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HIPAA Compliant Printing and Mailing Services

  • HIPAA laws require that all transmissions occur without breach of people's data privacy.
  • It is done to safeguard people's interests and protect their personal records.
  • Healthcare and Insurance care providers can only deal with direct mail vendors that are HIPAA compliant.
  • Other companies that deal with PHI (Public Health Information) in some way or another need to take care of HIPAA compliances relevant to them.
  • PostGrid’s operation and print and mail print partners are completely compliant with HIPAA framework and standards ensuring sensitive information remains confidential and data processing is handled in a safe and secure manner.

Public Health Information

  • When it comes to complying with the HIPAA laws, there is no way that you can miss them. Even a single violation can lead to the imposition of heavy penalties and several lawsuits.
  • To avoid any hassles and violations, you need to be clear about the terms laid out under PHI. Always be fully informed about the terms and keep it as a decisional factor in all your operations.
  • PHI refers to any information about individuals through which their identity and medical records can be revealed.
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Details That Count as PHI

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Health conditions and plans
  • Phone number
  • Medical records
  • IP address
  • Bank account number or any financial information
  • Social security number
  • Vehicle information
  • Links to any website or page
  • Certificate numbers
  • Biometric identifiers
  • Facial images

What is HIPAA?

  • The “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” was enacted in 1996 by the 104th United States Congress for two prime reasons: to regulate the use of PHI and protect it from misuse and fraud, and to make sure all workers get health insurance benefits while shuffling between jobs.
  • HIPAA guidelines for mailing services are a must-follow when sending direct mail. It applies to pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, insurance industries, and more. HIPAA-compliant mailing ensures that everything you send contains all the information in a more secure manner.
  • Health information related to medical equipment, finances, and other private information is not displayed on HIPAA-compliant mailings. HIPAA protection extends to a wide range of categories, some of which may seem obvious, but many of them are not.
  • Title 2 of the HIPAA law explicitly mentions the “privacy rule,” which was brought into effect in 2003. This rule states the use and maintenance of PHI.
  • In simple terms, healthcare providers and related companies in the industry cannot sell their patients' data and should keep it confidential.
  • There are some exceptions like healthcare providers can use this information to promote their products and services to their patients.
  • Broadly, HIPAA is applicable to companies in any field that deals with the collection and storage of PHI.
  • Businesses are required to comply with HIPAA regulations in the US to avoid legal hassles that can tarnish a company's reputation forever.

Also Read: What is NPP in HIPAA?

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HIPAA Mailing Services: The Whats & Whys

HIPAA mailing services are critical to maintaining overall compliance while sending mail items. It is essential for businesses to serve their clients while protecting themselves against any type of legal ramifications.

Furthermore, a HIPAA compliant mailing service is an effective way to help a business differentiate its services from others in the marketplace and understand the value of compliance. Some of the HIPAA mailing services includes:

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Meaning of HIPAA Fulfillment

HIPAA compliance involves following the HIPAA privacy and security rules when sending mailers, marketing correspondence, transactional documents, etc.

Companies must align with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule, and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements.

They must conduct a program focusing on awareness, training, and education. Employees receive ongoing education through online tutorials, presentations, lessons learned feedback, and shared documents.

Senders must use PHI carefully to avoid infiltrating someone’s privacy or exposing them to identity thefts. Companies partner with HIPAA-compliant mailing solutions, like PostGrid, to understand how to equip themselves to meet legal requirements and conduct compliant campaigns.

We ensure every letter, postcard, invoice, or other printed item you mail through our platform prioritizes HIPAA fulfillment.

But how to know whether a vendor complies with the HIPAA and other regulations?

Print and mail automation solutions must secure the recipients’ personal and medical information under the recent HIPAA guidelines. The compliant mailers use PHI safely and confidentially.

They don’t display the patient’s or recipient’s medical condition, treatment plan, ongoing prescription, finances, or other information. Senders can hide these details inside the letter or add PURLs and QR codes to redirect people to their accounts, where they can view everything in an authorized manner.

More About HIPAA Fulfillment

You can use these mailing services to ensure your HIPAA-compliant mailers reach their destinations on time:

  • Same-day fulfillment with USPS Priority Express Mail.
  • Swift same-day fulfillment with USPS Priority Mail.
  • Next-day fulfillment utilizing USPS First Class mail.
  • Comprehensive tracking through USPS Certified Mail with physical and electronic return receipts.
  • Optional support for return envelopes featuring tearaway inserts—a perfect fit for invoices.
  • Incorporate reference numbers on each envelope and monitor all outgoing mail conveniently online.
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Health plans and care providers must follow the HIPAA rules when practicing within the sector and managing sensitive information. Also, clearinghouses follow the same regulations as medical institutions because they also deal with PHI.

