If you are in the healthcare industry and you use a call center to take care of your calls at any time and they are not a HIPAA compliant medical telephone answering service then you could be in big trouble.
A legitimate doctor answering service has to be completely HIPAA compliant. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. As a healthcare professional, when you partner with a call center, they become an extension of you. Your patients and callers will give them their personal information, so the answering service must follow medical industry regulation. If they don’t properly protect health information, your office, practice, or hospital is at risk of direct legal action. But you can avoid all that noise and just provide great service and care by using a HIPAA compliant medical telephone answering service.
Here is something to watch out for: Is an answering service claiming to be HIPAA certified? That’s a red flag. There is actually no such thing as official HIPAA certification. Sure, there are courses that individuals and companies can take to learn more about what it means to be HIPAA compliant and they might even get a certificate after completion, but actual HIPAA certification just isn’t a real thing. Beware.
So how do you know if you have a legit HIPAA compliant medical telephone answering service on your hands or just some call center that has a mumbo jumbo certificate on their wall and doesn’t actually follow the proper guidelines? Ask! Ask about their current customers. You’re looking for other clientele in the medical industry. Ask about how they train their agents. You want to hear about continued education and don’t be afraid to ask for copies of training material on the subject or a copy of their HIPAA program. Ask all kinds of questions until you are sure that you are dealing with a real HIPAA compliant medical telephone answering service.
A quality HIPAA compliant call center won’t just stop at educating their agents about how to comply with the law during their initial training session. Instead, a great HIPAA compliant medical telephone answering service will educate their staff from top to bottom to make sure the whole company is in compliance and provide continued training for agents to ensure everyone is on the up and up.
One more thing to keep an eye on: When you are looking into HIPAA compliant medical telephone answering services try to get a sense of if they are taking these necessary steps just because it’s the law, or do they really care about helping you provide the best service possible?
To learn more about HIPAA straight from the government, please visit their Health and Human Services website and read Understanding Health Information Privacy.
To learn more about the measures we take to ensure we remain a HIPAA compliant medical telephone answering service, please contact us.