Catalyst Healthcare Marketing

HIPAA Compliant Hosting – What It Is and Why It Matters

A look at HIPAA compliant hosting

A look at HIPAA compliant hostingAs a healthcare provider you know about HIPAA, but have you heard of HIPAA compliant hosting? If you collect any protected health information (PHI) on your website, you need to take steps to safeguard its privacy and security.

However, you don’t have to do it alone. The experts at our healthcare marketing agency can help you make sure your website meets the requirements of HIPAA. It’s the best way to protect your patients and your practice.

HIPAA compliant hosting considerations

You may not realize how many everyday activities on your website are affected by HIPAA. Here’s a list of some actions that fall under HIPAA and ways to make sure your website is compliant.

  • Posting patient names, pictures and stories. Everyone loves hearing stories from happy patients, but you want to make sure you’re not violating HIPAA when you post them online. Make sure you obtain a signed release from your patients before you post anything on your website.
  • Including physician and staff email addresses online. Many patients prefer communicating via email. However, inviting patients to email questions or feedback can lead to a HIPAA violation. Make sure you include a disclosure that the email is not secure, and patients should not use it to email personal or private information.
  • Offering online bill payment. The convenience of online bill payment is appealing to patients, but you want to make sure you’re taking steps to protect their personal information. Take time to ensure that the bill payment link has the proper security.
  • Providing patient forms online. If you provide forms for patients to fill out online, make sure the forms are securely transmitted back to your office. Email is not secure, but a patient portal with several steps in the authentication process likely is.
  • Uploading your privacy policy. In addition to providing forms or other patient resources online, you should include a notice of your privacy practices on your website.

What are the risks of HIPAA violations?

When a medical practice or professional violates HIPAA, they can expect to face many unpleasant consequences.

  • Negative media coverage
  • Loss of patient trust
  • Monetary penalties for individuals and organizations
  • Civil or even criminal liability for individuals and organizations
  • A full audit from the Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR)

The best way to avoid the fallout of HIPAA violations is to have HIPAA compliant hosting. Our healthcare marketing agency has the knowledge and experience to keep your website running smoothly and securely. Contact us to learn more or to speak with Hilary Marshall, the HIPAA consultant for Catalyst Healthcare Marketing.

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