13 best HIPAA-compliant video conferencing tools

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.

Pro Tip
Schedule video conferences with HIPAA-compliant booking and registration forms!

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 13 of the top HIPAA-compliant video conferencing services

1. Doxy.me

As one of the most popular solutions in the business, Doxy is HIPAA, GDPR, PHIPA/PIPEDA, & HITECH compliant video conferencing tool. Doxy’s interface can be customized with providers’ brand names and logos, thus giving a more professional look. Doxy also has an online shop for telemedicine providers in which they sell many telemedicine equipments, including laptops, microphones and blood pressure monitoring devices.

Doxy’s waiting room feature includes a patient queue and allows patients to check in virtually, so their provider knows they’re ready for the appointment. Each waiting room is customizable with images, videos, and reading materials for patients. In-app appointment management offers higher levels of flexibility compared to other video conferencing services. Providers can reschedule appointments quickly if a patient is running late.

  • 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

Thera-LINK is unique because it’s geared specifically toward mental and behavioral health professionals. In addition to video conferencing services, Thera-LINK also includes practice management tools like online credit card payments and automated reminders. The directory tool gives patients the option to find local providers through an online database. The virtual waiting room is customizable and can prevent patients from joining the session until they successfully submit their payment.

Many providers use Thera-LINK for both one-on-one appointments and group counseling appointments, with no limit on the maximum number of participants. This video conferencing solution can accommodate larger meetings such as support groups and family therapy. Providers can use Thera-LINK to take session notes, securely share files, hold in-session chats, and enable client self-scheduling.

  • 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

TheraNest is a versatile electronic health record (EHR) software tool that provides telehealth video conferencing features at an extra cost. The platform is a solution for mental health practitioners, specifically solo providers, nonprofits, groups, and educational organizations. Providers can use these tools to conduct video conferencing sessions with a maximum of six participants per session.

TheraNest’s tools make it easy to manage and streamline a mental health practice, with solutions for paperless prescriptions, insurance billing, client information storage, and appointment scheduling. Telehealth tools allow clients to join sessions through personalized session links with no password or software download needed. Providers have complete control over video and audio during the video sessions, including screen sharing and file sharing.

  • $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

SimplePractice includes more than basic teleconferencing tools. Several patient management solutions are available, such as customizable intake forms, online booking, and file sharing. One feature that makes SimplePractice stand out from other HIPAA-compliant video conferencing tools is the built-in insurance processing feature.

The SimplePractice patient portal allows providers and patients to share information before an appointment. Intake documents are mobile-friendly, and you can use these tools on laptops or desktop computers. Other convenient features for telemedicine appointments include one-click video calling, screen sharing, calendar syncing, a website widget for booking, and autopay for credit card billing.

  • 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

While Zoom primarily targets B2B and B2C companies, the company also offers an industry-specific plan for healthcare providers. Zoom for Healthcare includes tools designed for the telemedicine industry, including integrations with medical devices and electronic health records (EHRs). The service offers in-app file sharing, a patient waiting room, mute/unmute features, chat messenger, a whiteboard tool, and AES 256-encryption.

Zoom’s collaborative tools, such as screen sharing and desktop recording, are HIPAA-compliant with Zoom for Healthcare. Zoom is an excellent solution for telemedicine providers who need video conferencing features without built-in patient management tools. Zoom for Healthcare doesn’t offer essential services like billing features or appointment scheduling. But integration options are available with external apps through specific healthcare software services.

  • $200 per month for up to 10 accounts
  • Consistent, high-quality video
  • Commonly used for webinars
  • Arguably the most popular video conferencing software tool

6. VSee

Not only does VSee offer video communication for telemedicine appointments, but system tools also allow patients and providers to connect between appointments as well. Providers can set patient wellness goals and monitor progress, including integration with devices like wireless scales, blood pressure monitors, and Fitbits. Patients can send status updates, such as photographs, food diaries, and mood charts.

Integrated features in VSee enable providers to collect payments and patient intake forms. PTZ camera control is helpful for remote examinations. Peripheral streaming allows providers to see digital images and their patients on the screen simultaneously. VSee is an effective solution for providers that would like to accept walk-in telemedicine visits. When patients visit the virtual waiting room, they see a branded space with wait time updates and educational videos. Live chat support is available when people are waiting for their appointments.

