11 best HIPAA-compliant video conferencing software

Breakthroughs in telemedicine are making the impossible possible. For example, scientists are diagnosing PTSD using only voice samples.

However, there are risks that come with technology. Video conferencing might be pushing some doctors to overprescribe antibiotics for children.

For the average healthcare worker, telemedicine means

  • Saving money
  • Reaching more people in need
  • Improving health outcomes across a wider area

Healthcare professionals need to make educated decisions that consider the protected health information (PHI) of their patients. This includes abiding by Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations when it comes to any data, including video.

Just so you know
You’ve got your medical toolkit ready to help those in need — but what about your telemedicine toolkit? With JotForm’s HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform, you can easily create online medical forms that keep sensitive health data safe.

There are literally hundreds of HIPAA-compliant telehealth solutions. Below are a few of the highest rated and most popular options found on software review websites.

Here are 11 of the top HIPAA-compliant video conferencing services

1. Doxy.me

  • Free for limited services, $35 per month for individual professionals, $50 per user for clinics
  • Reviewers on Capterra highlighted the solution’s free option and ease of use but mentioned that calls drop if the internet service isn’t strong

2. thera-LINK

  • Individual plans: $30 per month (limited to five sessions per month), $45 (unlimited sessions), $65 (unlimited sessions and other security benefits)
  • Focused on mental and behavioral health
  • Practice management (PM) for individuals and small to medium-sized organizations

3. TheraNest

  • $38 per month (additional $10 for each user to take advantage of HIPAA-compliant video conferencing)
  • Unlimited users, storage, and support
  • Specifically tailored for mental health applications
  • Electronic health record software with Wiley Practice Planners treatment planning solution add-on

4. SimplePractice

  • Individual plans: $39 per month for Essential plan, $59 per month for Professional plan (includes several extra features such as HIPAA-compliant messaging)
  • Group plans: $59 per month for the first clinician, $39 for each additional clinician
  • Part of a wider practice management platform for small businesses in health and wellness
  • Includes integrated features such as free appointment reminders (SMS, email, and voice), a mobile app, and e-claim filing
  • Reviewers report a clean interface

5. Zoom for healthcare

  • $200 per month
  • Consistent, high-quality video
  • Commonly used for webinars
  • Arguably the most popular video conferencing software tool

6. VSee

  • $49 per month for individual users; contact sales for enterprise pricing
  • Used by large organizations, such as Shell and NASA
  • Optimized for areas of poor internet service so it’s good for clients overseas or in rural areas

7. GoToMeeting

  • $12 per month for Professional plan with limited meeting organizers
  • For Enterprise plans, contact sales
  • Although not specifically for telehealth, GoToMeeting is used by many doctors
  • Easy to contact all the parties involved
  • Suitable for many different device types

8. Medici

  • The Connect plan is free and includes HIPAA-compliant text messaging
  • The Treat plan is required for HIPAA-compliant video conferencing
  • The translation feature is available for text messages in 20 languages
  • A robust mobile app gives doctors access to almost every feature on the go
  • Patients easily get messages through mobile notifications
  • Demo required for pricing info

9. Mend

Mend Family Telehealth
  • Individual plans: $49 per month (if paid annually)
  • Seven-day free trial
  • Patient intake forms and appointment reminders are available for all plans
  • No download needed
  • EHR can be imported to other media through various integrations

10. Chiron Health

  • Independent plan: $150 per month, per provider ($1,440 when billed annually)
  • For Enterprise plans, contact sales
  • Guarantees full reimbursement through private payers
  • Unlimited live video visits, scheduling, automated appointment reminders, branded web app and email communications, and patient mobile apps available for all plans
  • Integrates with EHR/PM tools

11. VTConnect

  • Provides HIPAA Compliant legal and consent form templates starting from $45
  • Individual plans : $49.95 per month with unlimited teleconferencing and signed BAA
  • Professional plans : $199.95 per month (includes up to 5 practitioner license, unlimited teleconferencing and signed BAA)
  • Virtual Online Office Portal for collecting payments, encrypted messaging, sharing documents and more
  • Customize by adding your company logo and unique Online Office Portal URL
  • HIPAA-compliant mobile application across different platforms
  • Offers onboarding package for setting up your telehealth platform

As you can see, there are many video conferencing options for the healthcare sector. When choosing a service, focus on your practice’s needs so that complicated, unnecessary features won’t sway your decision.

