How Does HIPAA Compliant Faxing Work?

How Does HIPAA Compliant Faxing Work?

In the medical community, HIPPA laws can become difficult to navigate. It is especially cumbersome to remain HIPPA-compliant when sending faxes with personal health information. Learning how to send HIPPA-compliant faxes helps health organizations avoid hefty penalties. 

Helpful Tips for Sending HIPPA-Compliant Faxes

Most people working in the healthcare industry struggle with understanding HIPAA faxing. Unfortunately, faxes can become risky, especially if individuals do not follow specific steps. The following tips should help ensure people working in the healthcare industry remain compliant with faxing. 

  • All faxes containing personal health information must include a cover sheet stating the fax contains personal health information. Most healthcare organizations have rubber stamps made that ensure they are marking faxes correctly. 
  • Employees should never leave the fax machine unattended until they have verified receipt of the sent fax. Even if a worker has other tasks to finish, they should always stay with the fax machine until the process is complete. 
  • Many healthcare organizations have realized the importance of using cloud-based fax solutions. These fax services pursue HIPPA compliance in every area of their production. Using these services makes it easier for healthcare organizations to embrace HIPPA laws and follow them. 
  • Keeping an audit trail is one of the most essential things healthcare organizations can do for HIPPA compliance. To remain HIPPA compliant, the healthcare organization and all related entities must keep an audit trail. 
  • Healthcare organizations must remain careful when using portable devices that access personal health information. Most PHI breaches occur because of portable devices such as tablets and cell phones. Migrating to the cloud will help to prevent data breaches. 

What Happens When Healthcare Organizations Breach HIPPA Regulations?

HIPPA breaches occur in multiple ways and are often the result of a mistake or failure to comply. Unfortunately, the financial penalties for HIPPA compliance issues may be high. From the state level, they can climb to $25,000 per violation. At the federal level, fines may grow to over one million dollars.  

Violation Tiers

There are multiple HIPPA violation tiers. Not all HIPPA violations carry the same weight and penalties. The following offers information on the four tiers of HIPPA violations. 

  • Tier One violations have penalties that range from $100 to $50,000, with a maximum yearly penalty of $25,000 per year. This tier represents violations that occur inadvertently, and the organization took steps to correct the violation. 
  • Tier Two violations occur when organizations should have been aware of the violation but could not prevent it, even with the correct action. This tier carries a penalty range from $1000 to $50,000 per violation, with up to $100,000 per year. 
  • Tier Three violations occur because of willful neglect. This tier carries a penalty range of $10,000 to $50,000, with up to $250,000 per year. 
  • Tier Four violations occur because of willful neglect without any attempts to correct the violation. This tier carries penalties up to $50,000 per violation, with up to $1.5 million per year.

Discover More Information

Healthcare organizations must take a concerted approach to HIPPA compliance or face stiff penalties that become increasingly difficult to pay. Protecting patients’ personal health information is essential for HIPPA compliance, but faxing makes this information vulnerable. 

Thankfully, there are faxing options that offer stellar protection for personal health information. Using a cloud-based fax server ensures PHI remains protected at all times so healthcare organizations do not face HIPPA compliance issues. 

Those organizations interested in these fax services should research today to learn more. With a cloud-based fax server, HIPPA compliance becomes less stressful for healthcare organizations. 

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