My blogs have always focused on highlighting various stipulations which make medical transcription domain a viable option for medical practitioners. In this write-up; I have discussed about the need for HIPAA act; and how it makes medical transcription domain a better business prospect for medical practitioners.
In every blog I have tried to showcase important details relevant to medical transcription domain and this particular write-up is no different. I have tried to put my views on the HIPAA compliance that was initially introduced in 1993 but was put into effect from April 2003. Let me first of all start off with the full-form of HIPAA which is actually quite necessary to put the discussion forward. HIPAA stands for Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. The entire focus of this act was to protect the rights of the patients so that their personal information does not fall in the hands of unreliable sources. But the HIPAA law gives freedom to the patients to access their personal records from the physicians without any difficulty. The act also adds responsibility on healthcare providers and other healthcare beneficiaries to protect the personal information of the patient in a safe and secure manner. Now whether the compliance is being followed or not is an all together different story! But getting the status of being a HIPAA-complaint Medical Transcription Company enhances the reputation of an organization and gives them an opportunity to expand their client list. Now there are five titles under which the entire act is divided. Let us look at each of these rules for the titles in brief:
- The Unique Identifiers Rule (National Provider Identifier)
- The Privacy Rule
- The Transactions and Code Sets Rule
- The Security Rule
- The Enforcement Rule
You can read in detail about these rules by going through the detailed version of HIPAA act. Now let me concentrate on how exactly medical transcription company falls in the predicament of fulfilling these rules. As you know that medical transcription companies usually work as a business associate. Now business associates are entities that perform on behalf of healthcare providers; but are not part of covered entity’s workforce. But every country has its own regulation and certain states still cover Medical Transcription services as Covered Entities. Now since the HIPAA act, the security level in medical transcription companies has increased. No longer can employees share passwords with each other or share personal information of patients to a third party. As any such breach puts the medical transcription companies into a fix and they then need to pay humongous amount of penalties to HIPAA for breaching privacy and security of the patient. Even if there is a distinct possibility wherein a medical transcription company has to share the information with a third party they need to take a written confirmation that the shared information will not be leaked outside their organization and will remain intact with them. Even if an offshore medical transcription company breaches the HIPAA act they are liable to be tried in US court as per the jurisdiction followed by the home country. Hence, it is always advisable to protect the patient data from any outside person. Regular assessments are done by HIPAA personnel to see that the rules are followed adequately by the members on a regular basis. This not only makes the medical transcription domain safe and secure for the patient data but also gives enormous confidence in a medical practitioner to share their database with a reputed medical transcription company.