Is HelpScout HIPAA Compliant?

Compliant Tools
August 20, 2020
Help Scout is a leader in the email communications market. Their platform has effortlessly bridged the gap between business and their customers. But are they compliant with HIPAA?

Is HelpScout HIPAA Compliant?

If you are a company or practice that is seeking to provide the highest quality of customer service to your clients or patients, you may have looked into SaaS platforms that can provide a related solution. This type of software can be valuable in connecting you directly to your customers in a simple email-like format. However, HIPAA covered entities need to be careful about what types of software they utilize and make sure to check that the software is HIPAA compliant and willing to sign a BAA. That’s why Accountable created a HIPAA Directory as a source to find out which softwares and platforms offer HIPAA compliant versions. If you are wondering if Help Scout is HIPAA compliant, read below to get all of your questions answered.

What is Help Scout?

Help Scout is a leader in the help desk software industry. Their customer support platform has effortlessly bridged the gap between businesses and their customers by providing features like shared inboxes, real-time reporting, and seamless integration with many applications that you may already be using. Help Scout’s software was made in the form of a shared inbox that allows companies to provide customer service through email. 

Help Scout Key Features 

Personalized, Simplistic Platform 

One thing that sets Help Scout apart from other related softwares is that ticket numbers aren’t assigned to conversations with clients, preventing them from feeling like they are just a number to the company. Rather, companies can customize and save replies based on the questions that they typically receive and the answers that they want to provide. Plus for the company, the platform is simple to use and customize for your client’s needs and questions. This platform allows employees to use the help desk platform without it being visible to the customers who receive emails that feel personal - making it a great value for both parties. 

Scalable Product 

Help Scout is a very scalable and personalizable platform that can be helpful for companies ranging from small teams to corporations. Organizations are able to begin by just utilizing the managing inbox which is the center of the platform. However, as companies and their needs grow, they are able to add on tools like reporting or analytics to measure team performance or customer satisfaction. 

Software Integrations 

One of the strengths of Help Scout is the software’s ability to be seamlessly integrated with a variety of other applications. Whether you use Slack, HubSpot, Mailchimp or any of the Google Apps, you will be able to use those alongside Help Scout. Remember that just as it was important to check that Help Scout is HIPAA compliant and to sign a business associate agreement with them, it will be important for you to verify compliance and sign BAAs with any of these other software providers that you are looking to work with. 

HIPAA Compliance 

HelpScout utilizes AWS’s HIPAA compliant servers for the active storing of data and they have taken all of the necessary steps from a technical perspective in order to execute a BAA with you and play a part in your compliance solution. This means that they also complete annual risk assessments and employee training as required. Help Scout is extremely committed to compliance and has gone to great lengths to protect and encrypt information properly. Read here to learn even more. 

Help Scout is a great option for a help desk and customer support platform that is also committed to HIPAA compliance and PHI security. It is important to work with HIPAA compliant companies just as it is important to be entirely HIPAA compliant yourself. 

Sign a BAA to be Compliant

Under HIPAA, a business associate is any person or organization that performs services that require the use or disclosure of protected health information (PHI) on behalf of a covered entity (CE). Business associates also include subcontractors who create, store or send PHI on behalf of that business associate. 

Business associate agreements (BAAs) are mandated under the HIPAA Security Rule and protect covered entities from the risk of sharing PHI with a business associate working on their behalf. Since business associates are people or entities who do work for a CE but do not work directly for the CE, business associate agreements are signed so that both parties claim responsibility for their own compliance with HIPAA and accept the liability for any potential breach that could occur on their end. 

That is why it is so important for SaaS providers to follow HIPAA compliance and sign BAAs so that covered entities can have full confidence in working with those companies. Luckily, Help Scout has already worked to comply with HIPAA and sign BAAs so that people know that they value the security of PHI. 

Help Scout has Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) available for covered entities and subcontractors that they work with. Since HIPAA compliance is only available on certain levels of the payments plan with Help Scout, the completion of a BAA will be a sign for them to guarantee that you’re on the correct plan. 

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