New Business Associate Agreement Rules Among HIPAA Changes

If you are a covered entity under HIPAA, the 2013 HIPAA omnibus rules say you must update any BA agreement you entered into (or amended) after Jan. 25, 2013, by Sept. 23, 2013, to address newly mandated provisions in the rules.

For BA agreements you already had in place as of Jan. 25, 2013, you have until Sept. 22, 2014, to bring them into compliance with the 2013 HIPAA omnibus rules. Remember, if you amend an existing BA agreement after Jan. 25, 2013, the amended version must be in compliance with the 2013 HIPAA omnibus rules.

The HIPAA omnibus rules, which were published Jan. 25, 2013, expanded the definition of BAs. For example, a company that merely stores protected health information on your behalf is now considered your BA. The rules also extended liability under the HIPAA privacy and security rules to BAs as well as to their subcontractors. More importantly for physician practices, covered entities may, in certain circumstances, be held liable for actions of BAs serving as “agents.” If you have the right or authority to control the BA’s conduct in the course of performing a service on your behalf, an agency relationship likely exists between your practice and the BA.

TMA Can Help 

TMA’s Policies and Procedures: A Guide for Medical Practice currently is under revision for HIPAA updates resulting from the omnibus rules, including sample Texas-specific BA agreements. Reserve your copy of the updated guide now to qualify for a $25 discount by calling (877) 880-1335. If you purchased a guide on or after July 1, 2013, you automatically will receive the HIPAA revisions from TMA. Those who purchased the guide between November 2012 and June 2013 will receive an email to purchase and download the revised section for a discounted price.

Bookmark for more HIPAA resources from TMA. 

NOTICE: The Texas Medical Association provides this information with the express understanding that 1) no attorney-client relationship exists, 2) neither TMA nor its attorneys are engaged in providing legal advice and 3) that the information is of a general character. This is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. While every effort is made to ensure that content is complete, accurate and timely, TMA cannot guarantee the accuracy and totality of the information contained in this publication and assumes no legal responsibility for loss or damages resulting from the use of this content. You should not rely on this information when dealing with personal legal matters; rather legal advice from retained legal counsel should be sought. 

Published Aug. 13, 2013 

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