Health records are protected by a host of privacy laws and regulations, making medical record scanning a highly sensitive project. The extensive regulation–and penalty for not following the letter of the law–is a good reason why medical document scanning is a job best left for HIPAA-compliant professionals, rather than an in-house team without document scanning expertise.
Failure to follow the policies set forth by the government can lead to substantial penalties that have reached into the millions for some healthcare providers that have made scanning errors that threatened patient privacy and security.
Who Do HIPAA Regulations Affect?
The HIPAA concerns all information that relates to the past, present and future physical or mental health of a patient as well as the past, present and future payments for the provision of their healthcare. This can include everything from patient histories and patient insurance information to patient notes and forms. The law requires that all healthcare providers have documented policies that prove that measures are being taken in order to protect the private information of their patients.
The Importance of Hiring a HIPAA Compliant Scanner
Most file rooms are inherently not secure under HIPAA. A complete audit trail of who and when charts are accessed is possible with digital charts. The enforcement arm for HIPAA has recently leveled multi‐million dollar fines against medical practices because they could not produce patient charts in a timely manner. Scanning will also make it easy and fast to comply with HIPAA requirements to produce a complete medical record within 30 days of a patient request. (See article, HIPAA Bares Its Teeth: $4.3m Fine for Privacy Violation)
What Makes a Scanning Service HIPAA Compliant?
When scanning medical records with personal health information that is protected by federal or state law:
- Paper records that are scanned must be stored in a secure manner before and after scanning
- File names must be consistent so that the scanned documents end up in the right place and are easily retrievable when needed
- Paper records must be disposed of in a HIPAA-compliant manner.
- Sensitive information that is scanned must be protected using appropriate tools to maintain patient privacy and security.
HIPAA Compliant Scanning in VA, MD, DC, & GA
Modern Image USA has worked with many medical practices to help them clear space, improve patient outcomes, and comply with HIPAA. We understand the unique challenges that medical practices face when it comes to dealing with medical documents and files. We can help you transform your practice by providing the highest quality medical document scanning services.
Modern Image USA understands that privacy and confidentiality is important when it comes to your patients files, and our expert imaging consultants have many years experience dealing with both large and small confidential projects.