INTRODUCTION: WHY ARE WE MAKING CHANGES?
At Summit Medicine and Pediatrics, we take seriously your right and our responsibility to maintain the highest level of security for your Protected Health Information (PHI). In the interest of remaining fully-compliant with all aspects of federal regulations in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, we are REQUIRED to update and implement the following changes in policies and procedures EFFECTIVE MAY 1, 2017:
- Opportunity for our patients to purchase licensure for use of third-party security software from TigerText® and ZixMail® that ensures mandatory compliance to federal regulations when transmitting and storing PHI via mobile text and email.
- New physician mobile telephone with Mobile Device Management (MDM) software and static and dynamic encryption software for exclusive use by patients and healthcare professionals (Yes… Dr. Mike will have a NEW mobile telephone number!);
- New physician email with static and dynamic encryption software for exclusive use by patients and healthcare professionals (Yes… Dr. Mike will have a NEW email address!);
- Revised and updated components and language to the following policies, authorizations and forms:
- Comprehensive Cyber-Security Policy
- Physician Mobile Telephone Use Policy
- Secure Physician Mobile Text and Email Use Policy
- Authorizations for Use of Images and Statements on Social Media and Website, Automatic Download of Medication Information from Pharmacies, and Automatic Payment for Services rendered
- Forms for Patient Comprehensive Health History (Adult and Pediatric), and Patient Demographic and Health Insurance Information
PLEASE NOTE THAT IMPLEMENTATION AND ANY NEW, ADDITIONAL FEES ASSOCIATED WITH MANDATORY IMPLEMENTATION OF THESE CHANGES ARE REQUIRED IN ORDER TO REMAIN FULLY-COMPLIANT WITH FEDERAL REGULATIONS OF HIPAA AND HITECT ACT.
In the coming days and weeks, each patient will receive detailed information and instructions about each of these changes. The information, instructions and updated forms and consents will be sent by email and/or postal service, and, of course, our patients are invited and encouraged to contact our office at any time should they have questions about the changes in policy and procedure and completion of the forms. Return of completed forms is REQUIRED by each patient (adult and pediatric).
For the convenience of our patients, Dr. Mike will be available to meet personally with patients to explain the reason for and answer questions regarding these necessary changes at the office on the following dates:
- Saturday, April 15, 2017 from 1 PM to 3 PM
- Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 1 PM to 3 PM
- Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 1 PM to 3 PM
At Summit Medicine and Pediatrics, we make every attempt to reduce the burden of administrative bureaucracy and paperwork to a minimum, and we thank our patients in advance for their patience and understanding as we fulfill our obligations to secure your PHI and to comply with federal regulation.
1. NEW SECURE MOBILE TEXT AND EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS
For the foreseeable future, communication between doctor and patient via landline telephone, mobile telephone, analog facsimile and postal and carrier delivery service shall remain compliant with HIPAA and HITECH Act regulations. In this regard, no changes are necessary when patients call their doctors’ offices or their doctors’ mobile telephones to TALK to one another, or when documents or PHI are exchanged through ANALOG (i.e. NOT though -fax services), or when documents or PHI are exchanged through the US Postal Service, Federal Express/UPS services, or other private carrier services. And thank goodness for that!
However, this is NOT the case with communication between doctor and patient via mobile texting and email through standard, private wireless carriers and email services (e.g. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.). These businesses are NOT required to be compliant with HIPAA and HITECH Act regulations. Therefore, when patients and doctors wish to communicate PHI through mobile text and email (as is the case with Direct Access Medicine® care), the purchase and implementation of additional software from third-party security businesses is now mandated. It is important for all of our patients to understand that Summit Medicine and Pediatrics has NO OPTION but to comply fully with all HIPAA and HITECH Act regulations, and that we are fully committed to doing so in order to secure, at every level and with every communication, your PHI… while preserving the value and convenience of sending mobile texts and emails directly to Dr. Mike.
