The business of healthcare has become very complex, so much so that most healthcare providers engage third parties for information technology and other services. Covered entities bear responsibility for assuring the HIPAA compliance of these third parties. This assignment focuses on how model business associate contracts (from Federal Government and other sources) may be used to manage risk while engaging third-party business associates. Through careful crafting of business associate contract language you can assure that HIPAA requirements are met. Doing so provides a measure of protection against the chance that a covered entity’s business partners allow a breach of healthcare information privacy.
Preparation: Review the case titled “HHS Settles With Health Plan in Photocopier Breach Case.” The case provides an example of a situation where a business associate agreement with a third party could have helped a covered entity avoid a HIPAA violation.
Write responses to the following scenarios about potential business associates. Review the facts of the scenario, and determine if a business associate agreement is required for that third party. If a business associate agreement is not required, explain your reasoning. If a business associate agreement is required, explain why. Be specific about what is required in the business associate agreement.
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