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New ADA email resource helps practices with HIPAA compliance

August 11, 2014

Art Meisel
In a joint effort with the New Jersey Dental Association, the ADA created a new resource on emailing patient information in compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requirements.

Members may access Emailing Patient Information: A Resource for Dental Practices through the Member Center on ADA.org. The resource includes sample forms and addresses HIPAA-related email topics such as emailing patients, emailing radiographs to a specialist, encryption and breach notification.

Sample forms include:

  • HIPAA Security risk assessment for emailing patient information;
  • Policies and procedures that state safeguards to use when emailing patient information;
  • An authorization form for a patient to use to consent to unencrypted email (must be a stand-alone document);
  • A Notice of Privacy Practices with a section on email.

 “I would like to commend the Division of Legal Affairs at the American Dental Association for providing this resource that dentists can use to make a HIPAA security risk assessment for small dental offices to have an email policy and procedure in effect,” said NJDA Executive Director Art Meisel. “I think the legal division did an outstanding job in having these forms made available without having to be purchased by ADA members.”

“We’re grateful to the New Jersey Dental Association for their contribution to this member resource,” said ADA attorneys Wendy Wils and Paula Tironi. “This collaborative effort is an example of the Power of Three at work.”

Specific HIPAA regulations address the use of electronic means to communicate patient information. Member dentists with questions about emailing patient information, including HIPAA requirements related to email, can turn to the new resource for a discussion of some pertinent legal issues and options.

Every dental practice must determine how best to meet patient needs in compliance with applicable regulations concerning the use of email. Covered dental practices must develop their own policies and procedures on transmitting patient information based on their individual risk assessments.

To access the resource on ADA.org, click on the above link or search for its title, Emailing Patient Information: A Resource for Dental Practices.