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What is HIPAA? HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security rules for safeguarding medical information.
What is a HIPAA compliant fax? HIPAA compliant fax is used by medical professionals and organizations as a highly secure way of sending and receiving private patient information, which is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA requires that appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards be used to protect the “protected health information” (PHI) of patients. Cloud-based fax provides a means for sending and receiving such information, provided that the right security measures are in place to prevent disclosure of PHI. Such measures include high-level encryption; hosting in data centers with 24x7 security, video surveillance, and access control; audit logs; and more.
Are online fax services HIPAA compliant? Some fax services are HIPAA compliant, while others are not. Even those that claim to be HIPAA compliant vary considerably in the degree to which they safeguard protected health information (PHI). Health care providers and other organizations should look for fax services that use industry-standard security and encryption, security-certified data centers, and who work with HIPAA covered organizations on a regular basis. Fax providers must also be willing to sign a "business associate agreement” that meets your organization’s specific needs.
Is WestFax HIPAA compliant? WestFax offers industry-leading HIPAA compliant fax service that meets the highest standards for security. With multiple options to integrate fax into your processes and applications, WestFax offers maximum interoperability for organizations that manage patient information on a day-to-day basis. As part of our HIPAA compliant Healthcare Fax, WestFax provides an industry standard Business Associate Agreement. Our BAA agreement satisfies the Health and Human Services (HSS) standards for Health Information Privacy (HIP).
Is it safe to fax confidential information? Today’s fax technology offers a high level of security and safety, especially when it is offered through a vendor who works with healthcare organizations that must adhere to HIPAA regulations. Healthcare providers, banks, and government offices continue to use fax routinely. Using a secure cloud-based fax service, users can send and receive documents safely, from a desktop computer or mobile phone; and they can access document history and confirmations through a secure online portal.
Can I send a fax from my Gmail? It’s easy to send a fax using Gmail. Click on the “compose” button to start a new e-mail. In the “To” address field, enter the fax number, followed by “@westfax.com”. Simply attach a document or image file to the e-mail, and send it. WestFax will identify it as a fax from your account (based on the Gmail address that you are using to send it), and it will be sent as an outbound fax from your account.
Can I send a fax from Word? There are several different ways to send a fax from Microsoft Word. The simplest method is to use the WestFax print driver, which emulates a printer on your computer. By printing the Word file to the WestFax driver and adding your recipient’s fax number, WestFax will automatically route the printing of the Word document to your recipient’s fax machine. WestFax also makes it easy to send word documents as faxes, simply by attaching them to an e-mail or uploading them to the WestFax portal.
Is it safe to fax documents? Fax is safer than many other methods of transmitting information. It offers a high level of security and safety, especially when it is offered through a vendor who works with healthcare organizations that must adhere to HIPAA regulations. Banks, healthcare providers needing HIPAA compliance, and government offices continue to use fax routinely.
Can I send a fax from my Outlook email? To send a fax from your Outlook e-mail, simply attach a Word document, PDF, or image file to an e-mail, and address it to the destination phone number, adding “@westfax.com” to the end. WestFax will automatically associate the fax with your account, based on the e-mail address from which it is being sent.
Is there a way to fax without a fax machine? WestFax offers four different methods for sending a fax without using a fax machine. #1: Log into the WestFax portal, fill out the phone number you want to send the fax to, and upload one or more attachments (such as PDFs, Word documents, or image files). #2: Attach a document or image file to an e-mail, and address it to the destination phone number, adding “@westfax.com” to the end. #3: Install the “Print to Fax” driver on your computer, which makes sending a fax as easy as printing a document. #4: The WestFax API enables you to embed fax capabilities into software programs.
Is Fax safer than email? There are several reasons why fax is safer than e-mail. First, hacking a fax is difficult and very inefficient, so hackers tend to concentrate on easier targets. Second, it is impossible to embed a virus within a fax, so a fax cannot be used to infect your computer with malware, compromising the security of your system and potentially infecting other users.
