New HIPAA Encryption Rules for Email & Text Message and Mandatory Exception for Patients

Duration: 90 Minutes
Instructor: Paul R. Hales
Webinar Id: 802723


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Regular (unencrypted) Email and Text Messaging containing Protected Health Information (PHI) are effective engagement and communication tools that patients like and have the right to use.

However, unencrypted Emails and Text Messages containing PHI raise significant threats of medical identity theft. This webinar will explain the simple 3 Step HIPAA Safeguard that fully protects Covered Entities from HIPAA violations even when an unencrypted Email or Text Message is intercepted in transmission.

The Internet is awash with misinformation about Health Care Email and Text Messaging that can lead Covered Entities into serious trouble. Part of the problem is a common misunderstanding of how HIPAA defines PHI. It's much more than information about an individual's medical condition, prescribed treatment, diagnosis or medications as the webinar will explain.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services administers and enforces HIPAA. OCR guidance clearly explains how Covered Entities must comply with a patient's right to communicate by unencrypted Email and Text Messaging.

The HIPAA Rules and a directive from the CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality/Survey & Certification Group also clarify when Covered Entities must encrypt Email and Text Messages that contain PHI.

On April 1, 2021, the U. S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous 'blockbuster' decision about the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that affects Health Care text messaging. The webinar will cover that decision and explain why it did not give blanket permission to text patients at all. HIPAA is still in full force and effect.

The key takeaway is how Covered Entities can comply with the patient's right to receive unencrypted Emails and Texts containing PHI and protect themselves fully from HIPAA violations. Just a simple 3 Step Safeguard is all that is needed.

It also will explain when Emails and Text Messages containing PHI must be encrypted.

Why you should 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 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 unanimous Supreme Court TCPA decision
  • How HIPAA defines PHI - it's not just medical information about, for example, a diagnosis, surgical procedure or prescription
  • A Patient's absolute right to receive PHI by standard (unencrypted) Email & Text Message
  • The simple 3 Step HIPAA Safeguard that protects Covered Entities from HIPAA violations when complying with patient right to communicate by standard, unencrypted Email and Text Message
  • When Covered Entities must encrypt Emails and Text Messages

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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