Data Enrichment & Validation

Address Verification Process for Verifying Patient Data in Healthcare

December 24, 2020
Author
Inkit Team

The healthcare industry is heavily dependent on information storage and sharing. When a laboratory performs tests, a radiologist does a CT scan, or a physician leaves notes, they generate valuable data. These records are kept within the system of a healthcare organization and sent to patients.

Several decades ago, all these processes were done manually. Today, patient management is highly automated. This comes with a growing number of mobile healthcare apps, insurance verification systems, and other healthcare solutions requiring a reliable address verification process.

Without verifying patient data, an automated system will fail to detect medical identity theft, deliver confidential medical records to the wrong person, and make other severe mistakes.

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To learn more about the address verification process and identity verification in healthcare, read about:

  • Address verification process for the healthcare industry: must-have, good-to-have, or not-needed?
  • Peculiarities of verifying patient data and addresses in healthcare: standards and compliance
  • Using Inkit for address validation before sending sensitive communications

Address Verification Process for the Healthcare Industry: Must-Have, Good-to-Have, or Not-Needed?

Before you make any data- or process-related managerial decisions in healthcare, you should understand whether the address verification process is what you need. Here are the circumstances when verifying patient data is most recommended and use cases to consider.

Who needs to start verifying patient data

  • Financial departments. For these guys, the address verification process is essential to do their job. To send bills at the right time and implement a reliable revenue cycle, healthcare organizations will have to validate billing addresses.
  • Customers reach teams. Even though healthcare is going through digital transformation, critical communications, including bills and medical records, are still sent offline. That’s why if you want to send documents to the right destinations, you will need to start verifying patient data and addresses.
  • Security teams. By verifying patient data, you reduce the risk of medical identity theft since customers regularly receive medical records to their physical address and can promptly detect any suspicious activity.
  • Teams working with insurance verification systems. If you leverage insurance verification systems, you will have to verify patients’ and insurance companies’ addresses. This is necessary to perform the eligibility and benefits verification and later provide an applicant with a written response.
  • Marketing specialists. The current US healthcare market is highly competitive and accommodates hundreds of small and large private facilities that want to attract patients. The address verification process allows them to collect additional information about their potential customers to run demographic research and tailor their marketing efforts based on it. Although the address verification process is not mandatory for marketers, it can make their campaigns more data-driven and accurate.
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xThus, whether the address verification process is something you must have or can skip depends on the type of tasks you need to complete. Generally, financial, customer reach, and security departments are the primary users of identity verification software in healthcare.

What are the benefits of verifying patient identity?

Healthcare organizations manage lots of life-altering information that must be well-protected. Thus, data security is the first and most evident benefit of verifying patient data. When your database’s contact details are reliable, print communications are more likely to reach the right destination sooner. They won’t end up in the wrong hands and lead to data leakage.

Another reason to launch the address verification process is the quality of services. Patient care isn’t only about direct treatment interventions. It’s about the overall user experience and healthcare institutions’ ability to build trust and communicate all critical information to patients and caregivers.

Apart from that, the address verification process is essential for healthcare automation. When data is homogeneous and validated, it can be used by multiple tools. For example, you can use the same contact information to verify patient identity, send them communications, automate the delivery of bills, integrate insurance verification systems, etc.

Peculiarities of Verifying Patient Data and Addresses in Healthcare: Standards and Compliance

Despite the importance of real-time patient identification, many organizations cannot properly implement it. They pay insufficient attention to the preparatory steps and customer information accuracy, including their physical addresses. Address data requires special treatment in terms of validation. To help you quickly launch the address verification process, we’ll cover some standards, compliance recommendations, and tips below.

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Standards

To validate addresses, you need to make sure they are complete. A complete address includes a street address, ZIP code, city, and state. It’s the USPS golden standard that must be followed in any address verification process.

For all-round identity verification, you will also need to check the patients’ name and birth date. Address verification software usually supports identity verification and matches all the necessary details about an individual with official records.

Compliance

Since software for verifying patient data, insurance verification systems, and other healthcare tools process confidential information, they must meet data security standards.

In healthcare, the central regulation to follow is HIPAA. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires organizations that deal with protected health information (PHI), including address data, to:

  • Introduce automated log-off, unique user IDS, encryption, and description to achieve the necessary level of data security
  • Implement audit reports or tracking logs to record any data uses and activities
  • Create, receive, store, and transmit PHI confidentially and make it available to patients at their request
  • Identify reasonably anticipated threats, impermissible uses, or data disclosures and prevent them
  • Limit the use of data to the minimum necessary and authorize access to it only when  appropriate

The implementation of these procedures will enable you to comply with the core demands of HIPAA. Besides, they will also help you achieve GDPR compliance, which is essential if you process European citizens’ data.

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation sets the standards for data security regardless of the type and use of data. It grants data owners a range of rights, including the right to be informed, the right of access, the right of erasure, the right to restrict processing, the right to object to processing, and others. Quality data verification enables you to manage address records better, know what you store, and inform customers about it.

Inkit’s Address Validation Before Sending Sensitive Communications

Inkit is a universal Reach Enablement Platform utilized in many industries, including healthcare. It fully automates the delivery of confidential communications, from verifying patient data to document rendering. Inkit’s address verification tool helps you check the address data of multiple payers before sending them bills, notices, medical records, and other custom messages.

Here is how it happens.

You integrate Inkit with your CRM system or database with address data. After that, Inkit enhances data quality through address autocomplete, enrichment, and verification. You get reliable address information ready for use. Next, Inkit can automatically generate personalized PDF bills based on patients’ data and send them to the necessary recipient online or offline. This helps to improve customer experience and allows you to build a highly automated system that completes the majority of routine tasks automatically.

Besides, Inkit also smoothly integrates with hundreds of services so that you can expand its functionality with additional tools for marketing, risk management, or compliance. This is an easy way to keep all healthcare data in one place and secure.

Want to try Inkit for verifying patient data? Contact us to discuss your case.

Start verifying addresses today
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