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Skype and HIPPA

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Novel Tourist

I know people have probably asked this before but, I am trying to find out if Skype is Hippa compliant?  I want to see if it can be used to do therapy using video conferencing?

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Novel Tourist

I have yet to find this officially stated but as of right now it does meet HIPPA compliance.


Here is the analysis and conclusion from the National Association of Social Workers;

Analysis and Conclusions

Use of Skype and similar technologies by mental health clinicians has expanded faster than the development of applicable legal and professional standards.  Effectiveness research suggests many positive uses for telemental health services provided that the appropriate professional boundaries and protocols are established and maintained.  Further research on telemental services in a private mental health practice with clients in their own homes is needed.  Clinical social workers who utilize new technologies bear the responsibility for understanding them sufficiently to protect from authorized access of client information and for providing an appropriate level of clinical care for distant clients. 

Assuring that clients’ confidential communications via Skype will be adequately protected is a difficult and uncertain task.  Skype’s services are not limited to or focused on health care delivery.  The company’s security policies and practices may change periodically and all the data necessary to conduct a full analysis of the security features is not readily available to the public.  Following the recommendations and protocols suggested by professional and security experts is valuable to reduce the risks of inadvertent disclosure of confidential mental health information when using Skype to provide confidential mental health services; however, use of Skype or similar VoIP communications systems still presents some privacy risks.  Expanding access to mental health services in rural or underserved areas is an important value fostered by the availability of Skype services, but professional social work standards for security and privacy of data at this time are better supported by the use of electronic services and communications programs that are dedicated to the delivery of secure telemental health services and that offer detailed HIPAA compliance information and/or HIPAA Business Associate agreements. 

This Legal Issue of the Month article is not a substitute for further technical analysis of any technology employed in social work practice and is meant as a preliminary overview of a complex and fast-changing topic.


For some more info take a look here:[removed for privacy]



So as much as you would like to use this great product there is a short coming. As GREAT as the product is it puts your professional accredidation at risk. 


Be on the lookout for TellAPathy the toolset that minimizes the barriers between mental health professionals and their patients.



Terry Likens

Novel Tourist

People really . . . .  the correct acronym is HIPAA, short for "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act".

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