HIPAA regulations and red-tape are popping up everywhere. In fact, you can’t even visit your family doc (that you’ve known for 20 years) without having to sign another form. While the legislation is cumbersome (and responsible for the death of many a tree), HIPAA is something that both law firms and court reporting firms should follow very closely.
Did you know that attorneys could face legal and financial liability for Protected Health Information (PHI) that is disclosed either by their firm or their court reporting firm?
According to the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA):
PHI is broadly defined to include data that can be reasonably used to identify an individual and “relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual; the provision of health care to an individual; or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.”
NCRA Recommended Safeguards
Under HIPAA regulations, attorneys are required to have a written agreement with court reporters who have access to their client’s PHI. There are 10 specific requirements for BAAs which can be found here.
Donovan Court Reporting & Video Conferencing Safeguards PHI
As a court reporting firm owner, I’ve built my business on the cornerstones of ethics and privacy. Donovan has taken unilateral measures to protect all PHI, and we provide training and guidelines so that all staff and reporters perform accordingly. It is our promise to protect PHI in the following ways:
Every staff member, including reporters, undergoes HIPAA training and certification and is provided with our HIPAA Policies & Procedures Manual.
Whenever a deposition is booked which potentially falls under HIPAA, it is specially coded so that HIPAA procedures are followed from beginning to end.
All HIPAA-related transcripts are marked on the title page as follows: This transcript is protected under the laws of HIPAA Privacy Rule 45 CFR, Part 164. This verbiage is meant to alert anyone who comes in contact with the transcript that they should follow HIPAA procedures.
Donovan reporters immediately deliver all case documents which include PHI to our Marietta office. Your client’s PHI will never be sitting on a coffee table or left in someone’s back seat.
All transcripts containing PHI are deleted from the reporter’s laptop and instead stored on our secure servers once the transcript is no longer needed by the reporter.
All Donovan employees and contractors are required to sign confidentiality agreements. The information heard or seen during deposition is never disclosed to any third party.
We have specific policies in place in the event of an unintentional breach of security. However, we have never had the need to use them.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding how PHI is handled during a deposition, or if you would like to view our in-house BAA and/or HIPAA Policies & Procedures Manual, please give us a call at 800‑547‑1512 or visit us online: www.donovanreporting.com. We look forward to securely capturing the record in your next case!
Yours for ethical reporting,
Lori T. Donovan, RMR, CRR
Certified Court Reporter