  • $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

All three GoToMeeting plans are HIPAA compliant, giving customers the flexibility to choose the plan that best suits their needs. This video conferencing tool is excellent for one-on-one appointments. It can also accommodate group meetings of up to 150 participants on the basic plan (and more on the business and enterprise plans).

GoToMeeting provides various features that accommodate telemedicine appointments, such as in-app note-taking, screen sharing, meeting locks, chat messaging, and no time limit on meetings. While GoToMeeting is sufficient for video conferencing, it doesn’t include patient management tools like medical device integration, billing, or appointment scheduling.

  • $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

Medici is a mobile app for telehealth that includes various features to support communication between providers and patients. One unique feature is the ability to import patient contact information from a supported EHR into the Medici app. Patients can request video calls through the app and view the consult rates before a treatment session.

Through this secure messaging app, providers can e-prescribe medications, collect payment, and take advantage of real-time translation for more than 40 languages. Colleague Connect makes it easy to collaborate with others in the industry while maintaining HIPAA compliance at all times.

  • 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

Mend’s telehealth platform is dynamic and can support healthcare organizations of all sizes. A variety of patient communication tools, with direct integration to the primary telehealth service, is available. It’s easy to connect to video conferencing and live chat features through desktop and mobile devices.

Mend provides features for patient engagement to minimize no-shows. Additionally, integration options are available to connect the telehealth software with electronic medical record tools. Providers and patients can share files, photos, messages, data, and assessments during consults. The drag-and-drop features are user-friendly and support information sharing, such as medical histories, case documentation, and consent forms.

  • 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

Practices of all sizes can use Chiron Health for cloud-based telemedicine services. This HIPAA-compliant tool provides much more than basic video calling. EMR integration streamlines workflow management, including insurance verification, consent documentation, and payment calculation. Appointment calendars show provider availability and allow patients to schedule appointments.

Automated appointment reminders inform patients about upcoming appointments. When patients log on for their telehealth meetings, a virtual waiting room provides digital check-in services and a place to wait until the consultation begins.

  • 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

VTConnect is a secure, simple, and sustainable platform for telemedicine services. Not only can the video conferencing technology support individual sessions, but it also offers capabilities for group sessions. The system mimics an in-person experience with user-friendly solutions that enable patients and providers to connect through desktop and mobile devices.

VTConnect uses end-to-end encryption and password protection to ensure the security of protected health information (PHI). Private video conferencing tools integrate with other communication features, such as real-time chat, file sharing, and data storage.

  • 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

12. MegaMeeting

megameeting

MegaMeeting is a trusted all-in-one solution for telehealth services. Both secure video conferencing and webinar tools work seamlessly with powerful communication features. Providers can share their screens and chat with patients. Unique access keys ensure the highest levels of security for video conference sessions.

Patients enter a digital waiting room before the telemedicine meeting. Providers can use branding options to customize the waiting room colors, logos, and domain. It’s easy to share video and image files through this platform. Additionally, each provider can integrate MegaMeeting telemedicine solutions with their existing health record systems and electronic scheduling.

  • Plans start at $19 per month, per host when billed annually (for up to 20 attendees per meeting)
  • 14-day free trial option before purchase
  • Allows for private branding for more a professional look, as well as branded URLs through a custom DNS feature
  • Meetings are recorded as .mp4 files
  • You can use breakout rooms to have conversations in different rooms within a group

13. eVisit

evisit

The eVisit platform supports telehealth services for small and large medical providers, including private practices, hospitals, clinics, and health systems. Available features include EMR integrations, charting, billing, e-prescribing, intake forms, and a virtual patient waiting room. In addition to supporting full telehealth communication, these tools help improve operational efficiency for healthcare practices.

eVisit includes a waiting room where patients can queue before connecting with their doctor. Providers receive updates and notifications about patient wait times. Flexible scheduling enables both walk-in visits with on-call providers and appointment booking for telemedicine services.

  • eVisit doesn’t offer a free trial or free version of the software
  • Request a demo for pricing information
  • All eVisit users have access to unlimited technical support

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.

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 Jan 13, 2021.
AUTHOR
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. The views stated herein are for discussion only, and are not intended to constitute medical advice or any other advice, procedures, or guidelines for diagnosing or treating any medical condition or for any aspect of the practice of medicine.

Send Comment:

JotForm Avatar
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Comments: