HIPAA Compliance In The Contact Center

In your Life Sciences contact center, you have 50 customer service representatives (CSRs). They are empathetic, friendly, and hardworking – great! But did you know that they are your biggest variable when it comes to HIPAA compliance?

Mistakes & Exceptions

The kryptonite to your Superman-like compliance initiatives. All 50 of your agents will make mistakes because they are human, and as they say, “Mistakes happen.” But they also make exceptions… a more egregious form of mistakes. Exceptions in HIPAA-impacted processes can be detrimental to your entire enterprise, not just the contact center.

You train your agents, emphasizing the gravity of HIPAA compliance, but mistakes and exceptions are unavoidable with human CSRs.

There Is a Better Way

Replace them with exception-free automation. But don’t replace them completely! Their empathy and critical thinking skills keep the most challenging customers happy and loyal.

But for the HIPAA-impacted processes like authentication, mandated announcements/disclaimers, and secure messaging, you can use intelligent automation that can scale in both volume and complexity.

When designed and implemented in the right way, automation can provide HIPAA compliant self-service in a consistent, repeatable way… no mistakes, no exceptions.

Additional Resources & News

There are a few different sites to go for news and information about HIPAA and other regulations.
For history, news, and best practices: HIPAA Journal
Penalties for HIPAA Violations
For specific updates, compliance tactics, and enforcement practices: HHS Online

Violation Classifications and Penalties*

Severity of ViolationDescriptionPenalty
Category 1Company was unaware, could not have been realistically avoidedMin. fine of $100 per violation up to $50k
Category 2Company should’ve been aware, but could not have avoided even with reasonable careMin. fine of $1,000 per violation up to $50k
Category 3Violation suffered as direct result of “willful neglect” but company has attempted to take corrective measuresMin. fine of $10k per violation up to $50k
Category 4Violation suffered as direct result of “willful neglect” with no attempt at correctionMin. fine of $50k per violation

*taken from HIPAA Journal (http://www.hipaajournal.com/what-are-the-penalties-for-hipaa-violations-7096/)