HIPAA and the Web

Contact Information Web FormAs a proponent for the use of the Internet by massage, healing arts and wellness therapists for the management of their practice or business, the primary question that I am presented with is, "is it HIPAA Compliant?" My answer to this question is a resounding "yes." Many practitioners, however, find it difficult to accept that is this so, and some often repeat various false claims to support their argument.

Cherie Sohnen-Moe in her article, "An Update on HIPAA: Living the Law," provides some examples of the myths surrounding HIPAA and how massage, healing arts and wellness therapists can best manage the standard requirements.

Simply stated, the only issue facing therapists who are not billing insurance, is the question of ethics and client privacy.

With this in mind, the question for therapists then becomes, how does the use of the Internet provide that privacy, and how does this help my practice and benefit my clients.

The use of online forms is one way that practitioners can enhance their security and be in compliance with HIPAA.

FormStack, requires username/password protection to access and submit forms, the use of CAPTHCA to identify the submitter of the form, and the encryption of data during both transmission over the Internet and while stored in a database.

These specifications meet or exceed stated HIPAA requirements, and provide protection and compliance against some of the most common problems faced by practitioners and businesses, including the improper use and access to both paper, personal, and business computers, and the loss of paper files or data stored on site or transferred from home to business.

See "Security 101 For Covered Entities," at the Centers for Medicad and Medicare Services web site for more Government information on HIPAA requirements.

For more discussion of HIPAA and Massage, Healing Arts and Wellness Therapy see HIPAA Law and Regulations at About.com and Confidentiality: What Is HIPAA? Part One and Two, The Wonderful World of HIPAA and More About the Wonderful World of HIPAA in Accupuncture Today.

For some specific applications of HIPAA see HIPAA: Maintaining the Chain of Trust at the AMTA Minnesota chapter web site.

Learn more about Formstack including the free iPhone application that lets you access your forms not only on the iPhone but the iPad as well.

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John Siegel
PO Box 351
Cobb, CA 95426
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