Using Digital Signatures to Help Manage HIPAA Forms


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. 

This article will discuss how HIPPA-Compliant Electronic Signature Solution can help manage HIPAA forms/documents. Setting guidelines for how protected health information (PHI) is handled when exchanged electronically was one of the critical goals of HIPAA. 

HIPPA Compliant Electronic Signature Solution

HIPPA Compliant Electronic Signature Solution 

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. 

HIPPA Compliant Electronic Signature Solution 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 without 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 compliant to manage HIPAA forms? 

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 
    • It must not violate HIPAA regulations when being collected, used, or kept. 

How Can Digital Signatures Help to Manage HIPAA Forms 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 essential 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. Electronic signatures can assist with that by asking patients to confirm that they have read this information and agree with organizational data policies. 

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

Healthcare organizations may revolutionize how patient intake forms are signed, and 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 HIPPA Compliant Electronic Signature Solution. See what the best digital signature technology can do for your business by scheduling a demo. 

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author avatar
Lokjith is a marketing content writer, and he writes about eSignature technology to raise awareness and help enterprises make informed decisions. Before discovering the SaaS industry, he organized Offline Marketing campaigns campaigns. He has a master’s degree from the Institute of Management Technology, specializing in Marketing.
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