Using Digital Signatures to Help Manage HIPAA Forms

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HIPAA, officially known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, was first developed to give people more access to and control their health information.

This and later legislation’s rules and regulations altered how HIPAA-covered organizations, including medical practices, insurance providers, and other covered entities, as well as their business partners, were permitted to handle patient data.

Setting guidelines for how protected health information (PHI) is handled when exchanged electronically was one of the critical goals of HIPAA. This article will discuss how digital signatures can help manage hippa forms/documents.

HIPPA rules & digital signatures:

HIPAA regulations have an awkward place for digital signatures and signed papers since they need precise instructions on collecting them while still complying with the law.

Digital signatures were initially covered under the HIPAA Security Rule (1998), but before the legislation was completed in 2003, all provisions governing e-signatures were eliminated.

The following is now stated on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website:

HIPAA does not, however, currently have any requirements for electronic signatures. Therefore, covered entities must ensure that any electronic signature utilized will result in a contract that is enforceable under applicable State or other laws in the absence of particular criteria.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule will be satisfied by using electronic signatures, according to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), “assuming that the electronic contract satisfies the applicable requirements of State contract law.” In other words, using e-signatures or an e-signature solution to sign documents upholds the integrity of PHI and doesn’t contravene HIPAA regulations, provided state law is complied with.

Are digital signatures HIPPA compliant?

Yes. HIPAA requires no specific method of signing documents. The law is instead concerned with making sure PHI is appropriately handled.

HIPPA rules about digital signatures:

The HIPAA Security Rule does not mention e-signatures in their published form. Initially, lawmakers did plan to discuss the issue. However, before publication, all citations to it were eliminated.

Instead, the HIPAA-oversight body, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), released regulations after the fact. Per those rules, electronic signatures must:

  • Be enforceable under state law in the provider’s State.
  • Must adhere to the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act of the United States
  • Where relevant, it must conform to the federal Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA)
  • Must conform to general HIPAA electronic security and safety requirements
  • When being collected, used, or kept, it must not in any manner violate HIPAA regulations.

How can digital signatures help healthcare providers manage HIPAA compliance?

You can significantly speed up your administrative procedures by allowing signers to complete HIPAA-related paperwork. Many standard HIPAA forms can now be completed online, even by signers outside the office, because data can be sent and stored electronically.

Administratively speaking, this might make it possible for front desk staff to handle huge lines and wait periods more skillfully. In addition, filling out forms electronically may facilitate filing and improve form readability in busy medical facilities like hospitals or clinics.

Electronic signatures are crucial because they demonstrate that patients were given all pertinent information, including important disclosures like a business’ privacy policy or HIPAA compliance requirements. For example, patients must be aware of their right to privacy and control over their medical records under HIPAA. They must also sign documents releasing their data to healthcare providers. By asking patients to confirm that they have read this information and that they agree with organizational data policies, electronic signatures can assist with all of that.

What are common HIPAA forms that can be used with digital signatures?

Healthcare organizations may revolutionize how patient intake forms are signed and how patients experience their healthcare journey using electronic signatures. Here are some typical HIPAA forms that can be signed electronically:

  • New patient intake forms with HIPAA releases
  • Patient information and policies
  • Health information release authorization
  • HIPAA disclosure form
  • Medical records release form
  • Notice of privacy practices
  • Patient rights and responsibilities


Working with professionals eliminates the uncertainty and worry associated with electronic signatures. Experts in electronic signature solutions, like Certinal, have already adjusted their systems to conform to regulatory standards and are HIPAA-certified. In addition, we have put in the effort to make sure that eSign procedures and products are secure.

By utilizing the turn-key solutions readily available to accommodate providers of every size and style, healthcare providers may benefit from that work.

There has never been a better time to upgrade your current eSignature process or implement HIPAA-compliant digital signatures. See what the best digital signature technology can do for your business by scheduling a demo or writing to us at

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