Healthcare Encryption Exceptions?  – Rickard & Partners

Healthcare Encryption Exceptions? – Rickard & Partners

Healthcare Encryption Exceptions?  – Rickard & Partners

We know that all email and text messages containing protected health information (PHI) must be encrypted.

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Are there any exceptions to the encryption rule?

Only one.

Patients can communicate with closed entities using unencrypted email and text messages, if the patient has been notified of the increased risk.

Patients can choose to send reminders via text message or email.

One problem many healthcare providers face with regard to encryption, is the failure to be fully aware of all information that constitutes PHI. PHI is a very broad classification that includes much more than the patient’s name or address or Social Security Number.

Another problem healthcare providers have to deal with is the redundant labeling of portals, storage, services “HIPAA compliant”.

While some of these services are HIPAA compliant, some are not and it is the job of the covered entities to perform due diligence.

Although encryption is an addressable implementation specification, it is a very useful tool for healthcare providers and can greatly reduce penalties in the event of a breach.

Healthcare entities should carry out regular and thorough risk assessments to examine areas of vulnerability.

If you need help updating your compliance, audit or training staff plans, contact us today.

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