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Quick Guides

The race to improve the patient experience

Confused about HIPAA, BAA, PHI, and all the other acronyms related to healthcare and communications? We have the top 5 questions answered for you so you can hit the ground running and make strategic decisions about how (and if) you communicate healthcare information.

Frequently asked questions

What is PHI?

PHI stands for Protected Health Information. PHI includes any information that can be tied to or identifies an individual. This can include, but is not limited to: names, social security numbers, email addresses, account information.

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law designed to prevent disclosure of PHI. HIPAA requires covered entities and business associates, which includes hospitals, healthcare providers, and pharmacies, to take reasonable measures to protect PHI.

What is a BAA?

A Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is an agreement with a business associate to ensure that the business associate appropriately safeguards protected health information. Bandwidth offers a BAA for toll-free and short code SMS today, but we have future plans to expand it to include video and voice.

Can you send PHI via text message?

Sending PHI via any unencrypted channel should be carefully considered. Since PHI is the patient’s to control, their consent and knowledge of the risks is required to send PHI via text message.

Some of my clients probably do healthcare appointment reminders, do I need to sign a BAA to protect my business?

If you know you are passing traffic that may contain PHI, you should discuss the risks and options with your legal team.


Have more questions?

Get in touch with our experts to learn more about our SMS BAA for healthcare-related text messages.


Talk to an expert

Stuff our lawyers make us say: The information provided in this document does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information is for general informational purposes only. When it comes to your business and signing a BAA, you should consult with your legal team. If they’re anything like ours they’re delightful.