In the heavily regulated world of healthcare, providers and payers understand their obligations for patient statement services access. While some of that is shifting toward digital based on the Interoperability and Patient Access final rule, most organizations still send millions of printed HIPAA compliant patient statement communication. Ensuring these communications are accurate and compliant can be burdensome and expensive.

In a time when efficiencies and cost reduction are critical for healthcare, after a year of enormous stress and expense, it’s time to rethink outsourcing. It can be a strategic approach to your mission-critical healthcare communications when you partner with a HIPAA compliant print and mail provider.

Does HIPAA Letter Compliance Change with a Vendor?

Healthcare entities have the right to outsource various parts of their operations that require them to share protected health information (PHI). In such a relationship, your vendor will sign a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA). A BAA covers each parties’ obligations around the handling of PHI. That partner now has the same requirements as you do regarding compliance and could be held liable if a breach or incident occurred.

Thus, by selecting the right partner, you can feel comfortable with outsourcing. However, you should carefully vet your vendor to ensure they have HIPAA Compliant Certification and HITRUST (Health Information Trust Alliance) Certification.

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What HIPAA Compliant Patient Communications Can You Outsource?

As long as you’re working with a compliant and certified facility, you can outsource all printed communications, including:

  • Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
  • Explanation of Coverage (EOC)
  • Bills and statements, including inserts
  • Letters and notices

Benefits You Can Realize by Outsourcing HIPAA Compliant Patient Communication

The journey to outsourcing HIPAA Letters begin with vendor selection. You can benefit in many ways from the right partnership. When considering if you’ll move to this model, here are the positive results you can expect.

Reduce HIPAA Letter Expenses

While compliance is top of mind for your communications, saving money is advantageous. In-plants can become money pits. You have a string of expenses that never decrease, including equipment, materials, and labor. Even when the machinery isn’t on, you’re still paying for it.

If you’re looking for ways to cut costs, then outsourcing is a good option. A professional print and mail company has a much higher volume than you do. This keeps the cost of goods low without compromising quality or compliance.

Improve Accuracy of Patient Statement Services

Accuracy is never 100%, but it can be very close. Accuracy depends on processes and technology. Since print and mail isn’t your core competency, it’s unlikely your in-plant is this sophisticated.

Those that specialize in print and mail accuracy, like PCI Group, have a true end-to-end integrity solution. Our system uses 2D barcodes, USPS Intelligent Barcode (IMB), and high-speed cameras for tracking. With this in place, our accuracy is 99.9999%.

Accuracy in HIPAA communications is non-negotiable. Any mis-mailing or error could lead to PHI exposure, which could be a HIPAA violation. Can your in-house operations offer you this level of confidence?

Enhance Security and Compliance

Healthcare organizations live and breathe security and compliance. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Outsourcing of HIPAA-compliant patient communications advantages elevates all best practices.

In the realm of compliance, healthcare print and mail vendors have a full-time Security and Compliance Officer. That person’s role is to provide constant oversight and due diligence. The position is an expert and always on top of new regulations, including the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s proposed changes. The possible modifications seek to remove unnecessary burdens around communication and coordination.

Along with compliance comes data security. In outsourcing, you’ll be sharing PHI with the vendor. If that gives you pause, be assured that a reputable partner does it right. This transmission process would include multiple layers of security and encryption of data at rest and in transit.

Accelerate the Payment Cycle

The time from rendering services to creating the bill can be a long process. Delays in printing and mailing patient statements elongates the revenue cycle. When you tap professionals for the print and mail part, it can shorten the time to payment. With more consistent cash flow, it can support your organization in many ways.

Ensure Business Continuity

What happens if your in-plant goes down to do an incident? How will you continue to deliver patient communications and remain compliant? Business continuity of print services is just as critical as plans for digital communications.

Some companies have a fallback vendor to pick up printing, but that model has risks. Many times, these backup vendors are not redundant with the main operation. In these instances, it takes time to ramp up and guarantee they are using the correct templates. You’ll also be paying a premium.

When you outsource, your partner has built-in redundancy to guarantee almost 100% uptime. Communications will continue without missing a beat.

Next Steps for Outsourcing HIPAA Compliant Patient Communications

Now that you have the facts on outsourcing relationships and its benefits, it’s time to take the next step. If you want to cut costs while also improving quality, you’ll find a great partner in our team of experts. Contact us today to learn more.