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Medical transcriptionists must protect patient data

Cheryl Dillard, vice president of Encore Professional Medical Services, discusses patient privacy issues.
by Paula Burkes Modified: March 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm •  Published: March 3, 2014

Q&A with Cheryl Dillard

Medical transcription rules help protect privacy of patients’ data

Q: What laws govern how transcription service providers protect patient information?

A: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets out the requirements for medical transcriptionists. There are specific administrative, technical and physical requirements we must follow in order to comply with the law. Additionally, we require all of our transcriptionists to sign a Business Associate Agreement that explicitly prohibits them from releasing any information for any reason. It’s just one more layer of protection we employ to protect patient data.

Q: What about transcription companies located overseas?

A: HIPAA requirements cannot be imposed on companies who operate outside the country, so outsourcing transcription services to overseas vendors poses a serious risk to the security of patient records.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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