An important feature of modern private practice is mobility. Technological developments have changed the dynamic between providers and patients, allowing for increased contact via social media and telehealth appointments in addition to traditional office visits. These innovations have really changed the game, allowing RDNs to practice across state lines and in less traditional settings. However, along with these new opportunities have come new challenges when it comes to protecting PHI and remaining HIPAA compliant.
Part I of our HIPAA series discussed the importance of protecting patient data, or protected health information (PHI). In part II, let’s cover how to employ HIPAA best practices before, during and after your nutrition consults at your office, thus ultimately protecting your clients and practice as a result.
One of the most important considerations when it comes to working with clients is being cognizant of their protected health information (PHI). PHI includes any information that can be used to identify a patient such as name, telephone number, social security number, etc. PHI has been protected since 1996 by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). While the specific provisions for compliance are constantly updated, the core principles remain the same: it is the responsibility of a covered entity to protect patient information and report any breaches.