best hipaa-compliant mailing services

5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Mailing Services

Does your postal mail service value patient privacy? Whenever you need to send healthcare records like insurance plans and medical forms by mail, can the mailing service vouch for the privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information?

But why risk leaving it up to chance? You can always look for mailing services that are HIPAA compliant.

Why Mailing Services Need to Be HIPAA-Compliant

Going by the rules of HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, all the mail you send out consisting of sensitive health data should be protected. Some healthcare providers have overlooked this matter, leading to them sending HIPAA-compliant forms via mailing services or solutions that do not comply with HIPAA. This has led to the HHS fining several organizations for mailing documents that expose protected health information (PHI).

The law requires that PHI-related documents be sent through First-Class postal mail, not standard mail. In some instances, you should use certified mail, which is trackable. All documents should also be placed in a sealed envelope without a transparent window. Remember how the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) under the HHS ordered insurer Aetna to pay $1,000,000 for three HIPAA violations? One of the violations was unwittingly disclosing patients’ HIV statuses as a consequence of using window envelopes.

5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Mailing Services

1. Design Distributors 

Design Distributors provides HIPAA-compliant forms and mailing services. It offers end-to-end mailing solutions from postage optimization, address verification, and tracking for large-volume direct mail. Its team also helps you choose the best carrier, delivery method, and affordable postage rates.

With a secure data management system complying with ISO 27001 standards, Design Distributors also assures HIPAA compliance. The company undergoes third-party audits and holds SOC 2, Type 2 Certification with HITRUST mapping. To further help you comply with HIPAA, it uses closed-faced envelopes to protect private health information.

5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Mailing Services

2. FSSI Document Outsourcing Specialists

FSSI Document Outsourcing Specialists offers document design, production, and delivery services. With over 40 years of experience in the industry, FSSI securely processes communications, including statements, invoices, letters, and digital color mailers. FSSI’s HIPAA-compliant mailing services encompass high-volume print and direct mail.

FSSI conducts risk assessments, third-party audits, penetration testing, employee education, and other safeguards that comply with HIPAA law. The company helps healthcare providers and insurers by offering First-Class postal mail services in compliance with HIPAA regulations. It also uses address verification tools to ensure that your address follows proper postal formatting in compliance with US Postal Service (USPS) standards. 

5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Mailing Services

3. Postal Methods

An online service provider that handles direct mail, Postal Methods sends mail in three ways. You can send mail through a website, email, or API. It handles the whole process for you, so you don’t need to worry about HIPAA compliance. 

Postal Methods employs different HIPAA features. It uses audit trails that you can view on your portal to track your messages easily. The company also guarantees that your private information remains confidential and undisclosed to its customer service team. They use passwords, encryption, and automatic deletion to protect data.

Additionally, Postal Methods hosts their servers in secure facilities that can only be accessed by authorized personnel. Since they provide online services, they also offer a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) to prove their commitment to protecting data privacy and security.

5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Mailing Services

4. PostGrid

PostGrid offers a Print and Mail product that handles HIPAA-compliant mail services. It is, first and foremost, a direct mail API that lets you automate your direct mail. However, it also offers additional services for tracking certified domestic and international registered mail using the USPS. 

Since PostGrid is a Direct Mail API, you can easily integrate it into any CRM or marketing platform so the system automatically sends direct mail for you. Also, this mailing service lets you track your letters at all stages, from printing to processing and final delivery. Like Postal Methods, the company also offers a BAA.

5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Mailing Services

5. The Addressers

A direct mail service provider since 1978, The Addressers is one of the trusted names in printing, mailing, and fulfillment. You can outsource your healthcare communication needs to them, including patient mailers, invoices, and medical bill statements. The company prides itself in having a team of HIPAA compliance experts with decades of experience in the healthcare industry.

The Addresses offers HIPAA-compliant mailing solutions, including design, data processing, targeted mailing lists, final mailing, and next-day printing. You can use their service to send the following documents: 

  • Explanation of Insurance Benefits (EOB)
  • Explanation of Insurance Coverage (EOC)
  • CMS (HCFA) letters
  • Past due notices
  • Patient announcements and more

Do Mailing Services Need a BAA? 

Some direct mail services are not considered business associates and don’t need to sign a BAA. As the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says, the US Postal Service, United Parcel Service, private couriers, delivery truck line management, and their management are not business associates.

Some direct mail services only transmit protected health information as conduits but do not access it except as necessary. Covered entities also don’t intend to disclose PHI to these mailing services. Therefore, the mailing services are not considered business associates under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. They don’t need to sign a BAA with covered entities. However, some online solutions like PostGrid are required to sign a BAA.

Use HIPAA-Compliant Mailing Services

With the precise guidelines required by HIPAA, your healthcare organization could encounter challenges when mailing HIPAA-compliant forms using certain mailing services and platforms. 

The problem becomes more challenging when you need to send volumes of mail. Thankfully, you can count on the HIPAA-compliant mailing services listed above to handle your organization’s secure mailing needs.

Kent Cañas

Kent is a content strategist currently specializing in HIPAA-compliant online fax. Her expertise in this field allows her to provide valuable insights to clients seeking a secure and efficient online fax solution.

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