There is currently a lack of clarity about whether patient consent to communicate via (unencrypted) SMS is adequate to protect covered entities from HIPAA concerns. HHS (and medical research) has released data supported use of non-encrypted SMS, given its high accessibility to patients and its efficacy in achieving behavior change (e.g. medication compliance, smoking cessation). Many covered entitites feel that this ...more »
Can a provider, or business associate acting on behalf of a provider, send an unencrypted text or email to a patient if the initial message does not contain protected health information and the patient requested the communication? If so, can the patient give the provider consent to use a third-party mailing service, even if the provider (or business associate of the provider) does not have a business associate agreement ...more »
Right now, developers expend a lot of time and resources (including the cost of data storage) on audit logging but don’t have assurance that they are in compliance. Could HHS provide an open source library of code to help developers understand how to execute audit logging.
Small companies and Business Associates are eager to meet their security requirements under HIPAA. Many smaller B.A.s have stated that they are unable to use the current security risk assessment tool because they believe it is needlessly cumbersome, redundant, and designed for Covered Entities. Do you recommend that Business Associates start to use private tools instead of the current tool for risk assessments? If so, ...more »
You have an app to manage chronic care that is primarily driven by the patient and requires patient persmission to share any data, but where providers can enter some data, such as messages, or some information related to the patient's medication. The system is offered independently from a covered entity. Just because providers enter some PHI in the system, are you seen as a BA covered, or you are not a BA as long as ...more »
A business associate provides no medical advice, medical services, medical devices, etc. But it talks to patients of the covered entity. Those patients tell the business associate what prescriptions they have for prescription drugs and when they must be refilled. The business associate faxes the refill request to the pharmacy. Does that make the business associate a covered entity?
Private Practice Physicians have the opportunity by contracting with a large health care entity to get into electronic health records EHR. In wanting to satisfy the continuum of care one practice can see any treatment provided by another provider for their patient. They can access diagnostics within the health care entities network. All good things! My concern, though users sign off on a confidentiality agreement ...more »
I am a student creating an app for school project. I was wondering if I have to be HIPAA compliant. I am creating an app, where diabetics can store their glucose and calculate insulin dosage. None of the information will be sent to hospitals or physicians. How would HIPAA work in this case? Thank you ahead.
I work for a University medical school that employs physicians as faculty and who teach at the hospital. I would like to know more about how far the ability access patient's records for educational purposes reaches. For example, if a Radiologist faculty member treated several patients with interesting or notable conditions and wanted to use the films as a teaching guide for residents, then what guidance or protocols ...more »
Does the entire environment need to be HIPAA compliant, or is it possible that the solution could fall into an exception to HIPAA, or can they use an API to store certain kinds of data? If you’re building modern technologies, you’re relying on a lot of third party (likely API) based services; mostly cloud based services. So which aspects of those need to be compliant?
A physician provides their patient with a medical device (like a CPAP or Glucose Meter). The company that created the medical device wants to monitor the maintenance of the machine. All of the information collected by the device that is sent to the physician is covered under a business associate agreement. Can the company that created the medical device receive information about the maintenance/operation of the device ...more »
There is a lack of transparency around the content of Business Associate Agreements (BAAs), a lack of sample BAA language around the topics developers care about, such as cloud storage & PGHD, and a lack of bargaining power on the part of startups. This has led to many challenges for the industry, resulting in high legal fees which may be a barrier to entry for many companies. HHS should issue sample BAA language around ...more »