Offshore Medical Billing ? Concerns with PHI Breach?
Posted by kingrent on August 3rd, 2015
Is it safe to outsource healthcare services to offshore medical billing companies? –This is one of the widely-debated topics in the US healthcare outsourcing space.While the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’, many healthcare entities still hesitate to outsource to offshore medical billing companies due to security concerns. They think that their highly-protected patient information might get breached as offshore vendors download the PHI.However, with the latest technological advancements, the healthcare industry has moved to a whole new level where there is a very limited need for downloading PHI to perform medical billing services. The subsequent paragraphs give details about how healthcare entities can safely outsource medical billing without worrying about security breach:
Cloud-based Healthcare Outsourcing Services: It is a cutting-edge technological solution that creates a web environment to carry out all medical billing operations online. Unlike the traditional server-based operations, cloud computing has a wide array of benefits. The most important benefit is the data security. Offshore medical billing companies no longer need to download the PHI. All they need to do is use their login and password to get into the clients’ EHR and PMSwhich are on the cloud, to access PHI to carry out medical billing operations.It is simple and safe. However, not many healthcare entities have cloud-based software systems. If they incorporate this technology, then they can benefit from the medical billing solutions offered by offshore medical billing companies without the fear of PHI breach.
VPN-based Healthcare Outsourcing Services: Even though they do not use the advanced cloud computing technology, many healthcare entities use the simple yet cost-effective VPN technique to provide medical billing solutions without compromising on the safety of patient information. While the PHI is actually stored on the client servers, offshore medical billing companies can getaccess through the VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunneland carryout the medical billing operations. Here again, there is no necessity for the PHI be downloaded andin fact, in many cases there are restrictions on downloading which ensures the safe handling of patient information.
Restrictions from Client Side: Although many offshore medical billing companies in India are getting certified for compliance with ISO and other independent organizations, healthcare entities show reluctance to outsource medical billing. While the offshore companies have the capability to connect in multiple ways and assure complete PHI safety, the restrictions are only from the client side. US healthcare entities either do not have cloud-based software systems or VPN connectivity options to support offshore vendors. If they have such options, then there will be no concern for PHI breach.
A good offshore medical billing company will have the following characteristics,
•Every employee should sign a confidentiality agreement
•Triple layer of security including bio-metric access to get into the work floor
•Strictly prohibit the usage of camera cell phones inside the office floor
•Restrict access to server area only to authorized personnel
•Restrict access to computers with logins and passwords
•Restrict access to files, folders, emails and internet
•Prohibit ‘removable storage’ media access on all computers
e-care is one of the renowned offshore medical billing companies in India that is not only HIPAA compliant, but follows the aforementioned criteria to ensure PHI safety.
About e-care India:
e-care India has 15 years of experience in the industry. e-care’s 3 offshore medical billing delivery centers have been providing end-to-end healthcare outsourcing services seamlessly to its clients. To know more about e-care and its services, log on to www.ecareindia.com.
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Joined: March 28th, 2014
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