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WestFax vs Twilio: HIPAA Compliant Fax API

Twilio, a very developer friendly and popular communication provider started offering fax services a few years ago to supplement their many other technology and telecom stacks.

Twilio is an excellent choice for many Internet-based communication needs, however, developers who need to utilize fax may want to look elsewhere. We'll discuss the Twilio fax platform and the issues that prevent it from being a viable HIPAA compliant solution.

Document types

Being able to deal with multiple document types is important for any workflow that handles many types of information from a variety of sources. WestFax supports many document types such as MS Word, MS Excel, Adobe PDF, TIFF, PNG, JPG, GIF and more. Twilio only supports PDF. [src]. This may be fine for some use-cases but most enterprise users require additional flexibility.

Pricing

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Pricing for a fax service should be simple. WestFax has simple fixed price plans based on fax volume. You pay for the fax line and you pay per page with generous volume included in the base cost. Twilio pricing seems simple at first. They have a rate of 1 cent per fax but there is an * asterik there. The pricing is a little more complicated. They add in SIP Trunking minutes. Adding to the one cent price is a per minute charge that varies by number type. If you have toll free it costs more than a toll line. The average fax of 2-3 pages can take around 30 seconds to 1 minute per page depending on the connection speed of the receiving fax. That one cent fax is now much more. Over a large volume of pages this adds up. WestFax has simple, easy to understand pricing. If you exceed your plan limit, we just charge a flat rate per page regardless of the number of minutes or number type. [src]

Business Associate Agreement

A BAA is required for HIPAA compliant fax service. A BAA or Business Associate Agreement is a legal agreement which outlines the responsibilities of each party in ensuring the security of PHI, both “in transit” and “at rest”. When WestFax signs a BAA, we are legally acknowledging our responsibilities to maintain our high standards for keeping PHI secure. Twilio offers a BAA as well, however, you must be an Enterprise customer which is a minimum of $15,000 per month. [src ].

WestFax offers a BAA for no additional cost on all its HIPAA Compliant fax plans.

HIPAA Compliant

Finally, Twilio does not actually offer HIPAA compliant faxing. Nowhere in their catalog of offerings do they offer HIPAA compliant fax. They may be HIPAA compliant for SMS or for other communication platforms, assuming you have the enterprise, 15k per month plan, but they do not offer a HIPAA compliant fax service. At WestFax our primary service is HIPAA compliant fax. We have built our platform to offer enterprise-ready HIPAA compliant fax service from the start, at all service levels.

In Summary

We think Twilio is a great communications platform that has a lot to offer in the realm of enterprise communications, but they are not the right provider for HIPAA compliant fax. When it comes to HIPAA you should choose a service provider that knows fax, and knows HIPAA compliance. Twilio does not offer a true HIPAA compliant fax service. To speak to a WestFax representative about your HIPAA Fax needs call us now at 800-473-6208 or email us.