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Don't simply do it to comply, rather because it is the right thing to do!

As a healthcare professional, you understand the significance of staying current with regulations and standards. You may be subject to fines from the Department of Health and Human Services if your medical website does not comply with the ADA and HIPAA requirements.
The Department of Justice clarified in 2018 that websites are considered public accommodations and must comply with ADA Title III. US courts refer to WCAG 2.1 AA as the standard for accessibility


Increase in lawsuits since 2018


Of websites are inaccessible


of websites sued more than once


Of the population has a disability


Improve the accessibility of your medical website

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not known to many practices. The majority of people think that ADA compliance only applies to your facility and job accommodations.

In accordance with Title II of the Act, “places of public accommodation” cannot exclude persons with disabilities from participating in activities open to everyone else. A website is public. No matter how many employees or how large your practice may be, it is required to comply with the ADA. In fact, the law views your website as a piece of real estate for purposes of the ADA.

It is not unusual for people to wonder how they missed this. ADA compliance is not a new requirement for websites, but because enforcement has not been a focus, many businesses, including medical practices, have not taken the time to modify their websites in order to comply with ADA requirements. For more than a decade, federal websites have been in compliance with the Act.

What Does ADA Compliance Mean for Websites?
The ADA was enacted in 1990 in order to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination. Its mandate is to ensure that websites are accessible to people with disabilities, such as those with visual or hearing impairments. In addition to public accommodations, the law applies to employment and telecommunication services provided by private organizations.
How does this affect your website?
Your website must follow specific guidelines in order to be ADA compliant. These guidelines include:

  • If there is audio content in the form of videos or sound files, a transcript will be available for those who are unable to hear it. Captions must also be enabled by default for videos.

  • There must be alternatives to Flash on your website if it uses the technology.

  • You should be able to navigate the home page of your site using only a keyboard (by tabbing through links) and screen reader software. The page should also follow standard web conventions for how visitors can navigate backwards and forwards in the browser.

  • Screen readers or other accessible technologies must be able to access all the content on your site. It also includes links, images, and forms that may be accessed using adaptive equipment by people with disabilities. You must also use alternative text on every image you upload (the alt attribute provides a brief description of what is in an image so that screen readers will be able to read it out to their use
How Does HIPAA Compliance Affect Websites?
In healthcare websites, HIPAA compliance is not merely a matter of including a lock icon on your website. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 protects the confidentiality of medical records.

Specifically, this policy pertains to healthcare providers, health plans, clearinghouses (companies that process claims), data and information included in a standard transaction for banking or insurance purposes, as well as their business associates who have access to sensitive information.
How does this affect websites?
Website design that is HIPAA compliant is complex, and the law applies to a variety of business aspects. A few of these requirements are as follows:

The HIPAA website requires that any form asking for sensitive information contain a link at the top or bottom with specific details about how the information will be used.

Your healthcare website must prominently display your privacy policy so that visitors can easily find it and read the details about how their personal information will be handled.

Accessibility: Many of these requirements are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but HIPAA also includes requirements for accessibility to people with disabilities.

It is important to note that this section of HIPAA applies to businesses that outsource work that involves PHI. It is necessary to set up a business associate agreement that outlines what they may and may not do with the data they access through your site.

Security: In order to comply with this section of HIPAA, you must have reasonable security measures in place.
How should you proceed?
Healthcare websites that do not meet ADA and HIPAA requirements are at risk of penalties and reputational damage.

TeleHealth IT is here to assist you if you are not sure where to begin. Get in touch with us today so that we can conduct an audit of your website and determine what needs to be done to achieve compliance with HIPAA and ADA, as well as designing your complete medical digital marketing strategy.

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