The most crucial thing to remember is that associated or covered entities also follow HIPAA rules. Law enforcement treats them as institutions dealing with PHI and having the power to expose sensitive information.

PostGrid’s print and mail API adheres to HIPAA, PIPEDA, SOC-2, and other standards to help businesses send HIPAA-compliant messages and avoid penalties.

We ensure your and your recipient’s medical records and databases are secure and private during and after the campaigns. PostGrid prioritizes its clients’ mailing experiences and assists them in following the guidelines without doing anything in-house.

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Covered Entities under HIPAA

  • HIPAA states certain classes of professionals as ‘covered entities” to simplify the law. These covered entities include health insurance companies, healthcare providers, healthcare clearinghouses, and employer health plans.
  • Cloud hosting firms, SMS, faxing, and emailing service providers are not excluded under any provisions. They have to follow all the HIPAA regulations.
  • Companies storing PHI in electronic forms are also not excluded. Such organizations are termed as “business associates” who take information from the covered entities to provide their services.
  • All business associates should sign a “business associate agreement” to assist their clients in following the HIPAA rules.

Entities That are Excluded

  • The provisions of this act have excluded postal services and carrier providers like the USPS, FedEx, and UPS.
  • It is because of the fact that – these mail providers merely transport the PHI-related documents from one place to another.
  • They are not involved in holding or storing this data for a long period.
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HIPAA Guidelines for Direct Mail Service Providers

  • HIPAA sets various privacy regulations for individuals' personal information and medical data.
  • It primarily affects companies in the healthcare sector, but all other industries and businesses making use of PHI in any way come under the provisions of HIPAA.
  • The direct mail industry uses patients' medical information while sending HIPAA-compliant direct mail on behalf of healthcare providers.
  • They deal with the medical documents of thousands of patients, making them business associates under the law.
  • Though the information is used only for mailing purposes, it is still stored and maintained by the direct mail service providers.
  • Therefore, all businesses in the direct mail industry should compulsorily follow HIPAA laws and provisions.
  • They must go through certain audits and get themselves HIPAA certified.

HIPAA and PostGrid

  • HIPAA is not all about getting a single audit done and receiving a certification. It is an ongoing process that needs to be followed throughout the life of a business.
  • If you are a company, whether in the healthcare industry or not, and are looking to send medical documents or direct mail – PostGrid can help you print and mail them under HIPAA regulations effortlessly.
  • You need not deal with the stress of sending your documents and direct mail while also following the necessary laws. PostGrid solves these problems for you easily.
  • You can be assured that our data handling experts always follow strict instructions and undergo a lot of procedures that are meant to keep your data private in all forms.
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More Details on PostGrid’s HIPAA Compliance

  • We continuously strive to maintain all the data security procedures that help us deal with PHI obtained safely and legally from various organizations. 
  • PostGrid has enforced the highest data protection standards and confidentiality.
  • It is applicable to all organizations' data, irrespective of whether they fall under the category of covered entities or not.
  • The rigorous processes and training we have gone through can ensure that your data is safe with us. You can avail of our print and mail services with complete peace of mind.

Also Read: Top 10 Best HIPAA Compliant CRM

Importance of HIPAA compliant framework and practices

  • Insecure data handling infrastructure can lead to a number of mishaps – making it mandatory to get yourself a HIPAA-compliant services provider. 
  • Any data breach or theft can lead to potential lawsuits and fines. Your vendor should also have the necessary resources and technology to be able to protect the PHI they are dealing with.
  • Only the companies that clear the audits and get the clearances can deal with PHI.
  • To get HIPAA compliance, print and mail companies should undergo certain training in specific areas that are critical to data security. 
  • Every party involved should follow the necessary steps and instructions.
  • PostGrids' entire data processing and print and mail partnership are compliant with HIPAA standards ensuring all frameworks and standards are adhered to.
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All companies dealing with PHI should specifically focus on:

  • Backup management
  • Physical safety
  • System integrity
  • Access permission levels
  • Audit control
  • Transmission security
  • Data maintenance
  • Data handling methods

Security Measures

Technical Security

When using our automated mailing system to transmit confidential messages—rest assured that a comprehensive audit trail of the message is accessible on our portal for the sender. Our print and mail platform and API, compliant with HIPAA standards, ensure your private information remains accessible only to authorized personnel. We follow this process from the campaign's beginning to the delivery stages.

