Since the HIPAA Omnibus Rule came out last year, there has been much discussion about the relationship and responsibility of each party between covered entities and business associates. Due to this, we have recently made some additions and changes to our sample Business Associate Agreement. The HIPAA Omnibus Business Associate Agreement (BAA) in our forms section has been updated to include important language for both Covered Entities and Business Associates. We made a few changes most notably is the Indemnification of Covered Entity language that is now included. The following portions of the agreement have been updated:
Indemnification of Covered Entity
To the extent that you feel you need additional indemnification by your business associate or your subcontractor, we have incorporated stronger and clearer language. The added Indemnification of Covered Entity language states:
Business Associate agrees to indemnify and hold harmless, to the extent allowed by law, the Covered Entity, its officers, employees, and agents (individually and collectively "Indemnitees") against any and all losses, liabilities, judgments, penalties, awards, and costs (including costs of investigations, legal fees, and expenses) arising out of or related to:
A breach of this Business Associate Agreement relating to the Obligations and Activities required by Business Associate; or
Any negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of Business Associate or its employees, directors, officers, subcontractors, or agents, relating to their HIPAA Privacy and Security requirements, including failure to perform their Obligations and Activities under this Business Associate Agreement.
Permitted Uses and Disclosures by Business Associate
We also edited a sentence in the Permitted Uses and Disclosures by Business Associate section to include more specific information:
(C) Business associate agrees to make uses and disclosures and requests for protected health information consistent with Covered Entity's minimum necessary policies and procedures.
Do we need to send the revised agreement to your Business Associate?
These changes do not mean you are required to use the revised BAA. Rather, if you feel you would like to use a stronger BAA or if need to renew any of your BAAs, we would recommend using this revised version. If you determine you would like to use the revised BAA it may be accessed in the Forms section on your HCP website. To access, please login to your account and click on one of your offices then click on the Forms tab on the left. From here, select the Business Associate Agreement (Revised HIPAA Omnibus). This Business Associate Agreement is customizable to suit your organization's needs.
If you have any additional questions about the updated Business Associate Agreement or any other compliance questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of our professional consultants.
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