Patient Health Information: The Secure Infrastructure of Astron EHS
Maintaining the privacy and security of patient health information is a shared responsibility. A medical and dental billing company collects and handles patients’ personal information and health insurance details as part of revenue cycle management in healthcare. How the company uses and discloses this information is regulated by The Privacy Law.
The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) implemented the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996. It is a law that lists the standards, regulations, and legislation for protecting sensitive patient health information. Not only Covered Entities (CEs) but even Business Associates (Bas) such as those who handle claims, billing, accounts receivables, etc. must maintain strict compliance with this law.
Astron EHS is a business associate and we are cognizant of our role in this colossal responsibility.
We understand the need
Today technology is an important part of healthcare. ‘Electronic’ patient health information is a target of IT incidents and hackers. Data breaches can cost millions. And it is in the interest of healthcare businesses to ensure data safety not just for their clients but for employees as well. So, at Astron EHS, we only allow access to patient’s health information on a need-to-know basis.
It is critical to actively take measures for ensuring and tightening security and privacy.
What information is protected in Patient Health Information?
The Privacy Rule calls for the following information to be considered as Protect Health Information (PHI):
- Individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health conditions
- The provision of health care to the individual
- The past, present, or future payment for the provision of healthcare to the individual
Steps Undertaken at Astron EHS to Ensure Secure Infrastructure
Definitive steps that ensure strict HIPAA compliance and an overall sensitivity towards handling patient health information are at the core of our company. Apart from keeping ourselves and the entire team updated on any changes made in HIPAA, here’s what we do to ensure the highest standards of security and confidentiality:
Control Data Accessibility
Firstly The highest percentage of insider threats is in the healthcare industry. 58% of data breaches involve insiders. So, at Astron EHS, we only allow access to the patient health information on a need-to-know basis.
The access is only provided to authorized personnel and that too is secure with unique login IDs and strong passwords.
Secondly, We believe educating employees on security risks is as important as training them to do their tasks. Proper training can prevent security mishaps and help recognize threats. Each employee is thoroughly vett before onboarding and made to sign a confidentiality agreement that warrants termination and/or legal action on the violation.
Our facility is under 24/7 surveillance and employees are giving access through biometric screening only. Keep a check on the Devices Used
Keep a check on the Devices Used
Thirdly and most We do not allow PHI data access on just any device, Limiting the devices reduces the chances of a data breach.
Our IT staff assesses company devices for risk before being use by employees for revenue cycle management services. Each employee is give a unique ID and they set strong passwords that are constantly changing.
We have also set up a software tool that detects when a new device is add to our network.
Securing the System Itself for Patient Health Information
Having worked in the field of technology for a long, we understand the possible risks posed by using multiple wireless systems. So, we limit that as well.
The software and firewalls for all devices in our network are automatically update as well as ensure the system runs smoothly and securely. All the data and messaging systems are encrypted. We connect to clients’ servers through a secure VPN only. So, we limit that as well.
Remote handling is enabled for our network if the need arises for wiping or disabling the system.
Paper Records For Patient Health Information
Though paper use has become extremely scarce in healthcare billing industry, when used it can pose a significant threat if not secured. Our employees are train to handle paper records too to keep your data safe.
Definitive steps that ensure strict HIPAA compliance and an overall sensitivity towards handling patient health information are at the core of our company.
Therefore We understand our responsibility toward protecting your patient’s health information. Apart from the numerous measures list above, we are constantly engage in discovering more ways to stay one step ahead in ensuring privacy.
Get in touch with us for secure and efficient revenue cycle management services!