When the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996 the way Healthcare providers handle patient information began to change forever. In 2009 the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, further transformed how health information is handled. The challenge for many healthcare providers became keeping up to date with ongoing policy changes and security demands to fully protect patients’ records and information. This has been a particular struggle with the implementation of new technology and practices such as telemedicine where patient data must be accessible, extrapolated and disseminated safely and securely.
The utilization of technology to facilitate better healthcare is nothing new, and for the last few years healthcare providers and patients are warming up to the concept of telemedicine. Telemedicine is the use of communication technology to facilitate the exchange of medical information from one site to another in order to improve patient care and treatment. In many cases this can me transferring data and medical records between care facilities, or from one doctor to another. One of the primary benefit of telemedicine is also one of its greatest risk exposures. Through the use of two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other electronic technologies physicians can consult with other practitioners and even patients off site about a case. While this allows for many benefits, it also increases healthcare providers’ liability exposures when it comes to how patient data is transferred and handled.
Ever changing regulations like HIPAA required that the healthcare industry tighten security. HIPAA also established standards for what information should be protected and created the “authorized entity” requirement as well as strict guidelines pertaining to how much of a patient’s medical record can be viewed by an authorized entity. Adapting policies to fit telemedicine remains a constant struggle for many healthcare providers.
By establishing specific guidelines and procedures, properly training employees and developing strong security standards, Michigan healthcare providers can reduce the risk of incorrectly releasing confidential information, data breaches and other liability situations. At Capital Insurance Agency, we specializing in helping physicians and dentists all over Michigan protect against risk and secure quality Michigan Healthcare Liability Insurance products. Our experts are thoroughly experienced in crafting risk management and insurance programs that fit the specific needs of your unique practice. To learn more about our MI Healthcare Industry Insurance solutions, contact us today at 888 296 0418.