Videoconferencing- secure, encrypted, HIPAA compliant

Videoconferencing- secure, encrypted, HIPAA compliant

Be sure to check out this telemental health comparison guide if you are seeking HIPAA compliant platforms to supply services:

Very first, let’s discuss Skype. Everyone wants to know- is Skype encrypted?

Yes, Skype is encrypted. But, Skype is not necessarily HIPAA compliant. For U.S. practitioners who need a HIPAA compliant solution (that means the practitioner can engage in a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with the 3rd party and that 3rd party is also HIPAA compliant) then Skype may not be a viable alternative. One could argue tho’, that we don’t have a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with AT&T or Vodafone when we use a landline for audio calls but if you are using movie/talk and audio total on with clients as a mental health practitioner in the U.S. just consider the need for the HIPAA Business Associate Agreement. While Skype’s movie and audio calls are not recorded and maintained on Skype’s servers, talk conversations are and that would be considered PHI.

Skype update as of 6.Ten.11

Breakthrough recently received a written statement from a Skype representative and with Breakthrough’s permission I am sharing this information.

Skype is not a business associate subject to HIPAA nor have we entered into any contractual arrangements with covered entities to create HIPAA compliant privacy and security obligations. Instead, Skype is merely a conduit for transporting information, much like the electronic equivalent of the US Postal Service or a private courier. Skype does not use or access the protected health information (PHI) transmitted using our software. However, Skype has implemented a diversity of physical, technical and administrative safeguards (including encryption technics) aimed at protecting the confidentiality and security of the PHI that may be transmitted using Skype’s calling and movie calling products.

Here’s what others have said about Skype and HIPAA (from Adventures in Telepsychiatry Blog):

Is Skype HIPAA-compliant?

Is Skype HIPAA-compliant?, Part II

Is Skype HIPAA-compliant?, Part III

Encrypted and HIPAA compliant:

Conforming to HIPAA in the Digital Age

Top Eight Priorities to Consider When Evaluating Movie Conferencing Instruments

We also recommend Counsol for therapists.

Extra HIPAA Compliant Videocounseling platforms:

Once you find a secure, encrypted and compliant platform, the next hurdle is overcoming the technology. Videoconferencing is not a state-of-the-art technology yet and some therapists as well as clients find the process disruptive. At the very least, be sure you have a familiarity with the platform you are using and prepare yourself and your client for glitches.

(information about Hushmail’s encryption process)

Government Encryption Standard | Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) (US)

Encrypting Health and Wellness Information (AMA)

Many report FaceTime as the highest quality movie conferencing application available. You can use FaceTime on your Mac computer, or on your later generation iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. (The hand-held i-Devices DO need to have a built-in camera). You will need an apple account, which you likely have already if you’re a Mac customer and the FaceTime app, which costs ninety nine cents. You’ll install the app, and it should open up on your phone or comupter right away.

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