Welcome to this week’s healthcare Knowledge Knugget! As a part of “The Executive Innovation Show” podcast, we’re bringing you hot topics, game-changing ideas, the best telehealth practices and tips all while answering questions that we receive each week. During today’s topic, Carrie Chitsey talks about HIPAA & telehealth waivers during the pandemic and what to plan for next.
With HIPAA waivers and telehealth waivers on the brink of expiration healthcare organizations are scrambling right now. We’re going to break down what we know, what we think is going to happen, and what you need to do about it.
HIPAA compliance was temporarily lifted during the middle of COVID for healthcare organizations. Doctors and clinicians were implementing Skype, Zoom, Google Duo, and more for their patient appointments. While these platforms provided a temporary aid for those who couldn’t get true telehealth solutions, these platforms have proven not be a permanent solution to the problems we face during COVID.
A lot of practice groups and organizations took these temporary solutions and ran with them, but what should you be thinking about for a long term solution? If you’re currently using Skype, FaceTime, Google Duo, or only audio calls without a BAA, you may be running into some reimbursement issues.
It’s time to start looking for long term solutions as we transition into this new normal for patients and clinicians. Patients are now used to doing telehealth. They’re willing and demanding it. People are still afraid to go to medical appointments and follow up appointments, as a result the volume continues to be down. Clinicians are loving telehealth, working from home, and it’s helping work-life balance. This new normal is here to stay. What percentage of physical appointments versus virtual? We don’t know but we do know volume has increased.
With telehealth consults here to stay, it’s important to be HIPAA compliant. Otherwise, you could end with violations that can cost up to $50,000 per occurrence. These can add up fast and open up a chain reaction for clinical professionals to look across the organization for other violations. This is why it’s important to find a HIPAA compliant telehealth solutions and begin the transition now.
It’s imperative to look at a transition game plan if you are using a non-compliant tool. This is not only for the safety of your practice but also for the safety of your patients. Check out these links here for more information:
Stay tuned to the podcast as we help each other navigate through this new normal. Be on the lookout for additional podcasts on telehealth workflows and what to expect in this virtual world as more states lock back down.
Want more telehealth workflow examples and information? Watch our on-demand webinar, “Best Practices: Virtual Telehealth Patient Handoff Workflows”. This webinar goes beyond 1:1 video calls to show you best practices in video telehealth workflows from check-in through check-out, for a 100% virtual care workflow process.