Protect your patients’ information, protect your reputation.
Medical professionals have to adhere to specific guidelines outlined by HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, to insure their protected health information (PHI) is safe. Specifically, HIPAA refers to a law created to help protect the privacy of patients and their personal health information. HIPAA regulations, as well as regulations under the HIPAA HITECH umbrella (The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) apply to anyone in the healthcare industry, and any associates they contract with. This means if you are a physician and contract with a lawyer or an IT contractor, both the medical office and the contractors need to be HIPAA compliant. If you are a doctors office and use a cloud based storage company for your medical records as well as a 3rd party to handle your billing, all parties need to be HIPAA compliant. So, if your medical office is using a telephone answering service to handle their calls, the answering service is considered a business associate and therefore needs to be HIPAA compliant as well.
Specialty Answering Service is a 24/7 telephone answering service that helps practices in the medical industry maintain great customer service while keeping the practice fully HIPAA HITECH compliant. As a 3rd party receptionist service, SAS, like other businesses you may contract with, falls under the category of a Business Associate. So, we take being and staying compliant for the medical practices we answer for very seriously. We stay current with all HIPAA regulations, including how we transmit and exchange messages that contain PHI and how we store messages in our database that are available on-demand in your web portal. When you work with SAS, you are working with a service that understands HIPAA, and knows how to structure your call handling to make sure we are compliant with respect to how we interact with your patients.
No matter what kind of medical office you run, Specialty Answering Service is here to keep you HIPAA compliant.
SASA HIPAA HITECH Compliant Answering Service
What We Can Do.
Day in and day out, medical offices around the country are scheduling thousands of appointments and getting calls after hours (or during business hours) for things like prescription refills and emergency medical advice. If you’re outsourcing your calls to a Business Associate like an answering service to help alleviate some pressure on your own staff, either during or after business hours, then you’re going to want an answering service that can do everything you can do in your own office – like schedule appointments and reach out to the on-call physicians. Not only that, but you’re also going to want to make sure they are following the guidelines outlined by HIPAA. Luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome!
- Appointment Scheduling: With Specialty Answering Service, we can schedule appointments on various platforms, but one of the most common that we use is Google Calendar. While we are unable to log in to your calendar directly (for security reasons), you are able to link your account to the Google Calendar app in our secure, online portal. Not only does this app allow you to set your business hours and appointment limitations, but there is also a HIPAA toggle that you can turn on and off, which would disallow operators from viewing patient health information for your other patients. Alternatively, if you use a web based calendar that does not require a login, we may be able to use that as well to schedule appointments on your behalf.
- Send Messages Safely: Why HIPAA and HIPAA HITECH regulations were put in place was to protect your patients’ information. Most ways answering services send messages to their customers are not considered secure according to HIPAA standards, like email, voicemail, or text/SMS messages. With SAS, the messages you receive will let you know that you have a new message, and tell you to log into your secure online portal for more details. No violations here!
- Enter into a Business Associates Agreement: If you need that extra assurance that your patients’ information will be protected under HIPAA, we also offer a BAA that both parties (SAS and yourself) can sign to maintain PHI security.
- Emergency Dispatching : We understand that emergencies are kind of a package deal when it comes to medical offices. They are unfortunate, but we have a team of 300+ operators who are skillfully trained in handling urgent situations. What’s even better is that we can dispatch those emergencies to the appropriate on-call physician to insure your patient receives the level of care they deserve. Our flexible on-call platform allows you to customize your schedule in real-time with just a few clicks of your mouse. Just let us know what doctor we should call and when, and we’ll take care of the rest!
As your HIPAA compliant answering service partner, SAS exists to make running your medical office easier, while helping your organization to reduce the risk of HIPAA violations.
- HIPAA Compliance: Obviously this one speaks for itself. You would think that all answering services this day in age would be HIPAA compliant, but surprisingly not all of them are. When you’re making the decision to use Specialty Answering Service, or contracting with a Business Associate that is compliant, you should enter into a Business Associates Agreement to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- 24/7 Live Answering: Just because your office has business hours and you have to eventually go home, doesn’t mean that your patients can’t still be assisted after hours. With our 24/7 live answering service, you can make sure your callers are put at ease knowing that someone is there to answer their call.
- Secure Online Portal: The secure online portal SAS offers is completely free and completely user friendly. You can log on at anytime to view the details of your messages, and even listen to calls! You are also free to add other users to the portal and set their permissions so that you are in complete control of who has access to your messages. Our HIPAA-compliant online portal allows us to stay compliant while offering the doctors offices, hospitals, and healthcare businesses we answer for an easy way to check their messages and stay current with their customer service. Our web based platform and secure mobile iPhone and Android apps ensure that your patients PHI stay protected.
- Free Mobile App: We understand that running a medical office requires you to be on your feet all day long. So, you may not be able to get to a computer for hours on end. No worries! As long as you have an iPhone or an Android, you can download our free mobile app to check your messages and return calls on the go. Sounds like you should start thinking of things to do with all the time you’ll be saving!
- Saves Money: If you’ve got things covered during the day, sign up for our Economy Plan so that we can take your calls after hours and on weekends. We’ll even monitor your usage for you and send you alerts if you’d save money by upgrading to a higher plan for the month. Just add that to the list of things you no longer have to worry about!
As a medical professional, we understand you have a lot on your plate. Not only are you the front line for people who don’t feel well, but you also have to comply with strict HIPAA regulations. We recognize how overwhelming it must feel to have patient records stacking up and endless amounts of work to do. We also know that you can’t do everything on your own, and that’s why we’re here! Let Specialty worry about staying HIPAA compliant. Working with us means doing business with a company that understands your profession, understands the telephone answering service industry, and understands what it means to stay HIPAA compliant.