HITECH Business Associates Task Force Established by the Health Law Section
Last February’s stimulus legislation included not only the promise of funding for electronic health records and related healthcare projects, but the most significant changes to health information privacy and security law since HIPAA. These changes affect not only healthcare organizations but also their business associates – including lawyers.
Under the new law, the Health Information Technology for Clinical and Economic Health (HITECH) Act, HIPAA regulatory jurisdiction has been extended to expressly include business associates. As of February 2010 business associates will be required to comply with the HIPAA security regulations and a number of other requirements, and every business associate contract will have to be amended to become consistent with the new law. One set of requirements, mandating security breach notification to individuals affected by unauthorized access to protected health information, will become effective September 23, 2009.
To help health lawyers and their clients address these daunting new compliance requirements the Health Law Section has established the HITECH Business Associates Task Force. The Task Force is charged with developing analyses, templates, forms and educational materials dealing with key HITECH business associates compliance issues. The work is being done through committees, including Security Compliance for Business Associates; Lawyers as Business Associates; Employer Plan Compliance; Security Breach Notification; and Business Associate Contract Provisions and Templates.
Work has begun already, and ABA members are welcome to volunteer. We’re all affected, and this is our opportunity - and challenge – to help ourselves and our clients deal effectively with new compliance obligations many don’t yet understand.
For information about participating in the Task Force, please contact Simeon Carson, Membership, Technology and Publication Specialist, at Simeon.Carson@americanbar.org or 312-988-5824.
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