HIPAA and Business Associates may collide after Sept 23, 2013 and face millions of dollars in fines if they have not prepared for these changes. HIPAA and Business Associates is not a new topic but for Business Associates who create, receive, maintain, or transmit patient data or who provide a service that involves the disclosure of protected health information this white paper may well be timely in light of recent events. Where HIPAA and Business Associates had for years been a “tempest in a teapot” recent changes in the regulations and economics have produced a “perfect storm” for those Covered Entities and Business Associates who are not prepared.
HIPAA became law in 1996 but there was no mechanism for enforcement of Privacy or Security until 2003 and not much happened even after those rules went into effect. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) became law in 2009 and took effect 2010. There were more enforcement mechanisms for Privacy and Security but Health and Human Services (HHS) used them sparingly with Covered Entities and did not use its HITECH powers with Business Associates. Starting in 2009, HHS worked on a HIPAA Final Rule that would give it appropriate powers to regulate more fully the Covered Entities, Business Associates, and subcontractors who had access to patient data. In January 2013, HHS published this needed (and long-‐awaited) Final Rule. The Final Rule took effect March 26, 2013. Covered Entities, Business Associates and subcontractors with access to patient data must be in compliance by September 23, 2013. As part of HITECH, HHS now has the ability to perform audits for HIPAA compliance and conducted over 100 randomized audits in 2012 where there were nearly 1,000 audit findings and observations. All the elements for a HIPAA compliance “perfect storm” for Business Associates are in place.
Any organization interested in HIPAA and Business Associates will find this HealthCare Too white paper of use, including:
- Insurance Plans,
- Healthcare Providers,
- Business Associates.
Read HealthCare Too’s FREE white paper for more information and prepare so your organization is not caught in the “perfect storm”.Download Our Free White Paper