• Revenue Cycle Management
  • COVID-19
  • Reimbursement
  • Diabetes Awareness Month
  • Risk Management
  • Patient Retention
  • Staffing
  • Medical Economics® 100th Anniversary
  • Coding and documentation
  • Business of Endocrinology
  • Telehealth
  • Physicians Financial News
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cardiovascular Clinical Consult
  • Locum Tenens, brought to you by LocumLife®
  • Weight Management
  • Business of Women's Health
  • Practice Efficiency
  • Finance and Wealth
  • EHRs
  • Remote Patient Monitoring
  • Sponsored Webinars
  • Medical Technology
  • Billing and collections
  • Acute Pain Management
  • Exclusive Content
  • Value-based Care
  • Business of Pediatrics
  • Concierge Medicine 2.0 by Castle Connolly Private Health Partners
  • Practice Growth
  • Concierge Medicine
  • Business of Cardiology
  • Implementing the Topcon Ocular Telehealth Platform
  • Malpractice
  • Influenza
  • Sexual Health
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Technology
  • Legal and Policy
  • Money
  • Opinion
  • Vaccines
  • Practice Management
  • Patient Relations
  • Careers

Q&A: Can auto dialers violate HIPAA?

Article

What is and is not appropriate information to include in phone messages from auto dialers?

Q: Our medical billing service is contemplating the use of an autodialer in our follow-up procedures on past-due patient balances. Can you provide any insight as to what is-and is not-appropriate with respect to these messages? More specifically, please advise as to whether a message using the following would be acceptable: "Hello, this message is for (name). Please call (billing company) about your account with (Dr. ABC) at (phone number)."

A: Using an autodialer precludes the caller from knowing who is answering the phone or listening to the message left on the answering machine. If the message simply says that the autodialer is calling to collect a debt, and to please return the call, without providing any additional information concerning the reason for the call or the nature of the debt, and if no additional information is provided to the person returning the call without verification of identity, there are no likely privacy issues. Beyond that, the more information provided, the more the risk of a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Even the identity of the physician or practice can raise HIPAA issues. For example, identifying a physician in a practice that treats AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases as one to whom a patient's spouse owes a debt may provide enough information to invoke HIPAA, as well as other state and federal privacy laws. In contrast, simply calling from a collection agency and leaving a message for the patient to return the call involves no disclosure of protected health information.

Related Videos
© drsampsondavis.com
© drsampsondavis.com
© drsampsondavis.com
© drsampsondavis.com
Mike Bannon ©CSG Partners
Mike Bannon ©CSG Partners
Mike Bannon - ©CSG Partners