Recently, PandaDoc became HIPAA compliant. These changes mean that HIPAA-covered entities and their third-party service providers can transmit healthcare data through our platform while still obeying HIPAA rules.

This is a big plus for organizations that want to respect technical safeguards while sending identifiable health information electronically.

Today, we want to (briefly) cover the broad strokes of HIPA, as well as a few HIPAA documents that you can upload, format, and send through PandaDoc.

Let’s get started!

Overview: HIPAA documents and ePHI

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) changed the way that healthcare providers were allowed to handle protected health information (PHI) and electronic protected health information (ePHI).

Thanks to HIPAA, patients are allowed to have control over their health information. These rules and guidelines are reinforced by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Patients have the ability to file complaints with the OCR regarding security incidents and breaches of trust with personal health information is mishandled.

The HIPAA privacy rule prevents covered entities like healthcare providers and their business associates from sharing patient information without customer patient consent.

The HIPAA security rule also laid out mandates and security standards for covered entities, stating that all covered entities are required to protect health records and other private information from unauthorized access and malicious use.

You can read more about HIPAA and its obligations on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website.

With these restrictions in place, it can be difficult for healthcare organizations to transmit medical records and patient data directly to patients without risk of a HIPAA violation.

PandaDoc helps companies send and receive medical documents, compile templates, and capture electronic health records while maintaining data security and minimizing security risks.

HIPAA regulations (The HIPAA Privacy Rule) require a signed Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with every completed document. PandaDoc will provide a BAA for all Enterprise customers with five or more seats.

1. HIPAA compliance forms and notice of privacy practice

Some of the most important documents that healthcare providers and other covered entities can send are HIPAA documents that inform patients of their rights and regulations under HIPAA.

These forms detail the procedures and policies that covered entities must undertake when handling ePHI, and give patients a better understanding of how information is handled.

These disclosures may also cover key HIPAA items like the Privacy Rule, Security Rule, and the Breach Notification Rule.

When uploading these documents into the PandaDoc platform, you can add signature and date fields at the bottom of the page that patients must sign, acknowledging their receipt of these critical forms.

HIPAA Authorization Form

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2. Patient authorization and medical release forms

These forms are key when medical providers need to release information to relatives, loved ones, and family members.

Patients need to fill out these authorization forms so that covered entities have permission to release medical records, health plans, to individuals other than the patient.

These forms are also used by patients to authorize the disclosure to third-party entities that make operate alongside the covered entity.

While these partners (like PandaDoc) are independent entities, they are still covered under HIPAA by the business associate agreement and patients must agree that their information can be shared in this way.

These documents can be created from scratch using the PandaDoc editor. If you’re using an existing document, using text fields within PandaDoc will allow you to format the document so that patients can enter the names of authorized individuals. A signature field at the bottom can also be used to validate the form.

3. New and existing patient profiles

Under HIPAA, patients have the right to update their existing health profiles and information.

Many healthcare providers choose to do this by having patients update their medical records each time they visit the office. To do this, patients simply fill out profiles and intake forms so that the information can be updated on the medical record.

With PandaDoc, companies can create complex forms using text fields, checkboxes, tables, and more. Using electronic forms makes it easier than ever for this information to be shared, imported, or filed between healthcare providers, health care clearinghouses, insurers, and more.

4. Medical history and questionnaires

Though typically part of a patient profile, medical history and questionnaires can give patients the ability to disclose medical details that are critical to effective treatment.

Doctors may use this information to recommend health plans, prescriptions, or to uncover underlying issues like mental health problems or genetic diseases. These forms can often be tricky and may require more than just a tickbox or a checklist.

With PandaDoc, these disclosure forms aren’t limited to a single page. Using the PandaDoc editor, it’s possible to design a template that gives patients the room they need to describe their past history in full detail.

This is even possible on mobile devices since our PandaDoc app and mobile-ready platform makes automatically reformats everything to the size of the device.

5. Financial policy disclosure

The financial policy form allows covered entities to disclose patient data to billing entities like insurance companies and/or government programs. Often, this form is combined with privacy disclosures, but it can stand apart.

Using PandaDoc, all you’ll need is a signature and a date field at the bottom of the document.

If you combine this disclosure with another form, you could also use the initial field to ensure that the patient acknowledges and agrees to this disclosure by signing at the bottom of the page.

6. Specialist forms and referral authorizations

These types of forms can vary from a general referral authorization all the way to specialized questionnaires and disclosures that need to be sent to specialists. When these forms are set up in an electronic format, kt’s easy to share them between offices and medical practitioners that the customer might need to see in order to receive treatment.

With PandaDoc, you’ll have a few options to share the medical forms over to other providers. It’s easy to download a PDF and send a referral form over to a third party via secured email.

If you’re worried about security compliance with an unsecured email, you could also simply invite liaisons with the specialist’s office to view and download the document for themselves directly from PandaDoc!

This is a fast and easy way to share forms through a cloud-based platform while still taking advantage of the security and encryption provided by the PandaDoc platform.

7. Assessments and reviews

When you need to send assessments, reviews, and appointment details to patients and third parties, sending them in a secure way can always be a hassle.

Unfortunately, sending documents can be tricky. Between HIPAA national standards around documentation and privacy, as well as any in-house compliance program set forth by your organization, it might be difficult to get documents out through email.

With PandaDoc, you can send critical information in a fast and secure way by inviting customers to review their PandaDoc documents. This keeps the information safe until the user accesses the documentation. From there, patients can choose to print the documents for their records or download them to a computer.

Also, thanks to real-time collaboration and tracking, you can see when patients access and download their information from PandaDoc.

Collect protected health information and stay HIPAA compliant with PandaDoc

Depending on how your office operates and the forms that you need to send, it’s possible to use PandaDoc to compile even more complex forms and data information packets for your patients.

While the HITECH Act helped to get computers and electronic access into doctors’ offices and hospitals across the country, it also made HIPAA requirements around security measures more stringent when it comes to information systems and data security.

PandaDoc helps you solve those cybersecurity needs by handling the transmission and storage of your electronic documents. In addition to information access control, our system constantly undergoes risk assessments and risk management for data security.

Our systems are securely encrypted, SOC 2 compliant, and our data centers are secured with physical safeguards onsite at AWS facilities across the country.

Work with our team to build the administrative safeguards you need to stay current with HIPAA regulations and easily move data between your team and your patients.

Try PandaDoc free for 14 days, or get in touch with us to learn how PandaDoc can work for you.