Telemedicine is still a relatively new and quickly evolving method of delivering clinical care. Liability trends and risk in this area are still emerging. There are a few key factors that cannot be overlooked to ensure that patient care is delivered effectively and securely, including use of the right technology. Make sure that you have the proper medical malpractice coverage if you are practicing telemedicine with patients outside of California, and that you are compliant with HIPAA and other federal, state, and payor requirements. Virtual delivery of care still requires physicians to comply with HIPAA and applicable federal and state privacy laws.
Many fail to recognize that they are not in compliance with HIPAA or other federal or state privacy laws. With an increase in the number of government audits and patient complaints, a failure to be compliant with HIPAA and other privacy laws is not something you can afford to do. Therefore, it is important for physicians and their staff to be compliant with HIPAA and stay up to date on appropriate safeguards for Protected Health Information (PHI).
According to a recent article from the HIPAA Journal, the biggest cause of data breaches was human error.* For this reason, the most important thing you can do is train all new employees and conduct annual staff training. Every physician and practice must ensure that all staff members understand the importance of patient privacy and the seriousness and potential penalties of even one violation. This training should demonstrate an awareness of and a commitment to HIPAA compliance, diligence regarding data security, and knowledge of best practices to avoid data breaches and cyberattacks.
CAP members and their staff can take advantage of free online courses offered by Tokio Marine HCC CyberNet®, which address the basics of privacy/data security for individuals who handle sensitive information and cyber risk management training covering breaches, data security basics, and more.
To access the trainings, visit https://CAP.nascybernet.com. First-time users will need to sign up for a free account with your CAP member number as your “Sign Up Code.” Once you have registered, you will be able to create username(s) and password(s) for your employee(s). Upon completion of a course, a certificate is automatically generated that can be printed or saved.
The licensed professionals with CAP Physicians Insurance Agency (CAP Agency) can help you learn about your own personal cyber risk and about affordable coverage options and services available through Tokio Marine HCC. For more information, please contact CAP Agency at 800-819-0061 or email CAPAgency@CAPphysicians.com.