There is a lack of transparency around the content of Business Associate Agreements (BAAs), a lack of sample BAA language around the topics developers care about, such as cloud storage & PGHD, and a lack of bargaining power on the part of startups. This has led to many challenges for the industry, resulting in high legal fees which may be a barrier to entry for many companies. HHS should issue sample BAA language around ...more »
Does the entire environment need to be HIPAA compliant, or is it possible that the solution could fall into an exception to HIPAA, or can they use an API to store certain kinds of data? If you’re building modern technologies, you’re relying on a lot of third party (likely API) based services; mostly cloud based services. So which aspects of those need to be compliant?
Developers need better guidance around cloud storage/computing and the Security Rule. Client-server architecture is no longer relevant in many cases. Health technology companies are typically now 100 percent cloud-based. Many clients are doing some type of data analytics work, or offer cloud-based EHRs and medical devices. HHS should provide good guidance for companies that are cloud based and virtual. Most companies ...more »
How can we determine if we’re a covered entity? The resources to make that determination are expensive – i.e. law firms
I work for a University medical school that employs physicians as faculty and who teach at the hospital. I would like to know more about how far the ability access patient's records for educational purposes reaches. For example, if a Radiologist faculty member treated several patients with interesting or notable conditions and wanted to use the films as a teaching guide for residents, then what guidance or protocols ...more »
Is there any limitation on a covered entity's de-identification of PHI or use of de-identified information? For example, may a covered entity de-identify information purely for the purposes of selling data as a service? Additionally, from a Privacy Rule perspective (i.e., not considering state law or contractual considerations), are there any restrictions on a business associate using or disclosing the de-identified ...more »
Assume you have a software company that will be using a smartphone application and related device to record and store arguably protected health information. 1. Assume the software company stores the information on its own servers. The company is not subject to HIPAA (privacy or security rules) because it isn't a covered entity or a business associate of a covered entity, correct? 2. Now assume that the software ...more »
I would like to know if I offer an online appointment scheduler to health care providers, would the system and I, as the programmer/manager need to abide by HIPAA or other related laws. Information included in the system would not be medical in nature; it would just be the clients name, appointment date and time, their email address and phone number. Possibly a credit card for deposits, but that's not the concern. The ...more »
With random audits becoming a feature of HIPAA enforcement, small companies and Business Associates should ensure that information sought by OCR is readily available. This will allow OCR to make assessments quickly and efficiently. Making this process efficient also limits the disruptive impact audits can have on emerging companies. Similar to the practice of the FCC, can OCR provide guidance for Business Associates regarding ...more »
Employees of a Business Associate must be trained on the basics of HIPAA. Startups and emerging companies want to ensure that the training their employees receive meets the standards expected by OCR. Similar to the practices of OSHA, can OCR provide a standardized training program on key HIPAA issues?
Small companies and Business Associates are eager to meet their security requirements under HIPAA. Many smaller B.A.s have stated that they are unable to use the current security risk assessment tool because they believe it is needlessly cumbersome, redundant, and designed for Covered Entities. Do you recommend that Business Associates start to use private tools instead of the current tool for risk assessments? If so, ...more »
Is a company that provides encrypted cloud storage for a covered entity a BA if it does not have the encryption key and has no ability to access the IIHI?