Missing Piece Blog

HIPAA and Confidentiality for ABA and Behavioral Health Providers

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) — passed by Congress in 1996 — contains confidentiality regulations impacting providers and health insurance companies that include physical and electronic confidentiality requirements. 

All healthcare providers must be very familiar with the basics of HIPAA and state confidentiality regulations, as well as the requirements of their certification or licensure regarding confidentiality.  In addition, as a practice, a comprehensive HIPAA analysis should take place regularly to ensure all required safeguards have been put in place to minimize risks. All healthcare staff should participate in HIPAA training upon hire and at least annually, if not more frequently. 

Missing Piece Billing and Consulting does not provide legal guidance, but we do have a few examples of common violations in ABA and behavioral health practices that should be considered: 

  • Disclosing information in a waiting room
  • Sending PHI in emails that are not secure
  • Throwing documents with PHI in the trash
  • Transportation of clinical documentation
  • Disclosing information to someone besides parents without a release
  • Participating in community-based activities with a client/patient while wearing company attire
  • Transportation of patients in a company vehicle branded with corporate logos or advertising
  • Texting PHI
  • EMR systems that are not HIPAA compliant
  • Telehealth systems that are not HIPAA compliant
  • Using vendors that violate HIPAA

Many professional associations, as well as legal consultants, are available to assist with your HIPAA preparations and policies. Since HIPAA violations could result in severe infractions, both civil and criminal, HIPAA policies need to be addressed with extreme care and consideration. 

Feeling overwhelmed by all things not related to patient care? Do you need help with your billing and revenue cycle management? All our systems are HIPAA compliant, and we pride ourselves in managing your business with the most HIPAA-compliant processes and procedures. Let the experts at Missing Piece Billing and Consulting handle your revenue cycle, so you can focus on your patients!  

Contact us today at 765-628-7400 or weare@yourmissingpiece.com.

Disclaimer: This blog is meant to be information only and does not provide legal guidance. Please consult a legal professional for further details. 

Resources:

Health and Human Services:

For Mental Health Providers: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/mental-health/index.html

Basic Information for Professionals: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/index.html