If you are a medical billing specialist, then you should understand the importance of protecting your clients’ privacy. After all, there’s no doubt that you are also at times a patient, and that you want your own privacy protected. What’s more, it’s the law. You really don’t have the option of being careless with patient data, so it is important that you are familiar with exactly what it takes to keep that data safe. Here are five things you should do to protect the privacy of your medical billing clients.
Never share client information with third-party entities. That means that, no matter how great the offer is that the medical supply company has for patients, under no circumstances can you give out (or sell) your clients’ contact information without your clients’ prior consent.
Electronic Medical Record Systems
If your patient records are automated in a computer system (as these days most are), then it is important that you use appropriate data loss prevention software to keep that data safe and secure.
It is not uncommon today for a new brand of thief – the identity thief – to steal a patient’s social security number and insurance information in order to pose as that patient and receive healthcare under that patient’s name. Pay special attention to inaccuracies in patient identification reporting and suspicious account activity in order to protect your patients’ identity and catch these thieves in the act.
Make sure your computer system is thoroughly protected by antivirus, firewall, anti-spyware, and intrusion prevention software in order to prevent hackers from accessing your clients’ real-world information through the virtual world.
It is important that you regularly assess the safety and privacy of computerized client data. Computer programs like the Symantic Information Exposure Assessment do just that for you, delivering reports on both internal and external data breach risks, as well as advice on how to fix those risks.
As a medical billing specialist, you do not have the option of being careless with patient data. It is your job, as regulated by the very strict guidelines provided for by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), to take appropriate measures to ensure your clients’ privacy is thoroughly protected by any number of outside threats. It’s a huge responsibility, and takes a serious commitment on your end. Violating these regulations will make it difficult to find other healthcare jobs in the future. However, it doesn’t have to be as daunting a task as it may seem if you take these steps to stay in the right when it comes to your patient records.