HIPAA business associate agreement
The HIPAA Business Associate Agreement is a provision that allows those not directly employed by a healthcare provider or biller access protected healthcare information. Such an agreement often occurs when a third party is involved in assisting the business process the data it accumulates.
In situations where a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement is concerned, there is typically an agreement made between a potential business associate and the healthcare provider or biller. The contract will nearly always include an agreement saying that the partner will comply with HIPAA regulations.
This is important because ultimately the HIPAA compliant party is responsible for the actions of its partner. Any penalties or fines that may be tied to failure to comply with HIPAA will be attributed to the hiring entity.