Is this your experience as a health care provider? Your patients are
clamoring to speak with you or to set up and confirm appointments via text
messages. Consequently, you feel pressured to use a questionable practice
-- text messaging -- to relay healthcare information.
Text messaging is fast becoming the new normal for everyday
communication due to its speed and convenience. Patients now want to use
texting for their healthcare needs, as well. You, however, may have doubts
about the suitability of text messaging in a healthcare setting, and, more
important, its legality compared to more conventional modes of
In most instances, sending electronic Protected Health Information
(ePHI) by text message is a clear violation of HIPAA guidelines. If a
breach of ePHI were to occur as a result, the healthcare facility involved
could face fines of up to $50,000 per message. If your office were audited,
would your policies and practices around text messaging comply with HIPAA?
At LuxSci, we want all your communications to be secure. Our SecureText
service represents a unique solution to concerns about HIPAA-compliant
text messaging. SecureText enables the sending of completely secure
messages, including attachments.
All you have to do is remember "[phone_numer]@secure.text" to send
SecureText messages to anyone from LuxSci WebMail, your favorite email
program, or LuxSci's REST API.
Perhaps you were wondering...?
- How does SecureText work?
- The sender of a SecureText message is a LuxSci user with LuxSci's SecureLine encryption service.
- The sender composes an email message in LuxSci WebMail or the
sender's favorite email program (for example, Outlook, Thunderbird, or
iPhone Mail) and sends the message to a special email address based on the
recipient's cell phone number (for instance, "email@example.com" for a
hypothetical recipient in the USA whose cellular number is "211-436-7789."
The address is slightly different, but equally easy, for recipients in
- After the sender hits send, the recipient receives a text message on
his/her phone indicating that a secure message is waiting.
- The recipient touches a short link in that text message, which opens
up a Web browser on the recipient's phone:
- If the recipient has recently viewed another SecureText message, then
the new message immediately loads and displays.
- If the recipient has previously viewed a SecureText message, but that
was a while ago, the recipient will first need to enter the password that
s/he set up to protect access to these secure messages.
- If this is the recipient's first SecureText message, then the
recipient sets up a password for future access and enters an email address
for password recovery. The recipient then gains access to view the message
and is prepared to access future messages.
- Once the recipient views the SecureText message, s/he can view or
download files and securely reply to the message.
- What is the benefit over regular texting?
- With regular text messages, there's no expectation that the message is
secure or private or protected from unauthorized access. Sending protected
health information (ePHI) over a regular text message is a violation of
HIPAA unless special safeguards are in place and the patient has given
special consent. Sending ePHI over text to other healthcare workers is
almost always against HIPAA. See: To
Text or Not To Text: Texting under HIPAA.
SecureText protects the sensitive data during transmission, provides for
authentication of the recipient, provides audit trails of message access,
enables message expiration and forced message deletion, and comes with a
HIPAA Business Associate Agreement from LuxSci. SecureText allows you to
send your secure messages over text without the need for a special app and
within HIPAA requirements.
- Can I send SecureText messages to anyone with a cell phone?
- You can send SecureText messages to anyone, in any country that has a
cell phone with text messaging service. However, your recipient's
phone will need access to the Internet (for example, by cellular data or
WiFi) and a built-in Web browser to open the message.
- Can I integrate SecureText into by own application?
- Yes. SecureText messages (and secure email messages) can be
sent via LuxSci's REST API.
You sign up for a business email account with LuxSci to gain access to the
system (create a 1-user @luxsci.net account if you do not need to host
your email with LuxSci). Then, create and configure your API interface,
subscribe to a level of texting credits to support your volume, setup Private Labeling to
customize your messages and the SecureText portal, and get your own
dedicated SecureText phone number from which your texts will
- Do recipients need to install an "app" to view SecureText
- No. SecureText works with the texting and Web browsing
applications built into all modern smartphones. There's no need for the
recipient to install a custom application or to learn special software.
- Can someone reply to SecureText messages?
- Yes. When viewing a SecureText message, a person can securely reply to
that message and even include files (photos, for instance) from your phone.
- How does the sender receive a SecureText reply?
- The sending LuxSci user receives replies to SecureText messages as
secure email to his/her email account.
- Can I send long messages and/or files via SecureText?
- Yes. None of the usual limitations of texting exist with SecureText.
You can send long messages, HTML-formatted messages, and files in your
SecureText messages. The total size of each SecureText message should be
less than 70 MB.
- Does SecureText support Read Receipts?
- Yes. If the sender requests a read receipt, then s/he will
always receive one when the recipient opens the message.
Additionally, senders can see reports of all messages sent; these reports
include message access histories.
- Does SecureText have an API?
- Yes. You can connect your software to SecureText for the automated
sending of secure text messages via LuxSci's REST API. You application can
easily send SecureText (and secure email) notices automatically and
transparently through LuxSci.
- How much does SecureText cost?
- The SecureText service is part of SecureLine and thus requires a
SecureLine license. That is $3.00/user/month. Additionally, sending each
SecureText message requires the use of texting credits to pay for the
underlying texting service. For messages sent within the USA and Canada,
each message generally uses 1 credit. Texting credits can be purchased on a pay-as-you-go basis
for $10 per non-expiring block of 250 credits,
or subscribed to on a recurring monthly "use it or lose it" basis for $5 for each block of 250 credits/month.
- How many SecureTexts can I send in a day?
- Pay-as-you-go accounts can send up to 250 SecureText messages each day.
Recurring accounts have a daily SecureText sending
limit equal to their monthly subscription—up to 1,000 credits/day.
I.e., if you get 1500 credits/month, then you can use up to 1000 credits/day.
Recurring accounts with Private Labeling can obtain a free dedicated sending
phone number (a 10-digit US long code phone number) from LuxSci. Once that phone number has been added, these accounts have a
daily SecureText sending limit equal to their monthly subscription up to 75,000 credits/day.
To send more messages in a day or to send faster than 1/second without queuing, a Short Code phone number will be needed.
Please contact sales for pricing.
Got it all figured out?
As a dentist, I'm glad I found LuxSci to walk me through the process of
becoming HIPAA-compliant! Once I signed up, Connie and Peter both helped
me setup get situated with my secure email service. Getting my Business
Associate Agreement also a snap. Thank you LuxSci. Now I can concentrate
on treating patients!
All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
Starting at $10/mo