Medical privacy laws protect the confidentiality of information shared between patients and their health care practitioners. This includes everything from the names of their doctors to what medications they are taking.
However, online access to visit notes is not exempt from concerns about privacy. While the benefits of telehealth may online doctor app outweigh patient concerns, a more nuanced approach to privacy is needed to support expansion of telehealth services.
1. They Are Not HIPAA Compliant
The HIPAA privacy law governs your interactions with health care providers and their “business associates,” like billing companies and online patient portals such as MyChart. This includes anything you share with them that’s not medical, such as your shopping habits at your favorite store or your credit card purchases.
But the law does not protect all information related to your health, and you should know that if an app or website claims to be HIPAA compliant, it is probably not.
2. They Are Not Secure
The internet and online technology have changed the face of healthcare. You can find board-certified physicians and therapists offering all sorts of services from urgent care to mental health screenings to wellness education. Most of them offer a high degree of customer service and a stellar online experience. If you’re considering a telehealth subscription, make sure to do your research before making the leap. You’ll need to know how much the service costs and what your insurance policy covers before committing to it. Also, it’s worth checking the provider’s credentials to ensure that they comply with your privacy and security expectations. If you’re looking to keep your health information confidential, there’s no better place to turn than with a trusted professional. The best bet is to consult with your primary care physician first and then shop around for a telehealth provider who has your best interests in mind. The right telehealth provider will help you get the most out of your health insurance plan and provide you with the highest quality care available.
3. They Are Not HIPAA Compliant
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects the privacy of health information. It includes all PHI in your medical records, including conversations between doctors and nurses and billing data from your health insurer.
It also covers electronic PHI (ePHI), which is information you send over the Internet or a cellular network, like when you book an online appointment with your doctor.
While some telehealth services have gone out of their way to ensure they’re HIPAA compliant, Koons says it’s always best to be aware of what you’re doing before sharing any information online.
One of the most common mistakes is posting pictures of patients without their consent. This can lead to serious consequences if it leads to someone identifying the patient.
4. They Are Not HIPAA Compliant
HIPAA compliance is a requirement that ensures patient health information is kept private and secure. It’s a federal law that regulates the use of medical records and other protected health information (PHI) when sharing and accessing it through various means, including through telehealth services.
When choosing an online doctor service, it’s important to ensure that the platform is HIPAA compliant and that your health data will be protected. This will help to prevent potential breaches of your personal information from being exposed by cyber criminals.
You can find many HIPAA-compliant online telehealth services to choose from. These include MDLIVE, which offers a telehealth app for iOS and Android devices that allows users to connect with a doctor via video chat.
The company is HITRUST CSF certified, offers a business associate agreement (BAA), and uses end-to-end encryption to protect your PHI. It also has some features for managing patient appointments, scheduling, and billing.