VOIP and HIPAA

Is voip hipaa compliant? we just put in voip in a phsyician offices, they are forwarding voice mail to email, and it's not encrypted.  How would you encrypt this type of email?  Is the voice mail itself subject to HIPAA because it's transmitting over a computer network and not on an analog line as it was before?  I know voip is used in lots of medical facilities, so how is it configured to meet hipaa?
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maharlikaAsked:
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
Hello,

I can't find a direct answer on this...

This was quite an interesting read:
http://greenwirehealthcare.com/hipaa/is-voip-hipaa-compliant/

I've read on a couple of sites that if you're VoIP calls aren't being recorded then it doesn't require HIPAA regulation.  I would have thought though that the voicemails, if sent via email, would be classed under the HIPAA compliance requirements.

To get the answer you need I would suggest contacting the compliance agency directly and asking the question.  Thats the only way that you'll know 100%.

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Chris HInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
The physician will know to be discreet when contacting a patient at home.  You are not bound by HIPAA to protect the information left on a voicemail.  However, that doesn't mean you can't get sued somehow.  Best practice, in my opinion, would be to indicate on the inbound message greeting to be discreet and not include any private information, outside of the patients name and conact information.
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