constant contact hipaa compliance

Is Constant Contact HIPAA Compliant?

Using email marketing to reach out to patients is a perfectly acceptable practice. Emails are great ways to communicate with patients, and most healthcare providers keep in touch using different email platforms. Constant Contact is an online marketing company that provides an email marketing solution. 

It’s a convenient way to send patients newsletters, updates, and other marketing messages. However, with healthcare being a highly regulated industry, it’s understandable that health professionals are concerned with Constant Contact HIPAA compliance. 

So, is Constant Contact HIPAA compliant? That’s what you’re about to find out.

is constant contact hipaa compliant

Why HIPAA Compliance Matters for Email Marketing

It’s perfectly legal for healthcare organizations to send marketing messages to their patients and potential customers via email. After all, email marketing is a viable marketing tool to increase a practice’s reputation and gain loyal customers. 

However, before sending an email marketing message, you must first secure authorization from patients or recipients that they are willing to accept marketing communications from your end. Consent is crucial in email marketing. You can obtain it using signed consent forms. Likewise, an opt-out option, like an unsubscribe link, must exist should they wish to stop receiving marketing emails. 

Using HIPAA-compliant email marketing solutions increases patient trust and protects your organization from any damages that may result in a security breach. HIPAA compliance requires platforms to use encrypted transmission methods and maintain audit trails to track who accesses protected health information (PHI) and when. 

Is Constant Contact HIPAA Compliant?

Is Constant Contact HIPAA Compliant?

Constant Contact supports HIPAA compliance. Its default settings are not HIPAA compliant, but the platform is willing to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with healthcare organizations to ensure Constant Contact compliance with HIPAA rules.

As you know, a BAA between a solutions provider and a HIPAA-covered entity is required to ensure that the provider can be held accountable for any mishandling of PHI. However, it is worth noting that Constant Contact will only sign its own BAA, not the one your organization will provide. As such, it’s best to scrutinize their BAA if ever you decide to use their solution. 

Besides the BAA, the online marketing platform has several reminders for healthcare organizations. First, they insist that HIPAA-covered entities must remain responsible for any transmitted and stored data. This means you must use strong passwords, set up multi-user access, assign correct user roles, and properly configure your account to ensure maximum security. 

Likewise, Constant Contact discourages users from transmitting or storing highly sensitive PHI like mental health results, substance abuse information, and the like. The platform also stresses that it is not an EMR (electronic medical records system) and must never be used as such. It may be willing to provide a BAA and become HIPAA compliant, but with plenty of restrictions. It’s best to use the platform only for marketing communications and avoid using it to process and transmit medical records containing PHI.

What to Look For in an Email Marketing Tool for Healthcare

Like any other electronic solution used to handle patient health information, a HIPAA-compliant email marketing tool must have the following features:

  • Data encryption for both in-transit and at-rest data
  • Ability to sign Business Associate Agreements (BAAs)
  • Secure transmission methods such as Transport Layer Security (TLS)  to safeguard patient information during the sending and receiving of emails.
  • Access control and authentication that restrict access to sensitive data and ensure that only authorized personnel can manage and send email campaigns
  • Robust audit trails that log user activities, providing a record of who accessed the system, when, and what actions were taken
  • Permission-based marketing practices that facilitate the management of opt-ins and opt-outs to explicit consent from individuals before sending them marketing emails
Is Constant Contact HIPAA Compliant?

Alternatives for HIPAA-Compliant Email Marketing Solutions

Since HIPAA compliance involves a rigorous and defined set of regulations, choosing a solution that meets all these requirements is critical. 

There are only several specialized email marketing solutions you can select from. These are:

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign offers several marketing solutions, including email marketing, landing pages, forms, CRM, and more. It offers HIPAA compliance support for Enterprise users and adheres to other security and privacy regulations like GDPR and SOC2. It’s also heavily invested in security and meets all the HIPAA security requirements, plus other valuable features like vulnerability scans, session management, and continuous pen testing. 

Paubox

Paubox is an email system designed specifically for healthcare providers. It enables you to send HIPAA-compliant email marketing, update patients using a secure email provider, and compose personalized emails. It also has an intuitive and robust analytics dashboard, which lets you see how effective your campaigns are. You can also use its drag-and-drop interface to build beautiful email newsletters.

LuxSci

LuxSci has several HIPAA-compliant solutions, including email marketing, day-to-day email hosting, high-volume sending, SMTP connections, and secure web and PDF form solutions. It utilizes exceptionally flexible encryption like dynamic TLS, exclusive TLS, and upgraded encryption to boost the security of all data transmitted and stored across its servers.

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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