13 May Wellness Question #7: How can I ensure my employees’ personal health information is protected?
The protection of personal health information is the most crucial element in workplace wellness programs.
When the word “protected” is used, most think of compliance and privacy. There is another layer equally valuable: the accuracy of data.
As you’re determining the safety and security of your wellness plan, make sure you’ve asked yourself the following questions:
- Are we treating health information obtained through the wellness plan the same as health information obtained through our medical plan (as a health plan sponsor and covered entity under HIPAA)? This is a basic and essential part of keeping PHI protected.
- If we include employees who are not participating in the health plan, HIPAA and ACA don’t apply. Have we created the appropriate legal structure and employee communications for non-health plan participants?
- How are our vendor’s systems audited? Bravo holds third-party certifications relevant to data security and process integrity.
- How is screening information managed? You might decide to go with a vendor you think is great but when data comes back riddled with errors you’ll soon realize the value of a partner with an internal screening team and quality control.
- How can we ensure that payroll files are accurate? Most wellness companies make you create your own payroll files which means more work for you. And if anything goes wrong or information appears erroneous, that falls on your shoulders. Do you really want to add that to your plate? Bravo generates a payroll file for you. There are few things more personal than someone’s health and paycheck. When paychecks are wrong, employees come to HR and may be forced to share their screening results to explain why they think their paycheck is incorrect. It’s well worth it to get it right the first time.
- Is the reporting we receive safe? Bravo will not share a participant’s individual results with you. You will receive detailed information about the health of your population as a whole but we safeguard the identity of each employee. We protect you from the data while still providing you with the information you need.
Have more questions regarding the accuracy or compliance of the data and data transfers within your wellness plan? Call us at 877.662.7286 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can share with you our best practices and questions you can ask of your current provider to make sure your employees and their personal health information is protected and accurate.