How Secure is Skype During Counseling Sessions?

  • 17 May, 2017

Here is the question: "Is Skype HIPAA compliant?" The truthful answer is NO!  Skype is not HIPAA compliant nor was it ever designed to be. So if you're a US based therapist, Skype therapy is a violation of the law. This may come as a shock to those who have used Skype for therapy - but the law is pretty clear.

HIPAA requires that certain safeguards be in place. While Skype communications are encrypted, it does not provide the required security and formats required by HIPAA to be in compliance. HIPAA compliancy requires companies like Skype to maintain a B.A.A. (business associates agreement) with any Mental Health Professional or health care companies they do business with.  In addition to the B.A.A. requirement, Skype does not allow PHI (patient health information) audits if a security breach should happen. That means not only will you be hindered from finding out who has your client’s information, but you will not know the content that was leaked.  Even worse, in order to use Skype's free service - they are able to share and track your communication information - which ultimately is a breach.

Many people utilize Skype (which is really designed as a media communication tool between friends and family) because of the cost - it is free.  But what many Mental Health Professionals need to ask themselves is - "Is it really?"  With fines ranging from $100.00 to $25,000.00 per breach or violation - all of the sudden that does not sound "FREE."

So what is the alternative?  Let’s Talk Counseling is the answer!  We are HIPAA Compliant and offer the safe, secure, and encrypted environment that is required.

So if you are a Mental Health Professional that wants to offer online counseling (tele-health services) - and want to do it correctly without fear of being fined or not being in compliance - then all you need to do is click "Sign Up" on the upper right hand side of this page to begin.

Or call us at (844) 880-8255 or 844-880-TALK to speak with one of our customer service representatives.