Five ways to help keep your patient data safe through telehealth video web conferencing

It’s not only advances in technology that is driving the global telehealth market toward $34.0 billion by 2020.[1] While faster, secure and more reliable technology is certainly a catalyst, numerous other reasons exist for this growth. Among these drivers is that 48 states now reimburse for telehealth for Medicaid patients, while 29 states have telehealth reimbursement parity laws for private insurance.[2] Most importantly, however, is providers are recognizing how telehealth helps the healthcare industry confront three major challenges: physician shortage, cost control and population health management.

Although deploying telehealth technology can help providers efficiently care for more patients regardless of location, significant security risks remain. Protected health information (PHI) that is transmitted through telehealth applications and video web conferencing technology needs to be protected from cyberattacks and employee error, both of which can result in a data breach.

Under HIPAA, breaches are punishable with financial penalties of as much as $50,000 per incident up to a maximum of $1.5 million a year.[3] Therefore, the following are important security feature considerations for provider organizations if they plan to deliver care or reveal PHI over video web conferencing technology.

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