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Patient Communications, E-mail and Texting – How to Meet Patient Requests for Information and Stay Within the HIPAA Rules

September 12 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm MDT

Communications in health care is an increasingly complex issue. The use of texting and plain e-mail, along with patient access to health information, are two of the most current issues in HIPAA compliance and enforcement. Providing appropriate access is one of the cornerstones of HIPAA and has been identified as an area of serious non-compliance that has been targeted in the most recent round of HIPAA Audits. Proper evaluation and management of risks is also on the hot list for audits and enforcement, and that includes considering communications appropriately both with patients, and for business purposes that may or may not contain Protected Health Information. In addition, extensive new guidelines from HHS about individual access of information makes clear many areas of the access rules that must be reviewed for compliance in every health care organization.

Violations are subject to enforcement that can include fines up to $50,000 per day and more, and years-long corrective action plans that can cost many times the financial settlement with HHS. Enforcement is no longer in the slap-on-the-wrist days; violations do bring significant penalties today.

The session will discuss the requirements, the risks, and the issues of the increasing use of e-mail and texting for patient and provider communications and provide a road map for how to use them safely and effectively, to increase the quality of health care and patient satisfaction. In addition, the session will discuss how to be prepared for the eventuality that there is a breach, so that compliance can be assured.

Our speaker will include planning steps for preparations to deal with typical emergencies and significant threats to the privacy and security of confidential information. Furthermore, he will explain the roles of leadership and support necessary during an emergency, so that staff will seek assistance when necessary and managers will be ready to help staff make information handling decisions correctly.

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the ways that patients want to use their e-mail and texting to communicate with providers, and the ways providers want to use e-mail and texting to enable better patient care.
  • Discuss the risks of patients using e-mail and texting.
  • Understand how to apply HIPAA requirements for access and patient preference, as well as the requirements to protect PHI.
  • Use an information security management process to evaluate risks and make decisions about how best to protect PHI and meet patient needs and desires.
  • Communicate within the limitations on the use of messages and calls to cell phones under TCPA.

Compliance officers, privacy and security officers, health information management leadership and staff, information security, and patient relations, as well as staff that are involved in, or responsible for patient and staff communications, information management, and privacy and security of Protected Health Information under HIPAA.

Jim Sheldon-Dean, Lewis Creek Systems LLC

He is a frequent speaker regarding HIPAA, including speaking engagements at numerous national healthcare association conferences and conventions, and the annual NIST/OCR HIPAA Security Conference. Jim has more than 16 years of experience specializing in HIPAA compliance, more than 34 years of experience in policy analysis and implementation, business process analysis, information systems and software development, and eight years of experience as a Vermont certified volunteer emergency medical technician.

The speaker has no real or perceived conflicts of interest that relate to this presentation.

September 5; 5:00 p.m. MDT | | Registration fees are for one (1) connection.


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September 12
11:30 am - 1:00 pm (MDT)
$160.00 – $320
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