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The risks of digital communication

With so many ways to communicate these days, we want to share information in the ways that work best for you — including digital communications like our member portal, phone calls, text messages, email, and voicemail.  

We do our best to keep all types of messages and conversations safe and confidential, but digital communications still have risks.

What are the risks of using digital communications with Devoted Health?

With digital communications, there’s always a risk that people could get access who weren’t supposed to. We try to prevent this, but here are some ways it can happen:

  • People or companies can accidentally send digital communications to the wrong phone number or email address. 
  • Someone could send and forward digital communications to people who aren’t supposed to see them — including to large groups or email lists. They may be able to change the communications and share versions that aren’t accurate. 
  • Someone could steal copies of digital communications. Even if they’ve been deleted, there might be backup copies that could get into the wrong hands. 
  • If digital communications get into the wrong hands, they could be used for illegal activities — like sending fraudulent (fake) claims to Medicare or trying to trick you into sharing other personal information (like your Social Security number).

There are also rules that can give other people access to your digital communications in certain situations:

  • Employers and service providers may have a right to look at messages sent using their systems — for example, if you use a messaging app, the app owner might be able to see your messages. 
  • If you have to go to court, lawyers could ask the judge for access to your digital communications. If the judge says yes, the lawyers could see your digital communications and use them as evidence in a court case. 

Are the risks the same for all types of digital communications?

  • Member portal and phone calls are lower risk. That’s because you have to confirm your identity to access the portal or get information from us over the phone. There’s a chance that someone could access our secure system that stores recordings of phone calls and other personal information — but we have a good security system, so the risk is lower. 
  • Texts, emails, and voicemails (and phone calls you record) are higher risk. We send these communications to your phone or computer — outside our secure systems. That means there are more ways for the information to get out, like if someone steals your phone or hacks into your email. 

What is Protected Health Information (PHI)?

PHI is any personal health information used for your healthcare — like your health conditions, medications, and doctors’ names. This is private information and it can cause problems if it gets into the wrong hands.

When would you include my PHI in texts, emails, or voicemails?

We don't include any PHI in emails, voicemails, or text messages unless you ask us to. 

  • For text messages: Before we send any PHI in a text message, we’ll ask you for your date of birth or other information that helps us check that we’re texting with the right member.
  • For emails and voicemails: If you need PHI sent to your email or left on a voicemail, give us a call. 

What does Devoted Health do to protect digital communications?

Like all healthcare companies, we’re required to have systems in place to keep your personal information private, including encryption (which turns digital communications into code that only people with permission can read) and training our employees on how to keep PHI safe. 

We do our best to keep digital communications secure. But because of the risks we discussed above, there’s no way for us to guarantee that it will always be safe.

Devoted Health stores Member Communications electronically in our secure online systems. Devoted Health is not liable for disclosures or breaches of confidential information caused by the Member or any third party. Devoted Health is not liable for improper disclosure of confidential information unless caused by Devoted Health’s intentional misconduct.