Summit Medicine and Pediatrics has contracted with TigerText® and ZixMail® to satisfy federal requirements and to make secure mobile texting and email services available to all of our patients. More information about the cost and value of these services is forthcoming. IT IS NOT REQUIRED THAT PATIENTS PURCHASE LICENSES FOR USE OF THIS SOFTWARE IN ORDER TO HAVE ACCESS 24/7 TO DR. MIKE. Remember, every patient has the privilege of calling Dr. Mike directly on his mobile telephone, and the cost of this service remains included in our patients’ monthly service fee. Only those patients who wish to text and email Dr. Mike must now purchase an additional TigerText® and ZixMail® license from Summit Medicine and Pediatrics to do so. The cost of the license is as follows:
- Service Level 1: $ 300.00 per mobile phone/email address pairing per year
- Service Level 2: $ 300.00 per mobile phone/email address pairing per year
- Service Level 3: No additional fee per mobile phone/email address pairing
- Service Level 4: No additional fee per mobile phone/email address pairing
In the coming days, our patients will be receiving additional information about this change, documentation to indicate whether or not they would like to participate in secure mobile texting and email services at Summit Medicine and Pediatrics, and, if so, instructions and directions to do so.
As described above, on May 1 2017, we are making the following 3 changes:
2. NEW TELEPHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL FOR DR. MIKE
HIPPA and HITECH Act regulations now require that ALL of our patients’ PHI, both in static file and storage and in dynamic transition and transfer, be encrypted. Therefore, Summit Medicine and Pediatrics has purchased and will maintain for Dr. Mike a new iPhone, with a BRAND NEW TELEHONE NUMBER, that is secured with Mobile Device Management (MDM) Security Software to meet these federal requirements. Similarly, Dr. Mike will have a BRAND NEW EMAIL ADDRESS that meets these federal requirements.
Dr. Mike’s new mobile telephone number is: 480-828-xxxx
Dr. Mike’s new email address is: xxxxxx@SummitMedPeds.com
(Please call the office to obtain the complete information)
EFFECTIVE MAY 1, 2017, ALL PATIENTS WHO WISH TO CONTACT DR. MIKE BY MOBILE TELEPHONE MUST USE THIS NEW TELEPHONE NUMBER. NO PATIENT WILL BE ABLE TO CALL, TEXT OR EMAIL DR. MIKE ON ANY TELEHONE NUMBER OR EMAIL ADDRESS PREVIOUSLY IN USE, AND ONLY THOSE PATIENTS WHO CHOOSE TO ‘OPT-IN’ TO PURCHASING LICENSE FOR USE OF TIGERTEXT® AND ZIXMAIL® SOFTWARE WILL BE ABLE TO TEXT AND EMAIL DR. MIKE.
In order to avoid confusion and unnecessary delay, we urge ALL of our patients to take the time promptly to input Dr. Mike’s new contact information above into their mobile telephones, contact lists and databases. Furthermore, is very, very important that each patient take the time to contact our office and update their own contact telephone number and emails–all those from which there is a possibility they might call or email Dr. Mike–because NO UNKNOWN OR UNIDENTIFIED CALLER OR EMAILER WILL BE ACCEPTED OR ACKNOWLEDGED through Dr. Mike’s new mobile telephone and email address.
3. REVISED AND UPDATED DOCUMENTS, FORMS AND CONSENTS
At Summit Medicine and Pediatrics, we are constantly reviewing federal mandates to secure our patients’ PHI, and searching for new opportunities to provide services that enhance the value of Direct Access Medicine® care. In doing so, we have determined that it is necessary to update the language in certain office policies and procedures, documents, forms and consents. Many of these updates must be reviewed and acknowledged by our patients, and we are preparing to send them to all our patients in the coming days.
We understand that can be tedious to have to read through and acknowledge policies, procedures, documents, forms and consents send to you from your doctor. It seems that the paperwork just never ends, and we are very, very appreciative of your patience and understanding in getting through this endeavor. We promise to our patients that such updates will be implemented as infrequently as possible, and that we will do so only when necessary to ensure the security of your PHI, the privilege of your giving us opportunity to care for you and your family, and the need to satisfy the mandates of federal agencies.
For your convenience, MOST of our patients will receive the updated Summit Medicine and Pediatrics policies, procedures, documents, forms and consents via DocuSign®, a HIPAA- and HITECH Act-compliant email and document transmission service that will allow each patient to review, complete, sign and return the documents without having to ‘print, pen and postage’ to complete the task. We hope that this makes the process
A full set of updated policies, procedures, documents, forms and consents must be completed for EACH PATIENT (adult and pediatric) in the practice. For those families who require additional copies of updated documents, and for patients who either do not have an email address or would prefer for any reason to have the documents sent to them by standard mail for completion, we ask that you visit our website to download the documents directly or contact our office at 480-981-9000 to arrange to have them mailed to you.