Providers within the medical industry are now subject to a
comprehensive set of regulations to ensure patient care is optimized
while patient privacy is protected. Everything from the way that data is
stored to how organization exchanges information within the medical
system has been affected by updated HIPAA regulations. Business
associate compliance is one of the aspects of new HIPAA regulations
that will affect most organizations within the medical industry.
What is Business Associate Compliance?
Organizations within the medical industry often work together to
provide patient care. For instance, a general practitioner may refer a
patient to a nearby radiologist for x-rays and usually bills a patient's
insurance company directly. According to updated HIPAA guidelines,
each third-party that you work with will need to be HIPAA compliant.
Additionally, all business associates will need to implement what the
Department of Health and Human Services refers to as physical,
technical and administrative safeguards in order to comply with the
Privacy Rule and Security Rule. For businesses, this means that every
business associate will need to update their procedures and policies in
order to be HIPAA compliant.
Business associate compliance will also affect how your patient records
are stored if you are using a web-based service to back up or store
electronic patient health information. Any legal, accounting,
administrative, financial or data Management Company that has access
to protected patient health information must be HIPAA compliant. Using
a HIPAA compliance checklist to determine HIPAA business associate
compliance can be helpful in deciding whether you need to have a
business associate contract.
For instance, you may need a business associate agreement with your
data Storage Company, but may not need a business associate contract
to refer patients to a lab or specialist in your area. A HIPAA compliance
checklist can help you determine when and if you need a business
associate agreement. The Privacy Rule and the Security Rule are only a
small section in the updated HIPAA guidelines, but these two rules
contain a lot of technical information that must be put into practice in
order to become HIPAA compliant.
Complex HIPAA Regulations
HIPAA regulations concerning business associate compliance are
complex. Currently, HIPAA guidelines allow medical organizations to
maintain their third-party contracts until September of 2014. After
September, however, all business associate contracts will need to be
updated to ensure compliance with the most current HIPAA guidelines.
Relying on a HIPAA compliance checklist will help you ensure that your
business associates are HIPAA compliant, which will also ensure that
your organization is in compliance with the new HIPAA regulations.
The Compliancy Group LLC.
55 Broadway Unit 684
Greenlawn, NY 11740
Contact No: 855 854 4722
Fax: 631 731 1643