At first glance, Skype may seem like an ideal telemedicine platform or a way for healthcare workers and billing staff to communicate internally.
However, we would NOT recommend any of our clients use Skype software to share PHI (Protected Health Information).
The basic version of Skype is definitely not HIPAA compliant; it does not include technical security safeguards that satisfy a number of requirements specified by the Department of Health and Human Services.
HIPAA Compliant Telemedicine
When it comes to choosing a HIPAA compliant telemedicine platform, we advise sticking with a service built specifically for telemedicine. For a great example, check out our blog post about the latest Zoom Telehealth Platform. There are many other HIPAA compliant telehealth platform options to consider as well, including Chiron Health, Doxy.me, American Well, and Doctor On Demand.
HIPAA Compliant Instant Messaging
For HIPAA compliant instant messaging services, choose collaboration software customized for the healthcare industry like Jive for Healthcare, Hyper Office, or PerfectServe. These software vendors specialize in HIPAA compliance, have built support for administrative and technical controls into their software, and are ready to sign Business Associate Agreements.
What About Skype for Business?
It is true that Skype for Business provides more security features than a basic Skype plan, but it is not designed for HIPAA compliance. Skype for Business is not included on Microsoft’s list of services covered in their business associate agreement, and is missing key features such as comprehensive user activity monitoring, breach notifications and the ability to manage encryption keys.
As of June 2019, there is no information on the Skype for Business website indicating their software is HIPAA compliant.
- Skype is NOT a HIPAA compliant telemedicine platform. See above for platforms that we recommend as alternatives.
Are you frustrated in your search for a HIPAA compliant telemedicine platform, or other software?
Gazelle Consulting is here to help! Call us today at (503) 389-5666 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can answer all of your HIPAA compliance questions and help you feel as confident as a lion in a grassy savanna.