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Overseas Contractors Have Incentives to Protect PHI


February 22, 2010

Healthcare providers aiming to cut costs are sending their patients' personal information beyond U.S. borders, but that is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to privacy protection, Health Business Daily points out in an excerpt from the "Report on Patient Privacy." There are inherent risks, especially when services such as medical transcribing, coding and billing are handled in countries where U.S. regulations like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) do not apply, and no national privacy regulations are in place. However, "the process has built-in safeguards, including financial motivators on the BA (business associate) side, which can make working with offshore business associates as safe--if not safer--than working with those in the U.S.," the report states.
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