entities, Business Associates, Health Plans and Third Party Administrators.

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