Does Hipaa Allow Electronic Signatures?

Howard Schulman

The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires the individual’s written authorization for any use or disclosure of protected health information (PHI) not otherwise expressly permitted or required by the Privacy Rule. However, if the purpose of a covered entity sharing PHI through a health information organization is for a purpose not otherwise permitted by the Privacy Rule, then a HIPAA authorization would be required.

What are the legal requirements for e-signatures?

The document being signed with an e-signature must meet federal e-signature laws and clearly outline the agreement between the two parties.

What are the standards for e-signatures?

While HIPAA doesn’t dictate a particular standard for e-signatures, there are other laws that do, including the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) Federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act). Following the standards set in these laws is extremely important.

What are the risks associated with e-signature technology?

The use of e-signature technology has its advantages, but it also has the potential to increase medical errors and opportunities for fraud. This is why choosing a vendor that is HIPPA compliant and has a long history of success is important.

What are the benefits of e-signatures?

This will ensure that contracts are legally enforceable and that authorization for the disclosure of PHI cannot later be contested.

What are HIPAA compliance rules for document esigning?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was enacted to improve the efficiency, portability, and security of health insurance coverage in the United States. In particular, HIPAA established new protections for individually identifiable health information that is created or held by a covered entity. One way these provisions are enforced is through HIPAA compliance rules for document signing. If you work with electronic medical records (EMRs), then you need to know your responsibilities under this law.

In order to be compliant with e-signatures, not only should the contract comply federal guidelines and provide a clear understanding of how signatures are being used, but it also needs to demonstrate intent for signing on behalf of another person as well as supply an option for obtaining a copy in paper or email form at any time. Covered entities additionally need legal advice from someone knowledgeable about state laws that might regulate digital signature usage under HIPAA rules before consideration can be given toward use online

Statistics

  • It is not possible to submit digital forms until they are 100% filled up, and data is captured and sent to end systems automatically, enabling end-to-end electronic medical records. (esigngenie.com)
  • 81 percent of U.S. physicians own an iPad 85 percent of U.S. physicians own or use a smartphone professionally 39 percent of U.S. physicians communicate online with patients (mobihealthnews.com)