As per Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), any service provider directly or indirectly processing, storing, or handling patient health information (PHI) must follow the standards and policies outlined in HIPAA.
That means not just the companies in the healthcare industry but also their call center partners, who are responsible for a significant part of their customer interaction on behalf of them, must adhere to the compliances. Having a noncompliant call center partner can jeopardize your business, ruin your reputation, affect your members, and even lead to legal actions and hefty fines.
Your call center partner must ensure that each verified name, address, social security number, code, provider’s name, and other PHI data must be handled securely, whether in recorded calls, forwarded emails, or in appointment reminder SMS. Your call center partner must Understand their role in protecting patients and contributing to the patient experience.
The Role Of Your Call Center Partner In Protecting PHI
HIPAA is the set of standards and protocols any service provider must follow when handling PHI. In the contact center, there are many ways PHI data may be shared, which makes it a challenge to oversee.
Healthcare companies can outsource many operations to their call center partner, including – billing, collections, patient communication, media insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, medical answering service, ambulatory services, hospitals, appointment scheduling, blood drives, and others. Therefore, there is a good chance of a PHI data breach if your call center partner is not HIPAA compliant.
A healthcare call center partner must offer full training to their Privacy Security Compliance Officer (PSCO), which is a required position under HIPAA to oversee compliance. All call center agents must be trained in HIPAA Privacy and Security policies and procedures. Call centers should also take cyber-security seriously and take adequate measures against hackers accessing PHI data and other related information, including credit card data.
Some Necessary HIPAA Regulations For Call Center
Recording CVV Codes: Some new tools allow call center agents to pause the recording to collect CVV codes or protected information, removing it from the recording. It is an excellent tool to maintain privacy and compliance in your call center.
Recording Calls and Supervisor Monitoring: call centers must ensure that both “record” and “monitor” are part of the message that is announced at the beginning of customer interaction. Adding an opt-out feature that lets patients opt-out from being recorded is also a HIPAA compliant feature, a call center can have.
Disaster Recovery Plan: To be HIPAA compliant, your call center partner must have a concrete disaster recovery plan as well as ransomware protection. The PSCO works with their IT team as well as a managed services partner to ensure data is backed up securely and recoverable in case of a disaster.
In the healthcare industry, the patient experience is essential. By respecting and properly handling PHI data, you show patients that you have their interests in mind. A HIPAA compliant call center partner like Ameridial, which has over 25 years of experience, can help you improve the patient experience. To know more about how we can help your healthcare company deliver outstanding patient experience while protecting PHI, contact us today!