Update on Texting, E-mail, and HIPAA - Communicating with Patients under the New HIPAA Rules

Event Information
Product Format
Prerecorded Event
60 Minutes
Product Description

Discussion on the New Information from the Latest Report to Congress on HIPAA Breaches, and more!

The communication with patients and clients of healthcare services have seen tremendous transformation because of the updated HIPAA Omnibus rules, which contain numerous changes to HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification rules. To meet the new requirements, healthcare organizations need to review their current policies and procedures, as well as comprehend the various ways of healthcare communications. Besides, they need to chart out an implementation plan of patient communication policy, and train their employees to follow the same—to avoid fines for non-compliance.

These days patient are dependent on e-mail & texting for communication, and as new requirements for allowing patients electronic access to their health information go into effect, there are new demands for electronic communication.  Patients want to use the tools they are already using for communication, and they have a right to communicate how they wish.

A previous webinar by expert Jim Sheldon Dean touched upon the intricacies of how HIPAA requirements for privacy and security can be reconciled with patient requests for information provided by e-mail and text messages. The PART II of this session will cover the updated information on new rules for patient access of laboratory test information, including by e-mail and updated information about enforcement and audits, and the new HIPAA Audit program.  Jim will shed light on the new information from the latest report to Congress on HIPAA Breaches.  Additionally, he will also cover the latest information and guidance from HHS on the use of e-mail and texting.

The most important changes in HIPAA under the new Omnibus Update rules have to do with changes to individual rights under HIPAA that must be reflected in policies and procedures and an entity’s HIPAA policies and Notice of Privacy Practices (NPPs).  All HIPAA Covered Entities need to have updated policies, procedures, and Notices of Privacy Practices to reflect the changes, violations are subject to enforcement that can include fines up to $50,000 per day. Included are new rights of access to electronic records that illustrate the flexibility inherent in HIPAA and allow communications that many offices may have thought to be prohibited, such as using plain e-mail and texting. Though professional communications between providers, insurers, business associates, and other business parties should always be conducted securely, there is more flexibility in using less secure technologies for communications with patients in some circumstances.

With the boom in technology, everyone is now moving towards smart phones and wants to use it for health care purposes. Physicians are finding that texting is far more convenient and effective than paging, and for patients it’s easier to use short message texting for handling of appointments and updates. Integrating e-mail and texting into patient communications requires proper steps in an information security compliance process to evaluate and address the risks of using the technology. In this 60-minute session, Jim will demystify the information security compliance process, and its workings, to help you integrate e-mail and texting into your organization in a compliant way. He will cover the information security risk analysis, policies needed to support the process, and more!

Session Highlights:

  • Overview of the updated information on new rules for patient access of laboratory test information
  • Insights on the new information from the latest report to Congress on HIPAA Breaches
  • Learn the ways that patients want to use e-mail and texting to communicate with providers, and how providers want to use the same for better patient care
  • Identify the risks of using e-mail and texting. What can go wrong and its end results when it does
  • Insights on HIPAA requirements for access and patient preferences, as well as the requirements to protect PHI
  • How to use an information security management process to evaluate risks and make decisions about how best to protect PHI and meet patient needs and desires
  • You need to have these policies and procedures in place for dealing with e-mail, texting, and any new technology
  • Train and educate your staff beforehand to ensure they use e-mail and texting properly and do not risk exposure of PHI
  • Step-by-step approach of handling an event of breach of PHI


  • Discuss how to handle patient communications
  • Discuss how E-mail and Texting can work under HIPAA
  • Present the changes to HIPAA Privacy Practices
  • Identify guidance from HHS for patient communications
  • Identify HIPAA policies that need to be changed
  • Discuss new rights for electronic copies of electronic records
  • Explain how your Notice of Privacy Practices must be modified
  • Show the new process that must be used in the event of breach
  • Learn about being prepared for enforcement and auditing
  • Learn how to approach compliance

Who should attend?

Compliance Manager, HIPAA Officer, Chief Information Officer, Health Information Manager, Medical Office Manager, Medical Practice Lawyer, CFO, CEO, COO. Privacy Officer, Information Security Officer.

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About Our Speaker

Jim Sheldon Dean - HIPAA Compliance & Regulations Expert

Jim Sheldon-Dean is a healthcare compliance and HIPAA expert in the areas of privacy and security regulatory compliance and business process analysis. He is the founder and director of compliance services at Lewis Creek Systems, LLC, a Vermont-based consulting firm founded in 1982, providing information privacy and security regulatory compliance services to a wide variety of healthcare entities. Jim is a frequent speaker regarding HIPAA...   More Info
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