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Paubox Texting, HIPAA and TCPA: Paubox Zoom social mixer (March 2024)

Paubox Texting, HIPAA and TCPA: Paubox Zoom social mixer (March 2024)

The Paubox Zoom social mixer for March 2024 began with a presentation on texting, HIPAA compliance, and TCPA. Paubox VP of Marketing Dean Levitt covered text message statistics in healthcare, use cases for healthcare texting, the regulations around opt-in, and the HIPAA  requirements to stay compliant when utilizing text messaging in healthcare.

What happened: This month's mixer was about Text messaging and HIPAA compliance. The presentation began with statistics about usage and the effectiveness of texting.

Another big topic was how HIPAA defines marketing and how it applies to text patients.

Paubox Forms was again a topic of discussion. The attendees discussed how they currently, and hope to, use forms to capture signatures,  share information efficiently, and make life easier for front-line staff.


Our takeaways:

  • 98% of patients like text message communication.
  • 92% of patients agreed that text updates helped them avoid calling the office.
  • 85% of studies indicated that text messaging interventions have improved patients’ medication adherence rates.
  • Text messages are a “push” technology and exhibit a 98% open rate.
  • The distinction between marketing messages and healthcare operations communication is not always clear.
  • Getting the patient to opt-in for text-based communication should be done at the start of the patient relationship.
    • We also discussed the best ways to document that consent.
  • There are many text messaging use cases. We looked at 18 use cases, but more came in the roundtable discussions after the presentation.
  • Text messages that deliver medical-related messages are subject to TCPA regulations. 
    • Still, they only require prior express consent rather than the customarily required prior express written consent.
  • Healthcare messages under the TCPA must:
    • It relates to a health-related product or service
    • Have an established relationship
    • Concern the individual recipient’s healthcare needs
  • The FCC says providing a phone number to a healthcare provider constitutes prior express consent.

  • Certain healthcare treatment purposes are further exempted from the TCPA’s consent:
    • Appointment confirmations
    • Wellness checkups
    • Pre-registration instructions, etc
  • One Paubox customer plans to use Paubox Texting to alert patients if their EHR goes down.
  • A lot of people never check their emails, text seems to have a lot better response.
  • Paubox forms are helpful in gathering intake data & patient check-in data.
  • Is Constant Contact HIPAA compliant? 
    • They will sign a BAA but can not be used to store or send protected health data.

The bottom line: Paubox Texting and Paubox Forms have many uses and wide utility for healthcare organizations.

See alsoOur playbook for Zoom social mixers

See also: HIPAA Compliant Email: The Definitive Guide

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