What Is This Product?
Unlike GoogleVoice, SmartLine does not use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and instead uses the cellular network. At this moment, those of you who have seen our article on VoIP are probably getting excited and thinking there might be a very low cost option for your second line needs, one that does not require a BAA, since SmartLine uses the cellular network. We hate to dash your hopes, but are also happy to able to provide information so that you can avoid selecting a product that does not meet your HIPAA security and risk management needs…
GoDaddy’s SmartLine is not a HIPAA secure option; even though they do not use VoIP and use the cellular network for call and SMS transmission, it is a cloud service (operative word being cloud) and GoDaddy is handling and storing data — including PHI — which means there is a business associate relationship in place; but GoDaddy does not offer, and will not execute, a BAA. They also do not qualify for the conduit exception (which is extremely rare.) For more details on HIPAA business associates (and how this applies to all cloud services) please see Roy’s article, “What is a HIPAA Business Associate?” For an explanation of HIPAA-security and ethics considerations pertaining to second-line phone service, please check out our “CE for OH” session, “How to Make Ethical & HIPAA Compliant Decisions for Internet Phone & Secure Email in Your Practice” (access to this course, and all CE for OH courses, is included in membership.)
For some HIPAA secure VoIP options that can meet your second line needs, please check out our HIPAApropriateness reviews by clicking here and look for the “HIPAA Compliance Possible: YES” listings.