Discover More About HIPAA Compliant Faxing and Why You Need to Know

By  //  January 31, 2022

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Faxing has changed over the last few years, leading to many options for companies. Faxes are still a sound option for transmitting sensitive information. Today, the healthcare industry must make sure they are HIPPA compliant when using fax machines.

Many medical offices rely on faxes to transmit data safely and effectively. HIPPA-compliant faxing is more important than ever before for the healthcare industry. 

HIPAA-Compliant Faxing Information

Those who are not familiar with HIPAA laws regarding faxes need to educate themselves. The following offers information on the basics of HIPAA-compliancy in faxing. Continue reading to learn more about HIPAA compliant faxing

 HIPAA laws allow doctors and medical staff to use faxes to transmit patient medical records. 

HIPAA laws require healthcare facilities to have specific safeguards in place when faxing patient information. 

HIPAA privacy laws allow covered entities to fax protected health information to doctors. 

Faxes sent through fax services must offer real-time encryption to ensure they are HIPAA-compliant. 

Healthcare Facilities Must Secure Protected Health Information

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, is the standard form of patient protection across the United States. HIPAA compliance means all sensitive patient data is protected during the fax transmission process. Healthcare providers must ensure they are taking appropriate action to ensure all transmissions are protected at all times. 

HIPAA-Approved Real-Time Faxing 

Real-time faxing is essential for healthcare providers. Sending patient data from one facility to another ensures patients receive the vital and protected medical care they require. Three areas must be met to ensure HIPAA compliance. Fax solutions must offer the following or they cannot be used by the healthcare industry. 

All faxes sent over the Internet must be encrypted fully. 

Real-time faxing must offer a page-by-page confirmation to ensure each page was sent according to HIPAA laws. 

Real-time fax solutions must offer secure transmission at all times. 

Real Encryption Is Essential for Protection

While some fax providers use HTTPS for protection, this is not sufficient enough for HIPAA compliance. Although the “S” in HTTPS stands for secure, the security level is not strong enough for HIPAA-compliant fax transmissions. While HTTPS was once the standard, real encryption is now a must for the healthcare industry. 

One of the biggest concerns with HTTPS is the temporary storage of all fax transmissions, which can lead to unintended access. Sending faxes over T.38 does not lead to any storage, offering a high level of protection and ensuring HIPAA compliance. 

An Explanation of Covered Entities

The following are some of the healthcare entities that are covered under HIPAA laws. As covered entities, they must ensure they follow HIPAA laws in their entirety. 

All healthcare providers

Health plan administrators

Healthcare clearinghouses

Those in the healthcare industry must be aware of all HIPAA laws as they relate to the transmission of sensitive patient data. The enforcement of HIPAA rules ensures the healthcare industry protects patient data and avoids breaking the law. 

Using cloud fax solutions ensures members of the healthcare industry and covered entities are following the law and working to confirm they are compliant. Using cloud fax offers a much higher level of protection than options relying on HTTPS for security. Now is the time for covered entities to learn about their options so they can take immediate action.