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Monday, 18 August 2014 18:52

What is a business associates (BA) and is your business associate protecting patient information and ensuring that appropriate security measures are in place?

Written by Duane Lansdowne
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business associate protecting your patient informationIs your business associate protecting your patient information and ensuring that appropriate security measures are in place to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.

 

What is a Business Associate?

A "Business Associate" is a person or entity that performs certain functions or activities that involve the use or disclosure of protected health information on behalf of, or provides services to, a covered entity.


Who are a Business Associate?

A "Business Associate" are not Covered Entities but do come in contact with protected health information "PHI" and electronic protected health information "ePHI".

• Shredding Companies
• Paper Records Storage
• IT companies
• EHR venders
• Copier venders
• Lawyers
• Accountants
• Collections Agencies, etc.

What the HITECH Act did for Business Associates?

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). ARRA contains incentives related to health care information technology in general (e.g. creation of a national health care infrastructure) and contains specific incentives designed to accelerate the adoption of electronic health record (EHR/EMR) systems among providers.

Under the HITECH Act, Business Associates are now required to comply with the safeguards contained in the HIPAA Security Rule and use and disclosure provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.


Here are some compliance verification questions to ask BA.

You can respectfully ask your "BA" to answer the following questions regarding how the business associate is currently protecting electronic protected health information and complying with the HIPAA and HITECH regulations.

  • Does your organization have a HIPAA security officer?
  • Have you performed a Risk Assessment on how the organization is protecting electronic protected health information in the past year?
  • Do you have HIPAA Policies and Procedures?

Want to know more about HIPAA compliance or want to know more about business associate questions. Contact Acclamar Healthcare IT at 703-270-1007

Last modified on Monday, 20 April 2015 17:54

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