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

Think You Know Your HIPAA-Related Obligations? Read the ONC’s New Privacy and Security Guide to Find Out

In 2013, we alerted you to the expansion of the definition of the term “business associate” under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Now, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health...more

OCR Launches Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program with Pre-Audit Screening Surveys

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) covered entities have reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently sent pre-audit screening surveys...more

New Study Finds That Criminal Attacks Are The Number One Cause Of Health Sector Data Breaches

On May 7, 2015, the Ponemon Institute released its Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data (the “Study”), which surveyed 90 HIPAA covered entities and 88 business associates regarding their...more

OCR Transmits Pre-Audit Screening Surveys to Covered Entities for Phase 2 HIPAA Compliance Audits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently transmitted HIPAA pre-audit screening surveys to covered entities that may be selected for a second phase of HIPAA compliance audits...more

ONC Releases Privacy and Security Guidance Geared Toward Small Providers

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) recently released a new and improved version 2.0 of their Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. This revamped...more

OCR Enforcement of HIPAA Affects Entities of all Sizes Small Pharmacy Enters into Latest Settlement

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced late last week that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (Cornell) agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996...more

OCR Announces Another HIPAA Settlement and Warns Not to Forget About Paper Records

On April 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (“Cornell Pharmacy”) had entered into a resolution agreement to settle,...more

Revised Guidance for Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information Released by Government

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) has released a revised Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information (the “Guide”), which is intended to be a resource for...more

2015 Phase Two HIPAA Audits – Delayed Again

Recently, the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) confirmed that OCR is still working to finalize the procedures for “Phase Two” HIPAA audits. OCR had initially planned to...more

HIPAA Rules and Procedures in the Event of a Data Breach, Part Two

My last post focused on the discovery and investigation of a data security breach to determine if breach notification is needed. Today’s post now turns to the requirements of breach notification triggered by a data security...more

Blog: HIPAA FAQ Series: Do You Need a BAA with Your Cloud Storage Provider?

This week, the HIPAA FAQ series continues with another topic about business associate agreements (BAAs). As most Covered Entities and Business Associates know, in the event that a Covered Entity utilizes a service provider...more

Proposed Registration of Associated Persons Involved With Algorithmic Trading Strategies

FINRA recently issued Regulatory Notice 15-06 requesting comments on the proposal that would require the registration of associated persons involved in the design, development or modification of algorithmic trading...more

Blog: HIPAA FAQ Series: Do You Need a BAA with Your Mail Carrier?

This week, the HIPAA FAQ series continues with a topic about business associate agreements (BAAs). Most Covered Entities and Business Associates are familiar with general BAA obligations. ...more

Blog: HIPAA FAQ Series: Does HIPAA Permit Communications via E-mail with PHI Subjects?

Last week, we introduced a new series to this blog that will cover frequently asked questions regarding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This week, the series continues by delving into a hot...more

Blog: HIPAA FAQ Series: Are Covered Entities Liable for Business Associates’ HIPAA Violations?

This post marks the beginning of a new series on this blog covering various frequently asked questions regarding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). ...more

Big Data Creates New Opportunities for Health Care Entities

Big Data — the ability to collect, process, and interpret massive amounts of information — has reached health care. Technology has created new business opportunities for health care entities — covered entities, business...more

Office of Civil Rights Delays Phase 2 Audits

The Office of Civil RIghts (“OCR”) recently announced that Phase 2 of the HIPAA audits would be further delayed because the audit portals and project management tools that are needed to initiate the audit process are not...more

HIPAA Compliant Technology and the Importance of Encryption

We welcome this guest blog by Gene Fry, Compliance Officer, Scrypt, Inc. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. This means that any...more

Pressure Points: OCR Enforcement Activity in 2014

During 2014, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services initiated six enforcement actions in response to security breaches reported by entities covered by the Health Insurance...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™:

News from the Health Law Gurus™ is a weekly summary of notable health law news from around the country with helpful links to related content. Check back every week for the latest health law news stories....more

HIPAA: Deadlines Pass and Definitions Change

For all covered entities and business associates, September 22 was the last day for business associate agreements (BAAs) to comply with the Omnibus HIPAA Rule (the Rule) released in January 2013. Before the Rule’s release,...more

IT Maintenance Crucial for HIPAA Compliance

The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced an agreement with a medical center to settle charges stemming from the center’s failure to prevent malware from infecting its...more

Top Five Resolutions for Covered Entities and Business Associates in 2015

The New Year is here. It is time to make those 2015 resolutions, and not just those for getting fit and healthy. Resolve now to improve your organization’s compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability...more

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

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