HIPAA Complient Information Requirements

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HHS Solutions would like to remind everyone to protect the privacy of protected health information.

Please think before sending any resident information!  Are you sending PHI via email or mail??  Then there are precautions that must be taken.

Do not send PHI (Protected Health Information) through email unless it’s in a secure and encrypted form. 

If you need help converting your data into an encrypted format, please contact our office!!  We have an online file storage account that our clients can use to safely share information.  There are also several methods of password protecting and encrypting certain file types that are acceptable ways to then email data with those secure attachments.

So what is PHI and what is secure and encrypted?

Encryption converts the data into a secure format that renders information unreadable to those without a special key.

PHI is any individually identifiable health information.  This would be any information about health status, provision of health care or payment of health care that is created or collected by a covered entity that can be linked to a specific individual (Wikipedia).  For instance, having someone’s social security number or Medicare number unencrypted in an email is not HIPAA compliant.  Date of birth and full name together are not acceptable.

Also, if you are mailing PHI, it must be sent through certified mail so that the recipient can be verified.

Check out the link below for a list of the 18 categories of “identifiers” for PHI:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_health_information