The Super Easy Way To Make Your Email / G Suite HIPAA Compliant
Today we are going to give you a quick how-to on making your G Suite HIPAA Compliant.
HIPAA violations are scary!! The fines are EXTREMELY costly, and will most likely bankrupt you.
Likewise, making sure that you are following HIPAA is the MOST important part of your job. These regulations are in place to not only protect you, but also to protect your clients.
This is one of the top three most used platforms for teletherapy, why?
Mainly because of its broad offerings of services. It’s Google’s suite of services, which includes Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar, Forms, and all other services they offer bundled together. Once we set up the HIPAA security the entire platform with all of these services will be HIPAA compliant.
So why do we love it so much?
For starters, google has a lot of popularity with a lot of private practice owners due to the ability to have your domain name in your email. So instead of your email saying email@example.com, it would say firstname.lastname@example.org.
Google is also one of the most cost efficient services providers out there. With an option at $6 a month you can be secure without breaking the bank.
Let’s do a quick overview of what HIPAA Compliant actually means.
HIPAA secure means that you are in a BAA contract with the company providing the software for you.
What does BAA mean?
BAA stands for Business Associate Agreement. A BAA is a legal contract between a healthcare provider and a contractor. HIPAA requires that all healthcare providers enter a BAA contract when swapping PHI, also known as “protected health information,” with a contractor.
To summarize, this basically all means that anytime you are using software to enter or send health information HIPAA requires that you have a Business Associate Agreement with the software provider.
In this case, now that we know what HIPAA secure means and why we need it. This means you need to enter a BAA contract with Google for all of their G Suite software to be HIPAA compliant.
You can only enter a BAA with Google when you are using a paid version for G Suite.
Like I said earlier, G Suite is super cost-efficient having their lowest tier at $6, they do have other options available for more money, but the $6 usually works just fine for all your needs in Private Practice.
Let’s walk you all through how to make G Suite HIPAA secure.
- Set up your new G Suite account
- Here is a link showing you how to connect your domain to your email. This will give you the email with it saying @your domain name .com at the end of your email instead of it saying @ gmail.com
- When you are ready, sign in to your google admin console, you can get there by going to admin.google.com
- After you have logged on, click Company Profile
- Then scroll down to the bottom of the page
- Then click on the show more button, you will see a section labeled Legal & Compliance
- Click there
- At the very bottom of the page, you will see a section called Security and Privacy Additional Terms, under that section, you will see G Suite/Cloud Identity HIPAA Business Associate Amendment. Click the Review and accept button under there.
- It will ask you to answer just a few questions. Once you have done so, you can click “I accept.”
That is all you have to do. It’s a super easy process and takes up just a couple of minutes your time.
We always recommend that you take some time to read over G Suites’ entire policy of what is and isn’t HIPAA secure. We have a link to the PDF of these policies here.
It is a bit on the lengthy side, but it ensures that you are using everything on G Suite in a HIPPA compliant way, because even though we have made G Suite HIPAA compliant there are still ways you can use their services that don’t follow HIPPA’s guidelines.
Taking the extra time to read over the policy guidelines could make the difference in you getting a fine and you not.
We hope this was helpful to you for making G Suite HIPAA compliant.
Leave us some comments on how easy you found the process and any tips you have to people who are just switching to G Suite.
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