How can I send a fax through the Internet? To send a fax through the Internet, WestFax gives you a few options. First, you can log into the WestFax portal, fill out the phone number you want to send the fax to, and upload one or more attachments (such as PDFs, Word documents, or image files). Another option is to attach a document or image file to an e-mail and address it to the destination phone number, adding “@westfax.com” to the end. Finally, WestFax offers the “Print to Fax” driver, which makes sending a fax as easy as printing a document.
What is always required when you are sending a fax? We recommend always including a cover page with your fax. In the case of HIPAA covered organizations, we strongly recommend using a HIPAA-specific cover page with a confidentiality statement. WestFax makes it easy to send a fax through our secure online portal, by sending the fax as an e-mail attachment (as a PDF, Word file, or image), or using the WestFax Print to Fax driver. Fax transmission capabilities can also be built into software using the WestFax API. Users can also send and receive faxes via our service using traditional fax machine..
What must you include as part of all faxes that contain protected health information? HIPAA compliant faxes containing protected health information should always include a cover sheet that includes a confidentiality statement, as well as the name of the recipient, their fax number, and the name, organization, and contact information of the sender.
Can Fax be hacked? Fax is a considerably more secure technology than most other means of transmission. Although no technology is entirely safe from being hacked, today’s fax services offer a high level of security and safety, especially when it is offered through a vendor who works with healthcare organizations that must adhere to HIPAA regulations. Banks, healthcare providers needing HIPAA compliance, and government agencies continue to use fax routinely.
What is a BAA? A “business associate” is a person or entity that performs certain functions or activities that involve the use or disclosure of protected health information on behalf of, or provides services to, a covered entity. A member of the covered entity’s workforce is not a business associate. A covered health care provider, health plan, or health care clearinghouse can be a business associate of another covered entity. ( learn more about BAA on the HHS site)
Many digital fax platforms won’t sign a BAA. Will WestFax sign a BAA? Yes. WestFax will sign a Business Associate Agreement. Contact us to discuss your requirements. Our BAA agreement satisfies the Health and Human Services (HSS) standards for Health Information Privacy (HIP). (https://www.hhs.gov/)
We use an ERM, Can you integrate Fax into our workflow? Yes, We can integrate into any ERM. It starts with something as simple as Print to Fax driver and we can also perform custom integration into your ERM using our HIPAA Compliant Secure Fax API. Please contact us for more information.
Do you have an API we can integrate with? Yes, We offer a robust HIPAA Compliant Secure Fax API. Go here to learn more about our API and sign up here.
Can I get Customer Service help if I need it? Yes. Our in-house account managers are experienced professionals with years of service to the company. There is virtually no request they can’t handle. Our turnaround time for large custom merge orders is unmatched in the industry.
Do I need to buy any software or hardware? No. You only need Internet access or email capability.
What kind of security do you have at your Datacenter? Our highly secure Tier III data centers maintain SSAE16 SOC 2 Certifications to provide physical control of your ePHI data. The facility utilizes fingerprint scanning and video surveillance. Redundant and fault-tolerant power and HVAC systems ensuring system performance and availability. Redundant internet connections and carrier-class firewalling and security. Comprehensive compliance support that includes FISMA High / NIST 800-53, HIPAA, PCI-DSS Level 1, SOC 2 Type II, and SOC 3.
How secure is your HIPAA Compliant Fax Service? We utilize the highest level of TLS encryption available for data in transit either through our secure website or secure API interfaces. We also use AES 256 bit encryption of ePHI data to guarantee privacy and prevent disclosure from intrusion. We support TLS protected SMTP email with optional REQUIRE TLS extension in accordance with the IETF RFC 3207. FTPS and SFTP with TLS for safe and secure transport of documents to and from your existing servers. Comprehensive HTTPS API allows for easy and flexible integration of systems.
What are your acceptable document formats? MS Word, PDF, Tiff, RTF, Excel, Publisher, png, jpg, gif and Powerpoint.
How do I sign up? Contact a WestFax Sales Representative at 1-800-473-6208 or use our Getting Started form.