How to ensure HIPAA compliance with international outsourcing of healthcare services?

HIPAA covers all protected healthcare information and it continues to apply to any health information whether the content is being printed, discussed orally, or changes in form. Thus, for all healthcare organizations, it is not only vital to protect the electronic maintenance and transmission of this data, but also protect any paper versions or oral discussions pertaining to this information.

Outsourcing healthcare services like medical billing and coding to O2I is very common these days and involves the transfer and maintenance of important information. Thus, the companies outsourcing healthcare work need to be ensured that vendors are complying with international standards. In case of international outsourcing, the companies need to ensure that the coders are professional, skilled, and well versed in international coding practices.

The companies offering services should ensure:

* Awareness programs for all employees
* Ongoing training and testing programs link HIPAA education to staff rewards
* HIPAA resource directory to update employees on regulations, news and events
* Dedicated team of software programmers developing HIPAA compliant transaction

There should also be a thorough understanding of patient confidentiality and all medical records. Since HIPAA makes constant changes as it incorporates or discards certain practices, the companies should make sure that they are always aware of such changes, thereby ensuring that all information is safe and adheres to the highest standards of quality.