HIPAA and video conferencing software

Telehealth is showing strong growth as a market and will soon lose the “tele” and become just “health”. As technology in healthcare becomes more accepted and expected, health consumers and providers will get pickier when it comes to video communication services.

The privacy and security of patient information should be your top concern. Without proper safeguards, trust in your health services will evaporate, and you’ll lose business.

And minor slipups on information security can have other costs; HIPAA violations can result in millions of dollars in fines and lawsuits. In 2018, the Office for Civil Rights issued more than $25 million in penalties.

The majority of HIPAA violations come from human error. Installing safeguards through technology, such as video conferencing, is one way to combat this. However, HIPAA rules are complex, so it’s never a “one-and-done” solution. Understanding the regulations is the first step to creating the right solution.

A brief explanation of how HIPAA works

HIPAA regulations are designed to protect the privacy of patient information. There are guidelines for the transfer and storage of data on digital channels. The guidelines include details about the use of data, encryption, servers, authentication, and audit trails.

In telehealth, HIPAA standards are the responsibility of both the video conferencing vendor and the health provider.

This shared responsibility can be formalized through a business associate agreement (BAA). The agreement is a method of sharing the risk and is, essentially, a promise to be accountable should a HIPAA breach take place.

Some big players such as Apple and Skype have deliberately chosen not to take on these risks. Others will embrace them and eagerly sign a BAA because they’re looking to carve out a section of the video conferencing marketplace.

However, even if a software provider claims to be HIPAA compliant and signs a BAA, it’s still possible to violate HIPAA rules. All it takes is one untrained staff member who sends a video file to the wrong address.

Finding a HIPAA-compliant service doesn’t guarantee everyone in the organization will be compliant. Rather, it should be part of your overall security system.

Ready to shop? Here’s what to look for

Store with many TV options

You wouldn’t go to the supermarket without a shopping list, so why would you shop for software without a list?

Here are the top factors your healthcare organization should keep in mind when looking to partner with a technology provider:

  • What do your end users need? Are they already using other software? Will the new software be too drastic a change from what they’re used to? 
  • Where are your users located? Internet strength varies by location. Depending on where your customers live, you may need to consider costlier providers with more advanced technology capabilities. They can provide superior video regardless of internet strength.
  • Is there a best solution for your health sector? Some video conferencing solutions focus on specific fields, such as psychiatry (telepsychiatry & teletherapy) or mental health. These providers can offer supplementary services that go beyond video conferencing. Additional services can include patient management, appointment scheduling, reminders, digital forms, and integration with electronic health record systems like Epic.
  • Has the software been adopted by other healthcare brands? While many providers offer free trials, you can’t spend months testing every single one. Instead, ask yourself, “Do other organizations in my sector use and trust this product?” If so, this is an indication of a product’s good reputation. 
  • Will they sign a BAA? Not all providers are willing to sign a BAA. Make sure to ask providers about their policy on signing a BAA before agreeing to work with them.
  • What sort of access and authentication controls are used? There must be a balance between ease of use and unauthorized access. Many solutions offer multiple steps in their identification process to make sure the right people have access at the right time.
  • Does the solution have end-to-end encryption? There are many types of encryption, so find out which type the new solution uses. There are also active risk management services, such as ThetaLake. These services use AI to analyze your video for potential compliance risks, such as when a confidential form is in view.
  • Does the software integrate with your current workflow? Some providers offer their own platform, cloud storage, or ecosystem. Others boast easy integration with other software, electronic health record systems, patient management, or billing services.
  • What’s the cost? Many providers offer a free trial for a specified time. Only a few providers have a free version for individuals or small practices. Most provide paid versions that cater to larger organizations.
Just so you know
If your organization is fighting against COVID-19, you can apply for a free, unlimited, HIPAA-compliant JotForm account with our Coronavirus Responder Program.

Embrace the future while maintaining standards

With proper research and planning, you can ensure your telehealth technology upholds the privacy and security of patient information. HIPAA-compliant video conferencing software is one tool that can help — another is JotForm, which lets you create HIPAA-compliant forms to quickly collect medical information online!

The information on this page does not constitute official healthcare or legal advice. JotForm is not liable for any damage or liabilities arising out of or connected in any manner with this platform.

This article is originally published on Aug 09, 2019, and updated on Jul 09, 2020
Firm believer in personal data privacy in the age of information. Close follower of the new regulations concerning patient confidentiality & HIPAA. You can reach George through his contact form.

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