Practice Management

HIPAA Telemedicine Guidelines: Compliance and Patient Privacy

HIPAA Telemedicine Guidelines: Compliance and Patient Privacy

11 Jan 2022
5 min
HIPAA Guidelines on Telemedicine

The telemedicine market is set to hit $185.6 billion by 2026. This shows it's a growing industry.

The goal of HIPAA Guidelines is to protect against any private patient confidentiality records. HIPAA Compliance is to offer a secure sign-in form for a Telemedicine company. Then, their data can be encrypted so that records and files get kept without getting lost.

Do you work in a medical practice and are wanting to ensure that you're keeping up with the right guidelines? Here's your HIPAA Checklist to ensure that you can maintain records appropriately.

What Is HIPAA?

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

It offers the opportunity for millions in the U.S. to continue benefiting from health insurance coverage whenever they become made redundant. It also decreases fraudulent activity within healthcare.

Regulations are provided for healthcare information standards with respect to online billing. The guidelines help protect the handling of healthcare data to keep it safe and secure.

Further Reading:

Protection That HIPAA Offers

PHI, or Protected Health Information, is a main concern for HIPAA. It included personal data relating to the patient such as age, name, and employment status.

In addition, fingerprints get taken as well as their pictures, address, and phone number. PHI also gathers medical data about families and their social status.

Why Is It Important to Be HIPAA Compliant?

Keeping your records secure is the most important part of any business. Without it, you could lose access to important information and documents. Therefore, it's best to make sure your devices are compliant with HIPAA guidelines.

If secured by HIPAA, you'll be safe when:

  • Saving legal information
  • Producing reports
  • Verifying users

The goal was to remove fraud in healthcare systems and ensure that all health records remain secure. It limits and protects every person's health data files.

HIPAA Guidelines on Telemedicine

Telemedicine services are subject to the same HIPAA regulations as in-person medical services. This means that covered entities must ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI. The HIPAA guidelines on telemedicine cover the following areas:

  1. Privacy Rule

The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires covered entities to protect the privacy of patient information, including ePHI. This includes ensuring that patient information is not disclosed without the patient's consent or authorization, except in certain circumstances (such as when required by law or in an emergency). Healthcare providers must also provide patients with a notice of privacy practices, which explains how their information will be used and disclosed.

In the context of telemedicine, providers must ensure that patient information is transmitted securely and that only authorized individuals have access to the information. This includes using encryption and other security measures to protect ePHI during transmission and storage.

  1. Security Rule

The HIPAA Security Rule requires covered entities to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI. This includes implementing administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to protect ePHI from unauthorized access, use, and disclosure.

In the context of telemedicine, providers must ensure that their telemedicine systems and processes are secure and comply with HIPAA security requirements. This includes implementing access controls to restrict access to ePHI, using encryption and other security measures to protect ePHI during transmission and storage, and implementing procedures for responding to security incidents.

  1. Breach Notification Rule

The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities to notify patients in the event of a breach of unsecured ePHI. A breach is defined as the unauthorized acquisition, access, use, or disclosure of ePHI.

In the context of telemedicine, providers must have procedures in place for detecting and responding to breaches of ePHI. This includes implementing mechanisms for detecting and reporting breaches and developing a breach response plan that includes notifying patients in the event of a breach.

6 steps to ensure compliance and provide high-quality telemedicine services to your patients.

Ensuring Compliance with HIPAA Guidelines on Telemedicine

To ensure compliance with HIPAA guidelines on telemedicine, healthcare providers should consider the following best practices:

  1. Conduct a risk analysis

Healthcare providers should conduct a risk analysis to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI. The risk analysis should consider the telemedicine system and processes, as well as the potential threats and vulnerabilities to ePHI.

  1. Implement appropriate safeguards

Based on the risk analysis, healthcare providers should implement appropriate safeguards to protect ePHI. This may include implementing access controls to restrict access to ePHI, implementing encryption and other security measures to protect ePHI during transmission and storage, and implementing policies and procedures for responding to security incidents.

  1. Train employees on HIPAA requirements

All employees who handle ePHI should receive training on HIPAA requirements, including the HIPAA guidelines on telemedicine. This training should cover the importance of protecting ePHI, the risks associated with telemedicine, and the procedures for handling ePHI during telemedicine consultations.

  1. Develop a telemedicine policy

Healthcare providers should develop a telemedicine policy that outlines the procedures and guidelines for telemedicine consultations. The policy should include information on how ePHI will be protected, how patients will be notified of their privacy rights, and how security incidents will be handled.

  1. Choose a secure telemedicine platform

Healthcare providers should choose a secure telemedicine platform that is compliant with HIPAA requirements. The platform should use encryption and other security measures to protect ePHI during transmission and storage, and should have robust access controls to restrict access to ePHI.

There are many telemedicine software options available, but not all of them are created equal in terms of security and HIPAA compliance. One option that stands out as a secure and HIPAA-compliant platform is Upvio.

