Lesson 5: How to Avoid Compliance Fees

October 30, 2019
Author: Caroline McManus
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Do you know if your mailing operation is compliant? 

A document is one of the most critical means of communicating with customers and it often contains extremely personal information. This can be true no matter what industry you are in, finance, healthcare or insurance to name a few. So it is important to ask yourself: Is our mailing operation compliant? 

What Does it Mean to "Be in Compliance"?

"Being in compliance" refers to your business meeting the regulations on the handling of customer data and communications. Over the years the regulations for customer communications have become more confusing, as well as increasingly difficult and costly to manage. Currently, many companies have added temporary compliance solutions in the form of labor-intensive processes and have not yet created an efficient workflow with compliance in mind. Below we go over some of the compliance rules you should be aware of how your business can adapt! 

What Is HIPAA? 

Because of the importance of privacy in the healthcare industry, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was established in 1996. This act affects healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses as well as companies that work with healthcare providers and might handle their patients' sensitive information.  This includes financial or insurance professionals that work with US healthcare providers. In order to avoid violating HIPPA companies need to protect any Personal Health Information (PHI) that could help someone determine a person's identity including their name, email address, and birth dates to name a few.

This means that the delivery methods of customer communications have to meet certain compliance standards. For example, if you send PHI by email it has to be through an email encryption service that disguises the information so only an authorized person can read it. If you are sending PHI through US mail, which is often the most common form of delivery you can send it via First-Class Mail® which is a protected class of mail and is acceptable for certain types of notices. In some cases, Certified Mail is necessary because it proves that the mail was delivered and verified when it was received. 

How to Avoid Compliance Fees?

Because being in compliance is an important and complex process that can involve fines ranging from $100 to $50,000 per penalty it is recommended to consult with an expert. This can be a mailing compliance specialist or healthcare compliance professionals, that can analyze your current workflow and suggest ways to improve and streamline the compliance process. This ensures that whether you are healthcare providers or even a business provider or associate of a healthcare provider that your mailing process is efficient and compliant.  

To learn more about outgoing mail compliance in your industry or to speak to a compliance specialist contact your Neopost Representative. They can put you in touch with an expert. Or fill out the form and we can have one contact you shortly! 

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