Our password-protected system grants users and operators the appropriate rights and restrictions—specific to each message. You can trust us to handle encrypted messages in SSL or PKI formats and offer you the capability to promptly delete messages containing patient-identifiable content immediately upon project completion. Our deletion process is safeguarded by technologically enhanced security settings, letting you automate necessary deletions.

Physical Security

We conduct annual audits of our facilities to guarantee the ongoing maintenance of safeguards against unauthorized access, tampering, and theft of PHI. Our servers are safe and accessible only to authorized personnel.

Our reputed partners complete the printing and insertion of information into envelopes using equipment that adheres to HIPAA Security Policies and Procedures. It ensures your information receives comprehensive physical protection during printing and shipping.

Procedural Security

PostGrid follows a comprehensive security risk management process in compliance with the HIPAA Security Regulations.

Our robust procedures prevent, detect, contain, and rectify security violations, ensuring the protection of your Protected Health Information (PHI).

We consistently evaluate and implement security measures to mitigate risks and vulnerabilities. PostGrid safeguards the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) within its API systems and platforms.

Our policies and procedures undergo annual audits to maintain compliance with HIPAA rules and regulations. Additionally, we implement continuous improvements to follow the latest security protocols, thereby upholding the highest security levels for your documents.

  • Secure Data Archival: We offer various options for safe data archival, with access restricted to authorized personnel.
  • Document Security: Documents containing personalized or sensitive customer data are secure using PCI-compliant document destruction equipment.
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HIPAA Compliant Print and Mail Solutions for the Healthcare Industry

  • Reduce the time and effort required to print and mail patients' medical reports and healthcare documents.
  • Use PostGrid to cut down costs, accelerate marketing, and keep the revenue cycle running.
  • Whether you are a small dental clinic or a big healthcare institution, PostGrid's HIPAA-compliant solution can help you draft, organize, print, and mail your documents efficiently and without any data breach worries.
  • HIPAA-compliant processing and partnership
  • You can improve your patient experience and process patient billing securely with us.

Some examples of healthcare documents that can be printed and mailed with PostGrid are:

  • Test reports
  • Medical Invoices or Bills
  • Medical Receipts
  • EOB (Explanation of Benefits)
  • EOC (Explanation of Coverage)
  • Patient notices and letters
  • Medical statements
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Business Associate Agreement

  • PostGrid can enter into a business associate agreement if required by you.
  • An official format is followed as per the sample posted on the website of the US Department of Health & Human Services.
  • With PostGrid, you can be sure that your data is safe, private, and confidential – as we have invested in our data privacy processes heavily.

Why Outsource Your HIPAA Direct Mailing Programs?

Here are some reasons to outsource your HIPAA-compliant direct mail campaigns:

Efficient Time and Cost Savings

Benefit from our cutting-edge in-house technology, specialized equipment, and extensive experience in providing HIPAA-compliant print and mail services. It enables us to deliver fast turnaround HIPAA mailing solutions at the most competitive rates.

Minimize Potential Risks

Stay assured of our team's continuous awareness of HIPAA-compliant mailing regulations. We employ top-tier HIPAA mailing practices to guarantee the utmost security for every mailing piece.

Expanded Service Offerings

You can unlock diverse service options effortlessly using our automated solutions. PostGrid lets you provide your clients with physical copies of medical records, test reports, etc., without incurring extra infrastructure or setup expenses.

Enhance Operational Efficiency

Efficient interfaces, designed for speed and user comfort, eliminate the need for extensive team training. Team members can seamlessly join and initiate mail communications with just a few clicks.

This feature is especially advantageous for remote teams or organizations with multiple office locations managing physical mail dispatches. Pre-paid credits consolidate spending management into a centralized hub, providing streamlined control.

Facilitate Regulatory Compliance

PostGrid lets you use the most hassle-free method for sending physical mail online. Maintain meticulous records of all outgoing mail, complete with customer references at the time of order placement.

Our HIPAA-compliant mailing system facilitates a smooth transition from electronic documents in your EMR to secure, same or next-day mailing, eliminating the need for printers, stamps, scheduled pickups, or visits to the Post Office.

Reduce costs, remain compliant, streamline print and mail processes, and maintain data confidentiality and integrity

Integrates with Your Favorite Tech Stack & Tools

Easily Improve your workflow and automate print & mail through seamless integration capabilities.

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