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Honoring HIPAA, Connecting with Patients & Balancing Work-Life: How Dr. Mark Dombeck Manages Communications in Private Practice

By April 19, 2018 No Comments

Dr. Mark Dombeck Says, “RingRx Checks All the Right Boxes for Quality, Good Value and Simplicity.”

Like many colleagues in his profession, Dr. Mark Dombeck (founder of Psychtools and an Oakland Psychologist in private practice) strives to provide accessible and quality patient care – which in this day and age, requires being connected digitally through technology. However, when he searched for a new solution to communicate with patients, he quickly found that where convenience and flexibility for his own work-life balance existed with traditional phone services, he was actually not able to use it due to HIPAA compliance and other quality patient communication issues.

 

“Using a mobile phone or a digital phone system offers us a lot of flexibility and convenience as professionals and in life. But at work and in our professional practices as psychologists, clinicians and behavioral therapists, we need to ensure we are using phone technologies and others like faxing, scheduling and appointment reminders, in a way that meets regulatory compliance. Now more than ever,” Dr. Dombeck shared.

 

According to Dr. Dombeck, many of his colleagues in small group or solo practices say they have been aware that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a regulation that passed a long time ago. But until recently, enforcement was mainly focused on medical communities, so many psychotherapists took their time in investigating what HIPAA meant for them. Not anymore. Now Dombeck’s colleagues are taking the steps to learn what they need to know and do. Often, they turn to their professional associations, such as CAMFT or APA to provide guidance.

 

To ensure he was using the right digital phone system, Dr. Dombeck looked at several big-name phone system technologies. He knew that using digital phone technology or Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) could in theory help him save on costs. VOIP offers tremendous flexibility, including mobility. And because he bills insurance, efficiency, flexibility and cost-savings are vital. In searching for the best solution, Dr. Dombeck was aware that strict regulatory needs might require sacrificing functionality and features. His search for a solution that would work for his private practice’s needs took a few challenging turns:

 

  • First, he tested OOMA but they were not able to give him the BAA he needed—a critical requirement to ensure HIPAA certification.
  • Then, he checked out RingCentral but given his status as a solo practice and small business, RingCentral did not have a model to do business with him. RingCentral was far too costly with a focus on large healthcare systems and not a good fit.
  • Next, Dombeck tried out 8×8 but did not enjoy the fact that he was feeling pressured into signing a long-term service contract—even before he had tested it out. He kept searching.
  • Then he found RingRx, noting: “RingRx checked all the right boxes. Immediately the service agent knew what I needed in terms of HIPAA compliance and the BAA. I found robust features and an industry-leading HIPAA solution in the same service.”

 

After careful consideration, he determined that the RingRx HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) Program was the best option to meet his needs. The program includes a business associate agreement between RingRx and PsychTools. “The free trial was also attractive, and I found the service to be of high quality, reliable with very good call clarity and the price was right,” he noted.

Learn more about how RingRx provides Dr. Dombeck flexibility for work-life balance and a compliant approach for his patients – a win/win to better manage patient care when communicating outside of the office in our case study (opens as PDF). And, sign up for your own free trial to learn how RingRx can help your practice save on costs and deliver high quality patient care in communications.

Doug Parent

Author Doug Parent

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