My Practice Management System (PMS) company says I can only use them or their software partners to access the data. Is this legal?
No! You are absolutely allowed to utilize software that isn't officially partnered with your PMS or Electronic Medical Record (EMR) company.
You should question the motives of a PMS that is requiring exclusivity with them or pushing a fixed set of partnerships because they may be doing it due to financially driven incentives from those partners. Sikka.ai is almost 20 years old and built its Sikka Platform Utility and API before PMSs had APIs, which has allowed us provide more reliable and comprehensive access to you for the information inside your PMSs.
Sikka.ai does not work exclusively with any PMS. This allows us to streamline the process of managing healthcare and communication, ensuring both providers and patients can benefit. Sikka.ai built its APIs and software before any PMS company had an API. Our Sikka Platform Utility connects with over 400 combinations of PMSs and EMRs seamlessly. Often, the APIs of PMSs and EHRs lack or block certain features necessary for standard practice workflows, like insurance aging or claims, payment acceptance, reputation management, patient communication, business optimization, patient payments, accounts receivables, and collections. To address this, sikka.ai created the Sikka Platform Utility to address your practice needs.
My Practice Management System (PMS) company says other software companies don’t protect my sensitive data as well as they do. How do I know if this is just a scare tactic?
When utilizing software that involves sensitive data, such as protected health information (PHI), it's crucial for the software provider to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) law. This applies not only to your PMS or EMR supplier but also to any other software solutions used for managing patient data.
Sikka.ai protects sensitive data by being SOC 2 compliant. This is a voluntary compliance standard for service organizations, developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), which specifies how organizations should manage customer data. The standard is based on the following Trust Services Criteria: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.
Sikka.ai has also earned one of the highest security ratings in this industry from an independent third
party who does security risk assessments and follows HIPAA compliance. This rating demonstrates
Sikka.ai’s commitment to ensuring the safeguarding and protection of patient information.
Can a Practice Management System (PMS) legally block other API/software systems from accessing or providing you use of your data?
No, shutting off your access is illegal under both HIPAA and the Information Blocking Rule. We are aware of situations where a PMS threatens this punitive measure to restrict access to your data because the PMS wants exclusive use of their software/APIs or to use their partners or both for sharing patient data.
Does my Practice Management System (PMS) company own the data?
No, the patient data within the PMS or Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is not owned by the EMR.
Instead, the EMR acts as your business associate, assisting you in delivering healthcare to your patients.
You have the authority to decide how you utilize and retrieve the data stored in the EHR, as protected by HIPAA regulations. The law prohibits an EMR to hinder access to this data.
Do I own data as a healthcare provider?
You have ownership of the data related to your patients. This includes details like their medical history, contact information, and any interactions they have with your practice. It doesn't matter if this data is stored in a PMS or an EMR system or an AI API Integration platform like Sikka.ai – it is your practice's data.
It’s important to note that patients also have ownership of their own data. They can request access to their information from you, which is why you must have ongoing access to this data regardless of where it's stored. And if you decide to switch PMS or EMR systems, the new system should provide you with all of the data so that you can continue providing care to your patients seamlessly.
Am I allowed to share my patient data?
Under HIPAA regulations, a healthcare practice has the freedom to share patient data with any third
parties they select. This is often done to facilitate the gathering of patient information through online scheduling, forms, or direct communication. Practices often hire external software vendors to synchronize data with their PMS or EMR system.
What if a PMS provider asks me to convert all of my practices into their single PMS solution?
In making that decision, keep in mind a few things:
a. Whether the capabilities provided include what you need, such as reputation management,
payments, websites design, patient communication, accounts receivable, and artificial
intelligence. Many PMS’s do not include these but the PMS will try to convince you to switch all
of your practices into a single PMS (theirs). Sikka.ai has been in the dental business for close to
20 years and veterinary, optometry, chiropractic and others for over 6 years. Sikka.ai has the
largest install base of over 35,000 practice locations and has over 50 companies which are using
its APIs and serving the needs of practices such as yours. We are processing over a billion
transactions a day to synchronize data including patients’ data among systems and are long
standing, comprehensive solution in this industry.
b. Whether the capabilities provided are best in class. DSOs have selected Sikka.ai: our software is
used by 8 of the top 12 DSOs in USA and all top 3 in Canada.
c. Whether forcing dentists to change their PMS during the practice acquisition process will
impede the sale. The fastest growing DSOs are the ones that let the dental practices they were
acquiring keep their existing workflow. By using Sikka.ai, you can bring all the PMS information
together in near real time to run your payroll, payments, revenue cycle, patient communication,
business performance management and more.