A Business Associates Agreement (BAA) is a legally binding contract between a healthcare provider and an external individual or organization. A BAA is necessary whenever a third party plans to offer services to a healthcare provider that requires them to access, transmit, and/or store Protected Health Information (PHI).
What is a Business Associates Agreement (BAA)?
Referred to as a Business Associate Contract (BAC) by HIPAA, a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is a legally binding contract made between a healthcare provider and a third party that needs to work with Protected Health Information (PHI). A BAA aims to help healthcare providers remain in compliance with the complex regulations regarding the collection, storage, and use of PHI, per Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws.
What is Covered by a BAA?
While the government provides BAA templates, these templates should always be modified in accordance with a provider's specific needs. Ideally, a provider will reach out to a security officer or experienced lawyer to finalize the BAA before signing.
In general, these are the parameters that should be included in the BAA:
- Who the Business Associate is, what PHI they need to have access to, and how they should appropriately store, destroy, or return PHI as needed.
- The safeguards the Business Associate should implement to ensure the PHI they access remains private, confidential, and secure, along with the necessary HIPAA training that the Business Associate must complete.
- Necessary steps that must be taken in special circumstances, such as if the Business Associate hires a subcontractor, is part of a data breach, or if either party wishes to terminate the agreement.
Failure to ensure that a BAA is up-to-date, specific, and complete can leave a healthcare provider liable, even if it is the Business Associate that violates HIPAA or other laws.
How TempDev Can Help You Be Compliant with a BAA
TempDev’s team of experienced consultants, developers, and trainers are here to support enhanced accessibility, as well as customized features and templates. This enables you and your patients to have more control over data with improved transparency.
As part of our streamlining process, we help you implement the Patient Portal, API, and other tools to better support safety, patient engagement, and security. From dashboards to automation and workflow redesign, TempDev offers the comprehensive resources and tools you need to ensure compliance.
Contact us here or by calling us at 888.TEMP.DEV to ensure compliance with protecting PHI and HIPAA regulations.
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