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What to Look For in Your Call Center’s HIPAA Compliant Technology

For call centers, a major part of being compliant with state and federal regulations is having the necessary technology to collect and safeguard information properly. Of the utmost importance is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant call center technology. This technology collects and secures protected health information (PHI) between the call center, its partners, and consumers.

The technology that a call center uses includes tools for taking inbound calls, making outbound calls, storing and transmitting data. Below, Legal Conversion Center discusses what makes a HIPAA compliant call center, and what compliant technologies you should look for in a reputable call center.

What is a HIPAA-compliant call center?

A HIPAA-compliant call center is a call center that strictly adheres to HIPAA regulations. This call center will have measures in place to determine how PHI is managed, and will review these processes against HIPAA guidelines.

Call center regulatory compliance will also ensure that any technology used to conduct business meets HIPAA guidelines and adheres to HIPAA standards for gathering, storing, or transmitting data. Call center leaders will routinely train and monitor agents, and will provide feedback and performance reviews as necessary.

Why is it so important to choose a HIPAA-Compliant call center?

Choosing a HIPAA-compliant legal call center is crucial for law firms that want to maintain the rights and privacy of their potential new clients, current clients, and associates. A legal call center will represent your law firm directly to consumers via telephone or text. Law firms are subject to HIPAA guidelines if they collect any PHI from potential or current clients. That means that a call center, as an associate, must also follow these guidelines. If a law firm hires a call center that is not HIPAA compliant, and violations occur, the call center and law firm could both be subject to penalties. 

Another reason why it is important to choose a HIPAA-compliant call center is because you want your law firm to grow and thrive. HIPAA violations are serious and can have a detrimental impact on your reputation and future business development.

Implementing a Business Associate Agreement (BAA)

A Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is a legal document that establishes the responsibilities and obligations of both the call center and its associates with respect to PHI. Implementing a BAA is an important step for legal call centers and their partners to ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations.

A BAA helps the call center ensure that their associates (contractors, vendors, or third-party service providers) protect the privacy and security of consumer PHI. To implement an effective BAA, the call center must identify all associates who may have access to PHI, and ensure that they understand HIPAA regulations and maintain compliance.

Essential Call Center HIPAA-Compliant Security Features to Look For

If you are looking to partner with a legal call center, there are a few essential security features that you should look for. These include:

Cross-Channel Security (Texting, calls, messages) 

Cross-channel security refers to the measures and techniques a call center uses to protect computer networks and systems from security threats that originate from multiple channels. Channels often used to infiltrate computer systems and databases include:

  • Web applications
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Mobile Devices
  • Text Messaging

Cross-channel security addresses threats by implementing security measures that protect against attacks across all channels, rather than focusing on securing individual channels. Some of the tools that legal call centers can use to ensure cross-channel security include:

  • Firewalls
  • Intrusion Detection
  • Data Loss Prevention
  • Access Controls
  • Internal Policies and Procedures
  • Employee Training
  • Incident Response Plans

By utilizing cross-channel security, call centers can provide comprehensive protection for their agents, partners, and consumers they contact.

Failovers or Backups

When it comes to data security, a failover or backup is a mechanism that enables a system or service to switch to a backup or redundant system in the event of a system failure or outage. The primary purpose of these systems is to maintain the availability and continuity of critical applications and data in the event of an unexpected interruption.

In the event that an interruption occurs, a failover will quickly take over functions, which can keep a call center running and compliant, even when the unexpected occurs. Failover systems can be used at different levels of technology, including:

  • Local Networks
  • Servers
  • Storage Devices
  • Application Layers

A failover system is a great asset to legal call centers because if provides ongoing data security if the primary system fails or is interrupted.

On-Going Risk Assessments 

Any organization that uses technology should have a plan for ongoing risk assessment. Why? Because technology is constantly changing. Furthermore, laws and regulations are routinely reviewed and updated, which can impact overall compliance. At Legal Conversion Center, we conduct an annual risk assessment that examines all aspects of our operations. This ensures that our partners and consumers are consistently safe and secure, and that we maintain strict compliance.

Cloud-based Technology and Identity and Access Management (IAM) 

Cloud technology has evolved from something a handful of people utilized to an almost-necessity for most organizations. Now, cloud storage has the capacity to provide comprehensive storage options for even massive organizations. Cloud-based technology also has the ability to run software and provide business solutions within the cloud.

Of course, like all technology, cloud technology is not without potential risk. Legal call centers must be aware of this risk and how best to mitigate it, especially when handling consumer PHI. 

24/7 Emergency Responses

Even though law firms have daily business hours, the needs of clients and consumers never stop. In fact, many consumers researching and contacting law firms do so after hours. That’s why many law firms partner with Legal Conversion Center, where we offer 24/7 intake support. Not only do we have agents on standby 24/7, but our software stays up-to-date and functioning at all times. That means there is never a gap in the security that we provide through our compliant software.

Furthermore, if a data threat occurs, we have the means to immediately address the threat and take action, no matter what time or day. We specifically choose software that is top-of-the-line on security, access, and control. 

Questions to Ask Your Call Center

If you are looking for the right legal call center to partner with, here are a few questions you can ask them to see if they are the right choice:

  1. What technology do you use?
  2. What software do you use?
  3. How do you gather and store medical information?
  4. How do you process payment information?
  5. Do you train your agents on HIPAA regulations?
  6. What happens if there is a data breach?
  7. What happens if someone files a complaint?
  8. How will you protect my firm and clients?
  9. Does your call center have a failover or backup plan?
  10. Do you have agents available at all times to address threats?

There are certainly other questions you may have along the way, but asking questions like these can help you identify if a potential partner is using HIPAA compliant call center technology.

How Legal Conversion Center Maintains HIPAA-Compliance

Law firms are professional businesses, and of course, you want to build a good reputation in the community, with your clients, and with your peers. At Legal Conversion Center, we understand how important it is for our partners to maintain compliance with HIPAA and other regulations. We’ve built our business by offering only the highest quality and ethics to every partner and consumer we connect with.

LCC is HIPAA compliant and has received the HIPAA Seal of Compliance. What’s more, our company has passed a third party review for compliance. We are proud to be compliant and do our part to protect our partners and consumers. LCC maintains HIPAA compliance in the following ways:

  • Ensuring the confidentiality of PHI
  • Using technology that safeguards personal information
  • Storing data in a secure and/or encrypted manner
  • Staying up-to-date on HIPAA regulations
  • Conducting routine risk assessments
  • Providing HIPAA training and certification to all agents
  • Maintaining policies for privacy and security
  • Maintaining response plans for security risks

Partner with a Legal Call Center that Cares

At LCC, we are committed to standing out against the competition. Our business and reputation is built on providing a trustworthy experience for partners and consumers. Intake for law firms is most successful with the support of a skilled legal call center that cares.

Find out more by calling LCC for a free quote on our intake services.