We've been seeing more vendors, customers, and prospects asking about HIPAA compliant email marketing services. Since Paubox is a business associate to thousands of customers, we’ve been wondering if our customers are able to use MailerLite in a HIPAA compliant manner.
We know the HIPAA industry is vast so we can empathize with just how many people need to use cloud services in this sector.
Today we will determine if MailerLite offers HIPAA compliant email for marketing or not.
MailerLite is an email marketing startup with its headquarters in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was launched in 2010.
What is a business associate?
A business associate is a person or company that performs certain functions or activities that involve the use or disclosure of protected health information (PHI) for a covered entity. In a nutshell, the role of a business associate is to help covered entities comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Since MailerLite is a cloud-based service, if it stores PHI on behalf of a covered entity, it is certainly considered a business associate.
Business associate agreement provisions
If a business associate provides services to a covered entity, then a business associate agreement (BAA) must be in place. A BAA is a written contract between a covered entity and a business associate and is required by law for HIPAA compliance.
MailerLite and the business associate agreement
We checked MailerLite's site for mention of its ability to sign a BAA. We weren't able to find any mention of BAA, HIPAA, or PHI on its site. We were able to find however, a well-written blog post titled, Healthcare Provider’s Guide to Email Marketing. In our professional opinion however, many of the tactics the article mentions would trigger HIPAA compliance regulations.
We do not recommend following this guide with a vendor who does not provide a BAA.
Does MailerLite offer HIPAA Compliant service?
The BAA is a key component to HIPAA compliance between a covered entity and a business associate. We were able to learn the following about MailerLite and its stance on HIPAA compliance:
- MailerLite does not mention anything about HIPAA, PHI, or a BAA on its site.
- MailerLite is headquartered in Lithuania and does not seem focused on HIPAA compliant service.
- We therefore conclude MailerLite is not able to sign a BAA.
Conclusion: MailerLite is not HIPAA compliant.
HIPAA email marketing tools comparison
To meet the unmet need for HIPAA compliant email marketing, we created Paubox Marketing. It is the only solution that will:
- Sign a BAA
- Provide military-grade encryption
- Allow you to include PHI in your marketing emails
- Allow patients to read your emails directly from their inbox with no extra steps
In addition, Paubox Marketing is HITRUST CSF certified. Compared to the standard marketing tools, Paubox Marketing is the best option for maintaining HIPAA compliance while harnessing the power of personalized email marketing.
|Company||Will they sign a BAA?||Can you send PHI?|
|Blue Orchid Marketing||NO||NO|
|Mad Mimi (GoDaddy)||NO||NO|
|Infusionsoft by Keap||YES||NO|
|Salesforce Marketing Cloud||YES||NO|
|Eloqua (Oracle)||YES||YES **|
(** To use Oracle Eloqua in a HIPAA compliant manner, recipients receive two emails for every message you send. Patients must also log into a secure message center to view your message— it does not appear in their inboxes. This creates friction and makes it less likely that your patients will read your marketing email.)