Healthcare & HIPAA: Best Practices in Cloud Communications 

Michael Tindall

For more than a decade, Commio has partnered with healthcare providers to support their telephony needs. As a CPaaS platform, we’ve powered both voice and text messaging for hospitals, telemedicine providers, physicians’ offices, patient notification services, and more.

Customers often ask about privacy surrounding personal health information, or PHI. As patients continue to adopt smartphones and other digital communications devices to communicate with healthcare providers, these new technologies intersect with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act) standards. 

Healthcare providers routinely outsource some of their business operations to third-parties – consider billing, phones, patient notifications, answering services, claims work, and more. HIPAA is designed to protect sensitive patient data by spelling out how these third-parties can and cannot handle PHI. 

How HIPPA Impacts Cloud Voice Solutions

Contained within HIPAA you’ll find the Conduit Exception Rule. Since Commio does not access or retain PHI, we are not required to enter into a business associate agreement (BAA) in order to serve healthcare providers. Our services are like those of FedEx, UPS and the postal service in that we pick up and route your voice communications without having direct access to the content. The same rule applies to any in-office phone system or 911 service.

What About Text Messaging?

Just like Commio’s voice services, HIPAA’s Omnibus Final Rule covers our SMS/MMS platform. Since we only pass through the content of your messages to power their transmission and have only random, infrequent access to validate that your messages are being sent and arriving at destination carriers, this means we do not qualify as a business associate.

Our traffic does not include PHI information, as our partners use us for two-factor authentication (2FA), appointment reminders, linking people to secure patient portals, and more.

When it comes to choosing the best telecom provider for your healthcare needs, we offer 45 layers of carrier redundancy and failover, giving you full control over which high-quality carriers handle your traffic across a network of providers of any size. You can focus on patient care, while we give you the tools you need to keep the calls and text messaging flowing. 

Whether you use our platform or APIs, you have full control over call and messaging routing to be sure patients get through to emergency services, scheduling, nurse stations, billing, and more. Our team of telecom professionals is always a Slack, email, or phone call away. Call today to learn how we can help your healthcare system with all of its cloud telecom needs. 

The Bottom Line

HIPAA compliance is an important part of integrating modern communications technology with healthcare providers, so it’s important to work with a company like Commio that follows best practices. HIPAA is designed to stop sensitive patient information from being accessed or transmitted improperly. Following these regulations not only protect your patients, but also third-parties and business associates from litigation and financial penalties. 

Get a 15-minute demo this week with one of our Cloud Communication Specialists, or Check G2 rankings to learn how Commio helps optimize your voice and text outreach.

Date posted: December 2, 2020

Topic: CPaaS   Intelligent Call Routing   Messaging  

Tags: BAA   Compliance   CPaaS   E911   Healthcare   HIPAA   Telecom   VoIP  

Michael Tindall

Michael Tindall leads Commio's product development and engineering teams. While attending Clemson University, Michael co-founded Tsoft Solutions, purchased by ClearSky Networks. Next he built and ran support for US Networks. Michael then worked for Bandwidth till he was approached by Aaron Leon to build a cloud-based routing system. The rest is history. Michael is a “40 under 40” winner, and one of only 18 OpenSIPS Certified professionals worldwide. When not coding the future of telecom, you’ll find him enjoying movies, cars, entertaining, and exercising.

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