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AnswerNow Conforms to all Updated HIPAA HI-TECH Requirements
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September 27, 2013

AnswerNow Conforms to all Updated HIPAA HI-TECH Requirements

By Jayashree Adkoli
TMCnet Contributor

AnswerNow, a medical call center provider, announced that it has conformed to all the new rules of the HIPAA HI-TECH (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, and is thus better able to support the security of patient-health information.

The U.S Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently embraced new rules for the HIPAA HI-TECH Act, in an effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system.

Under the terms of the new regulations for HIPAA HI-TECH act, effective September 23, 2013, all covered physician practices and companies offering answering services to healthcare clients, such as medical call centers, are required to follow the new guidelines. The new rules ensure that all privacy and security requirements for electronically transmitted health information are met.

According to the new regulations, healthcare call centers, such as AnswerNow, are now required to make primary changes to how electronically transmitted healthcare information is circulated. Specifically, healthcare call center providers will not be able to send any patient related information through unsecured or unencrypted channels.

For example, one of the updates among the new HIPAA HI-TECH rules requires that all healthcare messages containing patient information be encrypted. Because text messages are not stored on a secure server by cell phone carriers, existing short message service (SMS) technology does not provide the necessary layer of protection to comply with the new standards. 

Another update to the HIPAA HI-TECH act prohibits call center providers from sending any e-mails that contain protected health information without a secure network connection.

With the help of various compliance training, processes and technology, the company explained, AnswerNow is now completely complaint with all the updates to the HIPAA HI-TECH Act.

Catering to these new guidelines, AnswerNow now provides a secure HIPAA messaging application, which conforms to the new updates and provides several security features, such as full point-to-point encryption and password protection. It also provides its healthcare clients with secure website access, wherein clients can view all messages within a secured site.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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