Burr & Forman

04.8.2020   |   Articles / Publications

“HIPAA, telehealth, and managing billing staff working remotely,” Physicians Practice

In an article published in Physicians Practice on April 8, 2020, Birmingham partner Kelli Fleming lent her legal perspective on telehealth and patient privacy in this age of social distancing because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Speaking to billing for telehealth visits, Fleming pointed out the importance of practices to check with health insurers to ensure they’ll be paid for patient visits when engaging in these remote services.

Related to patient privacy, the Office of Civil Rights released guidance on March 24 detailing ways healthcare providers can disclose private health information (PHI) about patients infected with COVID-19. Under the circumstances where patient names and other identifying information can be disclosed, call centers and EMTs can tell a physician if a patient has tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19, which allows providers to better protect themselves. It’s worth noting that this type of communication has always been permissible.

Finally, Fleming provides guidance on managing remote billing staff, including recommendations to ensure security, HIPAA violations at home and delayed claims.

You can read the full article here.

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