Upvio is specifically designed to meet HIPAA requirements, and it is built with security as a top priority. The platform uses end-to-end encryption to protect patient information during transmission, and it stores data on secure servers that are compliant with HIPAA regulations. Upvio also requires strong passwords and provides access controls to restrict access to patient information.

In addition to its security features, Upvio is also user-friendly and easy to use. The platform is browser-based, meaning that patients do not need to download any software to use it. Healthcare providers can also customize their virtual waiting room and use a variety of features, such as screen sharing and recording sessions.

  1. Obtain patient consent

Before conducting a telemedicine consultation, healthcare providers should obtain patient consent for the use and disclosure of ePHI. The consent should include information on how ePHI will be protected, and how patients can exercise their privacy rights.

One way to streamline the process of obtaining patient consent is by using digital consent forms. Digital consent forms can be completed by patients online, eliminating the need for paper forms that must be filled out and signed in person. 

Patients can access digital consent forms through their provider's telemedicine platform, making it a convenient and user-friendly option. Digital consent forms can be customized to include specific information about telemedicine, how ePHI will be protected, and how patients can exercise their privacy rights.

Utilizing a HIPAA-compliant form builder streamlines the collection and storage of patient consent forms digitally. The forms can be stored electronically and accessed easily by healthcare providers, eliminating the need for physical storage space and reducing the risk of lost or misplaced forms.

Upvio offers a digital consent form feature that healthcare providers can use to obtain patient consent. The feature allows healthcare providers to create customizable consent forms that patients can access and sign digitally through the Upvio platform. Once the patient has signed the form, it is automatically saved to the patient's record and can be accessed by the healthcare provider at any time.

The Goals of HIPAA

HIPAA has many targets. Here are some of the most important ones.

The telemedicine company keeps all records and information private. All online records get kept safe, administration is easy. Insurance is portable, so it's taken with you at any time.

The Benefits of HIPAA

A lot of advantages come with HIPAA. Here are some of the top ones.

Reduces the Number of Mishaps in Medical Systems

HIPAA decreases the number of mistakes made between medical patient reports and works together with medical practices. As there are many people designated to each work task, the chances of mishaps are greatly lowered.

This improves patient care as the medical staff has belief in the systems that they use.

Trust by Patients

Data hacks continue to occur quickly and can often be hard to handle. But with telemedicine products, these can be greatly reduced and productivity is enhanced.

Unfortunately, data breaches can cause a lot of disruption to healthcare records. When you maintain HIPAA Guidelines, patients' trust comes along with it. Their records are safe, and secure, and offer a data managing protocol that focuses on patient security.

The fact that HIPAA helps reduce the chances of data loss is one of the main benefits of the system. It's less likely that infringements will occur.

Detection of hacks can be found more quickly with HIPAA due to its strong data security plan. This lessens how harmful the violations could be and maintains brand reliability.


By attracting more clients, the business' revenue improves. Your company must retain it's customer-base if you're to see a profit.

This means improving sales and fewer new business ventures are expected to remain in conjunction with the company outside of HIPAA.

PHI Never Gets Shared With Employers

HIPAA never allows a workforce to share confidential information with them. It's between the employee and the patient only.

Examples of this are if you were to record sleep cycles or weight and use a smartphone, or website for an app. None of these are in line with HIPAA regulations.

If an employer asks to see your health records, they're only able to when you've given your consent. The patient must also give the liberty to discuss this information with an employer so that all data gets protected with PHI.

Maximizing Security and Compliance

Upvio's real-time pentest platform helps maximize an organization's security and compliance by providing detailed information about discovered vulnerabilities and a collaboration portal to allow organizations to start considering the impact of vulnerabilities. The platform also includes attack surface management, strategic advisory, web application testing, and other services to help organizations identify and address weaknesses in their systems. For organizations looking to uncover more vulnerabilities and accelerate remediation with expert guidance, Evolve Security offers tailored manual penetration tests and a wealth of resources, such as blogs, events, news, and videos, to help keep them informed.

Why Upvio Is the Right Telehealth Company for You

With Upvio's beast mode scheduling, you can get complete control over the calendar and reduce admin time. Smart appointment scheduling tools will enable you to easily manage multiple calendars, staff, services, locations, teams and timezones. Front desk and patients will love the booking experience.

Secure video calling tools are fully integrated with your appointment scheduling and you can treat patients in a way that fits your practice - virtual-only or hybrid. With a dedicated virtual waiting room you can easily view upcoming and waiting patients with full control of patient flow. One consistent link for easy access.

Conveniently take notes during video consultations, communicate to all participants during virtual appointments including file sharing and there's no need for downloading since it runs on any device.

But most importantly, Upvio is fully HIPAA compliant, so you can protect your patients and maintain the privacy of their health information.

Further Reading:

Choose Upvio as Your Telehealth Company

HIPAA guideline on telemedicine keeps both your employees' and clients' data secure. HIPAA Guidelines are all about keeping your patients' data confidential and free from any violation.

Here, we've shown you how these guidelines work. They help protect your data so that none gets lost, provide admin authority and monitoring, and help keep your strategy in line with the guidelines.

Schedule your demo now or try it for FREE!! We'll take your patient security to the next level.

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