Offshoring Medical Records – Why You Should Care?
Your Medical Records Could Be in India, Pakistan, and/or the Philippines!
Why is it important that medical records remain with a workforce located in the United States?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules exist to protect your “individually identifiable health information” held or transmitted by your provider (identified as a Covered Entity and/or their Business Associates), in any form or medium, whether electronic, on paper, or oral.
When you visit a doctor, medical center, hospital, dentist, or any other healthcare facility YOUR protected health information (PHI) is at risk of falling into the wrong hands.
Your Medical Record
Your electronic medical records contain extremely sensitive details such as your demographic information (social security number, home address, place of work, prescriptions, etc.), and possibly sensitive mental and physical health information (any diagnosis that has the potential for social stigma, as well as any images taken).
Every time you visit a healthcare facility, a record is made in their electronic health record (EHR) system. This information must be reviewed by a medical coder who then translates that information into billable codes for insurance payment.
Why does this matter?
Frequently, YOUR medical records are sent to work forces OUTSIDE of the United States for processing.
These overseas work forces CAN CLAIM they are HIPAA compliant but US law CAN’T touch them!!
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is not going to visit companies located overseas to perform an onsite audit.
The Real Problem …
These foreign work forces are NOT accountable to HIPAA privacy protection laws, like a US based workforce must operate within.
That means if your identity or PHI is breached and/or sold or misused by a foreign individual, there may not be legal recourse and NO LEGAL STRUCTURE between the US and that foreign country to prosecute the crime.
Security experts in the US insist that OCR, which regulates HIPAA laws in this country, CANNOT ENFORCE HIPAA REGULATIONS OVERSEAS.
How You Can Get Involved
The most effective solution to this very serious problem is to ensure that ALL Health Information Management is done here in the US and NOT sent overseas just to save money, and handled in a much less regulatory, high-risk environment.
Join Mark Sluyter, Rich Simon, from Coders Direct and Elizabeth Burke CCS today and support their HIPAA Awareness Campaign. They have included a sample letter you can copy and paste into YOUR correspondence with your congressman or senator.
Watch the brief video and get some answers. It will surprise you, and you WON’T be happy.
YOU CAN Make A Difference‼️