As the global pandemic continues, video visits with healthcare providers have become more popular than ever. While HIPAA guidelines have been temporarily relaxed because of COVID-19, that won’t last. It’s crucial to use a secure platform that’s meant for telemedicine, not standard video conferencing technology, like FaceTime or Skype.
At Anytime Pediatrics, security and compliance are central to everything we do. We understand pediatricians want to use a platform that makes sense for their workflow, and we are also committed to keeping safeguards in place to protect pediatric practices and their patients’ information. Here are four ways we’re doing just that.
When it comes to video visits, abiding by HIPAA rules is more than simply keeping the conversation between the provider and the patient. There are rigorous standards that must be met for a telehealth solution to be HIPAA compliant. It’s true some guidelines have been suspended during the pandemic, but not following them puts both pediatric practices and their patients at risk.
Free video conferencing platforms like FaceTime and Skype are pretenders at best. They have no compliance built in, are not hosted on HIPAA-compliant servers, and offer nothing in terms of protecting patient information. Anytime Pediatrics, however, is securely encrypted, and all information is protected and shared in accordance with HIPAA compliance standards.
Business Associate Agreement
One of the requirements of HIPAA is that all covered entities, such as clinical practices and hospitals, have business associate agreements (BAAs) with their vendors. This includes video conferencing vendors, but the standard free platforms do not provide BAAs. Anytime Pediatrics takes this step seriously by having a BAA that outlines how we handle electronic protected health information (ePHI).
In general, a BAA should ensure that the third party will use any provided PHI only in a secure and established manner. The agreement should discuss safeguards to prevent use or disclosure of PHI and policies to mitigate a data breach.
Consent to Treat
Another HIPAA requirement is that providers obtain a signed informed consent from patients before carrying out a telemedicine visit. An informed consent document describes what telehealth is, explains the expected benefits and the patient’s possible risks, and clarifies security measures. According to the National Telehealth Policy Resource Center, the consent to treat can be a written form signed by the patient’s guardian or a verbal acknowledgment that is recorded in the patient’s record.
FaceTime, Skype, and other video conferencing applications do not build in the consent to treat feature. Anytime Pediatrics makes informed consent easy for pediatric practices and their patients, who simply sign the form before an appointment. This is an important step that can help with reimbursement, depending on the laws in your state.
Solutions Built for Healthcare
Video conferencing technologies are universal applications that can be helpful for some businesses, but they are not the same as a telehealth solution. When you partner with Anytime Pediatrics, you get a platform that you can customize to fit your existing workflow. This means patients, staff members, and pediatricians have the right tools at each step to maximize success and satisfaction.
Key features include:
- On-demand and scheduled virtual visits
- iOS and Android applications for both patients and provider
- Automated, smart routing based on the availability of your team
- Co-pay or cash pay capture via credit card processing
- Photo uploads and live chat
- Pediatric-specific features like family profiles and chief complaints
What Else Does Anytime Pediatrics Offer?
In addition to all of the above features related to security, Anytime Pediatrics provides user-friendly functionality. Our platform brings value to you, the pediatrician. With that in mind, we constantly monitor our clients’ feedback, allowing user input to shape the direction of our product. Pediatricians who use our telehealth solution determine the features we develop. Video conferencing platforms are not doing this, and they never will.
Security is important to us — now during the pandemic and forever. Protect your practice and your patients’ health information. Don’t put them at risk by using a video conferencing platform that is not HIPAA compliant. Let us show you how easy telehealth technology can be.
BONUS – Hear from Michael Gorton, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Teladoc, on what sets Anytime Pediatrics apart from other video platforms.