HIPAA-compliant email alternatives for therapists
The internet and social media have drastically changed therapy in the past 15 years. On one hand, patients have more access to information that can assist their therapy. And therapists now have more ways to help their patients, through resources like blog posts and e-books.
On the other hand, therapists have to be extremely careful with their web presence.
The American Psychological Association (APA) recommends not making your clients your Facebook friends, for example. Plus, therapists have to be mindful of exactly what tools they use to communicate different types of information. For example, it’s usually a bad idea to text patients anything other than scheduling info.
There’s another concern, though — email security. It’s critical to maintain doctor-patient confidentiality in all communications in order to comply with regulations like HIPAA. Fortunately, there are many HIPAA-compliant email tools that therapists can use.
1. HIPAA Vault
HIPAA Vault is a great option for the more tech-savvy and those who need a full suite of compliance tools for their office. The straightforward pricing structure starts at $12 per user, per month. The company is also well known for its excellent customer support.
In addition, HIPAA Vault integrates seamlessly with Google Workspace and Office 365, provides solutions for data and file storage, and offers resources and training on cybersecurity.
Securely collect patient medical records and payments with HIPAA-compliant online forms.
Built for organizations of all sizes — small therapy offices or full-blown healthcare systems — EnGuard prides itself on offering collaborative, HIPAA-compliant, and secure email services. Prices start at $10 per month.
In addition to its critical HIPAA-compliant email services, EnGuard also offers telehealth, chat, and web hosting services.
Next on our list of HIPAA-compliant email tools for therapists is simple, affordable MailHippo, which offers an extra layer of email security without a lot of frills. You can even keep your own email address with MailHippo, regardless of email provider.
All you have to do is log into the MailHippo site using your preferred email and password, and create and send your email like normal. Then, once your recipient receives the email from you, they’ll see a secure message notification with a link. After clicking the link and logging into MailHippo, they’ll have immediate access to your message.
MailHippo offers a 30-day free trial, and paid plans are either $4.95 or $7.95 per user, per month.
As you can see, email is a valuable tool for quick, efficient doctor-patient communication. It can sometimes even be easier than a phone call because you can limit the extent of the conversation, helping to keep billed time and business communication separate.
However, email can be time-consuming in its own way, and patients don’t always feel secure sending and receiving emails that include their ePHI. What if you could send patients secure forms instead, enabling them to review session notes or evaluate their own progress with the click of a button?
This is possible with online form builder Jotform, thanks to its HIPAA-compliant forms.
With Jotform, you can use forms to create daily journals for your patients that you can both easily review. You can even create psychiatric evaluation questionnaires for your patients to take in the comfort and privacy of their own homes — all on a safe, reliable, 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection.
Jotform offers a free Starter plan, and its paid plans start at $34 per month.
Best for small businesses — like solo therapy practices — email provider Hushmail has all the tools you need to keep your data safe and secure.
This powerful solution lets you send and receive encrypted email, use drag-and-drop functionality to build secure web forms, and even collect legally binding e-signatures.
With Hushmail, HIPAA-compliant email starts at $9.99 per month.
6. Aspida Mail
Though Aspida Mail doesn’t offer as many unique features as some of the others on this list of HIPAA-compliant email tools for therapists, it does include integrations with popular apps (like Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail, and more) and a dedicated hardware firewall to keep your data safe.
Aspida Mail charges $10 per month for an address with its domain or $15 to use your own.
With Paubox, which is best for larger medical facilities like hospitals and clinics, you can send HIPAA-compliant emails through your computer or mobile device like normal — no patient portal sign-in necessary.
Paubox also offers HIPAA-compliant marketing services and access to its API so you can send more personalized emails and appointment reminders to improve the patient experience.
Pricing starts at $29 per user, per month, billed annually.
8. MD OfficeMail
In addition to offering HIPAA-compliant email services, MD OfficeMail also includes other popular features — like the ability to view and download archived messages, build forms, request two-factor authentication for added security, customize logos and banners, and even schedule appointments and deadlines using its built-in calendar.
Best of all, you only have to pay for the features you use with MD OfficeMail. For example, if you own a small practice and only need HIPAA-compliant email tools for therapists, you pay just $1.89 per mailbox, per month.
9. Send It Secure
Send It Secure helps users send and receive safe, secure emails that meet both HIPAA and The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) regulations. (GLBA is also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act.)
This robust encryption, which works with your existing email provider, uses automatic read receipts, powerful third-party integrations, message expiration capabilities, and recipient authentication methods to optimize and secure your email delivery service.
Send It Secure offers a 15-day free trial. Paid plans are $15 per first user, per month. Additional users will set you back $12 per user, per month.
Egress provides automatic email inspection, contextual machine learning technology, and built-in dashboards that help you identify specific areas of risk, enabling you to reduce data loss, minimize cybersecurity attacks, and, most importantly, remain HIPAA compliant.
This tool, which claims to stop up to 97 percent more cyberattacks than other solutions, costs $112.50 per user, per year.
Now that you have a better understanding of why HIPAA compliance is so important, you’ll be in a better position to go through this list of HIPAA-compliant email tools for therapists and find the best one for your practice. Ultimately, no matter which one you choose, you can trust your patients’ data will be well protected.