Business Associates

Business Associates can refer broadly to individuals engaged in business relationships with one another. However, in the HIPAA context, the term has a specific statutory meaning and those characterized as... more +
Business Associates can refer broadly to individuals engaged in business relationships with one another. However, in the HIPAA context, the term has a specific statutory meaning and those characterized as business associates have expanded data protection obligations and duties. Essentially, a business associate under HIPAA is a person or entity that performs certain functions or services which necessitates exposure to protected health information on behalf of a covered entity. Typical business associate functions include: claims processing or administration, data analysis, billing, etc.    less -
News & Analysis as of

Failure to take basic security measures may result in HIPAA penalties – 6 tips to keep up with updates and patches

Covered Entities and their Business Associates must comply with HIPAA’s Security Rule, or they may face substantial penalties. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently shared a resolution agreement that emphasizes the...more

HIPAA Settlement Underscores the Vulnerability of Unpatched and Unsupported Software

The title of this alert, which comes straight from the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights' (OCR) announcement of its most recent settlement, again underscores the critical need for covered...more

Recent HHS Settlement Highlights Importance of Updating HIPAA Compliance Programs

On December 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a resolution agreement with Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, Inc. (ACMHS). The agreement, which...more

Anchorage Community Mental Health Services to Pay $125,000 in Newest HIPAA Settlement: Covered Entities and Business Associates...

Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, Inc. (“ACMHS”) will pay $125,000 to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) to settle alleged violations of the Health Insurance...more

Provider Beware: HIPAA and State Privacy Laws May Inform Negligence Suits

A recent opinion from the Connecticut Supreme Court illustrates that HIPAA is not the only law that covered entities and business associates must worry about if an unauthorized disclosure of protected health information (PHI)...more

Refill Reminders and the TCPA

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) presents another challenge as health care providers continue to engage patients and seek to meet Meaningful Use reminder objectives. Over the past year, there have been several...more

Ebola Outbreak Prompts HHS Bulletin on Application of HIPAA During Emergencies

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the HIPAA Privacy Rule...more

Preparing for HIPAA Compliance Audits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the office responsible for administering and enforcing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), will...more

HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations

In light of the Ebola outbreak and other events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, released a bulletin to ensure HIPAA covered entities are aware of the ways in which patient...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - November 2014 #3

HHS Releases Bulletin Clarifying HIPAA Privacy Rule in Emergency Situations – In light of the recent Ebola outbreak, HHS released a bulletin on November 10, 2014 “to ensure that HIPAA covered entities and their...more

Health Update - November 2014

“Healthcare-Related” Calls: Ambiguity at the Intersection of HIPAA and TCPA - Editor’s Note: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established exemptions from certain requirements of the Telephone Consumer...more

HHS Issues Special HIPAA Guidance for Ebola Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"), released a bulletin last week addressing how covered entities (including certain health care providers and employer group health...more

Data, Privacy & Security Practice Report – Also in the News: November 2014

Office for Civil Rights Releases HIPAA Bulletin in Light of Ebola Outbreak – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights released a bulletin today reminding HIPAA covered entities and...more

OCR Publishes Bulletin Regarding Privacy in Light of Ebola Outbreak

In response to the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa and in light of patients being treated in several hospitals in the U.S., the HHS, OCR (OCR) recently issued a HIPAA Bulletin to remind us that HIPAA covered entities and...more

Health Care Providers Responding to Ebola: HHS Issues Guidance Reminding Covered Entities that HIPAA Allows the Sharing of PHI in...

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) has issued guidance to remind HIPAA-covered entities of the ways in which they are permitted under HIPAA to share protected health information...more

HHS Explains Privacy Rule in Emergency Situations

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin reminding covered entities and business associates of how they may disclose patient information for public health activities or in...more

OCR’s New Bulletin on Ensuring Privacy in Public Health Emergencies

This week, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a bulletin (Bulletin) to remind covered entities and business associates that “the protections of the Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency.” The...more

Business Associate Compliance With HIPAA: Findings From a Survey of Covered Entities and Business Associates

The delivery of health care – and payment for that care – is a complex endeavor, and health care providers and health plans rely on third parties to help them operate as businesses and fulfill their responsibilities to...more

“Access Denied” – Understand How Your Electronic Health Records Are Controlled

Earlier this week, my colleague Dianne Bourque commented on a small medical practice’s inability to access its patients’ medical records one July day after its EHR vendor blocked the practice from pulling the data stored in...more

Privacy Tuesday – September 2014

Happy autumnal equinox Home Depot Breach – By the Numbers: - 56 million cards at risk (compare to Target = 40 million) - $62 million in estimated costs (compare to Target =$146 million and...more

Transitional Compliance Period for Business Associate Agreements Expiring September 23, 2014

If they have not already done so, covered entities and business associates have until September 23, 2014, to update their business associate agreements to comply with the January 2013 changes to the Health Insurance...more

Looming HIPAA Deadline: Update Business Associate Agreements by Monday, September 22, 2014

Business associate agreements that have not already been updated as required by the HIPAA Omnibus Rule should be updated by September 22, 2014. The Omnibus Rule changed and added mandatory language for valid business...more

HIPAA Omnibus Rule: Deadline Approaching to Update Grandfathered Business Associate Agreements

Although the HIPAA Omnibus Rule (the “Rule”) went into effect nearly 18 months ago, the transition period for bringing business associate agreements into compliance with the Rule’s new requirements will end on September 23,...more

September 22, 2014 – HIPAA Compliance Deadline for Business Associate Agreements Is Just Around the Corner

All business associate agreements (“BAAs”) must be updated and compliant with current Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act (“HIPAA”) regulations by September 22, 2014. Failure to meet this deadline could result...more

Update Your Business Associate Agreements Now

As you may recall, new provisions of the HIPAA regulations went into effect on September 23, 2013. Included were new requirements for Business Associate (BA) Agreements. The new regulations, however, grandfathered certain...more

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