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Can You Use the Internet to Transmit PHI?

29th August, 2023

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In today's digital age, the internet plays a vital role in communication across various industries, including healthcare. However, when it comes to transmitting sensitive healthcare information, such as Protected Health Information (PHI), the process becomes more complex. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governs the secure transmission and handling of PHI, and healthcare providers must be well-versed in the rules and regulations surrounding email communication. In this blog post, we will explore the challenges, best practices, and penalties associated with using the internet to transmit PHI while ensuring HIPAA compliance.

What Is HIPAA and Protected Health Information (PHI)?

HIPAA is a set of laws and regulations that aim to protect patients' privacy and the confidentiality of their medical information. Under HIPAA, healthcare providers, known as Covered Entities, and their business partners, known as Business Associates, have a legal responsibility to safeguard PHI related to healthcare services, treatments, and payments. PHI encompasses health-related information, doctor's notes, personally identifiable information (PII), and payment details linked to a patient's care.

Can You Use the Internet to Transmit PHI?