Is Stripe HIPAA Compliant?

Is Stripe HIPAA Compliant?

Although a known payment services provider, using Stripe for healthcare-related payments means it must meet the standards for handling sensitive patient information. After all, laws like HIPAA exist, and failure to abide by its standards could result in serious trouble.

As for Stripe, it pays to check this payment processor’s HIPAA compliance status and see whether it can handle protected health information (PHI) securely.

So, is Stripe HIPAA compliant? 

Is Stripe HIPAA Compliant?

The Significance of HIPAA Compliance in Online Payments

In healthcare, it’s unavoidable to have PHI associated with payment data. Since the process usually involves exchanging information in payment transactions, the possibility of exposing PHI to unauthorized entities is higher. Thus, covered entities must prioritize HIPAA compliance in payment systems. Beyond avoiding legal sanctions or compensatory damages, ensuring compliance demonstrates a solid commitment to upholding patient privacy.

Choosing a HIPAA-compliant payment service provider fosters trust among stakeholders and patients. It also helps minimize the impact that a breach could cause by implementing safeguards such as regular monitoring, encryption, and limited user access.

In the case of Stripe, finding out whether it complies with the standards set by HIPAA means you’re practicing due diligence to safeguard patient data.

Stripe hipaa compliant

Is Stripe HIPAA Compliant?

The short answer is no.

Like Zelle, Stripe lacks HIPAA compliance, making it unsuitable for handling transactions involving healthcare payments. It may be PCI-compliant, but it does not meet the requirements set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

Using the popular app for sending and receiving funds in exchange for a healthcare-related service could violate HIPAA rules and result in serious legal consequences. It’s also worth mentioning that a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) between a service provider and a covered entity is required when handling PHI. And like most online payment providers, Stripe does not appear to offer one. 

Benefits and Risks of Using Stripe in Healthcare

Benefits

  • Detailed reporting: The payment processor offers comprehensive reports that empower providers to analyze and comprehend emerging patterns within their business operations.
  • PCI compliance: Stripe adheres to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards, guaranteeing the utmost security of all payment card information.
  • Scalability: Using the platform for sending and receiving payments makes it easy to scale and handle financial transactions in larger volumes without compromising efficiency.

Risks

  • Not HIPAA compliant: Stripe does not adhere to HIPAA regulations, making it an inappropriate choice for handling payments that involve protected health information.
  • Potential HIPAA violations: Payments made using a non-HIPAA-compliant payment processor could result in serious legal and monetary consequences. The United States Department of Health and Human Services may also impose penalties on covered entities and their business associates that fail to safeguard PHI per the regulations set by the HIPAA law.
  • Limited suitability: Although Stripe may be beneficial and convenient for smaller independent practices, larger practices with existing payment systems may see no advantage in using Stripe. 

The bottom line is that although the payment processor presents advantages like ease of use and PCI compliance, it still poses notable risks for healthcare providers due to its non-compliance with HIPAA regulations. It becomes crucial for providers to thoroughly consider the pros of utilizing Stripe in contrast to its potential risks. In doing so, providers can decide whether the convenience and ease of using Stripe outweigh the possible security and compliance risks.

Is Stripe HIPAA Compliant?

Alternatives to Stripe for HIPAA-Compliant Payment Methods

Below, you will see some of the alternatives for Stripe when it comes to handling online payments:

  • Authorize.net: A payment gateway that offers HIPAA-compliant payment processing for healthcare companies and clinical practices. It provides a stable platform for all major credit card processors and e-check payments.
  • Square: Square, renowned for its versatility in catering to the needs of retailers, is praised for its ability to seamlessly integrate online and offline operations as a Point of Sale (POS) application. This remarkable tool empowers businesses to process card and mobile payments effortlessly while being HIPAA compliant and providing the added benefits of real-time analytics and automated sales reporting.
  • HealthPay: HealthPay is a reliable and trustworthy payment solution that adheres strictly to the guidelines set forth by HIPAA. This solution presents a secure and compliant avenue through which clients of covered entities can effortlessly make payments. It offers a myriad of impressive features, including the convenience of storing credit card information, the ease of electronic funds transfer, as well as the flexibility of digital wallet options.

These alternatives offer a safer route for your practice or business to accept payments that contain protected health information. While Stripe has proven its reliability and security in processing online payments, it may not be the best option for handling sensitive healthcare data.

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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