A recently-released survey indicated that despite federal laws requiring the application of various security measures to electronic transmission of confidential medical information, many healthcare providers may routinely transmit such data in ways that do not comply with federal law. See http://www.healthitoutcomes.com/doc/healthcare-institutions-employ-compliant-messaging-apps-0001. Generally speaking, HIPAA and its implementing regulations require that any electronically transmitted medical information regarding a patient, known as “protected health information,” must be protected by encryption or other similar security measure. Neither text messages nor, oftentimes, other forms of mobile messaging are subject to such security measures.

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Failure to comply with these rules can subject a healthcare provider both to substantial penalties and to extensive reporting and remedial measures required by the law.   Chilivis, Grubman, Dalbey, & Warner is experienced in representing healthcare providers who may have violated HIPAA or other confidentiality rules. If you are a healthcare provider needing advice on a possible violation of HIPAA or other similar laws, contact us at 404-233-4171.