Male doctor writes on clipboard while talking to an older man and woman

Home health & HIPAA: A journey, not a destination

Home health & HIPAA: A journey, not a destination

HIPAA compliance is a journey, not a destination. For home health agencies in particular, this journey presents a number of unique obstacles and challenges along the way.

In our Home Health & HIPAA guide, we explore five of the most common HIPAA compliance challenges faced by home health providers, and offer some practical solutions for overcoming them, including:

  1. Misplaced devices – A mobile device in the field is at great risk of becoming lost or stolen. Home health staff therefore need to implement a set of security best practices to ensure sensitive data remains protected should a device wind up in the wrong hands.
  2. Secure communication – It is vital for home health organizations to establish strict security policies and procedures, and also prohibit the use of non-secure connections so that remote care workers are able to communicate with their coworkers in a way that does not come at the expense of their patients’ privacy.
  3. Wi-Fi roulette – Accessing the internet via unsecured wireless networks in public spaces creates significant risks and data vulnerabilities.  As a precaution, home health caregivers should review the settings on their devices and utilize secure browser connections and VPNs.
  4. Disclosure of information – Home caregivers should be trained to never discuss patient information with anyone other than the patient or their authorized representative. This can present difficult situations in residential environments where a patient may have close family of friends present, as divulging details in front of these parties may be a violation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
  5. Paper records – In order to prevent unauthorized access, PHI on paper needs to be handled with the same level of caution as ePHI. With paper charts playing a vital role in home health, it is essential that caregivers are able to identify and protect sensitive data in paper formats as well as digital formats.

To discover more download the guide using the link below.